Not all destinations are female-friendly. In general, if you are a female solo traveler, avoid places where females are not considered equal and countries with political unrest. Always use common sense as you would at home when traveling abroad. Tara a Trippy user from Utah, was concerned and reached out to other travelers on Trippy. She wrote:
Solo travel for women? What are destinations relatively safe for a woman traveling alone for the first time? Budget not a huge issue. Open to all suggestions! Time of year and accommodations are also pretty flexible.
Ross from Fort Collins believed it’s not the destination that female travelers should be concerned about. The keys are to be prepared and follow the local culture. While traveling with his wife in Guatemala, he witnessed the following scene:
I truly think it depends on the traveler, not the destination. Knowing the area and doing your research goes a long way! I find that girls can dress in a disrespectful way in religious countries. You don’t want to be in a skimpy tank top and mini skirt in a Muslim area or a very catholic area for that matter. I was in remote Guatemala with a girl in skimpy clothing, and the local guys let her know how appreciative they were of her choice in outfit. My wife let her borrow some clothing to stop the whistling and hissing.
I am a female traveler, and I’ve witnessed similar situations and couldn’t agree more with Ross. Here are 10 solo female-friendly destinations recommended by Trippy users and experienced travelers:
Izabel suggested Portugal. She said:
Portugal is a great destination to visit at any time of the year. We have regions with snow during the winter; we have world-class recognized beaches during the summer, hot air balloon tours around Alentejo, cruise sailboats, and yachts where you can do wine tasting and enjoy the fantastic cuisine by renowned chefs. During all year you can visit famous cities that are known by their architecture, beauty, and history, like Lisbon, Porto, Alcobaca, Cascais, Sintra, Tomar or if you prefer tours based on your preference or historical choice, that could make you travel in periods that date from 3.000 B.C. As long as accommodations go, there is a range of options that you could choose, from palaces to hostels, I need you to be more specific, so I could help you plan your trip if you wish. Come to Portugal and enjoy this magical country.
It’s also easy to get around Portugal. Make Lisbon or Porto your base. In Lisbon, public transportation is affordable and clean. You can join guided tours to Evora and other small towns in the south. Use trains to Sintra, Cascais, and long-distance buses or trains between Porto and Lisbon.
While in Portugal, do not miss Porto! The port wine is enough of a reason to go, but you will also discover a city filled with beautiful old buildings and views of the water along with lots of art and culture. Here’s a picture of a beautiful stairway leading down towards the river.
There are enough cellar tours to fill up an entire weekend, but two of my personal favorites included Caves Sandeman & C. and Ramos Pinto. You can try all of their different types of port wine and learn about how they make it.
2. Scandinavian countries
A friend of mine travels a lot on her own, and she always enjoys the northern countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark. I prefer the city’s more than the countryside, e.g., Copenhagen is a great city to explore, but it is also a little expensive.
Scandinavia was very welcoming. Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo are an overnight train ride apart and so safe.
Local culture thrives, and exploration abounds in Scandinavia. In Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo, you can sample top-notch Nordic dishes, hang out in cafes and enjoy coffee and pastries or wander around town enjoying the beautiful architecture and cityscapes.
Marcy from Cincinnati liked Scotland. She said:
Scotland is gorgeous, beautiful hiking and outdoor activity, very friendly people, more relaxed, easy to get to Northern England. Edinburgh is a cultural capital and very vibrant during the summer with its International Festival. I was there alone and felt totally safe.
VisitScotland agreed and wrote a blog post on 7 Reasons to Solo Travel in Scotland. It’s also perfect for those who love nature, history, backpacking, and wellness retreats.
4. Camino de Santiago in Spain
Elizabeth from Canada experienced the Camino de Santiago hike alone. She wrote:
One of the most amazing trips you could take is hiking part of the Camino Ways Santiago de Compostela. The reason why it is so fantastic is that it is such a simple and relaxing way to spend time and get to know some incredible parts of Europe. All you need to think about each day is waking up, putting on your hiking shoes, and just walking. It is a great way to clear the mind and prepare for the next adventure in life (MBA school)! A second reason is that you will constantly meet interesting and like-minded people who will become your new friends – it is pretty amazing meeting new people on the Camino. There is something about walking – it really connects you to the world as a whole, to the people you are walking with, to nature and yourself. It is a great adventure if you are with a group, a couple, or a single woman. As a single woman, I would have felt very safe as you will meet other people along the way, walk for a while with them, meet more people, talk, have dinner with a big group of a few people and then continue on the next day, meeting more people as you go. It is a unique and great way to travel. I hiked part of the trail in France and continued into Spain, meeting great people along the way and experiencing France and Spain in an authentic way. You can stay in the various monasteries or find inns in the towns on the Camino. No real need to plan much – just go!
