15 best and safest cities for solo female travelers
A solo trip is something every woman has to experience. Going somewhere all by yourself, following your own intuition: it’s truly a life changing experience. And it doesn’t have to be a trip of 3 months either, a short city break is also very suitable for a solo trip. A few days of exploring a new city, culture and snapping some amazing pictures of famous sights is perfect for a solo trip! This is why we have put together a list of the 15 best and safest cities for solo female travelers!
I always recommend London to beginner solo travelers, which makes sense – I’ve lived in London on my own for seven months. This is the perfect place to spend your first solo weekend, with so many famous landmarks and big shopping districts to tick off. Everyone, of course, speaks English so a language barrier won’t be a problem here. Things you most definitely shouldn’t miss are of course the top sights such as the Big Ben, the London Eye, the London Bridge, a visit to the Buckingham Palace (especially when the guards change their position), but also the lesser known places, such as the Southbank, Greenwich or Hampstead Heath. I have always felt very safe in zone 1 & 2, even in the middle of the night. Read about my own trips to London here!
Explorista’s hostel tip is the women only dorm in the Clink78 Hostel.
Dublin might not the the biggest city there is (and the weather can be a bit depressing at times), but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great city that offers many things to do! Dublin is of course famous for it’s Guinness beer, so take a tour through the brewery, the Guinness Storehouse. At the end of the tour you can enjoy a free glass of Guinness with an amazing view at a bar overlooking the city. Start your adventure with a tour through the Dublin castle and go see the Christ Church Cathedral afterwards. Take a stroll through the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green, and visit the nearby The Little Museum of Dublin, that shows you the history of Dublin. The Irish people are one of the most friendly people on earth, so you will definitely end up making some new friends. Read about my own trips to Dublin here!
Explorista’s hostel tip in Dublin is the Times Hostel.
Paris is always a great idea, especially when you’re single! (You gotta be ready for those handsome French men, eh?) Paris has many museums to visit and things to see that you will have trouble choosing what to do first. A few of the famous sights that you can’t miss are the Eiffel tower, the Notre Dame, le Sacré Coeur and Arc de Triumph. The Louvre museum is also an amazing place to visit, you can easily spend a whole day here. And if you don’t mind waiting a few hours in line to dive underneath Paris and visit the catacombs, then please do. It’s eery but spectacular. Versailles is just a short trip from Paris, and the castle of King Louis XIV and the castle gardens are really unrivaled in grandeur! I personally always like going to de Les Marais district, for some amazing food and great places to shop. On top of that, beng single in Paris is great, so no one will judge you when you eat too many macarons when traveling. But hey, how do you know which ones are the best if you haven’t tried them all? #winning
Explorista’s hostel tip is the women only dorm in the Caulaincourt Square Hostel.
Copenhagen was my first solo-destination, and ever since then I recommend Copenhagen to everyone. It may be a bit expensive, but an incredibly safe city, a place I’ve had the time of my life. The perfect way for sightseeing is to go by boat. From the sea you can get a great view of the city. You’ll spot the colorful houses of Nyhavn, the palace, the mermaid statue (so you don’t have to walk all the way) and little Amsterdam. A city break to Copenhagen isn’t about checking famous sights off of your list, but more about feeling the pace of life in the city itself and taking in the hygge atmosphere. The most famous shopping district of Copenhagen is Strøget, where all fashionista’s flock to. And if you are looking for some great places to eat, then head to the Copenhagen Street food market, a big building with all sorts of food stands. You can take the food you ordered here, and eat it outside alongside the river. Choose a nice hostel and you are set to go!
Explorista’s hostel tip is the ultra hip Generator Hostel.
Another super safe city: Helsinki’s got a lot to offer when it comes to museums, architecture and food! It is a great city where the marine takes a central spot. The churches here are definitely worth a visit: from the Dom to the Oespenski cathedral, to the special Temppeliaukio-church that is also known as the rock-church. Go to the design museum and take a boat trip along Toolo bay. Architecture-lovers will have a blast in Helsinki, at the Opera House, for example, and Finlandia Hall. The food in Helsinki is amazing: there are lots of local products and the food is so full of flavor! For meat-lovers there are great dishes like moose and reindeer. And since most berries here are locally grown, there are many dishes involving delicious fruits. The people here are friendly and will help you if you ask them, and most of them speak English so don’t worry about a language barrier here!
