The idea of traveling alone can be really daunting and nerve-wracking — especially if you’ve never done it before and you are a lady. But that’s the glory of foreign travel. You don’t want to know what people are talking about. It is difficult to think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are new to almost everything. So go solo, woman. Discover the magnificence of these 10 beautiful travel destinations.
1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The city is actually very safe for solo travelers. TripAdvisor lists it as one of the 25 safest cities in the world despite known for legalized prostitution and drugs. Its vibrant nightlife actually means you’ll rarely find yourself alone on a street at night.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are 400km of cycle paths. Buy a City Card to get free or discounted admission to many of the city’s best-known sites.
Accommodation in Amsterdam comes in a wide variety – from luxury landmark hotels to cozy boutique hotels overlooking the canal. Groups of travellers and families may appreciate self-catering apartments or bed and breakfast, while people a on budget may look for cheap hotels and hostels.
2. Bergen, Norway
Scandinavian countries are generally safe, and their citizens tend to be exceedingly friendly. The Bryggen district consists of the old wharf and its surrounding commercial buildings (a former center of the league of Hanseatic merchants), and features vibrantly colored wooden houses. The Bergen Aquarium offers a shark tunnel and panoramic views of the port. And you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
The nearby fish market offers street cart food (including whale steak) where you can grab a quick bite and then hop on a funicular(tram cable railway) to experience sweeping views of the city. The average 3 Star would cost you $160 a night. The selection of accommodation in Bergen is many and suits all budgets.
3. Santiago, Chile
Its location in between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean give you endless alternatives of day trips just outside the city itself. With a Mediterranean climate and almost no rain between October and May, it’s easy to enjoy everything the city has to offer year round. Santiago is wonderful for solo travelers. It’s regularly ranked as one of the safest large cities in South America, and is famous for its vibrant street life and walkability.
Plaza de Armas, the grand heart of the city’s old colonial core, is home to 2 neoclassical landmarks: the early-19th-century Royal Court Palace, which houses the National History Museum, and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. Santiago is also a great launch point to visit Patagonia.
One good thing about Santiago is that you will be close to everything. In a little bit more than 60 minutes you can reach the ski resorts and about 90 minutes away are the beaches of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. There’s no shortage of things to do, with loads of bars and cafes, plus a movie theatre, all nearby. If you’re looking for a bit more solitude, try the Turkish baths.
4. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is well known for its lively food scene – from Cantonese dim sum to extravagant high tea – and its shopping, with options spanning chaotic Temple Street Night Market to the city’s innumerable bespoke tailors. The former British colony is also easier to navigate compared to many other destinations in Asia, due to abundant English signage and courteous, mostly bilingual locals
In Hong Kong, you can hang your hat in modest guesthouses, youth hostels, palatial hotels, chic boutiques, and mid-range comfort – in the heart of the city or away from it all. Some of the major tourist attractions include the Peak, Golden Bauhinia square, Lan Kwai Fong (party hot spot), Wong Tai Sin temple, Ocean Park, Disneyland and many others.
5. Boracay, Phillipines
Boracay was awarded as the best island in the world from the international travel magazine. It is the Southeast Asian island for affordable holiday fun in the sun. White sands, crystal clear waves, and marvelous sunsets are the obvious perks that come with your visit, but the most unforgettable one by far will be the friendly smiles you’ll encounter here: Filipinos are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people in the world.
Boracay is also known for its wild party scene, providing plenty of opportunities to join locals and fellow travelers on epic seaside bar crawls. Hit up Cocomangas, the longest-running bar on the island, to sip on under-$10 cocktail jars and shakers and start mingling.
The boutique Villa Caemilla hotel is located at Station 3, a private and peaceful strip of the island. A free motorized tricycle is also available for shuttling guests to and from the busier districts. The building is right on the water, so each spacious suite offers unbeatable views of the ocean. You’ll be able to tuck your toes into the sand the moment you step outside
6. Verona, Italy
Verona is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Verona is also famed for its grand Arena, a 1st-century Roman amphitheater still hosting concerts and an annual opera festival.
To say that Verona can be the set of a romance epic would not be an understatement. Each corner you turn, you’ll come face to face with flowers that wouldn’t look out of place at a high-end weddingBut these unbelievable blossoms are just your average gardening here. Be sure to make time for Piazza delle Erbe, the city’s open-air market, and sign up for a wine tour at Allegrini, the area’s premier vineyard. With so much amore in the air, you might not be leaving Verona alone. The accommodations are plentiful and varied.
7. Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the world’s stateliest cities and proudest capitals, it’s built—like Rome—on seven hills, making it a striking backdrop for the ancient pageant of history. In a skyline of sheer drama, Edinburgh Castle watches over the capital city, frowning down on Princes Street’s glamour and glitz. But despite its rich past, the city’s famous festivals, excellent museums and galleries, as well as the modern Scottish Parliament, are reminders that Edinburgh has its feet firmly in the 21st century. Plus you have the The Fringe Festival, a month-long fête of music, dance, and theater.
So far as accommodation is concerned you can choose from the opulent extravagance of Prestonfield to the B+B Edinburgh, a roomy property in the heart of the West End that feels more like a private club.
8. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden is made up of 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of medieval Gamla Stan, the old town, are home to a 13th-century cathedral, the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet and its underground armory, cafes and restaurants. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between islands, beneath more than 50 bridges. In fact everything looks postcard-perfect.
Shopping enthusiasts will be in their element at Östermalm, a posh neighborhood with high-end local designer boutiques. You will be more concerend about your budget that safety here. Don’t bother taking cabs here — they cost as much as a five-star dinner — and just rent a bike instead. With cycling lanes everywhere, the town is probably best explored on two wheels.
Everyone from Robbie Williams to the Dalai Lama has checked into Berns’ boutique bedrooms, which are well-placed near the Opera House, and has the best shops and great nightlife.
9. Quepos, Costa Rica
The town is about 60 km. south from Costa Rica’s capital, San José, but is 157 km from that city by road if going through the localities of Atenas, Orotina and Tárcoles. Quepos is the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. The city is very tourism-oriented, having many bars and restaurants, beaches and a vivacious night-life. There are endless coffee farms, volcanos, and hot springs that are perfect for exploring solo.
If you want know what it’s like on the set of Lost, sign up for a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the last-remaining “natural zoos” in the world. You’ll get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife, from sleeping bats to capuchin monkeys. Those who prefer a more serene side of nature can sunbathe at one of the reserve’s four natural beaches.
Staying in Quepos offers a cheaper alternative to the sky-high prices at many lodges on the road to Manuel Antonio. It can also be more convenient, as all the banks, supermarkets and bus stops are in Quepos. Reservations are recommended during high-season weekends and are necessary during Easter and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
10. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It’s known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (aka Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants. It is a tailored made place for history buffs.
While the walled city makes a memorable appearance as the setting for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, it has a lot more to offer than Instagram backdrops for fans of the show. You can also hop on the cable car to see the White City in all its glory. Hotels in Dubrovnik near Old Town will cost more, but you’re where the action is at.
Sources: refinery29.com, wikipedia.org, 500px.com