Be inspired to plan your next solo trip with this list of the best places to visit in Europe as a solo traveller.
Are you itching to take your first solo travel trip but are unsure where to go? Given that there are so many options and considerations, choosing your ideal solo travel destination can be a tough task.
So what makes the ideal solo travel destination?
Sadly, there is no magic formula and creating your perfect place to travel alone is a carefully balanced recipe of the following ingredients:
- Safety of destination – e.g. crime, terrorism threat
- Opportunities to meet other people whilst travelling
- Convenience – e.g.travel infrastructure, visa requirements
- Preferred activities – city or country, recharge or adventure?
- Preferred climate
It’s not easy.
I argue that there’s no such thing as a definitive list of perfect solo travel destinations but, as with many other life decisions, it boils down to balancing competing priorities. That said, it’s good to have a few ideas and inspiration for starters.
To help you make this sometimes tough choice, we’ll consider why Europe is a great choice for solo travellers and list some of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
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Travelling Alone in Europe
Europe is a fabulous destination for the first-time solo traveller.
It’s relatively safe, easy to travel around and offers a vast choice of cultures and cuisine. Thanks to the European Union, many countries share a common currency and there are no borders to navigate, making country-hopping a breeze.
In fact, solo travel surveys indicate that nearly half of all seasoned travellers recommend Europe as the ideal destination for those travelling alone for the first time.
That said, there are places in Europe that are more suited to solo travel than others. Public transport and infrastructure are better in some destinations, and other places offer a vibrant and friendly local culture. If your travel budget is a consideration, the cost of living is lower in some cities than in others.
Best Places to Visit in Europe as a Solo Traveller: City Breaks
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
By Umang of Travelmax
Amsterdam is a great place in Europe for solo travellers to visit.
The city has a wide, vibrant community of travellers, be it leisure travellers or freelance digital nomads. People hang out at hostels or connect with each other through communities such as Meet up or Couchsurfing. These hostels have a lot of regular events which are also open to those not staying there.
Couchsurfing events are a great way to meet locals in addition to fellow travellers (I remember joining a meet up of Spanish speaking folks in Amsterdam, which was such fun!).
In addition to this thriving community, Amsterdam is also home to tons of museums. If you have even a little curiosity regarding history or arts, you can spend hours here, not really caring about having company.
Getting around Amsterdam is easy, and it’s a convenient base for day trips to other Dutch cities. The excellent tram network, comfortable buses and cycling infrastructure are a real boon for a solo traveller in Amsterdam.
The best sights in Amsterdam are the museums and Dam Square. The Jordaan area is also a good place to spend an evening chilling in cafes & pubs.
If you feel more adventurous, cross the river and go to the Noord region to enjoy the I AM HOLLAND experience and Adam’s Lookout. The former experience gives you an epic virtual tour of The Netherlands, while the latter experience offers a stunning view of the city.
By Chrysoula of Athens and Beyond
Athens is a wonderful destination for solo travellers. Not only is it friendly, welcoming and easy to get around, but it is home to some spectacular attractions that you don’t want to miss out on just because you don’t have a travel buddy.
With relatively cheap flights from around Europe and beyond, some great hostels and an excellent range of bars, restaurants and cafes, Athens is an amazing destination for solo travellers taking a weekend break and for those travelling more extensively across Europe.
Choose centrally located accommodation in Athens so you can easily walk around the top sights like the Acropolis (and Acropolis Museum), the Ancient Agora, Monastiraki, Plaka and Syntagma Square. Thankfully there are so many options within this area that you won’t be hard pushed to find a decent hotel or Airbnb.
Athens also has some awesome tours that you could take (e.g. Local Food Tours, Street Art Tours) which are a great way to interact with both locals and other travellers.
As Athens has both easy-to-use public transport and taxis, you’ll be able to explore the city safely, and there are some fun days trips that can be taken as tours out of the city too.
By Maggie of The World Was Here First
If you’re looking for the perfect solo travel destination in Europe, you really can’t go wrong with Belgrade, Serbia.
The capital of Serbia has lots to offer visitors and it is a great place to visit alone. There are countless things to do in Belgrade over two or three (or more!) days and the atmosphere of the city, along with the gregarious nature of the locals, make it ideal to visit on your own.
