20 Best Places To Travel Alone In Europe
Looking for the best places to travel alone in Europe?
Then this post can help!
As an avid solo traveler, I’m always researching fun, interesting, and safe places to confidently travel on my own.
Since I know many people in my community do too, I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers to see where they think the best destinations for solo travel in Europe are — and this post shares their responses!
Below, you’ll find 20 incredible places for a Europe solo trip, including a mix of popular cities and lesser-known spots. For each, you’ll also snag local travel tips and recommendations to plan the perfect solo vacation.
Table of Contents
Enjoy Solo Travel In Europe With Confidence [Free Course]
Now, before we dive into our solo Europe trip guide I invite you to grab a seat in the free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.
The six-day ecourse is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.
- Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
- How to choose your perfect solo trip
- How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
- Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
- Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
- How to take amazing solo selfies
Once you’ve grabbed your seat, keep reading to learn about traveling to Europe alone.
20 Best Places To Travel Alone In Europe
Not sure where to travel on your own when visiting Europe? Consider adding the following places to your ultimate solo travel Europe itinerary!
1. Riga, Latvia
Is traveling alone fun? It can be, especially if you visit this unforgettable city.
When it comes to solo European travel, I am absolutely obsessed with Riga, Latvia, which is also one of my favorite solo female travel destinations of all time.
Not only is it safe with relatively low crime rates, but it’s walkable, affordable, easy to get around, and easy to use as a base for visiting other places in the country by public transportation.
Riga is also a green city that blends lovely parks with architectural beauty and opportunities to explore fascinating (and sometimes dark) history, from the Riga Free Walking Tour to the KGB Museum to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.
If you like history, Riga has numerous museums dedicated to exploring its past as a USSR country as well as its place in WWII when it was occupied by Nazi Germany. That being said, you’ll find plenty of cultural institutions focused on other topics like the Riga Art Nouveau Museum and the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE.
Beyond museums, there are endless things to do when traveling Riga solo. Treat yourself to a massage and soak at ESPA (the facilities are included with a treatment!), do a sunrise paddleboard at Cenas Tīrelis Preserve with SUP Adventures, wander Old Town and take in a view from the top of St. Peter’s Church, and have a local beer at Labietis Brewery on the hip Aristida Briāna (Street).
There is also the Old Town Hall Square, a cobbled 13th-century market square that was destroyed during WWII and now features reconstructions.
Beyond the city walls, a few fun day trips for solo travelers include the medieval town of Cēsis, the seaside destination of Jūrmala, and the beautiful Kemeri National Park.
-Jessie Festa from Jessie on a Journey
Riga Travel Resources
2. Lisbon, Portugal
The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is one of the best places to solo travel in Europe. This city has everything — culture, beaches, food, and nightlife — to enjoy on a short or a longer trip.
When in Lisbon, one must explore the Old Town (city center) area and go on a walking tour to learn about the unique Pombal architecture, which was built throughout the city after the massive earthquake of 1775.
Be sure to also visit the stunning neighborhoods of Chiado, Baixa, and Alfama. Spend half a day in the historic Alfama and soak in those city views from the various miradouros or viewpoints. My personal favorite is the Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
Other must-explore attractions in historic Lisbon are the Castelo de são Jorge, Lisbon Cathedral, and the Commerce Square. Take a moment to ride the Tram 28 as well as the Santa Justa Lift to admire the city from above. Lisbon is known as the “City Of Seven Hills,” so don’t miss a chance to explore.
From the historic city center, make your way to the neighborhood of Belem and check off the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge, and of course the iconic Belem Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. These two attractions are very popular so ensure you set aside a full day and book tickets in advance to explore the neighborhood.
As a solo traveler, you can easily take a train to Sintra on a quick day trip and explore the beautiful Pena Palace. It is completely safe to stay out at night. The local public transportation system is safe and affordable, as well.
Lisbon Travel Resources
3. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany is one of the best places to travel solo in Europe. This quaint university city has a vibrant young population which means there are plenty of modern amenities and trendy cafes — a cool and unexpected contrast to the beautiful historic streets.
There is a great deal to do in Freiburg. Thankfully for solo travelers, much of it is within walking distance from the city center and free or cheap.
Within the old town, enjoy medieval architecture such as Martinstor and Shwabentor, the two remaining medieval gates, and the 13th-century church. The church, named Freiburger Munster, has a striking gothic structure and Romanesque architecture.
It’s also worth visiting the market on the Munsterplatz Square below the church. This is the perfect spot to pick up a souvenir or enjoy a traditional “bratwurst” hot dog. They even have vegan ones!
Other traditional food worth trying is Flammkuchen, a sort of French pizza; Raclette, a Swiss dish; and fried potatoes.
The traditional food is characterized by a mix of specialties from Germany, Switzerland, and France since Freiburg lies near the border of all three. Wash it down with a wine from one of Freiburg’s local vineyards, too.
One of the best things to do here is walking just over a kilometer up Schlossberg (Castle Hill) to see the amazing views over Freiburg and beyond.
And for real nature-lovers, you won’t want to miss hiking in the nearby Black Forest. You can easily take a day trip to nearby Shausinland, a mountain just outside the city, for some great panoramic views over the forest, too.
Freiburg im Breisgau Travel Resources
4. Seville, Spain
As Europe’s hottest city, Seville blazes away in southern Spain as both the home of flamenco and the setting for the passionate opera Carmen.
Christopher Colombus received both permission and funds for his history-changing voyage here in the delicate walls of the Real Alcazar. He recruited his sailors from the district of Triana and routed the wealth from the Americas back along the Guadalquivir to Seville, making it one of the most important cities in the world at the time.
As a result, it’s bursting with architectural charisma from the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) to the white walls of the Santa Cruz quarter to La Giralda, the distinctive tower attached to the largest cathedral in Seville.
The city center is very compact and so it’s great for solo travelers. As well as amazing architecture and tapas, the local vibe involves chatting to anyone and whiling away the hours in cafes and bars so it’s a very non-threatening place to meet people or to sit on your own with a book.
Make sure to cool off from the heat in the ice baths at the Baños Arabes, try salmorejo rather than gazpacho in one of the tapas bars (it’s the local favorite), and catch an evening performance of Carmen in one of the gardens near the Plaza España.
Seville Travel Resources
5. Prague, Czech Republic
When it comes to the best destinations in Europe for solo travel, it’s hard to beat Prague, Czech Republic.
Prague is nicknamed “the heart of Europe” and it’s not only gorgeous, but it’s one of the safest cities in Europe.
It’s also a smaller city and incredibly easy to navigate on foot, making it simple to wander around and take in the main sites like the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Town Square, and the Lennon Wall.
Many of the locals speak several languages, including English, making it quite easy to meet people and get directions when necessary.
Pro tip: If you’re interested in meeting other travelers, try dining in one of the many outdoor restaurants in Old Town.
The clustered outdoor café tables are the perfect place to enjoy some casual dining and a pilsner while taking in the stunning architecture of the “City of a Hundred Spires” and chatting with other travelers. In winter, it’s also a great spot to sip some delicious hot grog, a Prague specialty that is similar to a hot toddy.
Traveling solo in Prague is also relatively inexpensive, especially by European standards. You can book a night at the 5-star Kings Court Hotel, just steps from Old Town Square and Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock, starting at $112/ night.
Visitors looking to explore more of the Czech Republic should check out some memorable day trips from Prague, too, like Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora (aka The Bone Church), Terezin Concentration Camp (heavy but important), and Karlovy Vary, a world-famous spa town.
Prague Travel Resources
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Ah, Copenhagen. Home of hands-off cyclers, long canals, the longest pedestrian street in the world, hipster spots packed with perfectly groomed beards, and very tall humans. To top it all up, the Danish capital is a godsend for solo travelers.
It’s as safe as a city gets! Even if you take a stroll into one of the “rough” hoods, you’ll still feel safe. People respect traffic lights to a T. You can go at it on your own, even at nighttime, and you’ll be just fine — though, of course, always keep your eyes open and assess your surroundings.
Also, Copenhagen hosts people from all over the world, and 86% of Danes speak English fluently, and many also speak a third language like Spanish or German.
Moreover, you can bike everywhere. Biking is the way to tour the city, especially as bike lanes are typically separate from traffic. Copenhagen pioneered the art of city cycling, and visitors can truly see how ingrained in the culture this is.
Over spring and summer, you can enjoy the longest days of city touring. As a proper Scandinavian country, daylight changes drastically between seasons. During this time, days are super long. Plus, it never gets extremely hot. So, if you enjoy long days of solo touring, you can keep going for as long as you want — which is sometimes hard if you are with a travel companion!
Danes might not seem too social, but they are super curious. When you are on your own, striking conversation can be somewhat challenging. Danes are very respectful of someone’s personal space; however, if you start a conversation, you’ll find they are very curious.
As a solo traveler in Copenhagen, do visit the Freetown of Christiania to understand some of the values many Danes hold up “high”.
Also spend a day at the Tivoli Gardens, one of the first amusement parks in the world. The park changes its theme and decorations every season, and it’s a stunning wonder in the middle of the city. It’s not open year-long, so check the dates beforehand.
And of course, tour the city streets like crazy! Exploring Copenhagen is an absolute joy. It’s packed with cool neighborhoods like Vesterbro and Christianshavn, huge parks, posh streets, palaces, canals, and museums.
The best part? As soon as the weather gets a tad good, everyone goes outside for a beer and a catch-up with friends — which makes Copenhagen very lively and fun!
Copenhagen Travel Resources
7. Athens, Greece
What comes to your mind when you think of Greece? Like most people, I bet you see it as just a romantic destination, but what you probably don’t know is that it has some of the sweetest places to travel solo in Europe.
The capital of Greece, Athens, has loads of interesting history to explore during the day — as well as great nightlife, so you can socialize and have fun with travelers and locals alike.
Apart from seeing the Acropolis, which is usually at the top of most people’s Athens itineraries, you can also hike up Mount Lycabettus for beautiful views, visit some of the city’s delicious tavernas, and check out some interesting museums like the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Museum of the City of Athens.
And if you wish to explore a bit more of Greece, then consider visiting some of the nearby islands — such as Aegina and Hydra –- and take some trips from Athens to Delphi, Meteora, Mycenae, and Cape Sounion.
What about what to eat while in Athens?
Well, there are many fantastic cuisines you can try while in the city. I’d suggest you have a taste of the traditional Greek salad, also known as Horiatiki. It’s made with tomato, green pepper, cucumber, Kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese.
If you’re the type that likes to explore different dishes, then you can also check out saganaki, Greek bouyourdi, dolmades, and souvlaki.
