Be inspired to plan your next solo trip with this list of the best places to travel alone in Europe
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 solo travel destination can be a tough task.
So what makes a perfect 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 – e.g. crime, terrorism threat
- 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.
Travelling alone in Europe
Europe is a fabulous solo travel destination.
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.
I’ve lived in London for many years and have been lucky to travel to most European countries, from the fairytale town of Colmar to the historic city of Split, to the artistic treasures of Urbino.
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 others.
With this in mind, and with the help of fellow travel writers, I have put together a list of the best places to travel alone in Europe. Whether you are looking for a solo city break, lakes and mountains or a coastal retreat, I have you covered.
Best places to travel alone in Europe: City Breaks
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
By Umang of Travelmax
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 makes an amazing destination for solo travellers taking a weekend break and for those travelling more extensively across Europe.
You’ll want to stay fairly central when travelling to 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 hostel 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 and a great nightlife scene to experience, as well.
All in all, Belgrade makes for an excellent destination to visit solo in Europe.
By Disha of Disha Discovers
There are so many great places top 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 and there are lots of helpful maps that will guide you from place to place. Plus, the majority of the signs are written in English.
Budapest has great hostels and hotels, world-class attractions, delicious restaurants, and pubs at a reasonable price tag. 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 worry too much about safety; 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 the 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 Kathi of Watch Me See
By Roshni of The Wanderlust Within
By Jordan of Inspired by Maps
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, 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.
Check out 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, of course, 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, of course, 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 know I’m 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. 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!).
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
By Maria of Europe Up Close
By Stephanie of The World As I See It
One of the best destinations in Europe for solo travellers is Paris, France.
The ease of public transport, many people speaking different languages, and so many 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 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 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 I felt very welcome, 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 specifically Balkans history.
Nature lovers and keen hikers can also take a day trip to Peja, where there are fantastic 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 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 and lots of hostels where it is easy to meet other travellers.
There are lots of solo travel-friendly things to do as well. 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. The palaces are not only worth a visit, because of their opulent and extravagant rooms inside, but also 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
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, so it’s very 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 the 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. This mountain town is, however, so much more than the 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.
Lake District, England
By Demi of Around The World With Her
The North of England has a reputation as being extremely friendly, making many places in the area a great place to visit for a solo traveller. The Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a wonderfully friendly destination.
This national park is home to England’s biggest lake and tallest mountain. 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 sat 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 – Lofoten Islands.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
The ease by 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 for hiking 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 to travel alone 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
Italy was one of the first countries that I visited as solo traveller 30 years ago, and one to which I have returned more times than I can count.
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.
Spain has a 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.
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