Belgrade is a popular city amongst backpackers and there are countless hostels throughout the city, where it is easy to meet other, like-minded travellers. There are also numerous free walking tours of the capital’s neighbourhoods that you can go on to meet others while learning about the destination.
Belgrade locals are also easy-going and sociable and easy to talk to, so you never truly have to feel alone when visiting this dynamic city.
Some of the top sites in Belgrade include the fascinating Old Town, the wonderful pedestrian street of Knez Mihailova and, of course, the sprawling Kalemegdan fortress park overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. There are also a number of interesting museums where you can learn more about Belgrade’s history plus a great nightlife scene to experience.
All in all, Belgrade is an excellent place to visit in Europe if you are travelling alone.
By Disha of Disha Discovers
There are so many great places to travel alone in Europe and Budapest is one of them.
Budapest is a safe city to visit, even at night. However, as with any big city, take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Also, Budapest is easy to navigate. The trams and buses are simple to use, there are lots of helpful maps that will guide you from place to place and the majority of the signs are written in English.
Budapest has great hostels and hotels, world-class attractions, and first-rate restaurants and pubs that won’t break the bank. As a solo traveller, you can find anything within your budget.
Some of the most iconic things to do in Budapest include the Parliament House, Dohany Street Synagogue, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Jewish Quarter, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, and Szechenyi Spa Baths.
By Kami of Kami & The Rest of the World
Dubrovnik, the gem of the Adriatic coast in Croatia, is a perfect destination for solo travellers. As it’s not a dangerous city, you don’t need to take special safety precautions; just use your common sense like anywhere else and you will be fine.
With all the great things to do in Dubrovnik, you will be busy all day long with sightseeing.
Be sure to walk the city walls around the Old Town. The views from there are incredible and, with the ticket, you can also visit Fort Lovrijenac just outside the Old Town.
Fans of Game of Thrones will recognise many of Dubrovnik sights from their television screen. One of the best activities in Dubrovnik though is just wandering around its narrow streets and enjoying the atmosphere of the town.
The city is very popular among tourists, especially in the summer season, but once the crowds are gone Dubrovnik is bliss.
By Emer and Nils of Let’s Go Ireland
By day and by night, Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, has a diverse range of attractions to offer. As a solo tourist, you will feel right at home and have a packed Dublin itinerary exploring the city, its culture and top-class tourist sights.
The must-see attractions include the Guinness Storehouse with an unbeatable view of the Dublin skyline from the Gravity Bar, Trinity College and the medieval manuscript of the Book of Kells and the latest treasures found in the Chester Beatty Library.
Dublin is designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Join in the fun at the James Joyce Bloomsday Festival in June, or visit the Museum of Modern Literature to get a taste of Irish Literature at its finest.
Ireland’s capital is an excellent base for day trips with many locations to choose from, so you won’t have to bother renting a car. From Howth harbour outside the city centre (reachable by train) to the Cliffs of Moher or to the Giant’s Causeway, you will be spoilt for choice!
In the evenings, you can enjoy some great live music in the many pubs around the city. There is always music in Temple Bar, but it can be very touristy.
Try some of these other pubs for a more authentic atmosphere. Don’t worry about being by yourself, it is very easy to strike up a conversation with most Irish people!
By Kathi of Watch Me See
As a solo traveller, do you want to visit a city that is friendly and welcoming, gentle on your wallet, filled with fun people and dotted with amazing things to do? Look no further than Glasgow, Scotland.
The city’s slogan “People Make Glasgow” could not be more true. The locals are super friendly, whether you need help with directions to want to meet new people in the pub.
There are numerous budget-friendly accommodation options from great hostels to quirky boutique guest houses. Most attractions and museums are free to visit, which makes it easy to soak up as much of Glasgow’s history, art and culture as possible.
Glasgow has also many fantastic green spaces and a colourful street art trail with massive murals. There are several street food markets, cool shops filled with local designs and of course endless pubs with live music and banter.
I highly recommend taking a history tour with Glasgow Women’s Library and looking into the city’s historic involvement with the slave trade, signs of which can be seen in street names and buildings around the city.
And that’s just in the city. Glasgow is also a great place to base yourself if you want to take day trips to the Scottish countryside. Other cities like Stirling and Edinburgh are within easy reach. Beautiful castles, stunning Highland scenery and several Scottish islands are on your doorstep.
All of this and more makes Glasgow a perfect place to visit as a solo traveller.