Explorista’s hostel tip in Helsinki is the Diana Park Hostel.
If you are looking for great weather and lots of sunshine, great architecture and a city with centuries of history, then Barcelona is the place to be! This city has eveything. Take a relaxing stroll through the park, go shopping and take a walk along the beach. The best way to explore Barcelona is by bicycle, you can easily get everywhere, and it is way faster than walking. There are many amazing architectural buildings (mostly designed by Antoni Gaudi) to see throughout the city. Nightlife in this city is always a never ending party, so you don’t have to worry about not meeting new people here. A few sights that you simply cannot miss are the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. Read about my trip to Barcelona here!
Explorista’s hostel tip is the graceful Casa Gracia
München, of course, is famous for its Oktoberfest and its breweries, and is a big festive city where you will undoubtedly meet a lot of new people. If the actual Oktoberfest is a little bit too much for you, you can always try the smaller one that is held in April: The Spring Festival. Enjoy the view from the observation tower in the Alter Peter tower to get a great view of München with the Alps in the background, and visit some of the many art museums this city offers. Something you shouldn’t miss either (and the thing that attracts most tourists) is the Marienplatz. Here you can find many shops and the famous Hofbrauhaus. Climb up the buildings for an amazing view. Are you done exploring the city and want something a little bit more relaxing? Go to the biggest park of Europe: The English Garden. Beer is served at many different locations in this park (including a Chinese tower). But you can also just enjoy relaxing on the grass while watching people.
Explorista’s hostel tip is the hip Wobats city Hostel.
Vancouver in Canada is known for its friendly inhabitants and bustling food scene. It is located in between the mountains and the sea, becoming one with nature. There are many great thing things to do n Vancouver, like visiting the Science museum and enjoying interactive experiments, or walking through the Dr. Sun yat-Sen Chinese garden. Part of this garden is opened to the public and can be visited. There are also many other great parks to be found in this city, for example the Stanley Park (with the famous totem poles). It is a clean and safe city, so you don’t have to worry about getting robbed. Canadian people are known for their friendly nature, so you can easily make new friends. And then the food. There is something called Poutine (the national dish of Canada) you should definitely try. This is fries with melted cheese and gravy, and additionally some meat and vegetables. Vancouver is full of hip restaurants and cafes. The Gastown district is where you’ll find all the hipsters.
Explorista’s hostel tip in Vancouver is the Samesun Vancouver Hostel.
Melbourne is the hipster city of Australia, known for its coffee-culture and hip restaurants. The people in Melbourne are open-minded and friendly, and the city is multicultural, so you can meet people with many different nationalities. Grab something to drink at the Ponyfish Island, take a trip with the Puffing Billy Railway and, if you like sports, visit the National Sports Museum. In the Nicholas building you can find all kinds of stores, and if you like retro and vintage things and clothing, visit the RetroStar that is located here. Northcote is one of the greatest neighborhoods.
Explorista’s hostel tip in Melbourne for a women-only hostel is the Base St Kilda Hostel.
Taiwan is a super safe country, filled to the brim with culture. Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and the mix between old and modern makes this a great and diverse destination to visit. Nature and culture are part of the city, and the food you find here is a mix of all kinds of international cuisines, like Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and more. But what you really have to try is the Beef Noodle Soup. For book-lovers (me!) there is a bookshop that is open 24 hours a day, the Eslite Duann. This is the only bookstore in the world that is open 24/7. There are many cafes where locals and tourists come together so if you ever start feeling lonely, you can make some new friends here. There is also a restaurant that based its theme on toilets. (Yes, toilets.) Here you can eat your green curry from a toilet-bowl while sitting on one. Yum! There are also many live Chinese indie/pop bands all around the city, so enjoy a great night out. But if you want to escape the city life for a day, you can take a quick bus trip to Yangmingshan National Park. This is a beautiful place where you can really see the landscape of Taiwan and enjoy the nature at its fullest. A great place to just wander around.