In terms of where to eat, visit Tzitzikas kai Mermigas, which is a downtown restaurant that is centrally located near Syntagma Square. It’s a very popular restaurant for both locals and tourists.
Finally, you can lodge at Athens Gate Hotel, which is one of the best hotels in the city with Acropolis views. But if you want to stay close to the Acropolis to enjoy easy access to the city’s main sites, then you should consider the Plaka neighborhood.
Athens Travel Resources
8. Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck is a much smaller and lesser-known gem of Austria but it’s definitely a place I would add to your solo travel Europe itinerary. I visited it during a solo trip to Austria and it became my favorite city, beating even Vienna and Salzburg.
Located in the Alps, this is also a popular destination for winter sports. Its small narrow streets, beautiful Old Town, colorful buildings, and gorgeous mountain backdrop will melt your heart. It also features some wonderful modern and imperial architecture and even just wandering through its streets is totally worth it.
Being a university town, you will find a lot of young people in the city to chat and meet up with.
Austria is also a safe country to visit, with a very low crime rate. It’s one of the safest places to solo travel in Europe. On top of that, cities in Austria are very easy to navigate, finding convenient accommodation and transportation is never an issue, and communicating in English is very easy.
Plus, it doesn’t have to be an expensive place to visit. Things like using public transport, eating local food, and getting an Innsbruck City Card will for sure help you achieve that.
In terms of things to do in Innsbruck, make sure to hop on Nordkette Cable Car to get to Hafelekar Peak, visit the Golden Roof, get to the top of the Town Tower, and visit Swarovski Crystal World.
Innsbruck Travel Resources
9. Barcelona, Spain
I honestly feel safer traveling solo in Barcelona than in Paris. Don’t get me wrong, Paris is great; but between these two cities that I constantly travel to, Barcelona always wins!
I first traveled to Barcelona in 2012 and fell in love right away. From that trip, I decided to visit every year and spend at least one month there. When you’re traveling by yourself, Barcelona just gives you that warm welcome — like you don’t need to worry about anything.
What I love about traveling solo in Barcelona is how easily you can meet people, especially if you stay in hostels. I literally made friends in the first hour of checking into my hostel in Barcelona as everyone was so sociable in my dorm room and I know very well that it’s because of the vibe of the city. It just makes people naturally happy and friendly.
Barcelona is also a young city and many young professionals and digital nomads from the European Union choose to live here. It won’t be difficult to meet people!
I am also fluent in Spanish so it was easy for me to go around Barcelona by myself. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be challenging if you don’t speak the language but I always tell people that Spain is the best country to learn Spanish, which, by the way, is different from learning in Latin America. I must warn you that not everyone speaks English well but you’ll get around!
If you are also traveling solo on a budget, Barcelona is cheaper than most western European countries. When I stay here for a month, I pay less than €1,000 EUR for a studio in the city. Beer is around €3 EUR and I can get my daily coffee for less €2 EUR.
When it comes to things to do, Barcelona never runs out. What I love the most about this city is that you can easily go to the beach — which is unlike many other European cities in the west!
Don’t skip Barcelona when you’re planning your solo Euro trip. I promise it’ll be worth it!
Barcelona Travel Resources
10. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden is a must-see destination for solo travelers with its reliable public transit and affordable hostels.
Whether you’re traveling by foot or vehicle, places in the city are simple to get to. Plus with English being spoken by 90% of the city’s population, you can easily communicate with locals.
So, why visit Stockholm?
The synergy of historic and modern architecture is what draws most travelers. Plus, I felt safe and comfortable traveling solo around the city.
Apart from exploring the city on foot, there are five things you must do in Stockholm:
First, check out a preserved 17th-century Swedish warship inside the Vasa Museum.
Then, tour the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Swedish royal family.
Next, travel back to the mid-1700s in Gamla Stan with its medieval architecture, streets, and alleyways.
Then, learn how the locals live through a free walking tour in Söder, one of Sweden’s trendiest neighborhoods.
Finally, walk through the Brunkeberg Tunnel, an 1886 tunnel that stretches out to 231 meters (758 feet).
If you haven’t fallen in love with Stockholm yet, here’s another reason:
Stockholm is considered one of Europe’s most sustainable cities and a global role model for its efforts to combat climate change.
In fact, the Arlanda Express train that connects Stockholm Arlanda International Airport to Stockholm Central Station runs on 100% renewable energy and most of Sweden’s buses run on biogas.
Stockholm Travel Resources
11. Krakow, Poland
Ever since my trip to Krakow last summer, I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that they quite simply have to visit. Although I completely fell in love with Poland as a whole, Krakow in particular stood out as a fantastic solo travel destination.
Boasting one of Europe’s largest central squares — which was largely undamaged during the war — Krakow really is one of the most stunning cities I’ve ever visited.
Not only that, Poland is still one of Europe’s truly affordable destinations, where you can get a fantastic meal for PLN 30-40 (~US $8-$10). I recommend trying restaurants like Smakolyki and Szalone Widelce for delicious homemade food.
Although Krakow is Poland’s second-largest city, its main center is surprisingly compact. Personally, I love walking around a new city to get my bearings, and Krakow always felt like an easy and safe place to do so. It has a relaxed and friendly vibe with so much to see and do!
The main market square in Krakow’s Old Town is a fantastic place to start your solo trip. Head up the tower at St. Mary’s Cathedral for a bird’s-eye view of the square, which is dominated by the old Cloth Hall where you can pick up a variety of souvenirs.
A little outside the Old Town, stunning Wawel Castle is a truly impressive sight. Strolling around the beautiful grounds is completely free and you can pick and choose which parts of the castle you want to pay to enter. If you’re looking to hang out with the locals, head to the hillside underneath the castle facing the Vistula River at sunset.
Also, take an afternoon to soak up the atmosphere in Kazimierz, Krakow’s Jewish quarter. You’ll find lots of lovely artisan shops and numerous cafes and restaurants in the area. And, if history is your thing, a visit to Schindler’s Factory Museum is well worth your time.
There are a few good day trips within easy reach of Krakow, too. Of course, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is an obvious choice, and a very poignant experience if you decide this is something you’d like to do. You’ll likely join a tour for this, so it’s a great activity as a solo traveler.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is another unique day trip option, and can easily be visited independently by bus from Krakow and then joining a guided tour there.
Krakow Travel Resources
12. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a lovely medieval city in the West Flanders Provience of northwest Belgium. The cobbled streets, tranquil canals, and beautiful medieval buildings bring you straight into a fairytale place that’s perfect for exploring solo.
Known as one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, you can’t leave your camera home when visiting Bruges. The reflection of the buildings in the canals can be perfectly captured on a sunny day or at night when the lights reflect in the water.
The city is also small enough that you can walk everywhere. That is a huge benefit when traveling alone so you don’t have to figure out public transport or negotiate for a taxi.
Another great way to see the city is to cruise the waterways by boat.
The canals of Bruges make their way through the historic city center and stretch off into the city beyond. Boats depart from several jetties in the city throughout the day and evening and captains provide information and anecdotes about Bruges.
Another one of the top things to do in Bruges for solo travelers is visiting the Belfry Tower and making the 366-step climb up. From the tower, you’ll have a superb view of the Bruges skyline.
Looking for something beautiful? The Lake of Love is a serene spot in the middle of Minnewater Park. The beautiful Lover’s Bridge makes it a perfect photo spot as well.
For the market lovers, on Wednesdays in Bruges there is a local market. During the winter months, this square transforms into a winter wonderland with a yearly Christmas market.
When exploring a historic European city, you can’t miss visiting a church. Bruges has the Basilica of the Holy Blood which is a beautiful Renaissance building. It is best known for a small vial that is kept there which contains a cloth with the blood of Jesus Christ on it.
For the best season to visit Bruges you can either go for springtime when the Loppem Castle gardens are in bloom or winter if you’re a Christmas market lover.
Weekdays are also better than weekends if you want to avoid the crowds.
Note that the official language of Bruges is Flemish (similar to Dutch), but English is spoken almost everywhere.
Bruges Travel Resources
13. Lyon, France
The third-largest city in France has a population of over 700,000. Lyon is known for gastronomy and silk, as well as for being where the Lumiere brothers invented photographic equipment that created the first projector cinema.
One of the main reasons Lyon is a great place to visit for solo travelers is it’s an easily walkable city that is safe and has plenty of sights to see. The city is a beautiful place in France to visit as it has lovely cobbled streets and historic buildings.
Lyon is home to some of the most famous landmarks in France, too, such as the World Heritage Lyon Cathedral, Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière (for the best view across Lyon), and Musée des Beaux-Arts. The latter has exhibits of famous European artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse and is built over a former Benedictine convent.
Additionally, Lyon is one of the best places for solo travel because it’s close enough to Paris and easy to get to. Solo travel in Paris is also worthwhile.
But, that’s not all.
You can get around on foot alone without being hassled in Lyon, and many of the attractions are free to visit. English is also widely spoken, and it’s a fantastic city to see if you’re on a budget.
It’s not just about sightseeing, though, as Lyon has so much going on after hours, whether you want to go clubbing, have fun dancing until dawn, or relax by the pool.
Lyon is a city for foodies, with a high concentration of Michelin-star restaurants and lots of great spots to party at night. Head to the Vieux Lyon area for pubs and to mingle with an English-speaking crowd. Along the Rhone, some riverboats serve as nightclubs, lounges, and wine bars.
There are also several festivals in Lyon, including the Fête des Lumieres or the Festival of Lights, which turns the city into a magical fairyland of twinkling lights.
For those who love shopping, Lyon offers everything from designer boutiques to street markets selling local produce. If you’re looking for a unique item, head to one of the many antique shops or flea markets around town.
In short, solo travelers will feel right at home in this cosmopolitan French metropolis! It’s truly one of the best places to travel solo in France.
Lyon Travel Resources
14. Istanbul, Turkey
With its vibrant food scene, incredible history, and picturesque sights, budget-friendly Istanbul in Turkey is easily one of the best cities in Europe for solo travelers.
Formerly the capital of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Istanbul has a plethora of historical sites that are easily accessible on foot or by public transport. Make sure not to miss the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Suleymaniye Mosque in the Sultanahmet area, as these architectural wonders are so beautiful they’ll take your breath away.
Once you’ve had your fill of history, jump on a bus to Balat, a quaint neighborhood with colorful houses, cobbled streets, and a lively cafe scene. It’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon in the city!
Alternatively, head to the Grand Bazaar — one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world — to get your shopping fix. Just remember to haggle when you buy something; this is a Turkish tradition after all!
Istanbul has some fantastic farmer’s markets, too. If you happen to be in the city on a Wednesday, don’t miss the sprawling market in the Fatih District which sells spices, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables.