By Roshni of The Wanderlust Within
Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg is an underrated destination compared to the capital, Stockholm. But as the world’s most sustainable destination four times in a row, it’s a European city that will inspire any solo traveller.
Gothenburg is a very walkable city, filled with beautiful botanical gardens, local designer shops, and a strong Swedish fika culture. Gothenburg is a paradise for foodies and has a much more affordable price tag compared to Stockholm.
With free walking tours, it’s easy for solo travellers to make friends and to explore quaint neighbourhoods such as Haga, which is famous for baking the largest cinnamon rolls in Sweden.
The best time of year to visit the city is December for the Gothenburg Christmas markets. This is when the whole city turns into a festive winter wonderland.
Gothenburg has four Christmas markets, but the main one is Sweden’s largest and is found at Liseberg Amusement Park. Liseberg is an icon in Sweden and includes thrilling rollercoaster rides, a seasonal ice skating show and over 80 Christmas stalls and shops.
The Christmas markets have a host of festive food choices, including a Swedish Christmas buffet dinner that is served on one long table so solo travellers can mingle together.
By Jordan of Inspired by Maps
Modest Helsinki, or Finland, might not be top of your list when considering places for a solo Europe escape, but it should be.
Tucked away in the northeast of Europe, Helsinki is an enigma, an excellent secret destination full of local charm and personality but minus the crowds. A short vacation with a difference.
Not only is it wonderfully weird and completely original, but it is utterly welcoming to everyone. And it is oh so safe! Helsinki is one of the safest cities in the world, and you can walk everywhere during the day without worry.
Finns are rather shy, reserved, and independent, and love to spend time alone. However, this adds to Helsinki’s appeal as a solo travel destination since most of its attractions can easily be undertaken by one person.
Dining, drinking coffee, sauna, you name it; being solo here is completely normal. And, especially as a female traveller, it would be unheard of for someone to come up and harass you for being alone.
Strolling around Helsinki is like being in an outdoor museum of architecture, with an eclectic mish-mash of magnificent neoclassical architecture, art nouveau constructs, and modern design. Inside top highlights include the Kiasma Museum, the Löyly Sauna, the Amos Rex, and the Moomin store.
And don’t forget to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Suomenlinna Island Fortress. You might not know much about Helsinki before visiting, but you’ll never forget it afterwards.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
If you are looking for a budget-friendly solo travel destination with a first-rate bar scene, Krakow could be just the ticket. This is a city that hasn’t sold its soul to tourism, and where it is possible to feast on a meal for 15 PLN washed down with a glass of craft beer for 5 PLN (around 4 GBP).
Join one of its excellent free walking tours – I loved the one exploring Krakow’s Royal Road – to meet like-minded travellers. However, the whole city has a social vibe.
Reflect on Krakow’s tragic past by visiting Kazimierz, the city’s old Jewish Quarter, the former Jewish ghetto in Podgorze and the neighbouring Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory. For many people, the chance to take a day trip to Auschwitz is reason enough to visit Krakow.
For something a little different, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a labyrinthine network of tunnels lacing through the mine’s salty depths. Just 12km south-east of Kraków, this is an easy day trip from Krakow.
La Valletta, Malta
By Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
La Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a great European destination for solo travellers.
It’s delightfully compact, with stone buildings piled on top of each other higgledy-piggledy. The entire Valletta peninsula is only a couple of kilometres long, so you can easily explore the whole city on foot. Just be prepared to climb lots of stairs.
Most locals here speak fluent English, so it’s easy to make new friends
Valletta’s role as the headquarters of the Knights of Malta from the 16th to 18th centuries is a very important part of the city’s history, and many of its best sights relate to this period. The knights’ armoury can be visited inside the Palace of the Grand Masters, though the palace now serves as the parliament and president’s office, so most of it is off-limits.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the interior is covered head to toe in marble and frescoes and is incredibly ornate. If you love art, be sure to visit the Cathedral Museum, which displays two paintings by Caravaggio, who was once a knight himself.
And Valletta is the perfect base from which to explore the rest of this small island nation. From Valletta, you can look out across the harbour and see three other cities just on the other side: Birgu, Senglea and Bormla.
Most locals here speak fluent English, so it’s easy to make new friends.
Finally, don’t leave Valletta without trying some of the traditional Maltese foods like bigilla and pastizzi.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
I may be biased, but my home town of London is one of the very best places to travel alone in Europe.
