13 Best Places in the World to Travel Solo
As people wait longer to settle down and get married, a growing number of retirees cross items off of their bucket list, and revenge travel has become trendy, solo travel has also boomed – but where are some of the best places to travel alone, in the United States and around the world?
Here are some of our favorites:
Around the World
North America: Montreal
Our neighbor to the north has so many great places for solo travelers it’s hard to know where to start. You can’t go wrong anywhere from Newfoundland to the Yukon, but it’s really hard to beat Montreal as an affordable and safe solo destination. Have some poutine at Chez Claudette, check out Old Montreal, get around on the metro, hit the Atwater Market, and spend an afternoon riding the roller coasters at La Ronde, Montreal’s island amusement park.
Also see: Top 10 Places to Visit in Canada
South America: Uruguay
The beaches of Uruguay await you. You can hang out on the sand in Montevideo, the country’s capital, visit the popular beaches of Playa Mansa and Playa Brava, or go trekking in the country’s hilly, unspoiled interior.
Wherever you go in Uruguay, you’ll find an experience that’s more laid-back and friendly than other South American destinations, yet with that bright urban edge that so many people find appealing about cities like Buenos Aires.
Learn more: 25 Safety Tips for Solo Travelers
Central America: Costa Rica
Do you like trekking through jungles, sleeping by the beach, ziplining through forests, hiking up old volcanoes? Then you’ll love Costa Rica.
Long a prime destination for single travelers, Costa Rica has upped the ante with new, wellness-oriented resorts in places like Nosara, an increased emphasis on the country’s history and culture, and a dedication to celebrating one of the country’s most popular exports – coffee.
Northern Europe: Norway
All of Scandinavia is great for single travelers but if pressed, we’d choose the original Land of the Midnight Sun. Oslo is an underrated city, especially when compared to Copenhagen and Stockholm, but its dining and nightlife are right up there with Scandinavia’s best.
What makes Norway especially great for solo travelers is its gorgeous north country. Take a cruise up the country’s fjords and be prepared to be amazed by everything from the color of the water to the heights of the country’s misty peaks.
Southern Europe: Portugal
Start with Lisbon, but don’t neglect the other charms of this sea-facing, sun-loving country. The country’s interior is great for hikers and trekkers; don’t miss the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês. And the country’s cuisine, with its emphasis on seafood and earthy wines, is memorable by itself. Portugal’s shoreline gets much of the attention, and rightly so – it’s incredibly varied, and definitely soul-filling.
Another country that doesn’t jump to mind when you first think of a beach vacation, Albania nonetheless has some of the best sun and sand in the Balkans, with a rugged interior and cities like the UNESCO World Heritage site of Barat that are rapidly becoming some of the most engaging and cosmopolitan in the region. People are friendly no matter where you go, and the food and drink are exceptional.
Japan remains an extremely clean, safe, friendly country for the solo traveler. Cities that seems like daunting vistas of neon are actually extremely logical and navigable, the food is amazing, transportation is among the best in the world and the country's expanses beyond the cities have an indescribable charm.
Want to really get away from it all? Head north to Hokkaido, the country’s most rugged and unspoiled region. It’s hard to beat Japan for unique solo travel experiences.
Oceania: New Zealand
Known as one of the world’s safest countries, New Zealand offers an incredible array of vistas and experiences, from the cities of Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch to the Franz Josef Glacier in the country's midlands and lush semi-tropical forests and fjords of Milford Sound in the country’s south.
The people are amazing, the lodgings are varied but solo-friendly, and the backcountry is something out of a movie (several movies, actually; the Lord of the Rings trilogy was largely filmed there).
As a state capital with a large university, a diverse music scene, incredible food, and a big lake right smack in the middle of town, Austin hits all the solo travel checkboxes.
Franklin Barbecue is rightly legendary, but there are delicious eats to be had from the many food trucks that roam the city. Music runs the gamut from folk to experimental, and it’s all good. (Check out the Continental Club for the quintessential Austin music experience.)
The locals are Texas-friendly, but if you yearn for some wide open spaces, the Texas hill country is just a short drive away.
New York City
If your idea of a great solo travel destination is a place where no one pays any attention to whether or not you’re traveling by yourself, New York is your place. The fact that so many New Yorkers are into their own thing makes the Big Apple a surprisingly liberating solo destination.
And, of course, there’s the fact that New York is the home of some of the world’s greatest museums, theatres, landmarks, and sporting events.
Best tip if you’ve never been: Connect with a local friend for your first spin around – otherwise it can seem a little overwhelming.
Twin Cities, Minnesota
“Minnesota nice” is more than just a term – it’s the feeling you get when you enter the gravitational pull of Minneapolis and St. Paul and their many suburbs. You get a warm, friendly vibe from the area, whether you’re walking around Lake Como, strolling past F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home in the Summit Avenue area, checking out the Minnesota Zoo, tooling past Paisley Park, catching great regional theater at the Guthrie, or watching a Twins game at the cozy Target Field. Plus, mass transit is clean and easy to use to get around.
Books, donuts, roses, and some of the world’s best ice cream – what’s not to love about Portland? The city renowned for its quirks is actually amazingly easy to get around, whether walking or taking mass transit. The International Rose Garden and surrounding parkland make great in-city strolls, Powell’s Books is rightly renowned as the used-book epicenter of the universe, Blue Star Donuts are the best, and capping your evening meal with ice cream from Salt and Straw is always the proper thing to do.
One of America’s best cities for solo travelers that want culture and nature, Colorado Springs boasts the architectural wonders of the Air Force Academy, the beauty of the Broadmoor, and a burgeoning food and drink scene. However, the real reason to spend time in the Springs is all the recreational opportunities the area provides. From mountain biking to hiking to taking a short drive to Pikes Peak and the national forests, Colorado Springs is the destination for the solo traveler who loves the mountains and all the get-up-and-go activities they afford.
Also read: Six Great Small-Town Colorado Getaways
What do all these great destinations have in common? They’re that much more enjoyable when you help protect your solo excursion with a travel protection plan from Generali Global Assistance. Get a quote today.