Solo travel is definitely a great experience if you want to challenge and learn about yourself. It opens your eyes and teaches you many life lessons.
The first time I travelled solo, I visited the UK. I was excited and scared at the same time, and I can ensure you’ll feel the same way too. But this experience will reward you with great memories.
If I wasn’t for this experience, I wouldn’t have visited some incredible destinations, I wouldn’t have met new people, I wouldn’t have learnt about what I like and dislike, I wouldn’t have tried amazing food from other cultures, etc. and the list goes on.
You can’t wait forever to travel to a certain destination because your friend is busy, you can’t keep postponing travel because of the fear of losing/missing someone, etc. You just need to go for it!
Solo travel may not be your thing, but if you don’t try you’ll never know.
Right, so once you’ve made the decision of travelling solo, you’ll be asking yourself questions like: ‘what destinations are safe for female travellers?’ ‘Is the hotel neighbourhood ok?’ ‘Is this for me?’ and it’s normal you do so.
Imagine how boring things would be without this uncertainty!
Before diving into some of the safest international solo female travel destinations, remember that although some destinations are considered “safer” than others, I personally think that you shouldn’t base your choice on how safe a destination is.
Anything can happen in any city and any country!
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Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Spain, and it’s actually one of the safest Spanish cities for female solo travel.
It isn’t the cheapest city as there are more budget-friendly places (Málaga, Sevilla…) in the South of Spain, but you can still have a good time without compromising your budget too much.
* Depending on the country you’re coming from, you may take advantage of the currency (the euro €).
When I visited Barcelona, I never felt I was in a dangerous place at all. It’s true that it can be a busy city, especially in the summer season, with many tourists enjoying the incredible and unique architecture of the famous artist Antoni Gaudí.
La Sagrada Familia is a piece of art and every single detail will blow your mind. Also, I highly recommend you walk around the gardens opposite Sagrada Familia for even better pictures. Having said so, like any touristy and busy place, you’d better be careful with pickpocketing.
Park Güell is another stunning place, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can’t miss during your trip to Barcelona. The park has many things to offer, from spectacular city views and colourful mosaic art to areas to relax and enjoy the floral gardens.
Where to stay
The options are endless, hotels, hostels, apartments, etc. If you’re planning to stay longer than a weekend, I’d recommend staying in an apartment or Airbnb.
Having a kitchen is always great if you don’t mind cooking and/or want to save some money. You can buy fresh and delicious ingredients from La Boqueria market, which I’d visit anyway because you can always take food items as souvenirs for someone or yourself!
For example, Spanish rice, spices like saffron or pimentón de la Vera (Spanish paprika), and sweets like the famous turrón.
One of the key things to do as a female solo traveller is to look at the location of your accommodation. Here are some safe neighbourhoods in Barcelona: La Sagrera, Gràcia, Sants and Sant Antoni.
Remember, the closer to the Sagrada Familia and other must-see attractions, the more expensive.
Where to eat
There are so many restaurants in bars to choose from, but if you don’t want to spend a fortune while eating delicious and local food, avoid the Sagrada Familia area.
I made the mistake of having a meal in one of the bars near Sagrada Familia and I regretted it. The paella was very small, tasteless and far from a good paella like my dad’s paella.
If you don’t want to go too far from the Sagrada Familia area, walk up and then you’ll find a square with many bars that offer reasonable prices.
If you want some recommendations on what to eat, you can’t leave Barcelona without trying crema catalana, patatas bravas and pa amb tomàquet. I would also add paella, although it’s originally from Valencia.
Barcelona is very well-connected, so you won’t have any issues getting from one place to another. You can get the subway, buses or trains if you’re planning a day trip to a different town.
They’re all convenient, fast and they have an extensive timetable so they run until late.
Personally, I didn’t use the transport much, I just feel that there’s nothing better than walking around a new city to discover pretty streets and other hidden gems.
When most people think about Indonesia as a travel destination, Bali is the first – and often the only – place that comes into mind. Bali is a perfect destination for solo female travel because it’s completely safe and there’s an enormous solo travel community.
However, there are many more awesome places in Indonesia that are less hyped than Bali but that are also perfectly suitable for solo travel. All of the places mentioned below are completely safe at all times of the day and night.
Ubud was my favourite place in Bali. Nestled among rice fields and palm trees, the small town is a true gem for nature-lovers. Ubud has become a trending holiday destination and it attracts many tourists.
Unfortunately, the tourist crowds take away its charm a bit, but I still highly recommend visiting the town. By choosing the right accommodation you can escape the crowds and still connect with fellow travellers.
As a solo female traveller, I always prefer staying in a hostel instead of a hotel as it helps to meet people. The best place to stay is the Ubud Rice Field House. What makes it so special is its remote location in the middle of the rice fields.
