15 Best Destinations To Travel Alone in Europe

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Verona, another wonderful city to travel alone to.

Traveling alone is not for everyone, but it’s something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime! Europe is a fantastic area to take a solo trip. I’ve traveled to Europe alone many times, for months at a time and find it really easy to adapt to.

The best places to travel alone in Europe are debatable, as everyone is looking for different things. Some prefer to enjoy a destination alone allowing for some self reflection, while others adore meeting new people and making new friends while traveling solo. Some travelers love city life and five-star restaurants, while others love camping and don’t mind living off of gas station food. One great thing about Europe is that it offers so much variety and is easily connected making it possible to visit many destinations in the same trip. 

What Makes a Good Solo Travel Destination?

When choosing a destination, you need to be mindful of a few things. Safety is always a priority for a solo traveller, especially female solo travelers since they are more susceptible to crime, harassment and uncomfortable situations. There is no question it’s more challenging to travel as a woman, but even if it is your first solo trip you should feel confident and safe in the place you choose to travel to.

In addition to safety, locations with accessible transportation that are easy to navigate, budget friendly, and speak a language you understand are ideal. If you are looking to meet other solo travelers, a destination with plenty of hostels, and a good social atmosphere with chances to meet new friends is another factor to keep in mind. 

Still, one size does not fit all. The “best” destination varies for each person, depending on individual preferences and comfort levels. To that end, research and choose a destination that aligns with your interests, safety, and travel experience.

While there are a slew of cities in Europe that are great for traveling alone, in this post, I’m sharing some of my favorite solo travel destinations in Europe that offer a lot of variety to accommodate many different styles of travel. All of these locations are some of the safest countries in the world, rated high on every solo travel safety list I’ve found. Whether you are looking to take a solo road trip or want to stay in one place, all of these European cities will make an excellent destination for your next solo adventure. 

The Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is certainly one of the best places to travel solo in Europe and is known for its museums, nightlife, hostel culture, and, in April, its colorful tulip fields. Amsterdam shines with a unique style and architecture, as well as its famous canals. There’s a lot to see in the city (and a lot of great day trips to take), but you can certainly get a good feel of the city’s highlights in a couple of days with its walkable streets and easy-to-navigate public transportation system.

Amsterdam is consistently rated high on world safety lists. Of course, as with any big city, pay attention to your belongings when on public transportation or visiting tourist places like the Red Light District (I’m told it really ramps up after 11 p.m) and Zaanse Schans, the historic windmill village.

For budget-conscious travelers, consider visiting during the shoulder season, staying in a dorm-style guest room or hostel, using public transportation (a multi-day GVB pass grants unlimited access to GVB public transportation), and eating at street food stalls, local markets, and casual eateries over upscale restaurants.

Bruges, Belgium

If you are a fan of medieval architecture, Bruges is one of the best places to travel solo in Europe. Because of its port, it is one of the most important cities in both Belgium and Europe. This city is very safe for solo female travellers and is consistently rated among the safest solo female travel destinations in Europe. 

In Bruges, you will be amazed by unique landmarks such as the Belfry of Bruges, otherwise known as the city’s symbol, as well as the Church of Our Lady, which is the tallest building in Bruges. In addition, visit the Grote Markt, one of the city’s biggest squares, located next to the Belfry of Bruges. The market takes place every Wednesday and is a tradition that lasts more than 1000 years.

Bruges is dedicated to beer and chocolate, so trying locally-produced food is a great idea. For beer, visit Bruges in September, and you’ll be able to attend the Bruges Beer Festival. As for chocolate, make sure you visit The Old Chocolate House or the Chocolate Line

Getting around Bruges is relatively easy. Exploring the main centre with its cobblestone streets is best on foot. If you feel comfortable riding with cars on the street, biking is another way to tour the city. If you are looking for a public bus option, De Lijn operates most of the city and regional bus routes. To save some money, purchase bus tickets at an automated kiosk or De Lijn sales point rather than purchasing a ticket on the bus. Taxis are overpriced, so leave them as a last resort.

