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Solo travel can feel daunting, especially if it’s your first time. That is why, after 7 years of travel and over 60 countries later, I’ve created this list with the 15 best first time solo travel destinations.
There are so many choices in the world for places to go and if you’re not too sure where to even start looking, it can be a little too much to comprehend. I remember my first time solo, I was nervous, excited and a little overwhelmed. I went in with no research, and while I enjoyed my first solo trip (which was to Luxembourg), I definitely could have picked somewhere a little more catered to solo travellers. Ultimately, the destination you choose will determine how much you enjoy your first solo trip, so it’s imperative that you pick wisely, with this post, I hope I can give you a guiding hand to the best choices!
Here are the 15 best first time solo travel destinations.
These places are perfect for your first ever solo trip, being: safe, fun, with plenty of other travellers and lots to see/do/eat! What more could you want for your first solo travel adventure? As someone who has solo travelled for 6 years, I have been to my fair share of places and these are destinations I can wholeheartedly recommend for a first timer.
These 15 best first time solo travel destinations hit the main criteria I mark each destination against: safety, activities, easily accessible, affordable, communication and being busy with other travellers. These criteria are what I think are the most important for not only feeling safe and comfortable but ultimately having the best time possible as a newbie solo traveller.
what is the criteria FOR
THE BEST FIRST TIME SOLO TRAVEL DESTINATION?
What are the criteria for these 15 destinations being the perfect beginner friendly, first time solo travel destinations? Well, after travelling to over 60 countries these locations tick a few, if not all of the criteria to be great safe, fun, and accessible destinations for your first time solo travelling. These six criteria are what I would mark a location on for being a great solo travel destination, and these 15 spots are the perfect matches.
So before I delve into these 15 best first time solo travel destinations, let’s first discuss WHY these are on the list!
Safety is one of the biggest concerns as a traveller, and solo travelling can often heighten that concern. These destination are some of the safest and most comfortable I’ve felt while travelling solo, so you can feel reassured that you can enjoy your time fully. Safety includes feeling comfortable walking around alone, being able to walk around at night time, and a feeling of reassurance that you’re okay solo.
In saying this, safety precautions should be practiced everywhere you travel! I can only ever speak from my personal experience as a solo traveller, and it’s important to always practice safety while travelling.
As a first time solo traveller one of the biggest mistakes you could make is not planning out activities. Without activities, your trip can quickly feel lonely and isolated. Having some great, fun and unique activities planned for your first solo trip will not only make it the most memorable trip you could imagine but also help you get into the full swing of solo travel.
Whether you’re just travelling for a few days or embarking on a longer trip, travelling to destinations that are easily accessible not only means saving money on costly transport, but also makes the overall experience feel less daunting. These destinations are all incredibly easy to fly to and travel within, making them the best first time options for your solo travels!
While not all of these places are affordable, there are some great options for those who are on a tight budget. Each place will be categorised into: affordable, midrange and expensive, so you can get a gage on how accessible it is for you.
One of the biggest concerns for first time solo travellers is not being able to communicate with the locals and having no one else to help. Communication is obviously very important and all these destinations are known for their great English speaking locals, so you can rest assured that you can easily navigate your way through the place, completely solo.
While this is important, I always recommend testing out your language skills and practicing some key words like: hello, please, thank you. A small gesture like this can go a long way and it’s always very appreciated.
busy with other travellers
Travelling is about meeting amazing locals, but also connecting with other travellers. For first time solo travellers, choosing a destination that is a little more popular with other travellers can relieve some of the stress of navigating completely solo and will give plenty of opportunities for new friends. These 15 destinations are great for travellers and backpackers and you’ll have no problems finding people to hang out with on your trip.
Hostels are the best way to meet people quickly and easily. If you ever need help deciding on a good hostel, check out my 150+ hostel recommendation blog post.