You can’t even get there by car as it’s out of reach from the streets. Getting there requires you to walk a few minutes on a small path through the rice fields or to take a scooter.
The staff of the hostel is lovely, and the views are gorgeous. While you’re only a 5-minute walk from the busy centre of Ubud, this place is completely calm and peaceful. If you seek to stay at a place surrounded by rice fields, this is the perfect accommodation.
I loved exploring the surrounding cafés and restaurants outside the busy town centre. Because of the high number of solo travellers, you won’t feel lonely or isolated either. During my time there, I met lots of solo travellers and I kept extending my stay as I truly enjoyed the location, the people and the vibe of this hostel.
Gili Air is a small island not far from Bali. There’s no motorized traffic and the friendly locals greet you on the streets and smile at you. Gili Air seems like one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been to.
The tranquillity and the laid-back island vibe make it a perfect place to slow down and relax. Unlike on its bigger neighbour island Gili Trawangan, you won’t find nightlife or parties on Gili Air. Instead, the island is a calm place where you can escape the busy tourist hotspots of Bali.
The best way to meet people on Gili Air is to participate in a beach clean-up. Some dive centres organize those once or twice a week. Together with a group of other travellers you head out to the beach and collect the garbage that was washed ashore.
This is a great way to give something back to the community, to do something good for our planet and to make new friends. Usually, all participants of the clean-up are then rewarded with a drink in the end.
Even though the island is rather small, there are lots of great restaurants and cafés to try. My absolute favourite café on Gili Air is Aura Bowls. They serve the best smoothie bowls on the island and they taste and look truly amazing.
My personal tip is to visit the restaurants in the centre of the island instead of the ones that are directly on the beach. While the food might be good in both, the touristy ones on the beach sometimes charge you more than twice as much as the local restaurants in the centre.
Lombok Kuta on Lombok is the right place for those who like to go off the beaten track. Lombok is a less-visited neighbouring island of Bali.
While Bali has become a mass tourism destination, Lombok is still less developed and less discovered, but it has at least as many stunning places to explore as Bali. People even say that Lombok is like Bali was 10 years ago.
The locals in Lombok are not yet used to seeing western tourists, but they are truly friendly and welcoming.
Kuta is a surfer town with a backpacker culture that has only recently established tourism infrastructure. In the small centre of the town, you can find modern cafés, restaurants and bars.
Besides modern places, there are also lots of traditional Indonesian food spots that offer amazing food at an affordable price. The beaches seem untouched and are still free from big luxury resorts and restaurants.
Kenza café is a popular spot for solo travellers and you’ll see many young people sitting there with their laptops and healthy smoothies. The café is charming, and they have an amazing offer of smoothies and healthy dishes.
Many travellers visit Kuta for surfing because the town is known for its good waves. Participating in a surf camp is a great way to meet people. If that’s not your thing, simply stay in one of the numerous hostels and you’ll meet lots of other solo travellers there.
Peru, South America
South America is a mecca for natural beauty, rich history and delightful cuisine. It is synonymous with vibrancy, beautiful weather accompanied by jaw-dropping scenery.
Having spent large amounts of my time travelling within South America, in this article I will be telling you all about Peru.
Being born to a Peruvian mother, I have lived in both the capital city of Lima, as well as the cultural hub of Cuzco, and feel somewhat adequate to be giving you information that will hopefully come in useful for when you opt to spend time in one of the cheapest countries in South America.
Peru is perfect for solo female travellers on a budget, with their currency the Sol S/. currently valued at 0.29 to the dollar $. Boundless cities within the country offer an array of different cultures and experiences to enjoy; perfect for all those who are eager to explore something new, with Lima and Cuzco being the most popular of them all.
Lima is Peru’s largest city and is, in fact, the 27th most populous metropolitan area in the world, accommodating nearly 10 million residents; that is almost one-third of Peru’s entire population.
In a city made up of 43 districts within the province of Lima including a further 7 districts within the metropolitan area of Lima, traffic is definitely an issue but you are never short of having a good time.
With restaurants, bars and clubs being open until the early hours of the morning, you may feel that your stay was cut a little too short.
The safest districts for tourists include Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro and the Historic centre of Lima listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Filled with a mirage of museums, from art to Pre-Hispanic artefacts, this is the perfect starting point if you want to learn about Peru’s turbulent past, as well as witness how they are modernising themselves into the future.
Where to stay
Where to eat
Leaving the hustle and bustle of the Capital City, delve deep into the UNESCO World Heritage Site – the city of Cuzco, not to be confused with ‘Cusco’ which is, in fact, the Spanish manner of writing the city’s name.