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Strasburg, France 

If you love charming villages with half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Strasbourg, France, is the destination for you. This is the capital of the Alsace region, and its island center, Grande Île, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Strasbourg ranks high on safety lists and is pedestrian-friendly, making it a great option for solo female travel. Navigating the city centre is best on foot, but if you want to explore outside the centre, a bicycle is a great option. There is also a train station that is a 15-20 min walk to the centre with city trams stops as well.

When it comes to places you should visit in Strasbourg, head to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the city’s main landmark. Make sure to view the astronomical clock and then head to the Palais Rohan, a grand museum showcasing archeological and decorative items. A walk through the la Petite France district will transport you back in time to the Middle Ages. Once a mecca for trading, this charming area along the river is now the most scenic area to walk in, with preserved half-timbered houses, local restaurants, blooming florals, and all-over stunning views.

From Strasbourg, it’s only an hour to the most charming villages in Alsace. These fairytale villages are known as the inspiration for the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. You can visit most by train or bus on a day tour from Strasburg but for the ultimate convenience and freedom, renting a car is best, just know most village centers are walking only. 

Cinque Terre, Italy

There is no place like Italy! From iconic landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Coliseum in Rome to tantalizing dishes and heaps of cooking classes, having a dull moment in Italy is practically impossible.  Still, if you’re looking for something completely extraordinary, head to Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is a string of seaside villages, all of which have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Monterosso is the largest and it’s a paradise for beach lovers, while Vernazza is considered the most picturesque and crowded, especially during summertime.

Cinque Terre is considered a tourist town with most locals only working there during the summer months. Still, it is a wonderful quaint place to visit as a solo female traveler if you enjoy stunning seaside views, hiking, and a low key vibe.

Barcelona, Spain

Another must-visit city in Europe is Barcelona, the largest city in the Catalonia region and one of the best places to travel solo in Europe. Barcelona is known for its friendly locals, unique Antoni Gaudí architecture, delicious paella, and vibrant nightlife (and so much more). It is also the location of the largest football stadium in Europe. 

Even though Barcelona is a big city and has a large population, it ranks high as a safe city for females; in fact, Spain, in general, is consistently rated as one of the safest countries in Europe for solo female travelers.

As I’ve said before, when visiting any big city, it’s essential to watch out for pickpockets and scams in the touristy parts. Barcelona is one country where I have heard of phones and purses getting swiped from the back of chairs and from the top of tables right in front of you as you are eating, so always keep your belongings close to your body and secure. 

The nice thing about Barcelona is that it has a very well-organized public transportation system and is also very walkable. There are plenty of trains and buses to get you around the city and outside the city for a day trip to places such as Girona or Montserrat, both one hour from Barcelona by train.

Barcelona is a popular destination for travelers from around the world, so solo travelers have plenty of opportunities to meet new people in hostels, cafes, at the beaches, or while experiencing the local nightlife.

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Crete, Greece

Crete is on my top 3 favorite Greek Islands list and is one of my favorite solo road trips I’ve ever taken. I drove around the island for almost three weeks before heading to the mainland and on to Santorini, Syros, and Naxos.

The island is so big it should be its own country! There is a ton to see and do in Crete, from climbing through gorges and exploring ancient ruins and archaeological sites to relaxing at beautiful beaches and enjoying small seaside villages. As with any destination, it’s essential to take standard safety precautions, but I felt very safe in Crete and did not experience any disrespect from locals or uncomfortable situations. Cretans are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors, which can make solo travelers feel welcome and at ease. 

Although Crete has a well-developed public transportation system, I suggest renting a car for convenience if you are visiting outside of high season or want to tour the smaller villages or beyond Crete’s major towns. The roads are easy to navigate with offline maps, and there are many hidden gems you won’t find accessible via the bus. 

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Split, Croatia

Another one of my favorite solo road trips was through Croatia. I spent just over two weeks enjoying medieval towns, scenic national parks, wine tasing, and island hopping. The locals are friendly, it is easy to navigate, and the country is beautiful, offering plenty of outdoor activities for female travelers, including hiking, biking, and swimming.

Split serves as a gateway to the Dalmatian Coast, with numerous islands and coastal towns easily accessible by ferry or boat. Solo travelers can embark on day trips to nearby destinations such as Hvar, Brac, and Trogir or join group trips right from Split to interact and meet new people.