THE 15 BEST FIRST TIME SOLO TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
1. bali, indonesia
At the top of the list as one of the best first time solo travel destinations is Bali, Indonesia. This is the perfect introduction to South East Asia as it’s very catered to Westerners, while still holding the essence of Balinese charm. Bali has the perfect mix of surf, amazing cafes, temples, incredible nature and the friendliest locals, while also being a very affordable option to choose.
Bali is particularly perfect if you want an introduction to South East Asia and you’re not sure where to begin. Balinese people speak amazing English and because it’s so popular with tourists, you’ll have no problem finding other solo travellers to connect with during your time here to explore the island.
In Bali, you can find cascading waterfalls, rice terraces that stretch out over the hills, jungles, and beaches built from a surfer’s dream. Bali also has another side to it, made for the beach clubgoers, daily brunch girls and ravers. So whether you’re a yoga lover or all night partier, Bali is very diverse in what it offers solo travellers.
The south of Bali is the most popular area where you’ll find other travellers, however, because Bali is so safe you can easily explore the whole island and go off the tourist trail very easily. For more places in Indonesia that are great for solo travellers, you can also check out Nusa Penida, Gili Trawangan (Gili T), Lombok and even the Komodo Islands.
Bali is the perfect mix of culture, nature, good food and affordable!
where to stay in bali
Bali has a lot of different areas on offer to explore. The main spots tourists tend to stay are:
All these locations are in the south of the island and are only a couple of hours from each other. To get around Bali there’s an app called Gojek (similar to Uber), which you can use for rides within Bali. Or opt for hiring a motorbike, which is very inexpensive and a lot of fun.
what to do in bali
Whether you want to keep yourself busy or you’re looking to relax, Bali has everything. A lot of tourists stick to the south, but the whole island has a lot to offer. Here are some of the most popular choices to choose from:
- Monkey forest Ubud
- Ubud ATV tour
- Instagram highlights tour
- Mount Batur hike
- Blue Lagoon beach snorkelling
- Bali cooking class
- Make your own silver jewellery
- Massage at Prana Spa
- Tegalalang Rice terraces and swings
- Kanto Lampo waterfall
- Try some of the delicious brunch spots in Canggu (Penny Lane, Miel Coffee, Crate Cafe)
- Visit one of the beach clubs (Mr Potato Head, Finns)
- Check out the nightlife (Motel Mexicola, Luigi’s Hot Pizza, the Lawn)
2. New Zealand
New Zealand is a bucket list place for so many people and it’s the perfect destination for solo travellers. The country is so diverse with impeccable nature and adrenaline filled activities, making it an unbelievable beginner friendly solo travel destination. While it’s a great solo travel country, your suspicions are correct, New Zealand is very expensive to travel. To combat the high pricetags attached to travelling to New Zealand, a lot of solo travellers opt to do a year working holiday. The best part is, it’s very easy to obtain a working holiday visa. You can read more about them here.
While New Zealand is a small country, it has a lot to offer, especially for nature lovers. From its pristine glaciers, mountains, rainforests, beaches, and Fiords to the bustling cityscapes, there is so much to choose from in New Zealand. Not only does it have endless activities to enjoy, it’s incredibly safe for solo travellers, and there is a great backpacker scene all year round!
The best way to travel around New Zealand is either by renting a van (Jucy is one of the most popular companies to do this) or a hop-on hop-off bus. Check out Kiwi Experience for a great backpacker friendly option (that’s also great for first time solo travellers)!
New Zealand is great for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies
where to stay in new zealand
The north and south islands of New Zealand both have a lot to offer depending on what you’re looking for. Some of the best spots you definitely can’t skip out on are:
- Waiheke island
- Abel Tasman
- Franz Josef
- Milford Sounds
- Lake Tekapo
- Steward Island
what to do in new zealand
New Zealand is a hub for culture, nature and most importantly, adrenaline. The South Island in particular is known for its bungees, skydives, canyon swings, and Shotover Jets, so if you’re an adrenaline junkie, this is the perfect place for you. If adrenaline isn’t for you, there are also plenty of incredible hikes, beaches and diverse landscapes that can be found stretching across New Zealand.