London has a cultural scene that is second-to-none, with world-class museums, including the British Museum, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, a theatrical and musical landscape to accommodate all tastes, excellent restaurants and, of course, a lively drinking culture.
There is no shortage of things to do in London as a solo traveller.
Meet fellow travellers on one of the many walking tours – I recommend one of the London street art tours. Or tick off many of London’s landmarks by taking a stroll along the Victoria Embankment or the South Bank.
Or see the sights from the water by taking a boat ride along the Thames (for the more adventurous you can ride in a RIB!). This is a great way to fully appreciate London’s magnificent bridges.
On those rainy afternoons (and we do get a few of these!), visit a museum or gallery, get a bargain ticket for a theatre matinee performance, see a new cinematic release or an old classic or linger over a book in a coffee shop.
Finally, if you want a break from city life, take one of the many easy day trips from London, including Bohemian Brighton, the dreaming spires of Oxford and the Georgian splendour of Bath.
By Leyla of Offbeat France
Lyon may be a big city – it is France’s 2nd or 3rd, depending on your source – but that is precisely what makes it perfect for the solo traveller: an abundance of choice.
If you’re new to Lyon, go see the murals.
These are scattered along the edges of the Old Town, as well as here and there throughout the rest of the city. They not only look realistic, but are huge and provide a strong sense of Lyon’s personality.
Lyon is considered France’s gastronomic heartland and if you believe French food is sublime, Lyon is amazing when it comes to food.
There are plenty of great restaurants but try a bouchon, a typical Lyonnais eatery. If the heavy fare is daunting, head for Les Halles Paul Bocuse, a covered market filled with shops that sell every kind of food you could expect to find in Lyon, and more.
Just bring along a large appetite.
Wandering around Old Lyon is always a pleasure, as is visiting the Roman Fourvière theatre. But for an intriguing view of Lyon, two things should grab your attention, both related to silk, of which Lyon was for years France’s main supplier.
The first is the traboules in the old town: these are ancient tunnels that allowed weavers to carry bolts of silk from building to building without getting them wet when it rained.
The second must-see sights are the silk establishments on the Croix-Rousse hill; these are shops, or old buildings where workshops were once located, topping it off with a visit to the Maison des Canuts, the silk museum.
Lyon is perfectly safe for solo travellers during the day, but in the evening it is best to stick to the more touristed parts of town. It is, after all, a major city.
By Maria of Europe Up Close
Munich is a great destination for solo travellers to Europe.
The city has a friendly, supportive small-town feel but, at the same time, it is metropolitan enough to nurture a thriving traveller and ex-pat scene. Munich has a good choice of accommodation and its public transport is excellent and easy to navigate, allowing you to explore every part of the city.
Here are some of the must-dos in Munich:
Munich Beer Halls. Everyone knows the Hofbräuhaus, but there are quite a few others that are not quite as touristy, like the Paulaner, or the Weißes Brauhaus.
What is great about these beer halls is that they usually have community tables that you share with others. That makes it easy to connect with other guests and chat.
Swimming in the Isar. If you travel to Munich in the summer, pack your swimsuit and go to the Isar Beaches. That is where the locals hang out and it is easy to connect with others.
Go on a Walking Tour. Munich has a lot of history and a walking tour is fun, inexpensive (sometimes even free), and you can meet other travellers. To get some non-touristy recommendations, ask the guide for his favourite bars and restaurants
Pro Tip: If a restaurant is busy and does not have empty tables, it is customary to join a party already seated. Simply ask if the seat is taken, and if they nod in approval you can join them.
This is a great way to find some company during meals if you are travelling alone.
By Stephanie of The World As I See It
One of the best places to visit in Europe for solo travellers is Paris, France.
Easy public transport, many people speaking different languages and an abundance of fellow travellers help make Paris a great city to travel solo.
It’s also a relatively safe city to visit if you are travelling alone. You can easily walk around many of the popular neighbourhoods and take the metro at night without feeling uncomfortable.
There are so many amazing things to do in Paris as a solo traveller.
Paris’s top attractions include a visit to the Eiffel Tower, browsing the many museums like the Louvre and D’Orsay, people-watching at one of the hundreds of cafes, and strolling down the Champs-Elysees.
And don’t forget to grab a baguette, a bottle of wine, and enjoy a picnic in one of the many amazing parks.
