Planning to go on a holiday by your own sweet self? These amazing destinations may be your golden ticket to an exciting solo adventure
Travelling alone can be nerve-wracking; but it is, as experienced folks will tell you, also immensely fulfilling. You get to do everything at your own pace – whether you’re looking to meet new people, interact with locals, explore the museums, or shop at the markets. There are absolutely no rules, but your own. Anxious about embarking on a journey alone? Have no fear; we’ve pulled out a list welcoming and safe cities (precautions advised, nonetheless!) that’s perfect for solo travellers.
Iceland tops the list for being one of the most user-friendly countries for solo adventurers, and Reykjavik is great for immersing yourself in the rich Icelandic culture, as well as soaking up the great outdoors like the Blue Lagoon and the Northern Lights. While the lights are visible from September to April, word on the street is: the best time to visit is between January and March, when the skies are darker and clearer, giving you a greater chance of seeing the sky light up.
Visit Reykjavik Loves for all the lowdown on this super insta-friendly country
Amsterdam may have a rep for being a party city (what with space cakes and all), but the charming city offers so much more in arts and culture. Another city on the list that’s easy to get around on two-wheelers, the easy-to-navigate city even boasts bike lanes and road rules to protect riders. Plus, the Dutch are incredibly friendly and will always lend you a helping hand.
Visit I Amsterdam for a list of things to do in Netherland’s capital city.
Once plagued by political turmoil from the historical WWII, Berlin is now one of the trendiest cities in Europe – recognised for its art scene, nightlife and modern architecture. Berlin truly caters to all, for culture vultures and also for fun seekers. Psst…we’ve personally gone to The Wall and beyond (in Germany – not Game of Thrones), and if you trust our ability to sniff out the cool things to do, you’d best pay attention to our five Berlin must-dos.
Check out Visit Berlin for things to do in the city of cool
London, one of the most visited cities in the world, is always on our travel radar. Steeped in history and architecture, the Brit capital of cool offers a fascinating mix of old and new. The developed city has a fantastic metro system; wandering alone at night is not frowned upon; and everyone’s generally polite (Brits take their manners very seriously). Read our nifty guide on things to do, see, and eat in London.
Check out Visit London for things to do in the English capital
There are no two ways about it: Swedes are cool. If musicians like Lykke Li and cult fashion brands like ACNE aren’t evidenced enough, a visit to Stockholm will set the record straight. Its residents are the stuff of hipster fashionista dreams, with athleisure, and all black ACNE-inspired clothing reigning their so-hip-it-hurts #ootds. If you’ve only got time for one neighbourhood, stop by Sodermalm, also known as one of Europe’s coolest districts. Boasting 16th-century architecture and breathtaking city views, the area houses numerous independent art galleries, stylish vintage boutiques, bang-on-trend fashion brands, speciality coffee shops, old-fashioned barbers and snug, yet swanky speakeasies.
Check out Visit Stockholm on things Swedish
Scotland’s beloved capital Edinburgh is a great place for solo travels intrigued with the vast history of the city. Take on its cobbled streets and hit cool boutiques at Victoria Street. Brace the slopes and steep passageways as you explore the many alleys of the Royal Mile. Learn more about the city’s past and the most famous closes by taking a tour at The Real Mary King’s Close and the Edinburgh vaults (our writer Cam had a supernatural encounter here!). Plus, most of its tourist attractions and hotels are within walking distances, so you wouldn’t even have to worry about transport!
Visit Edinburgh for a guide to the historic city
The perpetually hot K-fever has got nearly everyone jet-setting to Korea. Be sure you get your hands on their amazing fashion brand (hello, Stylenanda!) and quality cosmetic products while you’re there. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your wanderlust, we’re pretty sure the myriad of delectable Korean cuisines will blow your mind away. Psst… must-tries include samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), jjajangmyeon (black bean paste noodles), and for the brave souls, Sannakji (live octopus)!
Check out Visit Seoul for all things happening in the South Korean capital.
Ocean breeze, salty hair, sun-kissed skin and that book you’ve been dying to get stuck into for months… Bali is our go-to destination whenever you crave for some major R&R. The best time to visit is in May, when flight prices are lower than usual. Be sure to subscribe to Honeycombers’ Bali to be in-the-know on all that’s happening in the lovely island.
Visit Wonderful Indonesia: Bali for a list of go-to beaches, historic landmarks and volcanoes in Bali
Coup or no coup, Bangkok is one of the best and safest cities for solo travellers. We’ve been there almost every year – single, or with a group of friends. You can roam the city freely at night without any fear of getting mugged; though you might want to stay clear of back alleyways. Head to Khao San Road for late night drinks with fellow travellers; Ari (Aree) for a dose of hipster goodness; and Rod Fai Market for vintage collectables.