Split’s city center is compact and easy to navigate on foot, making it convenient for solo travelers to explore the city independently without fear of getting lost. It is also budget-friendly, perfect for solo travelers. Split offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets, including hostels, guesthouses, and hotels. Many guest houses can be booked on short notice with a discount if you pay cash.

Lisbon, Portugal 

Aside from being one of the most visited European cities, Lisbon is also reasonably cheap, making it ideal for budget solo travelers. Plus, the Portuguese are also some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet-often offering help without hesitation.

There is so much to do in Lisbon, from visiting Praca de Comercio, one of Europe’s largest squares, to enjoying a fado show in Barrio Alto. Get lost in the cobblestone streets of Alfama and immerse yourself in the Portuguese cultural heritage. Make sure to hop on Tram 28 and see the city’s most iconic landmarks, but know that it might get pretty crowded during summertime.

The best way to get around Lisbon is by walking, but you should bring your most comfortable shoes because the streets can be very steep. Also, don’t forget to bring a light jacket with you as the city can be rather windy, even in summer!

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, apart of the United Kingdom, is another stunning historic town bursting with flavor perfect for the solo traveler. Edinburgh offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for travelers from around the world. It is a fantastic jumping-off point for a highlands road trip, Scotland’s mountainous region filled with lakes, gorges, and medieval ruins.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city with a mix of architecture in medieval, Georgian, and Victorian styles with plenty of iconic landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle and the 18th century New Town (which is very much old). Head through the Old Town with a stroll down the Royal Mile, enjoying its historic facades, shops, restaurants, and pubs, or transport yourself into the Harry Potter world with a walk down Victoria Street, the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.

With its low crime rate, especially in tourist areas, and compact city center that is easy to navigate, Edinburgh is one of the best cities for a solo traveler who loves historic buildings, picturesque cobblestone streets, relaxing green spaces, and a town filled with a rich history.

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Cologne, Germany

Although not my favorite city in Europe, Cologne or Köln in German, makes the list because it is a great city for those who don’t love big cities and for solo travelers who want to be social. With 12 universities and over 80,000 students, Cologne’s social scene is perfect for those who want to meet new people and enjoy a lively atmosphere. The steps along the promenade on the east side of the Hohenzollern Bridge (which is also known as the “love lock” bridge) are brimming with groups of young locals chatting over a sunset picnic. If you love a festival, visit Cologne for its colorful Carnival celebration, known as the “fifth season,” which takes place in the days leading up to Lent.

While the city center is pretty compact and very walkable, Cologne has an efficient and well-connected public transportation system, including trams, buses, and trains, making it easy for solo travelers to get around the city and explore its surrounding areas independently. It also offers scenic charm and iconic staples like its impressive cathedral, the Kölner Dom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the largest cathedrals in Europe.

Cologne makes an excellent base for a Germany road trip or day trips to smaller villages, including Bonn, Düsseldorf, or Cochem, a lovely half-timbered village in the Moselle Valley wine region. Whether you spend a few days in Cologne or just pass through, it’s a fun city worth exploring if you love a bustling city feel. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is an ideal destination for solo travelers, offering a perfect blend of safety, walkability, and rich cultural experiences. With its compact layout, many of the city’s attractions are within easy walking distance, allowing solo adventurers to explore at their own pace. The city’s rich history and vibrant cultural scene provide endless opportunities for discovery, whether it’s wandering through cobblestone streets, visiting museums, or immersing oneself in the lively social atmosphere.

Prague’s affordability makes it particularly appealing to solo travelers on a budget, with plenty of affordable accommodation options and budget-friendly dining choices. Hostel culture thrives in Prague, allowing solo travelers to meet like-minded individuals and potentially find companions for exploring the city together. With an efficient public transportation system, getting around Prague is easy, allowing for a better solo travel experience.

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Reykjavik, Iceland

As one of the most stunning natural landscapes on earth, Iceland is a nature lover’s and photographer’s dream. Reykjavik, the capital city is a great place to base yourself to explore some of Iceland’s dramatic scenery. You can easily access iconic attractions such as the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle (including Geysir and Gullfoss), and the dramatic volcanic terrain of the Reykjanes Peninsula. If you are lucky, you can even see the Northern Lights from September-April.