In the evenings, take a leisurely stroll around the Galata Tower area, which is packed with lively cafes, bars, and bakeries, all of which are great places to strike up a conversation or while away the time with a drink or a book.
Visitors to Istanbul should also make sure to indulge in at least one Turkish breakfast — an extravagant meal with a minimum of 10 different dishes, though sometimes more than 30. It’s an introduction to Turkish food and culture that is like no other.
By the way, Istanbul has a great variety of accommodation options, from fancy hotels to apartments to simple BnBs, meaning that solo travelers have plenty of choices on where to stay. In my opinion, the Cihangir, Beyoglu, and Sisli areas are some of the best neighborhoods.
One of the main reasons that this city is so brilliant for solo travel is the super friendly local people who are always more than happy to recommend places to visit and food to try. Sitting down with an Istanbulite over a cup of Turkish çay (tea) is one of the best ways to get to know the city and if you’re lucky, they’ll tell you about some under-the-radar places to visit, too!
Istanbul Travel Resources
15. Valencia, Spain
Want to experience life as a local in Spain? Like exploring on foot? Love great food? Then consider Valencia, Spain!
A little less visited than some other cities, Valencia is a great solo destination if you are looking for a more authentic Spanish experience.
Plus, Valencia really does have it all when it comes to things to see and do.
The city center in Valencia is historic with tiny streets, cobbles, landmarks, and historic buildings to explore.
Hungry? The food market is an absolute must for delicious treats and there are plenty of squares and courtyards with cafes to enjoy. The food is fabulous, with the best orange juice in Spain from Valencian oranges.
The historic center is hugged on two sides by the old river which is now a public park. Complete with sports areas, gardens, and water features, this is a fantastic place to walk and see local life happening around you. The park leads from the historic center to the City of Arts and Sciences complex with its futuristic buildings in a stunning park setting.
In March, there is the crazy Fallas Festival where teams compete to see who can make the loudest noise with the same amount of gunpowder as each other. There are daily heats in the main square and the festival builds up to an incredible finale where the huge figures made by local groups are set on fire, signifying the end of winter and the start of spring.
The Fallas Museum offers fascinating insight into the history of this event and the hidden meanings behind the figures, which often make strong political statements. Each year one figure is chosen by locals to be saved for the museum.
Valencia is very friendly, with a large town rather than a big city feel. Its smaller size makes it easy to get around on public transport and on foot.
Finally, I would recommend seeing Flamenco in Valencia. The smaller venues mean the emotion of the dance is even more powerful.
Valencia Travel Resources
16. Bologna, Italy
If you’re a solo traveler looking for one of the best places to travel to in Europe, look no further than Bologna, Italy.
Although Bologna is a very old city, dating back to the 9 th century BC, it’s a remarkably young city demographically because of the historic University of Bologna, which happens to be the oldest university in the Western World. The students of the university, founded in 1088, infuse a vibrant buzz and energy into this beautiful city.
Need a change of scenery for a day? Or maybe some world-class wine for a weekend? Bologna is just a quick 45-minute train ride to the more popular and touristy Florence and the Tuscan countryside.
The other large cities of Rome (2 hours 15 minutes) and Venice (1 hour 45 minutes) can be reached pretty easily and quickly by train, making Bologna a great hub for traveling all over Italy’s main attractions.
Stroll through the miles and miles of porticoes — which is just a fancy word for “covered walkways” — in and around Bologna (almost 30 miles in city proper) and visit some of the major landmarks like the iconic dual-leaning towers. These are very matter-of-factly nicknamed “Due Torri” and are protected from anything Mother Nature can think of.
If you’re up for a quintessential Bologna experience involving some good exercise, walk the longest uninterrupted portico in the world!
A total of about 2.3 miles of covered walkway leads you from the historic city center all the way up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, which overlooks Bologna from atop its perch. Along the way, you’ll pass under 666 arches — the meaning of this devilish number has been speculated for years — many of which contain paintings, sculptures, or chapels.
In addition to the rich historical sites, many believe that Bologna is one of the premier “foodie” cities in Italy — if that can even be a thing. And no, we aren’t talking about bologna sandwiches!
But in all seriousness, Bologna boasts some of the best food in Italy; think parmesan, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, tortellini, and tagliatelle al ragù — which you may know better as spaghetti Bolognese. Yum! They all call this region home so you can only imagine the options that await.
With more affordable prices than some of the other major cities, you can enjoy a variety of mouthwatering food at a food hall near the city center.
Don’t forget about the local craft beer movement, either! There is a budding craft beer scene where travelers can make small talk with the Bolognese over some cold local beers.
– By Samantha and Chris from Boozing Abroad
Bologna Travel Resources
17. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira — which is one of my favorite solo travel destinations in Europe — is a relatively remote island in Portugal. Closer to the African continent than to Europe, it is an autonomous region and a well-developed archipelago comprising four islands.
The island is a true hidden gem, and they call it the “Hawaii of Europe”.
And for this reason, the destination is known for its cliffs and dense rain forests that offer unique landscapes. It is a true heaven for photographers and hikers. Madeira is known for its endless trails — which are some of the best hikes in the world — waterfalls, and scenic mountain peaks.
Lately, Madeira has become a hub for solo travelers and digital nomads. The government has been going to great lengths to make it such a destination, and they succeeded.
Funchal, the main city of Madeira, offers a unique charm for independent entrepreneurs. Being financially very affordable and safe, the city has attracted thousands of nomads, especially after the pandemic.
Madeira has lately even opened a digital nomad village. It offers unique opportunities for independent entrepreneurs in terms of stay, networking, and great internet. Launched in mid 2021, the villages witnessed more than 5000 registrations from 90 countries.
Madeira Travel Resources
18. Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre in Italy is a picturesque, compact, and activity-packed destination for solo travelers to consider.
The five villages of this UNESCO World Heritage site are built around coves and beaches with the jewel-box-colored houses seeming to cling to the cliffs. Below is the Ligurian Sea and rising behind the towns are olive groves, orchards, and ancient defensive fortifications.
The Cinque Terre is not accessible by car, and trains, buses, and walking between the towns make for an interesting and hassle-free holiday. The infrastructure is good, trains run very frequently, and English is spoken fluently in many hotels, hostels, restaurants, and by tour companies.
The crowded coastline doesn’t lend itself to large hotels or resorts — the largest ones are up in the hills rather than in the towns themselves — and it is likely as a solo traveler that you’ll meet fellow travelers in the small and charming hotels in the five towns.
Solo women travelers find it safe and it’s common to see women hiking and dining alone in and between the five towns. This also makes it one of the best places in Europe to travel alone as a woman.
Hiking and walking is the reason most people love the Cinque Terre National Park. Trails wind between the five towns, linking them together. These paths all have their own names.
Even seasoned travelers to Italy will fall in love with the country again when they walk through olive groves, fragrant orchards, and past wildflowers with the sparkling sea down below.
Swimming and boating trips are also wildly popular, but so too is visiting the towers, castles, and churches that can be found along the Cinque Terre coastline.
Cinque Terre Travel Resources
19. Paros Island, Greece
Paros Island is one of the Cyclades’ gems and the perfect paradise for solo traveling. Traveling to Paros Island is relatively inexpensive with round trip flights from Dublin, Ireland at around $470.
On the island, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodation options to fit all budgets and socializing preferences, from camping to luxury hotels.
Paros is often described by locals as a more authentic Santorini — and that is exactly what it is. It’s just as beautiful, too.
You can experience this authenticity while roaming the towns of Parikia and Naoussa. Parikia is a typical town with traditional white houses and small touristy streets. You can also watch a beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean Sea from the windmill at the beginning of the Promenade.
Naoussa is another town you should visit. With its port and restaurants right by the water, it is the perfect place to have dinner and enjoy some time by yourself. Recommendation: Order a gyro while you’re there!
While on Paros Island, it’s also recommended to visit the many beautiful beaches. Some of the beaches you should check out are Santa Maria Beach and Golden Beach. Paros is also the perfect place to snorkel or have a drink on the beach.
As for transportation, you have a couple of options on Paros. You could rent a car — although when traveling solo, it can feel like it’s too high of an expense for just one person.
Alternatively, you can take the bus. Paros’ bus system is well organized and inexpensive and take you around to the most famous beaches and towns.
If you want to explore more of the island, you can rent an ATV. ATVs are very common on the island, are easy to drive, and you just need a regular driver’s license to rent one. They are also rather inexpensive and can be rented for one or several days.
Finally, Paros is extremely safe for solo travelers. The locals are very friendly, helpful, and often love giving visitors recommendations.
Paros Island Travel Resources
20. Ljubljana, Slovenia
If you’re wondering what the best places to travel alone in Europe are, I highly recommend getting Ljubljana in Slovenia on your radar.
Not only is the city beautiful, clean, and one of the safest places in Europe for solo female travelers, but the Center District is car-free, which leads to a peaceful atmosphere for exploring the local restaurants, bars, cafes, and markets.
Ljubljana is known for its architecturally-interesting bridges, many museums and cultural institutions, and lovely Ljubljanica River running through the Center District, which adds to this city’s charm — especially when you sit outside with an inexpensive glass of wine or beer. TOZD Bar is a nice place to do this at.
A few other must-have Ljubljana experiences for solo travelers include taking a tour with Watermelon Ljubljana Bike Tours, exploring local eateries with Ljubljananjam Foodwalks, wandering the nature trails around Rožnik Hill, and viewing the experimental art at Metelkova City.
In terms of day trips, getting out into nature is a must! Visit the beautiful Lake Bled in the Julian Alps and hike in the nearby Triglav National Park, do a homestay in the Slovenian countryside, and enjoy one of the many hiking trails in Slovenia.
-Jessie Festa from Jessie on a Journey
Ljubljana Travel Resources
Solo Travel Europe Tips
To help you make the most of your time traveling solo in Europe, here are a few helpful tips.
–Know how to meet people. One of the biggest fears people have when planning for solo travel in Europe is how to overcome loneliness.
The truth is, there are many ways to meet locals while traveling as well as other travelers, such as taking group tours and free walking tours, booking experiences that take you into local homes, attending local meetups through sites like Couchsurfing.org, and going to places frequented by other travelers like bars and cafes.
Fun fact: While traveling solo in Prague I actually made a friend at a local money exchange!
-Consider places with excellent public transportation. Traveling solo means you won’t have anyone to split cab and car rental costs with. Being able to get around by bus and train makes for a more budget-friendly solo trip.
You should also look into a Eurail Pass, which can help you save money if you’ll be traveling around Europe solo by train.
-Pick a travel destination that can also be a great homebase. This may be a personal preference, but for a place to be one of the best places in Europe for solo travel this is a requirement. I like being able to have more time in a place to meet people and get to know the destination.