Some other great things that you visit in Paris are the Catacombs – if you dare! – and the stunning churches that dot the city, like Sacre-Coeur and Saint-Sulpice.
So, make sure you plan at least four days in Paris for your next solo adventure. It will be epic!
Prague, Czech Republic
By Marika of Clumsy Girl Travels
Prague is one of the prettiest medieval cities in the world and one of the best places to travel solo. I have travelled alone to Prague a few times and these are my favourite things to do:
Take a free walking tour. Several companies offer free walking tours of the old town, the castle and even some lesser-known neighbourhoods, and this is a great way to meet other people who are travelling alone.
Enjoy a beer at Letna Park Beer Garden or Strahov Monastery. Both places offer spectacular views of the city.
Visiting a quirky museum like the Beer Museum (which includes a beer tasting), the Chocolate Museum, or the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians, where you learn the darker side of Prague’s history.
Along with things to do during the day, Prague has an excellent nightlife and food scene worth checking out. If you want dinner and a show, you should book a medieval dinner show or a dinner show with traditional Czech dancing.
If you want to party, Prague has a few pub crawls worth checking out.
With its colourful architecture, cobblestoned streets and countless things to do you are bound to have the best time exploring Prague on your own.
Pristina and Prizren, Kosovo
By Cass of Cassie the Hag
I loved travelling alone in Kosovo, and the capital Pristina and ‘cultural heart’ Prizren were the highlights of my stay.
Solo travel in Kosovo feels safe, the locals are friendly and welcoming, especially at local cafes such as Half&Half Cafe in Pristina.
Hostels are well maintained and also very cheap (4 euros for both dorm rooms and meals!).
Bus routes between key cities are not only very budget-friendly but easy to navigate.
Pristina, Europe’s newest capital, is trendy and home to underrated street art and to a diverse range of eateries, including modern and vegan cafes. Look out for the National Library, one of the world’s ugliest buildings, and the Bill Clinton statue (yep, he’s quite the hero in Kosovo!). More cultural gems include the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa.
In Prizren, the Prizren Fortress has spectacular views over the city. There are also many museums to learn more about European, and more specifically Balkan, history.
Nature lovers and keen hikers can also take a day trip to Peja, where there are scenic trails, or journey to one of the less well-known national parks.
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Ellis of Backpack Adventures
St Petersburg in Russia is not only a gem of a city but is also one of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
Some of the major costs for solo travellers are taxis and hotels. However, St. Petersburg has an excellent public transport system that is easy to navigate.
Furthermore, the city has lots of hostels where it is easy to meet other travellers.
There are lots of solo travel-friendly things to do.
First of all, St. Petersburg is full of interesting museums that you can explore at your own pace. The most famous of these is the Hermitage, where you can easily spend a whole day.
As well as the museums, there are the 18th and 19th-century palaces of the Romanov tsars and their families. These European palaces are not only worth a visit because of their opulent and extravagant rooms inside, but also for their beautiful palace gardens.
St Petersburg is a year-round destination. Visit in the summer for the long nights and to see the bridges open up over the Neva River. Go to St Petersburg in winter for cold, snowy days and the beauty of the frozen Neva.
By Carolyn of Holidays to Europe
With an abundance of stunning architecture, a pretty old town and its connection to some musical icons, both classical and modern, the Austrian city of Salzburg is a wonderful destination for solo travellers. And the city’s excellent public transport connections to Austria and beyond make it one of the best places to visit in Europe.
Top sights in Salzburg include the Cathedral, the 12th Century Residenz, Mozart’s Birthplace and Hohensalzburg Fortress, an imposing castle atop a hill overlooking the city. All can be found close to the Old Town in the compact centre of the city.
Getreidegasse and Linzer Gasse, two of Salzburg’s most famous streets, are the places for retail therapy or to find the perfect souvenir. Amongst the shops and boutiques, you’ll find one of the city’s specialities on sale, a chocolate ball with a marzipan centre known as a Mozartkugel.
A short walk from the Old Town, and across the Salzach River, the Mirabell Palace and gardens are well worth a visit. Most visitors flock to the steps in front of Rose Hill to re-enact a famous scene from The Sound of Music.
Salzburg can be easily explored alone on foot, on a Hop On Hop Off bus, or even by horse-drawn carriage. But if you’d prefer some company, the Tourist Office offers a number of guided city tours every day.