- Mãori dinner and cultural experience in Rotorua
- White water rafting with the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world in Rotorua (one of the best things I’ve ever done)
- Bungee jump into Waikato River in Taupo
- Ride the funicular in Wellington
- Enjoy the beautiful beaches at Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
- Climb Auckland Harbour bridge
- 134m Bungee jump in Queenstown
- Shotover Jet speedboat ride in Queenstown
- Try the famous Fergburger in Queenstown
- Queenstown to Milford Sounds scenic flight
- Milford Sounds boat trip
- Whale watching in Kaikōura
- Lavender farm in Wanaka
- Roys Peak in Wanaka
- See the Lupins in Lake Tekapo
- Hike in Abel Tasman
- Visit Twin Glacier in Franz Josef
- Hike in Stewart Island
3. Budapest, hungary
Budapest is one of the best cities in Europe for solo travel. Safe, bustling with things to do and an amazing atmosphere, it’s hard not to love Hungary’s capital. For first time solo travellers, Budapest offers a great mix of activities while still being affordable. Whether you’re interested in checking out the vibrant party culture or you want to delve more into the interesting history of Hungary, there is plenty to do in the city that can easily fill up your days and nights.
Some of the best things to do in the city that you definitely can’t miss out on (and that are great for solo travellers) is: Budapest’s famous thermal baths (Szechinyi and Géllert are the most famous), Climb St. Stephen’s Basilica, river cruise down the Danube and checking out the Jewish Quarter/District 7. These activities are great for getting an overview of the city, and they aren’t expensive!
Budapest has a lot of ground to cover in the day and also comes alive at night time. If you love a night out, this is the place to come, even when solo travelling. Budapest has some of the best bars and clubs in Europe, while also having great, social party hostels to tie the whole experience together.
Hungary’s capital really has it all. When I was 21 I spent a summer working at a hostel in Budapest and completely fell in love with what the city has to offer. For more information about my experience, you can read about here.
Budapest is great for culture, food, nightlife and history.
where to stay in budapest
Budapest has a lot of great accommodation options to choose from. For solo travellers looking to get out and meet people, Hive Hostel, Avenue Hostel, and Carpe Noctum are all great hostel options that offer safe, comfortable accommodation. Personally I would go for Carpe Noctum, it’s won many awards over the years as one of the best hostels worldwide!
For hotel options, check out Boutique Hotel Budapest and Roombach Hotel. These options are comfortable and within walking distance of all the main attractions, while also being very reasonably priced.
what to do in budapest
Budapest is a city that caters to every need and wants… and you definitely won’t be bored. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, great food, thriving nightlife or interesting history. Hungary’s capital has it all and is one of the best first time solo travel destinations in Europe.
Some of the best things to do are:
If warm weather, beautiful beaches, great cafe culture and endless pastel de natas sound right up your alley, then Portugal is perfect for you. Portugal is incredibly safe, easily accessible and a very affordable European solo travel destination. There is a lot to discover within Portugal, whether you’re a city girl or a nature lover.
For first time solo travellers, especially those who may be a little nervous/apprehensive, Lisbon is a great city to start off with. Although it’s a capital city, it doesn’t feel the same level of intensity as other large capitals, for example, Paris or Rome. Instead, everything is very walkable, with a low crime rate and plenty to see along the way. Making it a perfect first stop on your solo travel adventures.
Unlike other places in Western Europe, Portugal retains being very affordable for a visit, and is great for a long weekend! Especially with the affordable flights you can find from the UK and Europe. It’s to be expected that Lisbon is more expensive than other parts of the country, but I was really pleasantly surprised by how affordable I found Porto.
