10 Best Solo Female Travel Destinations in 2019
Most of my friends know that I am a HUGE advocate for solo female travel. I strongly believe that every woman should venture out on her own in the world at least once.
Solo travel can be rewarding and rejuvenating — you get to do whatever you want on YOUR own time without feeling any sort of pressure. However, I understand that there is still some skepticism, as we often hear about the things that go wrong during solo female travel, not all of the many life changing, wonderful things about venturing out on our own.
So, in an effort to change that mindset, or at least ease you into the idea of traveling on your own, I wanted to write an all-inclusive guide to the best solo female travel destinations in 2019. I’ve included some of the safest destinations for solo female travelers, solo female travel tips, resources and more. Just be warned — you might end up booking your next flight by the time we’re finished here!
Please keep in mind that while there may be some destinations that are safer than others, the world is NOT as scary as some think. With the right mindset and basic street smarts, there are an endless amount of places in the world where you can feel completely secure as a solo female traveler.
With that being said, read on for my list of the safest, and best, destinations for solo female travelers in 2019:
Feel free to skip to any specific section using the links below. :)
Table of Contents
1. Bristol, United Kingdom
I couldn’t write an article about solo female travel destinations without mentioning the first city I visited as a solo female traveler! I even loved Bristol so much that I stayed an entire year! Only half kidding — I completed my masters degree at the University of Bristol.
Bristol is arguably one of the most underrated cities in England— offering an endless number of things to do for every kind of traveler. The Bristol Harbourside is an absolute must- I probably spent every free chance I had in the summer relaxing by the water, or venturing off to one of the unique waterfront shops. There’s a dock that stretches along the water for ages — I highly recommend just wandering around & popping in a few of the cute shops/restaurants! And if you want to see the Bristol Balloon Festival, make sure you plan your trip in August!
Bristol is seriously the perfect destination for any solo traveler!
Bristol England Sightseeing Tour:
Get to know Bristol through the eyes of a passionate local by booking the tour below! Just be warned— you might walk out of the experience with a British accent…. or at the very least— faking one. :)
2. Esslingen, Germany
The medieval & incredibly charming town of Esslingen is honestly something straight out of a fairytale. I don’t think I’ve ever uttered the words, “Oh my god, this isn’t real” so many times in my life.
Stroll along these enchanting German streets and discover an array of local boutiques, shops & restaurants. Just be warned— you may end up wanting to cancel that flight back home!
Although I didn’t visit in the winter months, Esslingen is actually home to one of the most enchanting Christmas markets in the entire country. The festivities begin towards the end of November and start winding down a few days before Christmas Day. You’ll find stalls offering hand-made goods, Christmas decorations, unique clothing pieces and of course, the most delicious Christmas food & drink options.
If you are a solo female traveler looking for your next destination, I highly recommend visiting Esslingen in December!
3. Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia is hands down one of the safest destinations for solo female travelers— and its a TON of fun, too! My best friend, Sol, and I are both digital nomads and traveled together for 5 months in 2018. Hvar was the first stop in our journey of living/working together in various spots around the globe!
This town is absolutely amazing for lovers of the sea— one of our favorite adventures included embarking on a tour with Hvar Adventure. On this full-day tour, we sailed over to Pakleni Islands & Vis where we wandered through the historical old town and ended our day at a family winery with homemade wine, cheese & delicious small plates.
I would say that expenses are the biggest downside to Hvar. While there definitely are free things to do in this seaside town, many of the shops & restaurants are on the pricier side. I would say this town is more suited for those looking for a “luxury getaway”/ vacation than budget travelers.
Hvar Blue Cave Tour and Island Hopping:
Check out the tour below if you want to go island-hopping through Vis & the Pakleni Islands like we did (10/10 recommend— seriously. Such an amazing experience).
4. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest might very well be my favorite city I've ever visited— I’ve been 3 times already and would happily make another trip.
I booked my accommodation through Airbnb (which I highly recommend for any solo female traveler). My hosts, a traditional Hungarian family, were absolutely amazing to me. They provided me with plenty of coffee in the morning and told me all of the main sites I needed to cover over my short visit.
For any female travelers visiting Budapest, I highly recommend walking through City Park and exploring the Vajdahunyad Castle & Heroes Square (major landmarks in Budapest). You can then take the metro (the oldest underground system in Europe) towards the city center. Cross over the Chain Bridge and take in all of the sights within the Budapest Castle District.
Don’t forget to spend at least one day soaking in the Szechenyi thermal baths (you deserve it, girlfrand!). You can then end your trip with a pint or two at the best ruin pub in Budapest- Kertem.
Best Tours in Budapest
If you’re feeling on the adventurous side, be sure to check out these top-selling tours below to enjoy the best things Budapest has to offer!
5. Istanbul, Turkey
I know what you’re thinking… “are you sure that Istanbul is one of the best destinations for solo female travelers..?”. Yes, you heard that right— and I’m stickin’ to my word!
Sol and I lived in Istanbul for a little over a month and man, was this place AMAZING. I said that I wanted to come back here in 2019, but that unfortunately didn’t pan out. You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll find me there in 2020, though!