By Jade of The Migrant Yogi
Sibiu, a small city in Romania’ southern Transilvania, is an ideal destination in Europe for the solo traveller.
First and foremost, Romania in general and Sibiu, in particular, are super safe.
Walking home alone at night is not a problem, even as a solo female traveller. There are people who will approach you at restaurants and ask for money if you’re sitting outside, but there are no aggressive tactics employed.
Sibiu is small and pedestrian-friendly, important if you’re not partial to taking public transportation. You’ll be able to walk amongst its colourful buildings and get lost in the winding cobblestone streets of the Old Town
There’s no shortage of things to do in Sibiu, including restaurants serving delicious food, an impressive number of museums and open-air markets. You’ll never be bored in the European Cultural Capital in 2007.
If you’re partial to nature, Sibiu is located in the Carpathian Basin, so there are plenty of hiking and trekking options nearby, not to mention some gorgeous green parks.
The people of Romania are very friendly and English is widely spoken among the younger generations.
Whether you’re exploring Sibiu solo for a few days or a few months, this charming city will not disappoint.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
For elegant cafe culture with a twist of Mozart, Vienna is one of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
With its imperial architecture, magnificent museums, classical music scene and cafes galore, Austria’s capital is a superb destination for the solo traveller at any time of year.
Take a journey from Ancient Rome to the Renaissance by exploring the vast collection of the Kunsthistoriches Museum. Visit Schloss Schönbrunn, one of the Hapsburg Empire’s palaces, in all its gilded glory.
But perhaps the jewel in Vienna’s crown is the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908).
Finally, if you are visiting Vienna at Christmas, don’t leave the city before washing down a plate of Bratkartoffeln with glühwein (mulled wine) at one of the city’s Christmas markets.
By Veronika of Travel Geekery
Wroclaw, Poland’s 4th largest city, is a hidden gem in Central Europe and is an ideal solo travel destination for several reasons.
First, it’s easy to get there, whether you want to fly in or prefer taking the bus or the train.
Second, it’s safe. I wandered around in the evening and never felt unsafe. A close friend of mine who calls Wroclaw home considers swears by Wroclaw’s safety too.
Third, it’s just so easy to walk around and explore. You can use public transport (trams & buses), but it’s easy to see Wroclaw’s main sights on foot as they’re located within a walking distance of each other.
In the heart of Wroclaw Old Town lies the Market Square with beautiful merchant houses and a monumental Old Town Hall right in the middle. Many visitors to Wroclaw enjoy tracing the famous Wroclaw dwarfs.
Walk through Butcher’s Street and then stroll all the way to the lovely Tumski Island with its impressive cathedrals.
This beautiful city doesn’t attract many visitors, yet there’s so much to see and do in Wroclaw.
Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe: Natural Wonders
By Sarah of Lets Grow Cook
Bansko is Bulgaria’s largest ski resort, and one of the cheapest places to ski in Europe. But this mountain town is so much more than a ski resort.
Bansko is located 2 hours from Sofia and 2.5 hours from Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city, and is served by great public transport connections. There are lots of places to stay here; self-catering accommodation, small family-run hotels and larger ones too, some with pools.
There are two great co-working locations here in Bansko and, as such, the town has a great social life for solo travellers. With co-living spaces and hostels available, plus apartments for US$180 a month, there are cheap options for places to stay as a single traveller.
The town is easy to navigate on foot and there are great hiking and mountain biking activities here with superb groups on Facebook for visitors to find out about activities with others.
Eating out is cheap with a great selection of Bulgarian mehanas, alongside more international foods. You’ll also find takeaway and delivery options too.
From May onwards there are free outdoor festivals, including the Bansko Jazz festival, which has run for more than 20 years.
Highlands of Scotland
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Studded with deep lochs and soaring mountains, the Scottish Highlands is blessed with some of the most dramatic scenery on the planet.
Better still, its abundance of outdoor activities provide ample opportunities for solo travellers to meet other people. If you prefer solitude, solo hiking is relatively safe as long as you don’t too far off the beaten path.
And if you love train travel as much as I do, you’re in luck. From catching the Caledonia Sleeper from London to the magical Harry Potter scenic train between Fort William and Mallaig, there’s no shortage of awe inspiring trips.