Portugal is ideal for great weather, relaxed vibes and friendly locals. Plus it’s very easily accessible and Portuguese people have great English!
where to stay in portugal
Some of the most popular places to visit in Portugal are:
- Algarve (Lagos, Albufeira and Carvoeiro)
If you’re planning on staying in Lisbon then definitely check out We Hate F. Tourists. It’s an absolutely beautiful hostel with great views over the city. Yes Hostel is also great and is a little closer to the city centre. This is a little more of a party/social choice.
what to do in portugal
Portugal offers a lot of great nature and cultural activities, and a great selection of food to try out! Some of the best things to add to the itinerary are:
Thailand is by far one of the best choices for a first time solo travel destination. The country is rich in culture, while also being safe for travellers, very affordable, friendly locals and incredibly easy to navigate. Much like Bali, this is a great introduction to South East Asia. In Thailand a lot of locals speak amazing English, so you can really get a taste of the local culture while not feeling ridiculously overwhelmed.
Thailand is very easy to get around, with a great connection of ferries, trains and buses. And also very affordable domestic flights! Sticking to the typical tourist routes through the north or island hopping in the south means that there are lots of transport options, which are comfortable and very safe. 12Go is the best place to book transport while travelling Thailand.
Some of the most popular destinations to visit (that are great for first time solo travellers) are: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Krabi and Koh Tao. The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is also an iconic destination, although it’s important to be extra careful if you’re planning on doing this solo as there can be robbing and spiking, so try and get a hostel group together if you can.
Thailand is perfect for foodies, culture, nature, history and is very affordable. It’s also very accessible to fly to!
where to stay in thailand
There is so much to see in Thailand and you need at least a month to even scratch the surface. Depending on what kind of trip itinerary you’re looking to do for your first time solo travelling, there are a lot of different routes to choose from.
Typically the north offers a bit more of the cultural activities while the south and the islands are great for nature, relaxing and partying. Here are the best places in Thailand that I would personally recommend.
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Koh Tao
- Koh Lipe
- Koh Lanta
- Koh Kood
- Khao Sok National Park
There are also destinations like Koh Samui, Phi Phi and Phuket, which are very popular for people visiting Thailand, however personally I don’t think they are worth the visit. Do your own research and see if they interest you!
what to do in thailand
- Full Moon party in Koh Phangan
- Street food tour in Bangkok
- Floating Market and Maeklong Railway market tour
- Visit some of Bangkok’s best temples (Wat Arun, Wat Sam Phran (you can read about my blog post here), Wat Pho)
- Do your dive certification in Koh Tao
- Chiang Rai temples (White Temple, Blue Temple, Wat Phra Sing)
- Visit Khao Sok National Park
- Cooking class in Chiang Mai
- Tipsy Tubing in Pai
- Explore Thailand’s previous capital, Ayutthaya
- Muay Thai lessons
6. prague, czechia
Another amazing European city for solo travellers is Prague, Czechia. Prague is very similar to Budapest in terms of safety, lots of things to see and do, great nightlife and very social – a perfect first time solo travel destination option. One thing I think is important for destinations is whether a city is walkable or not. Prague is a great European city for this, and wandering through the streets by foot is a great way to get around and fully immerse yourself in the city.
Prague offers a great, busy atmosphere all year round and has lots of gorgeous architecture and interesting history. Here you can dabble in some activities that are new to you, like watching a classical concert or visiting one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Prague is also a great city for nightlife and is named one of the best cities in Europe for partying.
Prague is a social, beautiful city which is easily accessible within Europe via plane or bus/train. It’s great for culture, history and nightlife.
where to stay in prague
Prague is a fairly big city and the best part of the city to stay in is the Old Town. Staying in or around the Old Town means the main attractions are very walkable and there are plenty of great bars and restaurants to check out. Alternatively, Malá Strana is a great neighbourhood to stay in. While it’s across the river from a lot of the main sights, Prague Castle, the Lennon Wall and Prague’s narrowest alley are all in this area.
