Traveling solo can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a lifetime. As is true for most everything in life that’s worthwhile, a lot of preparation must go into it. To prepare, we’ve been discussing safety tips, what successful solo travelers wish they knew before their first solo trips, and 5 easy steps to help ease you into solo travel. We even heard firsthand from a woman who just took her first solo trip.
Naturally, our next step is to choose a destination. To help you brainstorm ideas for your first or umpteenth trip, I invited a bunch of travel bloggers to each share some of their favorite destinations for women’s solo travel. Below you will find the first 6 suggested destinations. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for the rest of the incredible solo travel destination suggestions.
As is always the case, before booking your travel be sure to check the State Department’s Travel Advisories to review safety concerns for destinations you are considering visiting. Keep in mind the information shared here about each destination is the opinion and experience of one individual.
Dubai is one of the safest places in the world, making it perfect for beginning solo travelers. The crime rate is extremely low. I asked a resident why, and he guessed that it was because so many of Dubai’s inhabitants are expatriates: something like 80% of the population. If they commit a crime, they’ll get deported at best, and land in jail at worst.
Dubai is a conservative country so it’s best, unless you’re at the beach or by a pool, to wear a shirt with at least short sleeves and capri-length pants or longer.
Moving around the city is very safe, even at night. If you don’t rent a car, which I don’t recommend because of the traffic, you have two options. You can take the very efficient metro system; it’s clean, frequent, and even has separate women’s cars at either end. Or take a taxi: drivers are required by law to use the meter, and if you ask for a pink taxi, the driver will be female. If you take a taxi with a male driver, sit in the back seat to avoid misunderstandings; but if you take a pink taxi, sit up front and learn all sorts of things about life in Dubai for an expatriate!
There’s plenty to do and see in Dubai, from shopping in over-the-top malls to thrill-seeking at amusement parks to lounging by a pool to dune-bashing in the desert, to name just a few.
Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world and a fantastic destination for all solo female travelers. Iceland was one of the first countries I ever traveled to by myself, and I have fond memories of its people, landscapes, and culture.
The main capital of Reykjavik, where 120,000 people call home, is peaceful and quiet for a capital city. You won’t feel nervous or unsafe walking around here, even at 2:00 a.m.. Outside the capital, you will find beauty in the peaceful and stunning countryside.
One of my favorite activities in Iceland was touring Southern Iceland and seeing the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach near Vik. The stones making up the black sand beach were created when lava collided with the Atlantic Ocean. Each stone is cold, smooth, and has a shine to it. Try to catch the sunset here if you can!
As a female solo traveler, safety is my main deciding factor when choosing my next solo trip. Seoul has a very low crime rate and is probably the safest and easiest city that I have ever visited.
The city has an excellent and accessible public transportation system. All transport announcements, maps and signs are both in Korean and English, and on the most popular lines, also in Chinese and Japanese.
At the airport, you can buy with cash only a top-up T Money card that can be topped up as needed in convenience stores. The card can easily be used on all buses and subways throughout the country.
While in Seoul for the first time, I would recommend visiting the National Museum of Korea and one of the five royal palaces. The National Museum is a beautiful modern looking building focused on Korean and Asian art. Make sure to check out the impressive Buddhist sculpture hall when visiting. Outside the museum is a small park and lake with traditional Korean features.
Switzerland is a perfect destination for solo female travelers. Not only is it one of the safest countries in the world, but the public transportation system is extremely good, making getting around Switzerland super convenient.
With so many places in Switzerland to visit by yourself or with others, I recommend making a list: Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, Montreux, Zermatt, Graubünden or Ticino – all extremely beautiful. You will be so busy with admiring these places that you will not have time to get bored at all.
Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is one of the best cities for solo female travelers. Taipei does not receive as much attention or visitors as other large cities in Asia, but in my opinion it should. Taipei wasn’t even on my radar, and I randomly chose to visit. It quickly became one of my favorite cities.
Taipei has anything you could ask for — great food, themed cafes, culture, shopping, tall skyscrapers, museums, temples, nature, and large national monuments with changing of the guards ceremonies.
Taipei is an easy and pleasant city to explore by foot or public transportation and has a clean and efficient metro system. The locals are helpful and friendly, making the city very safe for female travelers. But the main reason why I loved Taipei so much is the food! Taiwan is a food lover’s paradise with its many night markets where you can walk around and try a bunch of Taiwanese dishes and snacks. Some of my favorites include Taiwanese fried chicken, oyster omelet and braised pork rice. If you are very adventurous and can handle the strong odor, you could even try some stinky tofu!
Taipei is a delightful city to visit that really has something for every traveler.
My month in Mongolia was one of my favorite trips of all time—Gobi Desert is otherworldly, going on and on for days in orange hues. And, horse trekking on the steppe (grassland plains) was an experience I’ll happily share stories about until the day I die.
While I traveled solo around Mongolia, my circumstances were uncommon as I have a local friend who helped me arrange everything. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced traveler, I think connecting with other travelers in the capitol, Ulaanbaatar (UB), is advantageous. Tourists often join together (especially in summer months) and share a driver, van, and guide for tours through the Gobi, the steppe, and all the way north to where people raise reindeer (you can also take a flight to the north).
Alternatively, you can take a flight and visit the Eagle Hunters of the Altai Mountains way out west.
Public transportation is quite limited, although you can take the bus from UB to Tsetserleg and from there get a local horse trekking guide with the assistance of the local hotel where many foreign tourists stay. Regardless of where you choose to go, enjoy the culture and be prepared to eat vegetable-free meals for the length of your journey.
Have you been to any of these destinations? Have something you would add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: Check out 6 MORE Incredible Solo Travel Destinations for Women.