Italy is an excellent place for a woman traveling solo. The transport system is easy, and English is generally spoken across the country. You’ll get catcalls from guys, but I think that happens pretty much everywhere. I took a three-week trip and visited Palermo, Lipari, Naples, Capri, Italy, Amalfi Coast, Rome, Radda in Chianti, Florence, Venice, and Milan (in that order). I was with two other girls, but I feel that I would have been good solo. I recommend going at the beginning of summer, like the end of May beginning of June. We went at the end of June through mid-July, and it was super hot in July. The waters are calmer in the summer, so the Blue Grotto is normally open unless there is a storm. I highly recommend visiting this country if you can. Good luck!
How exciting! I agree entirely with traveling to Italy, but most especially the Amalfi Coast. Be prepared to fall in love with all things Italian… beaches, small cafes, food, margarita pizza, vino Blanco, laughter, cappuccinos! Oh, and I forgot to mention the adorable Italian dogs that live better than 99% of the world.
6. Kyoto, Japan
Japan is an excellent destination for solo female travelers. Trippy user Mark said Japan is the safest country in the world. Inside Kyoto wrote a beneficial article on Solo Female Traveler in Kyoto (and the rest of Japan) that you can use before you make a decision.
Arti from Mumbai loved Kyoto. He wrote:
Kyoto is home to many UNESCO heritage sites and some wonderful temples, parks, and gardens. My suggestion would be not to hop to all of these (although you will be highly tempted as all of them are just so amazing!) but choose wisely and focus on savoring the ones that you do choose to visit. The Kinkaku-Ji is a must-visit in Kyoto for its antiquity, history, and sheer opulence of structure.
7. New Zealand
Trippy user Melissa from Chicago added New Zealand. She shared her thoughts on the country:
I want to throw New Zealand into the mix. Friendly, beautiful, easy to get around, and safe.
New Zealand is a backpacking friendly and solo female-friendly country. Public transportation is reliable, and travelers can choose the Inter-City buses to travel around North Island and South Island. Choose the Flexi-pass and plan your trip using the long-distance buses from the north to the south.
Deborah from Michigan and Rebecca from Manchester took solo trips to New Zealand. This is what they shared with the Trippy community:
Yes, New Zealand is a must-see. Queenstown is a beautiful town, and I felt very safe when walking around town by myself at night. If you like bbq, go to Flame Bar & Grill downtown it is the best! There is a lot to do and see. Make the most of it.
I traveled alone as a 24-year-old girl, and I had no problems. However, I did buy my car, but I met plenty of other solo girls that traveled by the tourist buses. There is a backpacking New Zealand group on Facebook, which was really useful as you can find many travelers with cars who want to buddy up or offer lifts. I did this a lot and took people in my car (and split) the petrol, and I never had any problems. It is a very safe country, where most residents never lock their front door.
Tracy from Canada wrote:
What about Western Canada after Toronto and Montreal or add Quebec City and surrounding areas?
A fun itinerary to consider is taking the train from Vancouver to Montreal or vice versa. You start in Vancouver and make stops in Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sioux Lookout, Sudbury Junction, Toronto, Ottawa, and end at your final destination, Montreal.
Besides that, the government of Canada has this advice for female travelers traveling outside of Canada:
The rules of dressing for success vary hugely from culture to culture. They’re often based on age-old religious and moral beliefs. Defying these customs may be strictly forbidden in some societies and put you at risk.
Meredith from Oakland wrote:
London is a great first-time solo destination if you like cities. There are tons to do, and it’s easy to blend into the city like any other traveler or resident. Just use your wits, and you’ll be fine. If you are at all social, you’ll probably end up making friends with other travelers who could lead to exploring other destinations and countries with them. This has happened to almost everyone I know (including me) on at least one solo adventure.
Stella loved London. She said:
London HAD to make it on my list. One of the most incredible cities on the planet! It has anything and everything! The best of the best, la crème de la crème! The best restaurants, the best designers, the best museums, the best theatres, well the best of everything literally! London is a must-see and must-go. Spending 3 weeks in London was not enough for me to see everything. I firmly believe that you’ll never ever be bored if you’re in London. London is calling! Better answer.
10. Burgundy, France
Coco from Dijon, France recommended her hometown:
I’ve been renting out an apartment in Dijon (Capital of Burgundy) for nine years now and welcomed many solo travelers (women from 25yo to about 70yo coming from the USA, Australia, France, and South Africa), and they all loved the atmosphere here. So I’m sure it is a good destination.
Dijon, a town known for its mustard (dijon mustard), is the capital of the Burgundy wine region, located in the southeast of Paris, and only a two-hour train ride from Paris. This medieval town has amazing food and of course wine from the region. It’s also rich in history and art.