Prague has plenty of great hostels, however, Roadhouse and Madhouse are the best by far. These hostels are world renowned and have won many awards. Please note these book out well in advance, especially in the summer, so make sure you put your booking in early!
what to do in prague
Prague is a vibrant city with a lot to do, and is hands down one of the best destinations in Europe for solo travellers. Here are some of the great things you can do in Prague.
- Astronomical Clock
- Klementinum Library (one of the most beautiful librbaries in the world)
- Explore the Jewish Quarter
- Watch a Classical concert
- Jerusalem Synagogue
- Prague Castle (it’s best to prebook tickets)
- Lennon Wall
- Prague’s narrowest alley
- Čapadlo summer terrace
- Dancing House
- Rent a pedalo
- Charles Bridge
- 2 hour dinner boat trip
- Evening Ghost tour
- Národní Museum
Italy is a country that has almost everything you could need, and if you’re a foodie, you’re in the right place. From the intricate architecture of Florence to the cooling waters of Bari, Italy has so much to offer and is another great choice for first time solo travellers. While there is a lot to offer across the whole of the country, there are some areas that are better catered and more importantly – safer, than others.
For example, avoid Naples or Milan, both aren’t great choices for first time solo travellers. These destinations are known for their crime and pickpocketing, and this isn’t a great way to start your solo travel adventures. Instead check out Lake Como, Florence, Cinque Terre or even Verona.
Italy is drenched in rich history, and is the perfect solo travel destination for lovers of history, architecture and culture. It’s easy to spend days visiting museums and galleries and exploring the winding alleyways, and if you’re looking for your ‘Eat, Pray’ Love’ moment, this might be it. While the cities are packed with people, it takes less than an hour by public transport to head out of the city centres and discover the Italian countryside for some quiet.
Italy is incredibly well connected via trains and buses, making it easy to travel and navigate. So picking a few different destinations to travel between is more than doable! Trainline is the best choice for finding train options, and Flixbus offers plenty of bus options across Italy and the rest of Europe.
Italy is great for foodies, culture, history and nature.
where to stay in italy
Italy’s a big country with very diverse regions and not all of them are great for first time travellers. Here are the places in Italy that would work best for first time solo travel:
- Lake Como
- Cinque Terre
what to do in italy
Krakow, Poland is a personal favourite choice of mine. The city is often overlooked, but is one of the best hubs in Europe as an affordable, safe and fun destination, especially for solo travellers. Krakow is another European destination that offers a lot for both the day and nighttime and is bustling with tourists all year round.
For history lovers, there is a lot of really dark, intricate history to learn about – the Museum of Torture and the Museum of Krakow are both really worth a visit. Krakow is also where you can do a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the former Nazi concentration camps.
Krakow is a great city to wander and explore. With each neighbourhood very different to the next. The Old Town is small, so a lot of the sights are found outside of the centre. However, everything is walkable from each other and Krakow is also a great city if you’re on a budget! Krakow is a great city to explore, and if you do enjoy nature, heading out to the neighbouring mountain town of Zakopane is the perfect day trip addition to your trip. Or even choose to stay for a few nights!
Krakow is perfect for a weekend away and anyone who loves: history, culture, nightlife and architecture.
where to stay in krakow
Krakow has a great range of accommodation options, especially social hostels that are calling your name! The Old Town is where all the action takes place, however accommodation can be a little more expensive in the centre, so choosing somewhere just outside the Old Town can give you the best of both worlds.
For hostels, Greg and Tom’s Beer House is a great option. With a social atmosphere and free breakfast, dinner and a free hour of beer, this hostel offers a lot for solo travellers. For a more quiet version, check out Greg and Tom’s Home Hostel, which is the original of the chain. This hostel is a 10 minute walk out of the Old Town and is a lot more quiet than the Beer House, but you get to join in on the free beer and dinners!