Listed below are just a few of the many reasons you should travel to Istanbul as a solo female traveler:
A 30-minute Uber rides cost around $1-$3 (no, I’m not joking)
The Turkish food is to die for… and ridiculously inexpensive
Istanbul is probably the trendiest city I’ve ever visited in my life (bet ya wouldn’t expect that, huh?)
The Turkish people are SO incredibly kind to tourists
Hopefully I’ve convinced all you female travelers out there, but feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions. :)
Istanbul Boat Tour
If I’ve convinced you to plan your next trip to Istanbul, then be sure to check out the following tour to explore the city’s best views of the Bosphorus by boat (that was quite a mouthful..).
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, known for its picturesque canals and relaxed lifestyle, is one of the safest (and most fun!) destinations for solo female travelers. There is truly something for every solo female traveler in the Dutch capital. The foodie and cafe culture has exploded over the past few years, so be prepared for an unforgettable experience! Travel tip: Explore the city by bike- it is simple to navigate and you can get so much more accomplished during your trip!
Amsterdam Bike Tour:
If you want to explore all that Amsterdam has to offer by bike (with an experienced local guide, of course), I highly recommend checking out the following tour! :)
7. Brussels, Belgium
Belgium’s capital city is another one of those medieval (yet totally enchanting) European cities — it seriously makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time to another era. The city center of Brussels is called Grand Place— I highly recommend this as a starting point for any solo travelers!
My top recommendations:
Make sure to pay a visit to Manneken Pis (he is WAY tinier than you’ll ever imagine)
Indulge in Brussels’ specialities: chocolate & beer!
For any female traveler in Brussels, I highly recommend wandering around Grand Place for at least one day of your trip— get your portrait drawn by a talented street artist or try some amazing Belgian street food. :)
Brussels Belgium Tour:
Check out this tour to help you make the most out of your trip in Brussels!
8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Alright, alright… I know what you’re thinking. Thailand isn’t exactly known for being the safest country for solo female travelers (although I would argue that any destination is safe with the right mindset). However, Chiang Mai is one of the safest and most picturesque destinations to travel solo in Asia for women. Much more quiet than Thailand’s busy capital- Bangkok- Chiang Mai is arguably one of the most unforgettable destinations I’ve ever visited. With over 300 Buddhist templates, night markets, delicious Thai street food and ethical elephant sanctuaries (but please do your research first!), there is truly something for everyone in this beautiful city.
9. Bali, Indonesia
With relaxing beaches, healthy (and delicious!) food options, and inexpensive accommodation, Bali is arguably one of the safest destinations for solo female travelers. With an incredible backpacking and digital nomad culture, solo female travelers will always find someone cool to hang out with in Bali. Just be warned: the downside to Bali is that you will truly never want to leave!
Bali has so much to offer every solo female traveler! Make sure to check out these tours first before you plan out your trip. :)
10. Cardiff, Wales
I was fortunate enough to get the Cardiff rundown from a Welsh local herself: one of my best friends, Lowri (who I met while living in Bristol). Cardiff is hands down one of the safest destinations for solo female travelers! You’ll have access to amazing hikes and secret waterfalls to take a dip in the summer!
Cardiff Day Tour:
If you’re planning your next trip to Cardiff, be sure to check out the following tour which offers the opportunity to see the city like a local!
Best solo female travel accessories
Shop my favorite Solo Female Travel accessories!
Solo Female Travel Tips
Packing for your solo trip — Pack light!
You’re traveling on your own— I’m going to assume you’re an independent gal like me and don’t want to be the damsel in distress who can’t get her bag down on the airplane because it’s too heavy. Instead of a suitcase AND a carry-on suitcase, consider switching out your carry-on for a
suitable travel backpack with adjustable straps.
When you’re packing your suitcase for the journey, its SO incredibly important to remember that less is more (I’ve learned this lesson way too many times).
SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack
This backpack was genuinely my life savior on my last solo trip… it fits everything I could possibly need that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase— laptop, iPad, charging accessories, books, change of clothes and even my camera/lenses!
I’m not gonna lie, though. Its not the “cutest” backpack out there— but practicality is what I have to prioritize in order to make this lifestyle work! And man, this thing is the most practical (and best) investment I’ve ever made.
Outfit tips for solo female travelers
Make sure that you take into consideration the dress code of the country you’re traveling to, and pack accordingly! Try to dress as the locals would- this shows respect for the country’s people and culture. In many countries, this could mean covering up more skin or dressing modestly. However, you’ll want to do some research prior to departure!
Some simple clothing pieces that may come in handy for a more modest dress code:
A long skirt to cover up overly exposed legs
A large scarf to cover up exposed chest/shoulders
A hat or bandana
You’ll also want to remember any power supplies or converters for the country you’re visiting — this will especially come in handy for phone chargers, hair dryers, curling iron etc.
Learn the Local Language
Learning some of the local language of each country you visit is incredibly helpful (and you don’t need to become fluent in the language to do so!). Just by picking up on a few language basics, you will have more locals open up to you throughout your travel journey.