Base yourself in Fort William to ride this Jacobite steam train and to visit glorious Glencoe. Make the lovely city of Inverness your second base, the jumping-off point for Loch Ness and the historic Culloden battlefield.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Lovely Lake Bled is the jewel in Slovenia’s crown.
This picturesque corner of Europe has many of the ingredients for a perfect solo travel break.
Slovenia is cheap by European standards, it’s relatively safe and has a good travel infrastructure.
Lake Bled has an abundance of walking trails, a castle perched on a hillside and an enigmatic island to visit. Traditional boats plough the turquoise waters of the lake, but if you prefer your travelling to be conducted on dry land, there’s the super scenic Bohinj Railway.
Lake Bled is a mecca for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and joining an organised tour to go canyoning / underground kayaking / ziplining / river rafting (delete as appropriate) is a fantastic way to meet other travellers.
If food and wine are more your thing, join a wine tasting session – Slovenian wines are very quaffable – and don’t leave town before biting into a slice of feather-light Lake Bled Cake.
Lake District, England
By Demi of Around The World With Her
The North of England has a reputation as being extremely friendly, making the area a great place to visit for a solo traveller. The Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a wonderfully friendly destination.
Full of quaint towns and villages, the Lake District is very visitor friendly. Base yourself in a small town such as Ambleside or Windermere to be in the best possible location.
The main activity for most visitors is hiking, something that can easily be done as a solo traveller. Views around the Lake District are incredible, so don’t forget your camera.
Local buses mean it is easy to get from town to town.
You can also travel a lot of the lakes by steamer boat. These traditional ferry boats are a great way to see the scenery from a different angle.
Or rent a bike and explore some of the cycle trails.
The Lake District is the kind of place where you say hello to everyone you meet whilst you are out and about.
If the sun is out, you will find everyone sitting in the afternoon in a scenic garden, enjoying a traditional English roast. Wander alone into any old English pub in the Lake District, and you are sure to make friends in a matter of minutes.
By Alexander of Engineer On Tour
For natural wonders, Northern Norway is one of the best places to travel alone in Europe. From Arctic-connected Tromso up to Bodo, the “gateway to the North”, the things you can witness are incredible.
Why is it an excellent place for a solo traveller?
Well, I usually prefer going to big party destinations, like Madrid or Berlin, together with friends. But when it comes to nature destinations, I prefer going alone, especially if it is something challenging like mountainous Norway.
Norway allows you to test yourself, and somehow, after returning home, you feel stronger.
Northern Norway connects world-famous mountain views and small comfortable towns. But you don’t need to just visit tourist places.
Unknown fjords are just as beautiful. If you go alone, you can easily choose routes, hike difficulty, and type of landscape according to your preferences and fitness.
If you go to Northern Norway, make sure you visit Tromso, the centre of Arctic Exploration and Saami culture. Make it on a ship through the Northern archipelago and long Raften Pass. And visit the jewel of Northern Norway – the Lofoten Islands.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
The ease with which you can explore Provence by train as a solo traveller, fields filled with fragrant lavender, ancient Roman ruins, picture-perfect walled medieval cities and some of the best food and wine in the world. These are just some of the reasons why this region of France is perfect for those who are travelling alone.
During a week in Provence, you can explore the ‘three As” – the historic cities of Avignon, Arles and Aix-en-Provence. For the history buffs amongst you, visit the amphitheatre at Orange and the sensational Pont du Gard, the tallest aqueduct bridge of the Roman world.
Moving south, spend a day in revitalised Marseilles, visiting the MuCEM, Marseille’s Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, before relaxing in the quintessential Provençal portside town of Cassis.
And, of course, in summer there are the lavender and sunflower fields in full bloom.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Whilst Iceland isn’t the most budget-friendly destination for those travelling alone, the crime rate in Reykjavik is so low to be almost zero and, as a solo female traveller, harassment is also rare. It is easy to book excursions online or via one of the agencies in downtown Reykjavik, and Iceland is also a mecca for outdoor activities.
Although in and of itself, Reykjavik is a superb solo city break, it is the access it provides to Iceland’s natural wonders that makes it outstanding.
Take a day tour of the Golden Circle, a 300 km circular route that loops from Reykjavik into central Iceland, to explore the country’s rugged interior. Soak your cares away in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon whilst sipping on a cool Icelandic beer.