If you’re looking to party, then check out Let’s Rock Hostel for something a little crazier! They work very closely with Krakow Party Animals, so if you love a night out this might be perfect for you.
what to do in krakow
Krakow offers a lot to do and is a great choice for a long weekend in Europe. Here are some great options to add to the itinerary:
- Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau
- Day trip to Zakopane (or great for a few nights – you can book the journey on Flixbus)
- Visit St Mary’s Basilica and climb to the top
- Wawel Castle
- Try Polish Perogis (Polish dumplings)
- Wieliczka Salt Mine (one of the world’s oldest operating mines)
- Visit the Jewish Quarter
- Try a Zapikanka (Polish open sandwich)
- Do a cycling tour
9. costa rica
Costa Rica is a great introduction to Central America. The country is rich in wildlife, culture and things to do (including great adrenaline activities), all while being very accessible to fly to. Not only this but because it’s so touristy, a lot of the locals speak great English, making it a great first time solo travel destination! Costa Rica is a little more challenging than some of the other listed destinations, however is definitely doable solo.
Costa Rica has some of the most unique and diverse nature in Central America, with some of the best animal sightings I’ve seen! San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, isn’t particularly safe, but once you head out the city there is a lot to discover. If you’re looking for an introduction to Latin America, this is a great place to start. Not to mention there are some incredible activities you can tick off, like white water rafting, night safaris, ziplining and more.
If you’re looking for an introduction to Central America but maybe going completely alone is a little too overwhelming, I did a tour with Tru Travels around Costa Rica that I highly recommend. It was a great way to see an overview of the country and the best way to meet travellers. I absolutely loved my time and really recommend checking out their Costa Rica group trip.
Costa Rica is perfect for nature lovers, culture lovers and adrenaline lovers!
where to stay in costa rica
Costa Rica has both the Pacific side and the Caribbean side to explore. I only spent time on the Pacific side but have heard great things about the whole country. Here are the places I visited and would whole heartedly recommend to you.
- Santa Teresa
- La Fortuna
what to do in costa rica
Costa Rica is the perfect place for adrenaline, adventure seekers and nature lovers. There is so much to unpack in this amazing Central American country, some of the top things you can do are:
Croatia had a sudden boom in tourism over the last 10 years, expedited by the popularity of Game of Thrones. Croatia is a gorgeous country situated on the Adriatic Sea and is a country that consists of rugged mountain ranges, architecture that dates back to the Romans and pristine blue waters. There is so much to offer from their 70+ islands and mainland, and while there are some well known tourist spots like Dubrovnik, that can get kind of crazy in the summer months, there are also some lovely, lesser known destinations in Croatia that would offer you solo travel ‘relax and disconnect’ vibe.
Croatia has gotten a lot more expensive over the years, even since I spent a summer working in Split. However it is a great first time solo travel destination because of a few different reasons. It’s very easy to travel within via ferry and bus, locals are very friendly and have great English, and despite being very busy, it’s super safe for solo travellers.
A great way to cover a lot of ground when you’re in Croatia is by doing a sailing week through the islands. I had one of these experiences with TruTravels and absolutely loved my time. The week takes you through some of the best spots in Croatia including Split, Mjlet National Park, Korčula, Dubrovnik and Hvar, so you get a little taster of everything!
This is a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time and also an easy way to make some new friends as a solo traveller! Check out the Croatia sailing week with TruTravels here.
Croatia is a great choice for first time solo travellers if you love history, beaches, nature and partying
where to stay in croatia
There is a lot to see in Croatia and being so well connected, it’s easy to travel around to both the popular destinations and the lesser known gems. Some of the best places for first time solo travellers to check out are:
- Mjlet National Park
- Pula (a lot quieter than other recommendations)
what to do in croatia
The stretches of white sandy beaches, rainforests and the ‘happy go lucky’ lifestyle make Australia another great choice for beginner solo travellers. While it’s no secret Australia is expensive, it’s one of the best destinations for first time solo travellers (or backpackers in general).
Australia’s East Coast is generally the most accessible and enticing part of the country for solo travellers and backpackers. The coast offers plenty of stops along the way and a lot of other travellers, making it a great choice as a first time solo travel destination. My Adventure Project is a great company that organises tours along the East Coast, or if you’re looking to do it more independently, then you can go via Greyhound buses.
