As a solo female traveler myself, I know firsthand how intimidating it can be to get out there and see the world on your own. There are so many factors to take into account, especially if you’re not sure where to go or what you’re in for once you get there. Bearing in mind things like safety, friendliness of the locals, activities and attractions, ease of travel within the destination, and overall general vibe of the place, I’ve put together a list of destinations that makes for a great starting point for solo female travelers to begin (or continue) their adventure!
Here are my picks for the top 5 best destinations for solo female travelers:
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen may seem a bit off the beaten path as a travel destination, but it’s certainly worth the visit! The people are beautiful and friendly, they love having a big, delicious breakfast (which is rare in European countries), and the preferred method of transportation throughout the city is by bike, which is a cheap and fun way to cover a lot of ground in a short time. This city is very clean and safe, is an easy place to navigate, and lends itself well to solo female travelers. Can’t-miss things to do here would definitely be Nyhavn, which is the colorful waterfront, canal, and entertainment district of Copenhagen, stopping into any of the plentiful and cute Scandinavian cafes, and taking a trip over to Freetown Christiania, which is a cool hippie commune within the city.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Another great destination for solo female travelers is the island of Bali, Indonesia. Though still part of Indonesia, Bali has its own distinctive culture which varies both religiously and spiritually from the rest of the country, offering a more laid-back, spiritual vibe. A hub for surfers and yogis, Bali is the perfect place for travelers to unwind with like-minded people, reconnect with nature and the self, and enjoy the beautiful beaches, people, and culture surrounding you. The best way to get around the island is either by motorbike or tuk-tuk, and I would recommend seeking out Jamu juice, which is an ancient Balinese remedy made with Turmeric.
There are several truly can’t-miss places in Bali. In Seminyak, experience great beaches, shopping boutiques and restaurants, and of course La Favela nightclub, which is popular among tourists and locals alike. Ubud offers more of a cultural feel, where you’ll find many places for yoga and a heavy emphasis on natural and health foods. Here you will also find Hindu temples, the renowned Monkey Forest, and the beautiful rice terraces Bali is famous for. Canggu is another funky little town not far from Ubud, which is known for great surfing beaches and has a very laid-back vibe. If you have time, Gili Trawangen island is only a ferry ride away, and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
3. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok has something for everyone and lends itself especially well to solo female travelers, who likely won’t remain solo for long! Thailand in general has become a classic destination for intrepid backpackers, and in Bangkok in particular it’s very easy to meet people if you’re traveling solo. Bangkok is characterized by its lively nightlife, friendly locals, rich culture, and great food. The city’s magnificent temples and cultural sites, along with amazing day and night markets make for an exciting cultural experience that you won’t want to miss. The best way to get around is on foot, by bus, or via tuk-tuk, which are typically very cheap and convenient. I recommend staying at Mad Monkey Hostel here; it’s got great vibes for meeting people, amazing food and a fun bar, and a swimming pool which is essential in the Bangkok heat! Can’t-miss things to do in Bangkok are getting a Thai massage (a bit of an odd experience but feels amazing and is incredibly cheap), Khao San Road (great for nightlife, street food, and to get the overall feel of Bangkok), and a trip to both the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, which is a massive temple complex home to the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand.
4. Miami, USA
Miami is an amazing place for solo female travelers, but is a bit more expensive than some of the other places on this list, so plan for that before you go! Miami is a very international city, so you can expect to hear a mix of languages, ranging from English to Spanish to French and beyond. The general culture here is very flashy; the people are beautiful and they love to show off their wealth with fast cars and luxurious yachts. The city is characterized by a great nightlife scene, phenomenal Cuban food, and gorgeous beaches.
As far as where to stay as a solo female traveler, South Beach in particular has some nice centrally located hostels which offer free airport transfers, breakfast and dinner, and free club crawls to some of the most famous clubs in Miami. When traveling alone, this is a great way to meet other travelers as well as get a taste of the wild nightlife Miami is famous for! As a female, going out abroad can be a little tricky, especially when there is alcohol involved and you’re in a foreign place. Taking advantage of an organized pub crawl like this can be a fun and safe way to ensure you’ll have some friendly faces looking out for you who are all staying at your same hostel and can give you a bit more peace of mind during after-dark activities. The can’t-miss destinations in Miami are South Beach (must visit Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, streets which are both classic Miami), the Wynwood Walls (a neighborhood of ever-changing street murals by artists from all over the world), and Little Havana (a hub for Cuban culture in Miami). The best way to get around Miami Beach is via their free trolley system that loops around to the main sites in the area, but beyond that, I would recommend taking Ubers or taxis.
5. Rome, Italy
Finally, Rome is a wonderful place to visit as a solo female traveler. A city renowned for its history, food, culture, and overall air of romance, you will never run out of things to do here. The best way to get around the city is on foot or via metro or bus. Some of the main attractions in Rome include the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, numerous parks and museums, and the list goes on and on. Of course, you can’t leave the city without filling up on endless pizza, pasta, gelato, and wine. Make sure to try a glass of Limoncello, a traditional Italian lemon liqueur, here as well! The people are warm and friendly, but as a woman you may be a bit put off by the catcalling, which is very much part of the Italian culture. I’ve found that it’s more annoying rather than threatening, and in time you learn to just ignore it. If you’re concerned about visiting this city on your own, I can assure you that it’s often much easier to meet people when you’re traveling alone, and it can be even easier in a city as romantic as Rome!
Though the thought of traveling the world as a solo female can be scary, once you put yourself out there, there truly is not a more empowering feeling. Exploring the world on your own terms is liberating, and you’ll realize that there is no limit to what you can do. Getting started, it helps to have some great destinations in mind, so I hope this list will help motivate you to kickstart your next solo adventure!
My name is Sophie Mendel, and I’m an American travel writer and editor currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, USA. I have traveled to 42 countries and lived in 5, am fluent in English and Spanish (and always in the process of learning more languages), and love lugging my guitar around the world with me! Follow my travels on Instagram @theunboundedtraveler!