Visit Bangkok for all the rad things to do in the city
It’s easy to see why Hong Kong is one of the most desirable cities to visit. With a plethora of dim sum joints, night markets and high-end shopping malls, Hong Kong has every foodie and shopaholic’s interests at heart. Travelling solo also gives you the chance to go on an alternative junk trip route and discover a different side of Hong Kong. Stay at the East Hotel Hong Kong for stunning views of the city.
Visit Discover Hong Kong for an insider’s guide to this hip city
A solo traveller who loves to eat? Taiwan is your perfect destination. Once ruled by the Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese, the city is a real melting pot for food, as well as culture and architecture. Stay up late and head to Taipei’s many vibrant night markets for a bite; the city dishes out some of the best street food in Asia.
Visit Travel Taipei for the hottest places to go, eat and shop
It’s fair to say you won’t get bored when you’re travelling alone in Tokyo; the large city has tonnes of quirky things to see and do. Although asking for directions can be a bit of a pickle due to the language barrier, the Japanese folks are totally nice and will go out of their way to help you out. Going to Tokyo and Kyoto? Be sure to get pointers from our guide.
Visit Go Tokyo for an insider’s guide on the hippest city on the planet
If you find that even on holiday, you get the urge to be near a swish mall, nice restaurants, and tall buildings, then Kuala Lumpur is the city for you across the causeway. A drive from Singapore would take you 5-6 hours, but brace yourself for the traffic in Kuala Lumpur when you arrive. It’ll be worth it when you hit the food havens of Jalan Alor (you have to get some roasted chicken wings!) and Petaling Street, shop a storm around KL from Bangsar to Bukit Bintang, and check in to a snazzy hotel like Aloft KL, Chaos Hotel or the rustic Sekeping Backlane.
Voted most liveable city by The Economist for the fourth year running, Melbourne is a city of charming juxtapositions – cosmopolitan-chic yet green (you’re never too far from jaw-dropping scenery and nature) at the same time. With so much to do and see in the Victorian city (The cafes! The indie shops and markets! The farms!), this Australian city is definitely a must-go for solo travellers. Here are some Insta-worthy places to go for your holiday snaps, and find out what to do with our extensive itinerary to Melbs.
Check out Visit Victoria for all the best spots to explore in Melbourne
Why see Sydney solo? For starters, it’s one of Austraila’s largest cities, well-known for its harbourfront Opera House, Sydney Tower and its Harbour Bridge. Don’t forget to read our insightful articles on things you shouldn’t do in the city, Sydney’s foodie trends, as well as things to do, see and eat in the Blue Mountains before you fly.
Visit Sydney for a buzzin’ good time
Queenstown is an adrenaline junkie’s haven, so get your blood pumping from the start and fly there solo! New Zealanders are extremely hospitable and will make single travellers feel at ease. Pair that with tonnes of great bites and wine, adventures for all, mind-blowing landscapes, and top-notch accommodation and you have a real winner. Plus, pack up your ski gear and head over to the Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, 25 and 40 minutes respectively from Queenstown, for some ski action.
Visit Queenstown for tips on making your trip to the “Adventure Capital” worthwhile
If you’d like to take a piece of the Middle East home, visit Dubai for all the sci-fi vibe. It’s safe and user-friendly for solo travellers. Check out skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa, an island shaped like a palm tree and the majestic architecture of Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque. Adrenaline junkies can strap up for some sandboarding and experience riding a camel in the desert.
Visit Dubai for all the fun in the sun
Fun fact: This city was the birthplace of the 1960s flower power, hippie movement. Modern day San Fran still holds dear to its rich counter-culture roots, rejecting mainstream establishments and advocating eco-friendly, sustainable practices. For a taste of the free love era, head to Hippie Hill, where hand drummers hold ceremonies, local artists hawk their products, and people chill under dodgy smoke signals. Other not-to-be-missed psychedelic spots include the Haight Ashbury neighbourhood (tie-dye boutiques and quirky shops galore), the outdoor 420 in the Park festival, the City Lights Bookstore, and Veusvio Cafe, which honed some of the best writers and Beatniks of the hippie movement.
Visit San Francisco Travel and get to know the city of cool
There’s a reason why New York’s the city that never sleeps. From world-famous stage productions and trendy nightclubs, to fabled jazz bars and comedy clubs, you won’t have to look too far for an excuse to hang out after hours. It’s easy to navigate and its subway system is also ace for easy commuting. With plenty of things to do and see — think The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and the Empire State Building — can you ever get bored of the Big Apple?
Visit the New York Guide for a taste of the Big Apple
This Canadian city is a popular travel destination with beautiful landscapes and a plethora of attraction worth visiting such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the CN Tower. If you’re the adventurous type, hit the road for a short road trip to the Niagara Falls. You can easily get to know the city simply by exploring on foot. Safe and easy to navigate, Toronto ticks all the boxes for solo travellers.
Visit Tourism Toronto for all the happenings in this beautiful city
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