If the price tag makes Australia feel a little unobtainable, consider doing a working holiday visa for a few months up to a year. It’s a great way to earn travel and even save some extra cash for ongoing travel plans. A lot of travellers tag Australia on to a South East Asia trip, so you could head out there either before or after your time in Australia!
where to stay in australia?
Some of the best places to visit in Australia are:
- Byron Bay
- Sunshine Coast (specifically Noosa, Caloundra, Maroochydore)
- Gold Coast (Burleigh Heads)
- Fraser Island
- Rottness Island
what to do in australia
Australia is a haven for amazing nature and there is so much to see and experience. There is so much to cover across the entire country, but here are some suggestions to start you off:
The Dutch not only have some of the best spoken English in Europe but also are some of the friendliest people you’ll encounter. The Netherlands is one of the best first time solo travel destinations and is a great choice for a long weekend. Especially if you’re coming from the UK as the Eurostar is quick and very comfortable.
Amsterdam is both beautiful and slightly chaotic, with roughly 20 million visitors arriving to the city each year. Nevertheless, this is an amazing city for exploring, getting lost and enjoying some of the many coffee shops on offer (you can pick which type you prefer).
The reason the Netherlands is not only a great visit, but perfect first time solo travel destination, is for many reasons. The Dutch speak amazing English so you don’t need to worry about language barriers, Amsterdam is very accessible from within Europe or long haul flights, it’s always busy with lots of other travellers and there are plenty of activities to try out during your visit.
Perhaps the only downside to your visit is that the Netherlands is notoriously expensive, so it’s best to keep that in mind when planning your visit.
The Netherlands is great for foodies, culture and scenery (and Amsterdam is a popular party city)
where to stay in the netherlands
Amsterdam is the obvious answer when it comes to the Netherlands, and it’s a great base for your visit. However, there are some beautiful areas outside of Amsterdam and further afield that need to be on your radar too. The Netherlands is a very small country, making everything easily reachable from each other. Consider taking some day trips to these locations or extending your time in the Netherlands to spend some extra days in each place!
- The Hague
- Keukenhof flower show
- Texel Island
what to do in the netherlands
For such a small country the Netherlands offers a lot, and it’s a gorgeous place to visit, especially in the spring and summer months. Amsterdam is also a great, solo travel friendly city, that is easy to get around and very safe. Here are some great things to check out in Amsterdam and surrounding areas:
Singapore has been named one of the safest cities in the world. This country is an affluent melting pot of so many cultures and influences, it’s one of the most unique cities in the world. Singapore is one of the best first time solo travel destinations because of its safety, accessibility and easy communication with locals. Not to mention it’s a good base for people coming and going from South East Asia. Making it a great first or last stop!
You only really need a few days in the city to see the crux of what it has to offer, but in those few days you can easily see how Singapore has some of the most unique city activities in the world, including the Gardens by the Bay and seeing Buddha’s tooth at Buddha’s Tooth Relic temple. Like, where else can you do that?!
For solo travellers, Singapore offers a safe, accessible start point where you can dip your toe into solo travel life. Unlike some of the other first time solo travel destinations listed, it’s not as social as other places like Thailand or Bali, but there is enough of a travelling scene where it’s definitely still possible to meet some likeminded travellers!
Singapore is great for a safe, vibrant city break with a lot of activities.
WHERE TO STAY IN SINGAPORE
Singapore is a big city, and not particularly walkable. However, they have an amazing public transport system that is easy to navigate and incredibly clean. I definitely recommend getting an eSim while you’re there, so it’s easy to find your way around, I use Airalo.
I’ve stayed in two different hostels during my time in Singapore, which have both been very clean and comfortable. Unfortunately, you can still expect to pay between £50 -£70 per night for a hostel bed, which is a lot more than the rest of South East Asia, but these hostels are great!