That being said, I also appreciate places from where I can do day and weekend trips without having to move all of my things constantly.
-Ask your hotel/hostel for an annotated map. In terms of solo travel safety, I recommend always asking your hotel to mark up a map to show you where it’s safe to walk alone and where it’s not. Or, at the very least, ask them to tell you and just note it in your phone so you’re aware.
-Pack important travel safety items. When it comes to travel safety gear, I’m never without a personal alarm. Moreover, knowing how to avoid pickpockets with things like Clever Travel Companion pickpocket-proof garments and hidden-pocket scarves is wise.
Tours In Europe For Solo Travelers
One great way to meet other people while traveling solo in Europe is to book group tours. A few highly-rated Europe tours include:
Renting A Car In Europe
For many destinations in Europe, it can make sense to rent a car, especially if you’ll be exploring remote areas or beautiful countryside places.
Recommendation: Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your rental options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have 10+ tabs open trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Public Transportation In Europe
Getting around Europe by train, bus, or ferry?
Omio is a must! I use this tool for all of my public transportation needs when traveling Europe.
The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.
They even offer flight and car deals!
Hotels In Europe
Looking to pre-book hotels for your Europe solo trip?
Prefer self-contained stays?
You can also use the map below to search for local stays. It’s set to Paris, though you can easily change it based on where you’ll be traveling solo in Europe:
Europe Travel Insurance
When visiting Europe solo — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.
One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
Best Places In Europe To Travel Alone As A Woman [Bonus Guides]
The following guides can help you plan an incredible Europe solo travel itinerary!
What do you think are the best places to travel alone in Europe?
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Solo Travel Europe: 32+ Tips You Need To Know
Paris, Rome, Vienna, Barcelona–there are so many wonderful cities in Europe to explore.
Porto, Gerona, Arles, Assisi–there are many smaller cities and towns worth exploring solo too.
And while the European Union, with its common currency and no borders, makes travel easier than it was in the past, it’s still a challenge in terms of language, cost, accommodation, and getting around.
Here, you will find my top tips for traveling solo in Europe as well as tips (in italics) from members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook . The result is another in our 32 Tips Series that you can find peppered around the site. Here are the ones on European Destinations.
Now, on to the general tips for solo travel in Europe.
Table of Contents
Europe Fast or Slow?
If it’s your first time to Europe you may be inclined to cover as much ground as possible. The continent is diverse and everything seems so close – at least to those of us who live in North America or Australia. But in fact, Europe is a big place. Whether your plan is to go fast or slow, it’s good to focus on a few destinations.
Taking it Fast? Here Are Some Tips:
- How far, how fast? Consider how much time you have. If you plan to travel in the day you will need at least three nights per destination. This will give you about 2 1/2 days in each city before moving on, assuming that your travel time takes at least half a day. Another option is to plan just one day in some places and longer in others. It will work out to about the same pace which, I have found, is about perfect. If you plan to use night trains you can expect to cover more territory in the same amount of time. So, for a 14-day trip, with a travel day on both ends, you could make four stops.
- Getting around efficiently. Trains are an ideal way to get around in Europe as they are frequent, fast, go to just about any destination and land you in the city center. Consider a Eurail Pass and using the night trains so that you spend most of your travel time sleeping and saving money. When traveling solo and sleeping on a train it is important to keep your valuables close at hand. Use a money belt, passport pouch or bra stash. I like the latter two. I stash large items either behind my head stuffed into a makeshift pillow or snuggled under my arm. Read Train Travel: Best Way to Book Tickets – Europe
- Take time to breathe in the city. Even though you want to cover a lot of ground, take a couple of hours to visit a market and chat with vendors or enjoy a park and watch how locals experience it. These are the perfect occasions for you, as a solo traveler, to connect with locals. Travel is not all about major attractions like the Eiffel Tower.
Julie – Consider Eastern Europe (Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Bosnia). Don’t listen to North American news views. They are safe and beautiful.
Ilona – Never leave out the smaller, hidden treasures. I realize when people come to Germany, they focus on the big, famous cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Munich, but the smaller and middle-sized ones are the real “typical” German towns: Bamberg, Nürnberg, Heidelberg, Speyer, Trier etc. T hey are full of history and local and traditional food and beverages. Don’t only focus on the stuff you have heard about before. Try to dig deeper.
Taking it Slow? Here Are Some Tips:
- Carve out a smaller territory to cover. Rather than trying to cover too much of Europe, go to Italy or France or Germany: just choose one. You can also choose to stay for a time in a particular area of one of those countries. To travel slow, keep the scope of your travels under control.
- Stay in one of the smaller cities. It is easier to experience the local culture in smaller cities and towns where it isn’t drowned out by a tourist culture. It is also less expensive. Consider hub and spoke travel, where you stay in one place but visit others. For example, from Bologna I visited a number of small towns in the region as well as Florence and Venice.
- Travel between small cities. Rather than booking a Eurail Pass, buy tickets and travel on the less expensive regional trains. There’s no need to book these in advance but if you plan to use the faster, intercity trains, booking in advance makes good sense.
Shelly – I slow travel and rent a flat for two weeks as a home base. I have used Homeaway, WaytoStay and am using AirBnB this fall. I have a complete apartment to myself and can economize by eating breakfast and some dinners at home. I research using TripAdvisor and other travel sites to find out about great inexpensive places to dine and grocery shop. I also take trains and buses to nearby locations as day trips. Being in one place for two weeks guarantees you will see the same local merchants day after day and get to know them. (Wine drinker tip: see if there is a wine barrel store in the area and fill up your water/soda bottles with some of the local wines. Delicious and inexpensive.)
Getting Around Europe Solo
As usual, to get around Europe you have the choice of trains, planes, buses, or automobiles.
- By train. According to Price of Travel, the pricing strategy of trains in Europe is now similar to that of airlines, so book early. You’ll save money.
- Get the RailPlanner App. This train travel app for Europe is easy to use and has the train schedules for all of Europe. It also features a trip planner and discounts for restaurants and tourist services by country that are available thanks to your Eurail Pass.
- Flitting around Europe by air? Travel light. This is when the choice to travel light is really important. Yes, you can save yourself hours at check-in and in carousel lines by traveling with only carry-on luggage, but if you are using a discount airline you will also need to be very careful about the weight of your carry-on. You’ll be charged extra if it weighs too much. You can always wear heavy items or put them in your purse.
- Auto Europe’s rates include all fees so the price you see is the price you get. That’s not always the case with every company and can result in surprises.
- Online you pay in advance and can cancel up to 48 hours in advance of pick-up. If you cancel less than 48 hours before pick-up there is a $75 cancellation fee. If you book over the phone, you can cancel right up to the day you are scheduled to pick up the car.
- In some cases it can be less expensive to pay for 14 days than 13 days. There is no charge for returning the car early, but also no refund for doing so.
- There are a number of countries outside of Western Europe that are not covered by rental car companies. Call to get these details before booking. On a recent trip, I found that Budget Rent-a-Car did not allow any Eastern European destinations yet Avis did. If your trip will include Eastern Europe, check the fine print of the car rental carefully.
Jenell – MegaBus. I took it to travel from Paris to Brussels and Amsterdam. They also go to London. Price is about €10 if you get it early.
Toby – I just spent 3 months traveling alone through Europe. If you don’t buy a Eurail pass, book your train tickets in advance if possible as they get significantly more expensive as the departure date approaches.
Lauren – My favorite tool for getting around in Europe (well, anywhere, really) is Rome2Rio.com. There’s nothing like it.
Steve – I think as a solo traveler, just go and get lost and find your way. Pick a handful of places and wander. I have had no issues ever finding a place to stay solo. Trains, boats, and long walks. That is the part of the adventure I enjoy most. You have the advantage of walking into any restaurant or hotel and being able to see if it feels right for you. If not, keep moving.
Alejandro – My advice is to just go because Europe is quite easy (and more fun) to explore without planning too much ahead. In fact, a good way to meet locals will be by asking them what to do in their city.
Where to Stay in Europe
Accommodation can be a big-ticket item in travel. And while it may not be an issue for those who can share the cost, it is for solo travelers – we carry the entire cost of accommodation ourselves. B&Bs and hostels are my go-to forms of accommodation. They tend to be affordable and friendly. However, you’ll see in the reader tips below that many solo travelers love renting apartments when they travel. I’ve done this as well and found that I’m most successful with VRBO.com. Check out:
Lauren – The most economical way to live (and meet locals) is to rent a room though AirBnB where you’ll have access to a shared kitchen. I can eat for a week on the same amount I’d spend on a single restaurant meal in Europe if I cook, and renting a room in someone’s home is a great way to make friends and is usually much cheaper than a hotel or even a hostel. I’ve been living in mostly AirBnB lodging for over a year now. I average about $750/month, and mostly live in full apartments. In Europe, though, I wind up renting just one bedroom usually, as prices are high here.
Toby – I used couchsurfing once and it was great. No matter your age, hostels are fine, just get ear plugs and an eye mask.
Europe, Food and Fun
Is it fair to say that Europeans love their food?
I’d say yes. In my experience, they love quality food. Simple food using local ingredients. They often use recipes that have been in the family for generations. Europe is a place that can be explored through its food.
But they also love their history, art, architecture, hiking trails and city walks. Many people start with food as their focal point. I start with history. What’s your interest? Find it and center your explorations around it.
- Do a bit of research.
- Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door. It’s a fabulous resource. You can also get his books for specific countries and for some cities.
- I love the Wallpaper Guides. They really reveal the unique culture of a city. I tested it for Toronto and they were spot on.
- Google the local culture magazine that reviews restaurants and promotes upcoming events. Check Time Out which has sites for many cities.
- Go to the local library. Even if the books are not in your language the librarians may speak English and are usually a good resource of local information.
Toby – Eat outside of tourist areas for the best prices or make your own food. Eat the local food. Ask other travelers what they recommend. On my trips, some of the best things I’ve seen and tasted I learned about from fellow travelers – things that books, websites, and information desks may be unaware of.
Solo Travel Europe on a Budget
Europe can be expensive, but with a bit of research and planning you’ll find many ways to cut costs and enjoy.
- Go to Global Greeter Network and arrange for a free greeter to introduce you to their city.
- Going to a museum? Check their websites for the days that they may be free or reduced rates after a certain hour.
- Depending on the focus of your travels, it may be worthwhile to pick up a city pass that gives you discounts on tours, museums, and more. Here are a few for the more popular cities in Europe: London, Paris, Berlin, Dublin, Rome and Barcelona.
- Don’t change money at airport or train exchange kiosks. They tend to have the worst rates. ATMs at banks are your better option.
- Libraries often have computers you can use for free.