Some language basics that you will definitely want to have down include:
How are you?
Always keep copies of your travel documents
Take photos of your passport — either keep them on your phone, or print out hard copies. This way, if you do lose your passport, it makes the process of getting a new one much more simple.
WALNEW RFID Passport Holder Cover Traveling Passport Case
I highly recommend getting a passport holder for your journey— I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve misplaced mine and had to pull off to the side at airport security checks. Snag an adorable passport holder like this one to keep everything in one place!
But again, remember to make those passport copies so you don’t put yourself in a bad situation!
If you know anything about me, you probably know that I am not a planner. However, after one dodgy (late-night) train-station experience in Italy, I vowed to always plan ahead in terms of my safety as a solo female traveler. I can’t even begin to stress how important it is to avoid public transportation after dark, especially if you are a solo woman traveling. Don’t miss your train if it could potentially put you in a dangerous situation- it might be hours until the next one comes!
In general, try to book accommodation that’s somewhat nearby the sights you want to see. And if it’s not, make sure there is safe, reliable transportation that can be accessed throughout most of the day.
Remember that Uber is your friend! However, don’t solely rely on the ride-sharing app. In some countries (Thailand, for example), Uber is illegal and you won’t be able to find drivers once you login to your account. So just try to do some simple research on the city/country you’re traveling to before your trip begins!
Some basic tips to plan ahead:
Avoid public transportation after dark
Avoid missing your bus, train, etc. at all costs
Travel with a group if possible
Do some basic research on the city you’re traveling to
Don’t make yourself a target!
There are so many things you do while traveling that you may not even realize are putting you (and your belongings) at risk.
For example, let’s say you’re walking around a city and taking travel selfies on your phone. If you happen to be visiting a city with a lot of tourists, your phone could easily be snatched in about 0.2 seconds flat. Locals are always on the watch for distracted tourists with shiny objects — don’t be victim! Take your photo and put your phone away.
On that note, there are many travel destinations where you’ll want to be mindful of your photography equipment. Place duct tape over the brand name of your equipment (i.e. Canon) on the body itself and the strap of the camera. This will disguise the equipment a bit and give it a more worn look.
Don’t ever leave your drink unattended
I get it- you want to have a little fun and join a few of the locals on a night out (completely understandable!). Just make sure that you are always keeping a close eye on your drink- it should never be left unattended. The truth is — when traveling solo, no one is there to hold your hand or make sure you get home alright. YOU need to make sure that you’re okay, and I think that’s where solo travelers tend to get in trouble.
Some basic tips to avoid a bad situation:
Always keep an eye on your drink
Never leave your drink unattended
Avoid walking back to your accommodation alone at the end of the night, AT ALL COSTS (seriously)
Social Media is your friend
Everyone seems to bash on social media, but it’s actually a great safety tool. If you consistently post to your Instagram story, your family and friends are probably going to assume something’s up if you start ghosting social media. So maybe consider letting a few people know what your plan is, and just to keep an eye out for you! And although technically unrelated to social media, “Find My Friend” is a great tool to consider using for your first solo female travel journey!
Be careful of social media geo-tagging
On the other end of the social media spectrum — you’ll want to be watchful of geo-tagging.
It’s so important to be mindful of what you share on social media, especially when it comes to location. I know, I get it — you want to share your best travel content on Instagram. But truthfully, you can wait to post that story on Instagram until you’re at least a safe distance away from the location. People who don’t even follow you can tap on the geo-tag and see your content.
Join Facebook Groups
One of my favorite communities for solo female travel is the Girls Love Travel Facebook group — and it’s currently growing at a crazy rate!
These groups are a really great way to find out information about your travel destination. You can either ask a question or you can just search within the group.
For example, let’s say that you have a long layover in Ireland and want to do a little sightseeing. You can head to the Facebook group, simply type in “Ireland” and see what other people have talked about.
Facebook groups are such a great way to plan out your trips and get REAL, actionable advice.
Just have fun!
Do some things that you’ve never done before. Traveling solo means that you don’t have anyone trying to talk you out of something or saying, “Oh, I don’t really want to do that”. This is YOUR trip and it is completely up to YOU — that’s the beauty of solo travel. So get out of your comfort zone and take advantage of the experiences you don’t have back home.
So my final piece of advice is this — Just book that solo trip already! Do not be afraid to travel solo as a female, just be smart about it.
I really hope this guide was helpful for all you solo female travelers out there! If you have any solo female travel tips you’d like to share with me, please feel free to add them in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
*Disclosure; Some of the content above may contain affiliate links (at no cost to you). However, I would never recommend tools, apps or resources if I didn't use them and find them helpful myself.
Hi there! I’m Fallon. A Florida native who, after receiving my masters degree in the U.K., decided to nix the 9-5 path in search of something more. Now, I run my graphic and web design business straight from my laptop, all while traveling the world. I’ve now traveled to over 25 countries and have knocked some pretty big adventures off my bucket list… and I’m just getting started. Follow along my journey as I present tips, guides and resources on solo female travel, photography, videography, entrepreneurship & the crazy lifestyle of a digital nomad.