As one of the safest countries globally, solo travelers can comfortably explore Reykjavik’s compact and walkable streets, discovering iconic landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja church and the vibrant downtown area. The city offers plenty of things to do, from shopping at local boutiques to enjoying coffee at a cozy cafe to art museums and various festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and literature to design and culinary arts.

If going beyond the city, you’ll want to rent a car as public transportation is limited. While Iceland isn’t budget-friendly as a solo traveler, it is completely worth the splurge. If you are an outdoorsy adventurer, consider camping to make this solo destination more budget-friendly. 

Copenhagen, Denmark

From Scandinavian architecture to its vibrant culinary scene and tranquil green spaces such as the King’s Garden and Fælledparken, the capital of Denmark has it all. Copenhagen is one the best destinations to travel alone in Europe for a few reasons. Firstly, its renowned for its safety, (constantly ranking among the safest cities in the world) and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy for solo adventurers to explore with peace of mind. Its compact size and excellent public transportation system make navigating the city a breeze, allowing solo travelers to efficiently visit its many attractions, from historic landmarks like Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid statue (although a bit underwhelming) to cultural hubs like Tivoli Gardens and the Royal Danish Opera House. 

Copenhagen is famous for its biking culture and infrastructure, with dedicated bike lanes, bike-sharing programs, and a high percentage of residents commuting by bike. Another unique thing about Copenhagen is its reputation for embracing the concept of “hygge,” which means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. This attitude creates a cozy and welcoming environment, making it easy for solo travelers to feel at home while experiencing the city’s unique charm and culture.

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Dublin, Ireland

Another great spot for solo travelers is the lively Irish city of Dublin. It is filled with unique charm and allure and is famous for its vibrant pub culture, rich literary history (it’s the birthplace and inspiration for renowned authors such as James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett), and historic landmarks from medieval castles and cathedrals to Georgian squares and modern marvels.

Dublin is another “safe” city in Europe with a low crime rate and friendly locals, allowing you to explore the city with confidence and peace of mind. Dublin’s compact size and walkable streets make it an ideal destination for solo exploration. Many of the city’s attractions are within easy walking distance of each other, allowing you to navigate the city at your own pace and discover its hidden gems along the way.

If you love a good brewskie, head to the Guinness Museum to learn more about Dublin’s most iconic beer. If you love Game of Thrones,  head to Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, 1.5 hours outside of town. They offer guided tours of the original filming location, including sets, props, and costumes. 

London, England

London, one of the most iconic cities in Europe (and for good reason) is another fantastic destination when traveling alone. I lived there for two months during college for a study abroad program and have been back a few times since. With iconic landmarks like the London Eye, ‘Big Ben’ clock tower, Tower Bridge, and Kensington Palace, there is so much to see and do in London it’s impossible to get bored. With countless tours, day trips, art and cultural activities at your disposal, it’s really easy to socialize and meet other travelers or friendly locals if you want to.

Some of the best neighborhoods to visit for solo female travelers are South Kensington for its elegance and cultural attractions, Covent Garden for its lively atmosphere with shops, restaurants, and theaters, or the colorful streets and charm of iconic Notting Hill. Shoreditch, known for its creativity and vibrant street art, offers a more urban experience. These areas combine safety, convenience, and a variety of attractions, making them ideal for solo female travelers to explore and enjoy. As with any big city, take caution in certain areas, including public parks and public transportation, when exploring the city at night. Parts of East London, certain housing estates, and late-night entertainment districts may have higher crime rates. 

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All of these destinations are popular among solo travelers, each offering something unique that can be easily enjoyed when traveling alone. From the scenic streets of Amsterdam to the historic charm of Prague and the simplistic beauty of Cinque Terre, these solo-friendly cities offer immersive experiences, diverse cultures, and endless opportunities for exploration and self-discovery.

There are plenty more solo travel friendly cities in Europe but these are some of my favorites! Feel free to let me know in the comments below what your favorite European city is to travel alone to.

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