- Get free WiFi with your coffee and go online to do research or connect with family and friends at home.
- Walk or take local transit.
- Read Save Money on Travel: 32+ Tips.
Jasmine – Subscribe to a cheap coupon site like Groupon for the cities you’re visiting. You can get cheap tickets to sights, experiences and restaurants that you might not normally be able to afford.
Cristina – Most big cities have a free walking tour. SANDEMANs Europe tours are the best I’ve experienced. They are free but donations are appreciated. Free tours help you save and learn about the city at the same time.
Daavid – I travel for a minimum of 90 days at a time in Germany and sublet a room in a private apartment. I never spend more than 250 Euros for each month which leaves me plenty of money to do everything that I want to do. Get to know people of little means and learn from them how to get by wherever you are. They have no choice but to know how to get by on a small budget and you will learn a lot from them.
Lauren – I use workaway.info to find volunteer opportunities. Mostly I end up using my marketing background to help small tourism businesses with their websites and marketing, in exchange for free room and board, but there are all kinds of opportunities, from organic farming to helping in the kitchen or front desk of a hostel. Helpx.com is supposed to be a good one, too, but I haven’t used it yet.
Karo – Use inexpensive cities as bases, then use the train to visit the expensive cities.
Toby – Get a SIM card in each country for your phone – fantastic!
A Last Piece of Advice on Traveling Solo to Europe
Charles – Spend wisely. Travel lightly. Communicate effectively. Keep cash on you at all times, but don’t be flashy with it. Have a backup plan for emergency funds, but do NOT use it unless it’s an emergency. People are friendly, don’t be afraid to socialize. Take part in the culture, don’t be a normal tourist, snapping photos every second. Immerse yourself in the experience, you’ll forever hold the memories in your head. Far better than a photo. Pre-plan and stay organized.
35+ Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe: Solo Travel Guide
Are you itching to take your first solo travel vacation but are unsure where to go? Given that there are so many options and considerations, choosing your ideal solo travel destination can be a tough task.
Sadly, there is no magic formula and creating your perfect place to travel alone is a carefully balanced recipe of the following ingredients:
- – e.g. crime, terrorism threat
- Opportunities to meet other people whilst travelling
- Convenience – e.g.travel infrastructure, visa requirements
- Preferred activities – city or country, recharge or adventure?
- Preferred climate
I argue that there’s no such thing as a definitive list of perfect solo travel destinations but, as with many other life decisions, it boils down to balancing competing priorities. That said, it’s good to have a few ideas and inspiration for starters.
To help you make this sometimes difficult choice, we’ll consider why Europe is a great choice for solo travellers and list some of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
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IN THIS ARTICLE
Travelling Alone in Europe
Europe is a fabulous destination for the first-time solo traveller.
It’s relatively safe, easy to travel around and offers a vast choice of cultures and cuisine. Thanks to the European Union, many countries share a common currency and there are no borders to navigate, making country-hopping a breeze.
In fact, solo travel surveys indicate that nearly half of all seasoned travellers recommend Europe as the ideal destination for those travelling alone for the first time.
I’ve lived in London for many years and have been lucky to travel to most European countries, from the fairytale town of Colmar to the artistic treasures of Urbino.
That said, there are places in Europe that are more suited to solo travel than others.
Public transport and infrastructure are better in some destinations, and other places offer a vibrant and friendly local culture. If your travel budget is a consideration, the cost of living is lower in some places than in others.
Best Places to Visit in Europe as a Solo Traveller: City Breaks
1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
By Umang of Travelmax
Amsterdam is a great place in Europe for solo travellers to visit.
The city has a large and vibrant community of travellers, be it leisure travellers or freelance digital nomads.
People hang out at hostels or connect with each other through communities such as Meetup or Couchsurfing. These hostels have a lot of regular events which are also open to those not staying there.
Couchsurfing events are a great way to meet locals in addition to fellow travellers (I remember joining a meet-up of Spanish-speaking folks in Amsterdam, which was such fun!).
In addition to this thriving community, Amsterdam is also home to tons of museums. If you have even a little curiosity regarding history or art, you can spend hours here, not really caring about having company.
Getting around Amsterdam is easy and it’s a convenient base for day trips to other Dutch cities. The excellent tram network, comfortable buses and cycling infrastructure are a real boon for a solo traveller in Amsterdam.
The best sights in Amsterdam are the museums and Dam Square. The Jordaan area is also a good place to spend an evening chilling in cafes and pubs.
If you feel more adventurous, cross the river and go to the Noord region to enjoy the I AM HOLLAND experience and Adam’s Lookout. The former experience gives you an epic virtual tour of The Netherlands, while the latter offers a stunning view of the city.
2. Athens, Greece
By Chrysoula of Athens and Beyond
Athens is a wonderful destination for solo travellers. Not only is it friendly, welcoming and easy to get around, but it is also home to some spectacular attractions.
You won’t want to miss out on these just because you don’t have a travel buddy.
With relatively cheap flights from Europe and beyond, some great hostels and an excellent range of bars, restaurants and cafes, Athens is an amazing destination for solo travellers taking a weekend break and for those travelling more extensively across Europe.
Choose centrally located accommodation in Athens so you can easily walk around the top sights.
These include the Acropolis (and Acropolis Museum), the Ancient Agora, Monastiraki, Plaka and Syntagma Square. Thankfully there are so many options within this area that you won’t be hard pushed to find a decent hotel or Airbnb.
Athens also has some awesome tours that you can take (e.g. Local Food Tours, Street Art Tours) which are a great way to interact with both locals and other travellers.
As Athens has both easy-to-use public transport and taxis, you’ll be able to explore the city safely. There are also some fun day trips that can be taken as tours out of the city.
3. Belgrade, Serbia
By Maggie of The World Was Here First
If you’re looking for the perfect solo travel destination in Europe, you really can’t go wrong with Belgrade, Serbia.
The capital of Serbia has lots to offer visitors and it is a great place to visit alone. There are countless things to do in Belgrade over two or three (or more!) days and the atmosphere of the city, along with the gregarious nature of the locals, make it ideal to visit on your own.
Belgrade is a popular city amongst backpackers and there are countless hostels throughout the city, where it is easy to meet other like-minded travellers.
There are also numerous free walking tours of the city’s neighbourhoods. Ideal for meeting others while learning about the destination.
Belgrade locals are also easy-going and sociable and easy to talk to, so you never truly have to feel alone when visiting this dynamic city.
Some of the top sites in Belgrade include the fascinating Old Town, the wonderful pedestrian street of Knez Mihailova and, of course, the sprawling Kalemegdan fortress park overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. There are also a number of interesting museums where you can learn more about Belgrade’s history plus a great nightlife scene to experience.
All in all, Belgrade is an excellent place to visit in Europe if you are travelling alone.
4. Bruges, Belgium
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Picture-postcard perfect Bruges is an idyllic destination for those travelling alone in Europe and an essential part of any Belgium itinerary.
It is picturesque, safe, easy to get to and there are lots of things to do. As it is a compact and walkable city, it is simple to navigate.
Bruges is famous for its meandering canals that lace their way through its perfectly preserved medieval centre, its magnificent Belfry, world-class museums and, of course, Belgian beer.
But for my money, one of the best things to do in this charming city is to take a self-guided Bruges chocolate tour. Belgium produces some of the finest chocolate in the world, and this is the ideal place to try the best of the best from the city’s artisan producers.
5. Brussels, Belgium
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
The Belgian capital is one of Europe’s liveliest cities. With just one day in Brussels, you can soak up its medieval architecture and stuff yourself silly with beer, waffles and chocolate.
The UNESCO-listed Grand Place is at the heart of Brussels’ city centre and is lined with porticoed and frilly, late medieval buildings. This is also where the city’s Christmas market takes place.
On the eastern side of the city, old architecture gives way to sleek skyscrapers, including the headquarters of the European Union.
Lovers of cartoons should follow the Comic Strip Walk or visit the Belgian Comic Strip Centre.
Brussels is also the best base from which to visit other Belgian cities. Ones for your bucket list include lovely Leuven and its botanic garden (De Kruidtuin Leuven), Mechelen and Hasselt (don’t miss the Jenever Museum and Japanse Tuin Hasselt).
6. Budapest, Hungary
By Disha of Disha Discovers
There are so many great places to travel alone in Europe and Budapest is one of them.
Budapest is a safe city to visit, even at night. However, as with any big city, take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Also, Budapest is easy to navigate. The trams and buses are simple to use, there are lots of helpful maps that will guide you from place to place and the majority of the signs are written in English.
Budapest has great hostels and hotels, world-class attractions and first-rate restaurants and pubs that won’t break the bank. As a solo traveller, you can find anything within your budget.
Some of the most iconic things to do in Budapest include the Parliament House, Dohany Street Synagogue, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Jewish Quarter, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, and Szechenyi Spa Baths.
>>> Are you looking for motivation to book your solo trip to Europe? If so, check out these inspirational quotations about travelling alone.
7. Cologne, Germany
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
For a German city with a rich historical legacy, visit Cologne.
It is best known for the UNESCO-listed Cologne Cathedral, one of the greatest churches in Christendom, and its toilet water, Eau de Cologne.
Germany’s fourth-largest city is also home to the busiest railway bridge in the world, Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke), which is smothered in love locks. The other highlights of Cologne include its 12 great Romanesque churches, the Old Town’s squares and buildings and its insanely popular Chocolate Museum.
Last but not least, don’t leave town before trying the local Kölsch, the delicious local brew which has a hoppy and slightly sweet taste.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Denmark’s capital city is effortlessly cool.
Copenhagen has the lot. A historic city centre with cobbled streets and candy-coloured gabled houses; a cutting-edge design scene and trendy shops, bars and restaurants.
Paying your respects to The Little Mermaid is pretty much obligatory but manage your expectations. At just four feet tall, she is a little underwhelming.
One of the best things to do in Copenhagen is to take a canal cruise from Nyhavn and Ved Stranden, allowing you to see the city from a different perspective. With its crayon-hued houses, the former rough sailors’ district of Nyhavn has been transformed into the poster child of Copenhagen.
Finally, for a different side of Copenhagen, stroll through the hash-perfumed community of Freetown Christiana. There are not many cities that have a main drag called Pushers Street.
9. Dubrovnik, Croatia
By Kami of Kami & The Rest of the World
Dubrovnik, the gem of the Adriatic coast in Croatia, is a perfect destination for solo travellers. As it’s not a dangerous city, you don’t need to take special safety precautions; just use your common sense like anywhere else and you will be fine.
With all the great things to do in Dubrovnik, you will be busy all day long with sightseeing.
Be sure to walk the city walls around the Old Town. The views from there are incredible and with the ticket, you can also visit Fort Lovrijenac just outside the Old Town.