WHAT TO DO IN SINGAPORE
Singapore is one of the best first time solo travel destinations you could choose from. It’s super safe, well connected (both in the city and internationally), has lots to see and comes with a very international crowd! You only need a few days to see all the best bits, and here are the places I would recommend:
Greece offers so much and is one of the best first time solo travel destinations in Europe with its friendly locals and stunning scenery. The Greek islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos are all worth visiting in their own right, but if you want to go a little further off the tourist trail Mainland Greece also has a lot to offer. Meteora is one of the most unique destinations in the world, with Eastern Orthodox Monastersitting sitting atop rock formations hundreds of meters high.
While Greece is most popular during the hot summer months, it’s a lovely destination all year round and offers a temperate climate even during shoulder and off seasons (October – April). Plus these months are a lot less busy and cheaper!
My favourite Greek island is easily Corfu. The island is located in the north of Greece, close to the border of Albania. Corfu is a luscious green island, with amazing vegetation and great scenery. Porto Timoni, the famous double sided beach, is one of the best beaches in Greece! From Corfu, you can also do an amazing day trip to Paxos and Anti Paxos, and swim in some of the clearest waters you’ll ever see. Corfu is quite easily one of my top recommendations as a first time solo travel destination, I promise you’ll love it!
Greece is great for culture, nature, relaxation and some great party spots, too!
where to stay in Greece
A special mention to Santorini and Mykonos, these islands are both beautiful in their own rights and are worth a visit, however they aren’t personal favourites of mine!
what to do in greece
- Paxos and Antipaxos boat trip from Corfu (one of the best things I’ve ever done!)
- Porto Timoni double sided beach, Corfu
- Acropolis, Athens
- Hike through Meteora
- Rent quad bikes in Naxos
- Explore Paros’ Old Town
- See the suspected spot of the Colossus of Rhodes
- Party in Mykonos
- Visit the picture perfect Oia, Santorini
- Cliff jump in Milos
15. munich, germany
The last destination that is great for first time solo travellers is Munich. While all of Germany offers a lot and there are plenty of great choices including, Berlin, Cologne, Füssen and Hamburg, my personal choice is Munich. The city is lively, with a bustling atmosphere and really friendly locals. As a first time solo travel destination, Munich has a little bit of everything and is a great weekend away, plus very easily accessible through land transport or flying.
The best time of year to visit Munich is during September, so you can experience the infamous Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest originated in Munich in 1810 and is now an annual tradition that flocks thousands of people to the city each year.
The thought of going to a festival with hundreds of thousands of people, completely solo, seems absolutely insane! Instead, to enjoy Oktoberfest and feel safe visiting solo, check out Stoke Travel. They host their own Stoketoberfest, which includes a private campground and is the perfect place to meet people and visit the beer tents with new friends. I went solo in 2022 and met an amazing group of people within the first 10 minutes of being there, and the rest is history! Munich is definitely worth the visit and Oktoberfest is absolutely worth the hype!
Use SHETRAVELLEDTHEWORLD for an unlimited drinks pass at Stoketoberfest or any other Stoke events.
Munich is great for food, history and beer!
Where to stay in Munich
Munich is another European city that is very walkable and really safe. I stayed at Wombats Hostel when I was in Munich, which is super central and within walking distance of all the major sights.
If you’re looking for a hotel alternative, check out Star G hotel, I stayed here after Oktoberfest. It was very comfortable and clean, however not too close to the centre of the city.
What to do in Munich
Munich is a lovely city and is surrounded by some stunning nature in the Bavarian countryside, so whether you decide to stay in the centre or venture out solo, Munich has a lot to offer. Here is what I recommend:
Solo travel is one of the most daunting, challenging things you can do, but also one of the most rewarding and worthwhile adventures you can undertake. These 15 first time solo travel destinations are your seamless introduction into the solo travel world and these are places that I fell in love with and cherish dearly.
I hope you enjoy your first ever solo adventure!