Not looking for an international adventure? A Wanderlust 108 is a great solo destination as well, and coming to a city near you soon! Find out more
Let’s be honest: the act of solo travel can be daunting for several reasons. You might be nervous for your safety, or wondering how you can possibly entertain yourself without the company of a loved one.
That being said, there are some individuals who would argue that this is the best way to explore the world. By traveling solo, we’re able to experience new cities without the added influence of anyone else. You create your own agenda, and wander the path that calls to you.
Traveling alone connects you to the local landscape and to yourself. Without the company of a friend or loved one, you might strike up a conversation with another traveler, or spend the afternoon lingering in a museum. You can decide to purchase a spur-of-the-moment train ticket to Berlin, or try your hand at surfing. And if you’re scared, give it a little bit of consideration. You might be surprised by what you’re capable of.
Welcome to solo travel. Below we’ve collected some of the best places for you to discover as you venture into the unknown.
While Swedish is the common tongue in Stockholm, 9 out of 10 citizens speak English, making it a bit easier for you to get around. The city is filled with art museums, cool cafés, and unique architecture, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stay occupied. On top of that, Stockholm is one of the safer cities, which is an important factor to consider when traveling alone. Just be sure to pack a diverse amount of clothing options in the case of inclement weather—being close to the water means there might be some unexpected shifts!
This beautiful city is defined by its eclectic art and architecture. A feast for the eyes, Barcelona offers travelers an abundance of good food, wine, and music. It’s easy to navigate on foot, meaning you’ll have the ability to see a lot without worrying about transportation. A fan of coffee shops? You’re in luck. Barcelona offers unique cafés where you can grab yourself a cortado and spend the afternoon people-watching to your heart’s content. Find yourself a tapas bar, snack on some garlic shrimp, and get to know the locals.
The city is ample with solo travel opportunities, including brewery tours and magnificent art museums. If you’ve got a love for literature, you’ll especially enjoy the walking tours that teach you all about the great writers of the world. Unleash your inner artist as you wander through the bohemian quarter, perhaps stopping in to pick up some unique trinkets and support the local economy. Another bonus: Irish natives are also accustomed to solo travelers, so you’ll be be able to connect with the locals at a nearby pub. It’s certainly not uncommon to pull up a stool, grab a pint of Guinness, and spend the afternoon swapping stories with some new friends. (Just make sure you snag some soda bread!)
If you’re looking for a tropical escape as part of your solo travel, grab that bathing suit and migrate on down to Costa Rica. A feast for the eyes (and the tummy), this rugged rainforest is known for its culture and intense biodiversity. The tourism structure is designed to make things safe for solo travelers, but it’s still enough of an exotic environment to offer a change of pace. For thrill-seekers, there’s loads of opportunity to get out into the wild, whether you’re surfing or zip-lining through the forest. If settling down is more your style, dig your heels into the sand or find a local yoga retreat. The city appeals to all sorts of interests, so you’ll find lots of adventures to occupy your solo time.
Austria’s size may be small (easy to navigate!), but it’s jam-packed with adventures for the hungry traveler. Vienna is bursting with museums, music options, and unique restaurants (and it was just named the world’s most livable city!), and Salzburg offers similar opportunities for single travelers. Remember those mountains from The Sound of Music? It’s all there; the entire country is bursting with natural beauty. If you plan on hopping around, the rail network makes transportation a cinch, so you’ll be able to see the country without much added stress.
When it comes to Australia, most travelers aim to head straight to the opera house or Great Barrier reef, but we wouldn’t recommend knocking Melbourne off the list. It’s safe, trendy, and offers various forms of transportation (trams, trains, buses, oh my!). You’ll for sure want to check out the Queen Victoria Market and Flagstaff Gardens, or admire the beauty of St. Paul’s Cathedral. In addition to historic markets, Melbourne also provides its fair share of nature, from National parks to lakes and oceans. If you can handle the plane trip, it’s definitely a destination to consider.
If you’re really looking for an adventure, pack your bags and head to Indonesia. Temples, cheap foods, and beach yoga are only a handful of things that make the country a hotspot for solo travel. And because Indonesia is such a popular destination, it brings in people from all over the world. Not only will you be able to immerse yourself in a brand new culture, but you’ll also bear witness to new friends and fellow backpackers from all over the world.
The Appalachian Trail
OK, so it’s not one specific location, but for all you hikers out there, the Appalachian Trail is an amazing way to enjoy a solo trip. You’ll be surrounded by nature, and allowed the opportunity to clear your mind and completely refresh. It will grant you the opportunity to see what you’re capable of; constant hiking and tent-pitching can be hard work. That being said, the Appalachian Trail is a bit more populous than others (such as the PCT), and you’ll be given the opportunity to swap stories with fellow travelers over a campfire and a post-hike brew.
If you’ve got South American on the brain, then we recommend Chile. The locals have a reputation for being welcoming to foreigners, which can be especially nice if you’re making the adventure all on your own. It also provides dynamic natural diversity; the country is lined with an endless coast, with mountains and deserts only hours away. Also, we have the mention the food. If you’re fortunate enough to stay as a guest in a Chilean home, keep your eyes out for pastel de choco. (Seriously!)
Have you traveled alone? What are some of your favorite spots to explore?
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com and through Instagram.