I recently worked my way around Europe in three weeks completely solo. Granted I have been travelling solo now for quite some time, I still take proper precautions to allow myself to feel comfortable in any new place, regardless the destination. This trip was one of my most planned-out trips I’ve ever done. I had booked much of my accommodation and flights beforehand, allowing for less decision making when I arrived. After three weeks of travelling alone, I realised that I completely set myself up for success by planning ahead of time. But what I was most impressed with on my trip was how easy it was to travel solo. And being a woman, I never felt at danger. Not once. Not even at one of the biggest parties in the world I was able to attend. As someone who is constantly thinking, talking, advocating for solo travel, I went to Europe and walked the walk. I went alone and it was easy peasy. So easy, that I kept meeting solo women travellers along my trip and we all agreed; it’s a lot easier than we anticipate. It’s the fear of the unknown that gets everyone to doubt themselves. If you’re in the ballpark of wanting to travel solo, but don’t know where to go to, here’s a great list to start with.
Ireland has got to be on this list. It’s easy to travel, locals are so nice, they might even invite you over for tea, and the majority of the Emerald Isle is completely safe. Learn traditional Irish dancing, grab a Guinness, and listen to a local tell a story so grand, you’ll want to stay for another and another. The beautiful but rugged coasts, the legends, and the rich history of Ireland are great reasons to visit. I’ve never once felt like an outsider in all my times coming to Ireland. They are a land of hospitality and wise cracks, which I believe, are perfect excuses to go.
One of the most laid-back countries in the world, The Netherlands prides itself on being open to anything and every one. Amsterdam is a vibrant city, full of travellers, locals, and artists, all congregating in the city’s vast number of cafes, coffeeshops, and museums. You will feel right at home here, with thousands of visitors arriving daily. Many of them are solo travellers as well. It’s a place you that will start off as strange place and when you leave, it will have transformed into a new friend.
Chocolate, beer, waffles anyone? Belgium is full of wonderful places, faces, and food. If you’re any kind of foodie or beverage connoisseur, Belgium will be a wonderful delight for your solo travel mission. Learn to make traditional Belgian chocolate, take a tour of a world-famous brewery, or eat your way through the country’s supply of waffles. It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll be welcomed by locals and beautiful architecture and landscapes along the way.
Switzerland is pure beauty. The Swiss Alps are as majestic as they look in pictures. The country is overflowing with incredible landscapes and vistas, it’s no wonder Switzerland is always a front-runner for the most beautiful country in the world. If you’re travelling solo, this is a fantastic country to start with. It’s travel-friendly, as it is bordered by five other countries, making it a tourist destination by geographic location alone. The Swiss are pretty magical themselves. They all speak multiple languages, and are ready available to point a tourist in the right direction when needed.
All of Scandinavia is well worth visiting solo. Ranking at the top of the ‘Happiest places to live in the world,’ countries like Norway, Finland, and Sweden are becoming a must on the travel trail. For the outdoor enthusiast, Norway’s Fjord region cannot be missed. With jaw dropping views, and rigorous hikes, this area is very popular with a variety of travellers. Sweden is a great country to visit for rich history and nightlife, as Stockholm is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in all of Europe. For a lush countryside holiday, check out Finland. All of these countries are vibrant, beautiful, and very safe to travel to and around.
Iceland has been on everyone’s travel radar for the last couple of years and there’s a big reason why; it’s ridiculously beautiful. This pocket-sized island is bursting with glaciers, waterfalls, and incredible music scene, and wild horses. Yes, wild horses. The dramatic backdrop of every photo you see is a million times more intense in person and well worth seeing up close. Iceland is entirely safe, with the capital city of Reykjavik having an average of 1.5 murders per year. If that’s not enough for you, some people don’t even know what a cop looks like there, because they are rarely needed.
My love for Budapest still grows, even though it’s been a few months since I’ve been. But I was pleasantly surprised at how safe I felt walking the little streets alone in the middle of the night. The city has a pumping nightlife for every scene you find yourself wanting to be a part of. The food, the insane architecture, and the emotional viewpoints from Castle Hill of the the Parliament Building at night will make you want to move there. I have yet to meet anyone who has told me different. As a central European country still bouncing back from years of depression and war, Budapest is its shining light. And the millions of tourists that visit each year are a great example that it’s on its way up.
Sweet, cheap and easy is how I can describe this gem on the Adriatic Sea. Tourism is the driving force behind the country’s economy, and there is no shortage of tours, restaurants, accommodation and activities there. It’s hard to believe that they were at war only 25 years ago, and are still trying to regain their composure from the devastation it caused. But that hasn’t stopped this country from showcasing it’s undeniable beauty. Croatia is made up of thousands of islands, many of them being a short ferry ride from the bustling ports of Dubrovnik or Split. My favourite spot wasn’t on the coast surprisingly. It was the UNESCO Heritage Site of the Plitvice Lakes that had me drooling. Even in the busiest of towns, getting lost in the narrow alleyways of ancient old town ruins, or staying out at the beach in the middle of the night, did I ever feel that my safety was being threatened.