Fans of Game of Thrones will recognise many of Dubrovnik’s sights from their television screen. One of the best activities in Dubrovnik though is just wandering around its narrow streets and enjoying the atmosphere of the town.
The city is very popular among tourists, especially in the summer season, but once the crowds are gone Dubrovnik is bliss.
10. Dublin, Ireland
By Emer and Nils of Let’s Go Ireland
By day and by night, Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, has a diverse range of attractions to offer. As a solo tourist, you will feel right at home and have a packed Dublin itinerary exploring the city, its culture and top-class tourist sights.
The must-see attractions include the Guinness Storehouse with an unbeatable view of the Dublin skyline from the Gravity Bar, Trinity College and the medieval manuscript of the Book of Kells and the latest treasures found in the Chester Beatty Library.
Dublin is designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Join in the fun at the James Joyce Bloomsday Festival in June, or visit the Museum of Modern Literature to get a taste of Irish Literature at its finest.
If you want to learn more about the country’s history, visit Kilmainham Gaol, the birthplace of modern Ireland
Ireland’s capital is an excellent base for day trips with many locations to choose from, so you won’t have to bother renting a car. From Howth harbour outside the city centre (reachable by train) to the Cliffs of Moher or to the Giant’s Causeway, you will be spoilt for choice!
In the evenings, you can enjoy some great live music in the many pubs around the city. There is always music in Temple Bar, but it can be very touristy.
Try some of these other pubs for a more authentic atmosphere. Don’t worry about being by yourself, it is very easy to strike up a conversation with most Irish people!
11. Glasgow, Scotland
By Kathi of Watch Me See
As a solo traveller, do you want to visit a city that is friendly and welcoming, gentle on your wallet, filled with fun people and dotted with amazing things to do? Look no further than Glasgow, Scotland.
The city’s slogan “People Make Glasgow” could not be more true. The locals are super friendly, whether you need help with directions to want to meet new people in the pub.
There are numerous budget-friendly accommodation options from great hostels to quirky boutique guest houses. Most attractions and museums are free to visit, which makes it easy to soak up as much of Glasgow’s history, art and culture as possible.
Glasgow has also many fantastic green spaces and a colourful street art trail with massive murals. There are several street food markets, cool shops filled with local designs and of course endless pubs with live music and banter.
I highly recommend taking a history tour with Glasgow Women’s Library and looking into the city’s historic involvement with the slave trade, signs of which can be seen in street names and buildings around the city.
And that’s just in the city.
Glasgow is also a great place to base yourself if you want to take day trips to the Scottish countryside. Other cities like Stirling and Edinburgh are within easy reach. Beautiful castles, stunning Highland scenery and several Scottish islands are on your doorstep.
All of this and more makes Glasgow a perfect place to visit as a solo traveller.
12. Gothenburg, Sweden
By Roshni of The Wanderlust Within
Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg is an underrated destination compared to the capital, Stockholm. But as the world’s most sustainable destination four times in a row, it’s a European city that will inspire any solo traveller.
Gothenburg is a very walkable city, filled with beautiful botanical gardens, local designer shops, and a strong Swedish fika culture. Gothenburg is a paradise for foodies and has a much more affordable price tag compared to Stockholm.
With free walking tours, it’s easy for solo travellers to make friends and explore quaint neighbourhoods such as Haga, which is famous for baking the largest cinnamon rolls in Sweden.
The best time of year to visit the city is December for the Gothenburg Christmas markets. This is when the whole city turns into a festive winter wonderland.
Gothenburg has four Christmas markets, but the main one is Sweden’s largest and is found at Liseberg Amusement Park. Liseberg is an icon in Sweden and includes thrilling rollercoaster rides, a seasonal ice skating show and over 80 Christmas stalls and shops.
The Christmas markets have a host of festive food choices, including a Swedish Christmas buffet dinner that is served on one long table so solo travellers can mingle together.
13. Helsinki, Finland
By Jordan of Inspired by Maps
Modest Helsinki, or Finland, might not be top of your list when considering places for a solo Europe escape, but it should be.
Tucked away in the northeast of Europe, Helsinki is an enigma; an excellent secret destination full of local charm and personality but minus the crowds. A short vacation with a difference.
Not only is it wonderfully weird and completely original, but it is utterly welcoming to everyone. And it is oh so safe! Helsinki is one of the safest cities in the world, and you can walk everywhere during the day without worry.
Finns are shy, reserved and independent, and love to spend time alone. However, this adds to Helsinki’s appeal as a solo travel destination since most of its attractions can easily be undertaken by one person.
Dining alone, drinking coffee, sauna, you name it; being solo here is completely normal. And, especially as a female traveller, it would be unheard of for someone to come up and harass you for being alone.
Strolling around Helsinki is like being in an outdoor museum of architecture, with an eclectic mish-mash of magnificent neoclassical architecture, art nouveau constructs, and modern design. Inside top highlights include the Kiasma Museum, the Löyly Sauna, the Amos Rex, and the Moomin store.
And don’t forget to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Suomenlinna Island Fortress. You might not know much about Helsinki before visiting, but you’ll never forget it afterwards.
14. Krakow, Poland
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
If you are looking for a budget-friendly solo travel destination with a first-rate bar scene, Krakow could be just the ticket. This is a city that hasn’t sold its soul to tourism, and where it is possible to feast on a meal for 15 PLN washed down with a glass of craft beer for 5 PLN (around 4 GBP).
Join one of its excellent free walking tours – I loved the one exploring Krakow’s Royal Road – to meet like-minded travellers. However, the whole city has a social vibe.
Reflect on Krakow’s tragic past by visiting Kazimierz, the city’s old Jewish Quarter, the former Jewish ghetto in Podgorze and the neighbouring Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory. For many people, the chance to take a day trip to Auschwitz is reason enough to visit Krakow.
For something a little different, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a labyrinthine network of tunnels lacing through the mine’s salty depths. Just 12km south-east of Kraków, this is an easy day trip from Krakow.
15. La Valletta, Malta
By Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
La Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a great European destination for solo travellers.
It’s delightfully compact, with stone buildings piled on top of each other higgledy-piggledy. The entire Valletta peninsula is only a couple of kilometres long, so you can easily explore the whole city on foot. Just be prepared to climb lots of stairs.
Most locals here speak fluent English, so it’s easy to make new friends
Valletta’s role as the headquarters of the Knights of Malta from the 16th to 18th Centuries is a very important part of the city’s history, and many of its best sights relate to this period. The knights’ armoury can be visited inside the Palace of the Grand Masters, though the palace now serves as the parliament and president’s office, so most of it is off-limits.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the interior is covered head to toe in marble and frescoes and is incredibly ornate. If you love art, be sure to visit the Cathedral Museum, which displays two paintings by Caravaggio, who was once a knight himself.
And Valletta is the perfect base from which to explore the rest of this small island nation. Across the harbour from Valletta are three other cities: Birgu, Senglea and Bormla.
Most locals here speak fluent English, so it’s easy to make new friends.
Finally, don’t leave Valletta without trying some of the traditional Maltese foods like bigilla and pastizzi.
16. London, England
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
I may be biased, but my home town of London is one of the very best places to travel alone in Europe.
London has a cultural scene that is second-to-none, with world-class museums, including the British Museum, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, a theatrical and musical landscape to accommodate all tastes, excellent restaurants and, of course, a lively drinking culture.
Meet fellow travellers on one of the many walking tours – I recommend one of the London street art tours. Or tick off many of London’s landmarks by taking a stroll along the Victoria Embankment or the South Bank.
Or see the sights from the water by taking a boat ride along the Thames (for the more adventurous you can ride in a RIB!). This is a great way to fully appreciate London’s magnificent bridges.
On those rainy afternoons (and we do get a few of these!), visit a museum or gallery, get a bargain ticket for a theatre matinee performance, see a new cinematic release or an old classic or linger over a book in a coffee shop.
Finally, if you want a break from city life, take one of the many easy day trips from London, including Bohemian Brighton, the golden dunes of Camber Sands, the dreaming spires of Oxford and the Georgian splendour of Bath.
17. Lyon, France
By Leyla of Offbeat France
Lyon may be a big city – it is France’s 2nd or 3rd, depending on your source – but that is precisely what makes it perfect for the solo traveller: an abundance of choice.
If you’re new to Lyon, go see the murals.
These are scattered along the edges of the Old Town, as well as here and there throughout the rest of the city. They not only look realistic, but are huge and provide a strong sense of Lyon’s personality.
Lyon is considered France’s gastronomic heartland and if you believe French food is sublime, Lyon is amazing when it comes to food.
There are plenty of great restaurants but try a bouchon, a typical Lyonnais eatery. If the heavy fare is daunting, head for Les Halles Paul Bocuse, a covered market filled with shops that sell every kind of food you could expect to find in Lyon, and more.
Just bring along a large appetite.
Wandering around Old Lyon is always a pleasure, as is visiting the Roman Fourvière theatre. But for an intriguing view of Lyon, two things should grab your attention, both related to silk, of which Lyon was for years France’s main supplier.
The first is the traboules in the old town: these are ancient tunnels that allowed weavers to carry bolts of silk from building to building without getting them wet when it rained.
The second must-see sights are the silk establishments on the Croix-Rousse hill; these are shops, or old buildings where workshops were once located, topping it off with a visit to the Maison des Canuts, the silk museum.
Lyon is perfectly safe for solo travellers during the day, but in the evening it is best to stick to the more touristed parts of town. It is, after all, a major city.
18. Munich, Germany
By Maria of Europe Up Close
Munich is a great destination for solo travellers to Europe.
The city has a friendly, supportive small-town feel but, at the same time, it is metropolitan enough to nurture a thriving traveller and ex-pat scene.
Munich has a good choice of accommodation and its public transport is excellent and easy to navigate, allowing you to explore every part of the city.
Here are some of the must-dos in Munich:
Munich Beer Halls. Everyone knows the Hofbräuhaus, but there are quite a few others that are not quite as touristy, like the Paulaner, or the Weißes Brauhaus.
What is great about these beer halls is that they usually have community tables that you share with others. That makes it easy to connect with other guests and chat.
Swimming in the Isar. If you travel to Munich in the summer, pack your swimsuit and go to the Isar Beaches. That is where the locals hang out and it is easy to connect with others.
Go on a Walking Tour. Munich has a lot of history and a walking tour is fun, inexpensive (sometimes even free), and you can meet other travellers. To get some non-touristy recommendations, ask the guide for his favourite bars and restaurants
Pro Tip: If a restaurant is busy and does not have empty tables, it is customary to join a party already seated. Simply ask if the seat is taken, and if they nod in approval you can join them.