Explorista’s hostel tip in Taipei is the Meander Taipei hostel.
Because this is such a safe city, there are many women who plan their first solo trip to Singapore. Enjoy the night safari and see animals that are usually asleep or hiding during daytime. The streets of Singapore are extremely safe, so you don’t have to worry when you want to go for a night out for some partying. Or do you want to learn more about the Peranakan culture, then you can’t miss the Inkan, or Peranakan museum. And if you like amusement parks, you should definitely go to Sentosa Island. This is a resort island with different theme parks, such as Sentosa Park and Universal Studios Singapore. There are also many hotels and golf courses, so there are all sorts of things to enjoy. And don’t miss the Supertree Grove!
Explorista’s hostel tip in Singapore is the Betel Box Hostel.
When you are in Hong Kong you should really visit the different islands and take a stroll through nature. If you don’t have much time to visit the islands however, you can go to the Victoria Peak, where you can see the stunning scenery of the Hong Kong islands. And when you are in Hong Kong, you should try as many amazing dishes as you possibly can! Don’t miss the pineapple buns and dim sum… Public transport is also very comfortable and can take you anywhere. Even though Hong Kong used to be a British colony, the people here don’t speak as much English as you might think, but with a travel guide like the ones from Lonely Planet or Google you can come a long way. The people are super helpful and will do anything to help you if you have any questions.
Explorista’s hostel tip in Hong Kong is the Yesinn @Causeway Bay hostel.
Seoul might be a lesser known city, but it is definitely worth a visit! It is the city of Korean fashion, K-pop, Idols and food. Enjoy the Korean cuisine and try famous dishes like Bulgogi and Tteokbokki (and go for the lesser known restaurants hidden in the small alleyways). For just 5 dollars you can get a full meal! The city itself is very western-looking, so if you are looking for more traditional parts to see, you can go to Insadong. You can still find many traditional tea-houses in this district. And just near Insadong you can find the Jogyesa temple and the Chan Deok Gung palace. Seoul is a modern city with a lot of entertainment to offer: cinemas, museums and lots of other cool things to see. It is one of the safest cities in the world so you will definitely feel at easy here.
Explorista’s hostel tip in Seoul is the Backpackers Inside hostel.
New York, the city that never sleeps. There’s always something to do in this city, whether it’s morning, evening or night. The easiest way to travel within the city is by using the underground and walking. For just 30 dollar you can get a week-pass for the underground that can take you anywhere within New York. But you can’t just stay in New York without seeing the statue of Liberty, the Times Square, or walking through the central Park. Or explore the famous breakfast culture, at one of the amazing brunch cafes.
Explorista’s hostel tip in New York is the Hi NYC Hostel.
Tokyo is a safe and tourist friendly city. The people here are mostly used to Western tourists (unlike the smaller cities in Japan). The signs are also written in Roman letters and sometimes translated to English, which will make finding your way a lot easier. There are many things to see and explore. If you want to do some shopping, you can go to Akihabara for anime stuff and gadgets, and for clothes you can go to Harajuku or Shibuya 109 (a big shopping mall with all sorts of clothing stores). Next to Shibuya station you can find the statue of Hachi, the dog that kept waiting for the return of his owner. The best part (with lots of amazing food) is Asakusa. The Kaminarimon here is a very popular tourist attraction. There are also many small stands with souvenirs and trinkets and many different kinds of very small restaurants with amazing food around the station! Most people in Japan don’t really know English very well, but they will help you if you ask politely and will do anything to make your stay as nice as possible. It is best to stay in a hostel, though spending the night at a capsule hotel will be a new experience as well!
Explorista’s hostel tip in Tokyo is the Anne Hostel.
Do you have to stay in a women-only hostel as a woman?
No, definitely not. My personal preference is actually to sleep in mixed dorms, because you meet more different kinds of people (and women usually are a bit messier than men). But lots of women feel safer when staying in a women-only dorm or hostel, especially on their first solo-trip. That is why we have added a few different options you to choose! But you don’t have to worry, hostels are very safe!