Yes. Iceland is expensive but you can cut costs as a solo traveller by bagging a good deal on accommodation and exercising self-restraint when and drinking alcohol and eating out.
And the relatively high cost of booze means that, unlike some other European cities, such as Tallinn, Reykjavik is yet to become stag party central. And surely that has to be a good thing?
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
If you are yearning to hike amongst mountain peaks, one of the best places to travel alone in Europe is Zermatt.
The appeal of the town itself and the relative ease with which you can explore its surroundings makes Zermatt a fantastic solo travel destination at any time of year.
The star of the show is the mighty Matterhorn, piercing the sky above the town like a harpoon tip.
To get the best view of the mountain, take a ride on the Gornergrat Railway. From here, there are also great hiking trails through mountain valleys and along woodland paths scattered with pine cones, accompanied by the soundtrack of gurgling mountain streams and distant cowbells.
To reach Zermatt, take the Glacier Express from St. Moritz, one of the world’s great train journeys.
Best Places for Solo Travel in Europe: Countries
The eagle-eyed amongst you may be wondering why destinations in Italy, Spain and Portugal do not feature on this list of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
This is not because they are not great destinations for the solo traveller – they are! – but because it was impossible to narrow the choice down to one or two destinations in each of these countries.
Solo traveller destinations in Italy, Spain and Portugal, therefore, deserve articles in their own right. But here’s why you should put these countries at the top of your destination list as a solo traveller.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
This was one of the first countries that I visited as a solo traveller 30 years ago, and one to which I have returned more times than I can count.
For centuries, Italy’s landscape, history and food have drawn travellers from across the globe (for me, add Italian coffee bars and gelato!). The famous hilltop towns of Tuscany draw travellers from near and far but Italy has many other smaller, lesser-known jewels such as the Etruscan towns of Tuscania and Civita di Bagnoregio in Lazio.
Italy is every Renaissance fangirl or fanboy’s dream with world-famous art and architectural treasures too numerous to count. From Siena to San Gimignano, Urbino to the Uffizi, Cortona to Carrara’s marble mines, there’s something for everyone.
Over the years, Italy has developed a travel infrastructure that is second-to-none. There are choices of lodging to suit all budgets, places to eat in even the tiniest of hamlets and an extensive high-speed rail network.
There is a well-worn tourist trail, and English is widely spoken in Italy, especially in tourism hotspots and by younger people. And the familiarity that comes with unconscious immersion in the country’s food and culture, from its iconic paintings and sculptures to Italian cinema, makes Italy a super easy country for the novice solo traveller.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
It has natural beauty in spades with wide, sandy beaches, rugged rocky coves and a highland plateau, straddled by dramatic mountain ranges.
Thanks to decades of mass tourism, it has an extremely well-developed infrastructure. There are accommodation choices to suit all budgets, restaurants are plentiful, English is widely spoken and the train network is extensive.
One of the things that Spain is most famous for is its rich historical heritage and is second only to Italy in the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Safety is always important to the solo traveller and Spain ranks in the top 10% of the safest countries in the world. But, as ever, watch out for petty crime such as pickpocketing in the cities.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
One of the cheapest countries in Europe, Portugal is one of the best places to travel alone.
Like Spain, it has a temperate climate and abundant natural beauty with a long beach-lined coastline, a mountainous north and the lush Duoro River valley, home to the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Although not as well developed as that of its Iberian neighbour, Portugal’s travel infrastructure does allow independent exploration with its rail network covering major tourist hubs. And as Portugal is a relatively small country, this makes travel more manageable if you only have a few weeks to spare.
Finally, Portugal has been ranked as the third safest country in the world, welcome news for all solo travellers.
Solo travel in Europe: Final thoughts
I hope that these recommendations inspired you to plan a future trip to Europe. For the most part, it’s a relatively easy part of the world to visit as a solo traveller and has enough diversity to satisfy most people.
If you are not sure whether you are ready to explore Europe independently, why not join a group tour?
As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, there are many other benefits of a group tour as a solo traveller. There are lots of group travel companies out there but two companies that I have used and can recommend are Exodus Travels and Explore Worldwide!
You’ll have an expertly curated itinerary and you often gain valuable insights into the country, the people and culture. Generally, there’s safety in numbers. Finally, if you fear solo travel loneliness, there’s the reassurance of ready-made travel companions.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy the places on this list and make lots of new travel friends in the process. I