This is a great way to find some company during meals if you are travelling alone.
19. Nuremberg, Germany
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is both a wonderful destination for solo travellers in its own right and a fabulous base from which to explore Bavaria by train.
Nuremberg Old Town is home to magnificent medieval buildings, a thousand-year-old castle, Germany’s tiniest (and some say tastiest) bratwurst and one of the country’s biggest and best Christmas markets. But Nuremberg is perhaps best known for its dark Nazi past, as the city where Hitler liked to throw a really big party.
Easy day trips from Nuremberg include UNESCO-listed Bamberg, home to the smokiest beer on the planet, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the medieval city that inspired the Disney animation Pinocchio.
20. Paris, France
By Stephanie of The World As I See It
One of the best places to visit in Europe for solo travellers is Paris, France.
Easy public transport, many people speaking different languages and an abundance of fellow travellers help make Paris a great city to visit solo.
It’s also a relatively safe city to visit if you are travelling alone. You can easily walk around many of the popular neighbourhoods and take the metro at night without feeling uncomfortable.
There are so many amazing things to do in Paris as a solo traveller.
Paris’s top attractions include a visit to the Eiffel Tower, browsing the many museums like the Louvre and D’Orsay, people-watching at one of the hundreds of cafes, and strolling down the Champs-Elysees.
And don’t forget to grab a baguette and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a picnic in one of the many lovely parks.
Some other great things that you visit in Paris are the Catacombs – if you dare! – and the stunning churches that dot the city, like Sacre-Coeur and Saint-Sulpice.
So, make sure you plan at least four days in Paris for your next solo adventure. It will be epic!
21. Prague, Czech Republic
By Marika of Clumsy Girl Travels
Prague is one of the prettiest medieval cities in the world and one of the best places to travel solo with lots to see and do.
Take a walking tour. Several companies offer free walking tours of the old town, the castle and even some lesser-known neighbourhoods, and this is a great way to meet other people who are travelling alone.
Enjoy a beer at Letna Park Beer Garden or Strahov Monastery. Both places offer spectacular views of the city.
Visiting a quirky museum like the Beer Museum (which includes a beer tasting), the Chocolate Museum or the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians, where you learn the darker side of Prague’s history.
Along with things to do during the day, Prague has an excellent nightlife and food scene worth checking out. If you want dinner and a show, you should book a medieval dinner show or a dinner show with traditional Czech dancing.
If you want to party, Prague has a few pub crawls worth checking out.
With its colourful architecture, cobblestoned streets and countless things to do you are bound to have the best time exploring Prague on your own.
22. Pristina and Prizren, Kosovo
By Cass of Cassie the Hag
If you are travelling alone in Kosovo, make sure you visit its capital, Pristina, and its cultural heart, Prizren.
Solo travel in Kosovo feels safe, the locals are friendly and welcoming, especially at local cafes such as Half&Half Cafe in Pristina.
Hostels are well maintained and also very cheap (4 euros for both dorm rooms and meals!).
Bus routes between key cities are not only very budget-friendly but easy to navigate.
Pristina, Europe’s newest capital, is trendy and home to underrated street art and to a diverse range of eateries, including modern and vegan cafes. Look out for the National Library, one of the world’s ugliest buildings, and the Bill Clinton statue (yep, he’s quite the hero in Kosovo!).
More cultural gems include the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa.
In Prizren, the Prizren Fortress has spectacular views over the city. There are also many museums to learn more about European, and more specifically Balkan, history.
Nature lovers and keen hikers can also take a day trip to Peja, where there are scenic trails, or journey to one of the less well-known national parks.
23. Reims, France
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Reims is one of the loveliest cities in France, known for its magnificent cathedral and its champagne houses, all of which are UNESCO-listed.
Beneath Reims is a labyrinth of 200 km of caves that provide the perfect environment for the second fermentation of champagne. This is the shared real estate for the city’s champagne houses.
It’s very easy to put together a DIY champagne tour of Reims, even if you are travelling alone. From the Disneyesque Champagne Pommery to the elegance of Taittinger, there’s a champagne house for everyone (and far worse ways of spending a day).
With flying buttresses a-plenty and an enigmatic smiling angel, Notre Dame de Reims is one of Europe’s great Gothic cathedrals. This was the coronation site for most of the French kings and its architecture set the mould for cathedrals to follow.
24. St. Petersburg, Russia
By Ellis of Backpack Adventures
Due to the ongoing geopolitical situation, travel to Russia is not currently recommended. For current travel advice, check the advice of the UK FCO here.
St Petersburg in Russia is not only a gem of a city but is also one of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
Some of the major costs for solo travellers are taxis and hotels. However, St. Petersburg has an excellent public transport system that is easy to navigate.
Furthermore, the city has lots of hostels where it is easy to meet other travellers.
There are lots of solo travel-friendly things to do.
First of all, St. Petersburg is full of interesting museums that you can explore at your own pace. The most famous of these is the Hermitage, where you can easily spend a whole day.
As well as the museums, there are the 18th and 19th-Century palaces of the Romanov tsars and their families. These European palaces are not only worth a visit because of their opulent and extravagant rooms inside, but also for their beautiful palace gardens.
St Petersburg is a year-round destination. Visit in the summer for the long nights and to see the bridges open up over the Neva River. Go to St Petersburg in winter for cold, snowy days and the beauty of the frozen Neva.
25. Salzburg, Austria
By Carolyn of Holidays to Europe
With an abundance of stunning architecture, a pretty old town and its connection to some musical icons, both classical and modern, the Austrian city of Salzburg is a wonderful destination for solo travellers. And the city’s excellent public transport connections to Austria and beyond make it one of the best places to visit in Europe.
Top sights in Salzburg include the Cathedral, the 12th Century Residenz, Mozart’s Birthplace and Hohensalzburg Fortress, an imposing castle atop a hill overlooking the city. All can be found close to the Old Town in the compact centre of the city.
Getreidegasse and Linzer Gasse, two of Salzburg’s most famous streets, are the places for retail therapy or to find the perfect souvenir. Amongst the shops and boutiques, you’ll find one of the city’s specialities on sale, a chocolate ball with a marzipan centre known as a Mozartkugel.
A short walk from the Old Town, and across the Salzach River, the Mirabell Palace and gardens are well worth a visit. Most visitors flock to the steps in front of Rose Hill to re-enact a famous scene from The Sound of Music.
Salzburg can be easily explored alone on foot, on a hop-on-hop-off bus, or even by horse-drawn carriage. But if you’d prefer some company, the Tourist Office offers a number of guided city tours every day.
26. Sibiu, Romania
By Jade of The Migrant Yogi
Sibiu, a small city in Romania’s southern Transilvania, is an ideal destination in Europe for the solo traveller.
First and foremost, Romania in general, and Sibiu in particular, are super safe.
Walking home alone at night is not a problem, even as a solo female traveller. There are people who will approach you at restaurants and ask for money if you’re sitting outside, but there are no aggressive tactics employed.
Sibiu is small and pedestrian-friendly, important if you’re not partial to taking public transportation. You’ll be able to walk amongst its colourful buildings and get lost in the winding cobblestone streets of the Old Town
There’s no shortage of things to do in Sibiu, including restaurants serving delicious food, an impressive number of museums and open-air markets. You’ll never be bored in the European Cultural Capital in 2007.
If you’re partial to nature, Sibiu is located in the Carpathian Basin. There is plenty of hiking and trekking options nearby, not to mention some gorgeous green parks.
The people of Romania are very friendly and English is widely spoken among the younger generations.
Whether you’re exploring Sibiu solo for a few days or a few months, this charming city will not disappoint.
27. Split, Croatia
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
For my money, Split is one of the most extraordinary cities in Europe. Over the millennia its UNESCO World Heritage Site of Diocletian’s Palace has morphed into the tangle of churches, chapels and houses that now form Split’s medieval hub.
This is truly living history, not some dry, roped-off archaeological site.
Game of Thrones fans are also in luck. Some of its scenes were filmed in Diocletian’s Palace and a Split Game of Thrones tour is on offer.
Split is also home to one of the most bizarre museums I have ever visited (Froggyland) and a supermarket that is UNESCO-protected.
As this is a popular port of call for cruise ships, it’s good to get off the beaten track in Spilt. Away from the day-trippers, there is a wonderful walk along the Marjan Peninsula to Telegrin, its highest point.
28. Vienna, Austria
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
For elegant cafe culture with a twist of Mozart, Vienna is one of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
With its imperial architecture, magnificent museums, classical music scene and cafes galore, Austria’s capital is a superb destination for the solo traveller at any time of year.
Take a journey from Ancient Rome to the Renaissance by exploring the vast collection of the Kunsthistoriches Museum. Visit Schloss Schönbrunn, one of the Hapsburg Empire’s palaces, in all its gilded glory.
But perhaps the jewel in Vienna’s crown is the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908).
Finally, if you are visiting Vienna at Christmas, don’t leave the city before washing down a plate of Bratkartoffeln with glühwein (mulled wine) at one of the city’s Christmas markets.
29. Wroclaw, Poland
By Veronika of Travel Geekery
Wroclaw, Poland’s 4 th largest city, is a hidden gem in Central Europe and is an ideal solo travel destination for several reasons.
First, it’s easy to get there, whether you want to fly in or prefer taking the bus or the train.
Second, it’s safe. I wandered around in the evening and never felt unsafe. A close friend who calls Wroclaw home swears by the city’s safety too.
Third, it’s just so easy to walk around and explore. You can use public transport (trams & buses), but it’s easy to see Wroclaw’s main sights on foot as they’re located within a walking distance of each other.
In the heart of Wroclaw Old Town lies the Market Square with beautiful merchant houses and a monumental Old Town Hall. Many visitors to Wroclaw enjoy tracing the famous Wroclaw dwarfs.
Walk through Butcher’s Street and then stroll all the way to the lovely Tumski Island with its impressive cathedrals.
This beautiful city doesn’t attract many visitors, yet there’s so much to see and do in Wroclaw.
Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe: Natural Wonders
30. Bansko, Bulgaria
By Sarah of Lets Grow Cook
Bansko is Bulgaria’s largest ski resort and one of the cheapest places to ski in Europe. But this mountain town is so much more than a ski resort.
Bansko is located two hours from Sofia and 2.5 hours from Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city, and is served by great public transport connections. There are lots of places to stay here; self-catering accommodation, small family-run hotels and larger ones too, some with pools.
There are two great co-working locations here in Bansko and, as such, the town has a great social life for solo travellers. With co-living spaces and hostels available, plus apartments for US$180 a month, there are cheap options for places to stay as a single traveller.
The town is easy to navigate on foot and there are great hiking and mountain biking activities with superb groups on Facebook for visitors to find out about activities with others.