Offering a more peaceful and tranquil place to spend your time appreciating the intense history and spectacular natural beauty it has to offer.
Gift your eyes with the rich vistas when you visit the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu; however, that is not the only attraction they have to offer with the likes of Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lagoon becoming more popular by the day.
Proud of their history, their narrow cobbled streets and bustling markets are an indication of their indigenous mixed heritage, something they are more than keen to share with everybody who visits.
Cuzco is an incredibly safe location and a great option for travellers on a budget especially if you enjoy hiking and enjoying nature during your holidays then you will certainly enjoy your time in this historic city.
Do not be fooled by its tranquil and incredibly budget-friendly exterior, it may not be as populated as Lima, but the nightlife is incredibly vibrant, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
Where to stay
Where to eat
If you are arriving in Peru from Europe, then you will most likely have to fly into Peru’s capital of Lima, with direct flights from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid and London.
If you are making your way to Peru within South America, then you have a number of options and depending from which country and mode of transport you opt to use will depend on where you end up.
The most popular tourist locations are Tacna – if you are travelling on bus from Chile – Arequipa or Cuzco – if you are flying into Peru from Chile or Colombia – the beautiful beach town of Tumbes – if you are leaving Ecuador via bus – Santa Rosa – if you are travelling via bus from Brazil – or the delightful location of Puno – if you are entering Peru through Bolivia by bus.
All these methods of transport are reasonably priced, with bus travel being the most economic of all. The only thing you may have to endure is a long bus journey, however, the scenery during your trip will definitely reassure you that it was worth the journey.
Canada, North America
You will be happy to learn that Canada is considered safe for solo female travel. On the Global Peace Index, Canada is ranked the 6th safest country in the world.
It comes in just behind the Top 5: Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark. To put those numbers into perspective, the United States is ranked 128th!
Regardless of where I have travelled to Canada, I have never felt threatened or uneasy. The greatest challenge seems to be the vastness of the country and sometimes its harsh climate.
Toronto is an eclectic mix of languages, cultures, and ethnicities so it is unlikely that you will look out of place regardless of where you are from.
It is true that many exhibits the Canadian assumptions of “too polite,” apologizing for accidents even if they were not at fault.
The goal of Canadian personalities seem to be preserving the peace, therefore they are quick to make amends and show tolerance for mistakes.
What brings people to Toronto? Highlights in Toronto include the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and the Royal Ontario Museum.
In the summertime, Harbourfront and Centre Island are great places to congregate and people watch. With picnic areas, beaches and trails, the Waterfront show off the best of Toronto.
Most attractions are accessible from right downtown. There are lots of other fun things to do in the city, such as going to a baseball game, and stopping for a bite to eat at St. Lawrence Market.
Are you planning to see it all? Toronto offers a CityPass that gets you entry to 5 major attractions for $100 Canadian Dollars.
Yes, it’s a bit expensive compared to other cities, but no one ever said that Canada was cheap!
Where to stay
With only a few hostels in Toronto, you may be better to see if you can rent an Airbnb. Hotels in the downtown core are expensive and may not be in the best locations.
Places in Old Toronto are more visually appealing and allow you access to the historic Distillery District.
Toronto is considered to be a large region, and many towns are joined to create the GTA, or Greater Toronto Area. Aim to stay as close as you can to Lake Ontario, as this will offer you the best transportation options to get around.
What to eat
While there are some neat places to eat in Toronto, be sure to make a list of Canadian foods to try instead: maple syrup, poutine, Montreal-style bagels and butter tarts. All are widely available all over.
With imports from New York City, Greece and China, Toronto’s food scene is as diverse as its population. If you’re looking for someplace fancy and uniquely Canadian, check out the Canoe restaurant in the heart of the financial district.
Unlike other major cities around the world, Toronto does not have an extensive subway network. Streetcars and buses fill in the gaps, but it is likely that you will need to do a fair bit of walking to see the major attractions in town.
If you wish to visit smaller towns outside the city, there are trains as well as buses available. Many leave from the Central (Union) Station in downtown Toronto daily.
Niagara Falls is one of the more popular choices and there are day trips available from Toronto from various companies. Niagara also has a fun downtown with lots to do and see besides the Falls. If you wish to visit on your own, you could always take the Greyhound bus.
I hope this guide has been helpful and I can’t wait to hear about your first solo female travel destination and experience.
If you have any questions about my solo travel experience or moving abroad, don’t hesitate to reach me out via email email@example.com or Instagram @creina.diary. I’ll be very happy to answer your questions.
Other blog posts that you may find useful:
- 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Moving Abroad
- How to Communicate Abroad When You Don’t Know The Language
- Top 10 Taxi Safety Tips For Solo Female Travelers
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