Some may think that hitting the open road or jumping on a plane, train or bus as a solo traveller is a daunting prospect – others find it completely liberating. I, for one, have had some fantastic solo trips, and if this is something you have always wanted to try, then I can highly recommend it. Not only can you do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, but it’s a great way to get you out of your comfort zone and make some new friends along the way.
There are several places in the world that you may be a bit wary of if you are setting off on a solo travel, but at the same time, there are plenty of safe and beautiful locations as well. So for this post, I have listed down my top five “solo traveller” friendly city destinations:
This place was such a fun city to explore on my own. It’s not an overly large city which means it’s straightforward to get around on foot and the infamous cable cars. There are plenty of accommodation options for all budgets and lots to do and see. The locals are charming and full of tips, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to people watch.
New York City, United States of America
NYC may be one of the biggest cities in the world, and you probably think it would be a bit intimidating as a solo traveller, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it is a big, bold crazy-busy city, but even more, a reason to immerse yourself and explore.
From incredible views to see from all angles of the city skyline, taking a stroll through Central Park, eating at the endless cafes, bars and restaurants, hundreds of broadway shows to see and not to mention the shopping – you won’t even realise you are travelling solo as you will be immersed in the city that by the time you get back to your accommodation, you’ll hit your bed and drop asleep!
London is one of my favourite cities to immerse myself in and explore. With the tube system making it incredibly easy to get around, you will feel like a local in no time.
My favourite pastime is to jump on a Santander bike and cruise around town. It’s a cycle-friendly city and a great way to explore and get from A to B quickly. But, of course, being an English-speaking country makes it an effortless town to indulge yourself in and with an abundance of sights to see and activities to do, you will be thankful that you don’t have anyone to compromise your time with!
Florence is another top pick of mine as a solo traveller, mainly because of the ease of getting around town. You can pretty much get around the whole place on foot which makes for straightforward navigation.
With plenty of shopping, museums to browse and beautiful architecture to feast your eyes on, you won’t have a dull moment. However, suppose you want to branch out while in town to see more of the stunning Tuscany region. In that case, there are plenty of day tours that you can jump on, which is an excellent way to meet fellow travellers – otherwise, if you are game (confident drivers ONLY!), hire a car and explore the city at your own pace.
Last but certainly not least, Barcelona is a favourite city of mine to travel solo. Much like the cities I have mentioned above, there is a HUGE variety to see and do, and you won’t think twice before getting out and about to explore.
You won’t want anything here, from UNESCO Heritage sites, beaches to see to incredible shopping and yummy food to consume at hundreds of restaurants! My only tip in this city is to be careful on your own at night – not to alarm you, but like any big city, stay in well-populated areas and be smart with your belongings. It’s a high crime city, and although I have never encountered any issues myself, others I know have not been as lucky.
Tips for solo travellers
As a fellow solo traveller, here are some final tips that may help make your travels more comfortable:
Pack an excellent book to read.
If the thought of visiting a restaurant may intimidate you, I can suggest taking a book along to keep you company while you are waiting on your food.
Research, research, research!
When it comes to looking into accommodation, it’s always best to have a good plan in place before hitting your solo adventure. For example, knowing the location you would like to reside in because it’s close to a train station, bus depot, or landmark of interest is beyond helpful when travelling solo.
Also, knowing the safest areas to base yourself in is, of course, a MUST, and all can be accomplished by setting some time aside to do some research before you get to your destination.
Hop-On & Hop-Off Bus Tours
All the big cities have them, and I know they may be a bit naff, but I can honestly say they are my saviour when I first encounter a new city on my lonesome. They are great to get your bearings, they get you to all the main tourist attractions that you probably have on your “to-see” list, and of course, it is a great way to meet fellow travellers along the way.
Master your selfie shots.
The only downside to not having a buddy to travel with is having your photographer on hand! Don’t fear, though; there are plenty of ways around getting those “Kodak Moments” on your own by being creative with a tripod and mastering your selfie skills before your travels.
I understand that travelling solo isn’t for everybody. Still, I only hope that if the situation arises. You have the opportunity to take a solo adventure, don’t immediately think you can’t do and knock it back – I promise you will have a blast, and you will know so much about yourself and grow as a person.