Eating out is cheap, with a great selection of Bulgarian mehanas, alongside more international foods. You’ll also find takeaway and delivery options too.
From May onwards there are free outdoor festivals, including the Bansko Jazz festival, which has run for more than 20 years.
31. Highlands of Scotland
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Studded with deep lochs and soaring mountains, the Scottish Highlands is blessed with some of the most dramatic scenery on the planet.
Better still, its abundance of outdoor activities provides ample opportunities for solo travellers to meet other people. If you prefer solitude, solo hiking is relatively safe as long as you don’t too far off the beaten path.
And if you love train travel as much as I do, you’re in luck. From catching the Caledonian Sleeper from London to the magical Harry Potter scenic train between Fort William and Mallaig, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring trips.
Base yourself in Fort William to ride the Jacobite steam train and visit glorious Glencoe. Make the lovely city of Inverness your second base, the jumping-off point for Loch Ness and the historic Culloden battlefield.
32. Lake Bled, Slovenia
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Lovely Lake Bled is the jewel in Slovenia’s crown.
This picturesque corner of Europe has many of the ingredients for a perfect solo travel break.
Slovenia is cheap by European standards, it’s relatively safe and has a good travel infrastructure.
Lake Bled has an abundance of walking trails, a castle perched on a hillside and an enigmatic island to visit. Traditional boats plough the turquoise waters of the lake, but if you prefer to confine your travelling to dry land, there’s the super scenic Bohinj Railway.
Lake Bled is a mecca for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and joining an organised tour to go canyoning / underground kayaking / ziplining / river rafting (delete as appropriate) is a fantastic way to meet other travellers.
If food and wine are more your thing, join a wine tasting session – Slovenian wines are very quaffable – and don’t leave town before biting into a slice of feather-light Lake Bled Cake.
33. Lake District, England
By Demi of Around The World With Her
The North of England has a reputation as being extremely friendly, making the area a great place to visit for a solo traveller. The Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a wonderfully friendly destination.
Full of quaint towns and villages, the Lake District is very visitor friendly. Base yourself in a small town such as Ambleside or Windermere to be in the best possible location.
The main activity for most visitors is hiking, something that can easily be done as a solo traveller. Views around the Lake District are incredible, so don’t forget your camera.
Local buses mean it is easy to get from town to town.
You can also travel a lot of the lakes by steamer boat. These traditional ferry boats are a great way to see the scenery from a different angle.
Or rent a bike and explore some of the cycle trails.
The Lake District is the kind of place where you say hello to everyone you meet whilst you are out and about.
If the sun is out, you will find everyone sitting in the afternoon in a scenic garden, enjoying a traditional English roast. Wander alone into any old English pub in the Lake District, and you are sure to make friends in a matter of minutes.
34. Northern Norway
By Alexander of Engineer On Tour
For natural wonders, Northern Norway is one of the best places to travel alone in Europe. From Arctic-connected Tromso up to Bodo, the “gateway to the North”, the things you can witness are incredible.
Why is it an excellent place for a solo traveller?
Well, I usually prefer going to big party destinations, like Madrid or Berlin, together with friends. But when it comes to nature destinations, I prefer going alone, especially if it is something challenging like mountainous Norway.
Norway allows you to test yourself, and somehow, after returning home, you feel stronger.
Northern Norway connects world-famous mountain views and small comfortable towns. But you don’t need to just visit tourist places.
Unknown fjords are just as beautiful. If you go alone, you can easily choose routes, hike difficulty, and type of landscape according to your preferences and fitness.
If you go to Northern Norway, make sure you visit Tromso, the centre of Arctic Exploration and Saami culture. Make it on a ship through the Northern archipelago and long Raften Pass. And visit the jewel of Northern Norway – the Lofoten Islands.
35. Provence, France
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
The ease with which you can explore Provence by train as a solo traveller, fields filled with fragrant lavender, ancient Roman ruins, picture-perfect walled medieval cities and some of the best food and wine in the world. These are just some of the reasons why this region of France is perfect for those who are travelling alone.
During a week in Provence, you can explore the ‘three As” – the historic cities of Avignon, Arles and Aix-en-Provence. For the history buffs amongst you, visit the amphitheatre at Orange and the sensational Pont du Gard, the tallest aqueduct bridge of the Roman world.
Moving south, spend a day in revitalised Marseilles, visiting the MuCEM, Marseille’s Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, before relaxing in the quintessential Provençal portside town of Cassis.
And, of course, in summer there are the lavender and sunflower fields in full bloom.
Did you know that an Interrail Pass can save you time and money when you are travelling in Europe?
36. Reykjavik, Iceland
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
It’s safe to say that Iceland isn’t the most budget-friendly destination for those travelling alone.
However, its crime rate approaches zero and, as a solo female traveller, harassment is also rare. It is easy to book excursions online or via one of the agencies in downtown Reykjavik, and Iceland is also a mecca for outdoor activities.
And there are tips and tricks for cutting costs when you visit Iceland.
Although in and of itself, Reykjavik is a superb solo city break, it is the access it provides to Iceland’s natural wonders that makes it outstanding.
Take a day tour of the Golden Circle, a 300 km circular route that loops from Reykjavik into central Iceland, to explore the country’s rugged interior. Soak your cares away in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon whilst sipping on a cool Icelandic beer.
Yes. Iceland is expensive but you can cut costs as a solo traveller by bagging a good deal on accommodation and exercising self-restraint when drinking alcohol and eating out.
And the relatively high cost of booze means that, unlike some other European cities, such as Tallinn, Reykjavik is yet to become stag party central. And surely that has to be a good thing?
37. Zermatt, Switzerland
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
If you are yearning to hike amongst mountain peaks, one of the best places to travel alone in Europe is Zermatt.
The appeal of the town itself and the relative ease with which you can explore its surroundings makes Zermatt a fantastic solo travel destination at any time of year.
The star of the show is the mighty Matterhorn, piercing the sky above the town like a harpoon tip.
To get the best view of the mountain, take a ride on the Gornergrat Railway. From here, there are also great hiking trails through mountain valleys and along woodland paths scattered with pine cones, accompanied by the soundtrack of gurgling mountain streams and distant cowbells.
To reach Zermatt, take the Glacier Express from St. Moritz, one of the world’s great train journeys.
Best Places for Solo Travel in Europe: Countries
The eagle-eyed amongst you may be wondering why destinations in Italy, Spain and Portugal do not feature on this list of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
This is not because they are not great destinations for the solo traveller, but because it is impossible to narrow the choice down to one or two destinations in each of these countries.
Solo traveller destinations in Italy, Spain and Portugal, therefore, deserve articles in their own right. But here’s why you should put these countries at the top of your destination list as a solo traveller.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
This was one of the first countries that I visited as a solo traveller 30 years ago, and one to which I have returned more times than I can count.
For centuries, Italy’s landscape, history and food have drawn travellers from across the globe (for me, add Italian coffee bars and gelato!). The famous hilltop towns of Tuscany draw travellers from near and far but Italy has many other smaller, lesser-known jewels such as the Etruscan towns of Tuscania and Civita di Bagnoregio in Lazio.
Italy is every Renaissance fangirl or fanboy’s dream with world-famous art and architectural treasures too numerous to count. From Siena to San Gimignano, Urbino to the Uffizi, Cortona to Carrara’s marble mines, there’s something for everyone.
Over the years, Italy has developed a travel infrastructure that is second-to-none. There are choices of lodging to suit all budgets, places to eat in even the tiniest of hamlets and an extensive high-speed rail network.
There is a well-worn tourist trail, and English is widely spoken in Italy, especially in tourism hotspots and by younger people. And the familiarity that comes with unconscious immersion in the country’s food and culture, from its iconic paintings and sculptures to Italian cinema, makes Italy a super easy country for the novice solo traveller.
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By Bridget of The Flashpacker
It has natural beauty in spades with wide, sandy beaches, rugged rocky coves and a highland plateau, straddled by dramatic mountain ranges.
Thanks to decades of mass tourism, it has an extremely well-developed infrastructure. There are accommodation choices to suit all budgets, restaurants are plentiful, English is widely spoken and the train network is extensive.
One of the things that Spain is most famous for is its rich historical heritage, and it is second only to Italy in the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. These number Granada’s majestic Alhambra Palace, Seville’s Cathedral and its Alcázar palace, Antoni Gaudí’s work in Barcelona (including the jaw-dropping La Sagrada Família) and Tarragona’s Roman ruins (to mention but a few).
Safety is always important to the solo traveller and Spain ranks in the top 10% of the safest countries in the world. But, as ever, watch out for petty crime such as pickpocketing in the cities.
By Bridget of The Flashpacker
Like Spain, it has a temperate climate and abundant natural beauty with a long beach-lined coastline, a mountainous north and the lush Duoro River valley, home to the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Although not as well developed as that of its Iberian neighbour, Portugal’s travel infrastructure does allow independent exploration with its rail network covering major tourist hubs. And as Portugal is a relatively small country, this makes travel more manageable if you only have a few weeks to spare.
Solo travel in Europe: Final Thoughts
I hope that these recommendations inspire you to plan a future trip to Europe. For the most part, it’s an easy part of the world to visit as a solo traveller and has enough diversity to satisfy most people.
If you are not sure whether you are ready to explore Europe independently, why not join a group tour?
As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, there are many other benefits of a group tour as a solo traveller. There are lots of group travel companies out there but two companies that I have used and can recommend are Exodus Travels and Explore Worldwide!
You’ll have an expertly curated itinerary and you often gain valuable insights into the country, the people and its culture. Generally, there’s safety in numbers. Finally, if you fear solo travel loneliness, there’s the reassurance of ready-made travel companions.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy the places on this list and make lots of new travel friends in the process.
Skyscanner is my go-to platform to search for flights. I like having the ability to filter results by cabin class and to compare the price of flights across an entire month. Skyscanner also supports multi-city options in searching for open-jaw flights.
I book 80% of my accommodation with Booking.com. Rates are competitive and many reservations are cancellable without penalty.
Check accommodation reviews, and prices across a range of booking platforms, on TripAdvisor.
Pack the right travel medicines and first aid items to manage minor illnesses and cuts and scrapes like a pro.
Wherever you travel in the world it’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance to protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. Check if World Nomads will cover your needs.
As a mid-life traveller, I get my travel insurance from Staysure. It offers an excellent level of cover, including that against Covid-19, and has garnered 5-star reviews.
OTHER TRAVEL RESOURCES
Check out my Travel Resources page for the companies and other resources I use when planning my trips and whilst I am away.
Bridget is an award-winning solo travel blogger whose mission is to empower others to travel alone, especially those in middle age and beyond. To get in touch, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org