I like travelling, and I like travelling solo.
Don't get me wrong, it's super nice to travel with other people, but there's also a great amount of enjoyment to be had travelling with yourself as company. I've been to 20 countries so far completely on my own, meaning that almost half my travels have been solo. I've absolutely loved the experience of being alone when travelling, but some places have definitely been better than others for a solo traveller. Here's my list of top picks, which isn't to say anywhere else isn't good, rather to highlight some of the best places that I've been when solo!
N.B. I have only included actual places that I have been with no one for company. Many places I have been when with others would also be great solo destinations, but having not experienced them alone yet, I don't want to put them on this list as this is a collection of tried and tested places!
Arguably an unexpected pick for first place, I honestly could not rate Turkey higher. I travelled for 3 weeks completely alone in July and August of 2016 throughout Turkey and quite simply, I had the time of my life. Lately Turkey has had a few political problems, which I won't comment on here, but in my personal experince of having actually been in the country, for a tourist, and a female, red-headed one at that, I could not have felt safer in Turkey if I tried. Everywhere I went, everything I saw and did and everyone I met was amazing! There's so much to do and see in Turkey, it is relatively cheap, I never felt like I was in danger, the people were super helpful and friendly, it was really easy to speak and communicate with people despite speaking very minimal Turkish and there were heaps of options for day trips if I felt like doing something with other people. Perhaps not somewhere people typically consider for a solo trip, but defintely one they should! Turkey = AMAZING.
|Dancing around like a lunatic outside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul.|
I love Poland. I fist visited in 2015 and fell completly in love with the country. I have recently been back and discovered that I am no less in love with Poland. Essentially it is a truly fantastic place. My recommendations for must see places are Poznan, Wroclaw, Krakow and Warsaw. There are a heap of other places too, but these are some that I've visited and have fallen hopelessly in love with. Poland is a super cheap destination, making it great for a solo traveller with no one on hand to split costs with. There's a heap to see and do, getting around is both cheap and easy with mega-cheap trains and public transport options, it is a realtively safe country and it was easy to get around only speaking minimal Polish. 11/10 would recommend.
|On top of the Cathedral in Wroclaw, south-west Poland in the summer of 2015.|
I feel like this is an emerging pattern, but I must say, I absolutely LOVE Slovenia. There are few places that I've been where I've immediately stepped off the plane/train/bus and thought 'oooooo, I could defintely live here', but Slovenia is 100% one of those places. Aside from being quite seriously the prettiest country I have ever seen, Slovenia is super friendly, super safe, super diverse and fairly cheap. They also love bike riding, mountains, lakes and castles, which is always a great set of things to both appreciate, but also have plenty of in your country. Hot tip - Lake Bled is a must see, along with the capital, Ljubljana (pronounced Lub-lee-ahhh-nahh) and Vintgar Gorge.
|This is Vintgar Gorge, which I can confirm, looks a hell of a lot like a magical fairyland/Narnia in real life.|
Croatia has a bit of a reputation as a party place, so why then do I put it on the solo list when partying generally requires friends? In summer 2016 I spent 3 weeks in Croatia and let me tell you, it was a truly fantastic 3 weeks! I visited Zagreb, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Kornati Islands, Nin, Trogir, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik and I did all of that alone and oh boy was it an amazing time. There's so much to see and do, there's a whole heap of day trips on offer if you ever feel like making some fast friends and doing something with other people, there are plenty of hostels where you'll find lots of travellers after a good time and a few drinks, so if you'd like to head out on the town but fear doing that alone, you need not worry! Croatia isn't the cheapest country in the summer, so at times it was pricey not having someone else to offset costs with, but being Eastern Europe, it was still cheaper than many other places. It was also worth every penny I spent there, because everything I did, saw and ate was great!
|One of my favourite solo photos I've ever taken - on the rocks in Dubrovnik watching the sunset over the ocean. I was so fulfilled and so happy and this picture always brings a huge smile to my face when I think back on the moment it was taken.|
I've spent a lot of time in Germany, both with others and also alone, and I think it's a great option for all travellers. In my experience when being solo in Germany, I have always found that there is plenty to do, there's lots of other solo travellers, so making new friends is super easy, it is relatively cheap, especially in the East and Berlin, it is very safe, getting around is quick and easy and there's an endless amount of stuff to see and do, so you'll never be bored! My top recommendations for Germany are Berlin, Potsdam, Munich, Bamberg, Nuremburg, Hamburg and some day trips to some smaller, lesser-known towns. Also, visit as many castles as you can. Germany has lots of them and I haven't been to a bad one yet!
|This is one of my favourite scenery pictures, captured in January 2017 in Berlin overlooking the Berliner Dom and River Spree. One of my favourite moments from one of my favourite cities and countries.|
As with Germany, I have also spent significant time in the UK. The UK is a fantastic place to be a solo traveller for many of the same reasons as Germany - lots to do, lots of other solo travellers, fairly low cost, easy transport, GREAT ACCENTS, very safe and amazing shopping. My top picks for the UK are London (obviously!), either Cambridge or Oxford, Bath, Edinburgh and Brighton. If you have a car, the Lakes District is also well worth a trip!
|Contrary to initial assumptions you may make, this beautiful building is in actual fact, located in Brighton on the British seaside, and yes, it is indeed possible, on occasion, to wear shorts and sleeveless tops in the UK.|
The first time I went to Prague, I was with a bunch of friends, I got exceptionally intoxicated and essentially had a wild night on the town and actually don't remember anything that happened. The second time I went to Prague, I was 100% sober and solo, I remembered everything and I had a wildly amazing time. Whilst having only been to the Czech capital, this country makes the list because Prague is one of the greatest cities in the world (in my opinion). As a solo female, it was cheap, safe, super friendly, has great summer weather, lots of doughnuts (#important) and was cheap. I plan on heading back there as soon as I can so I can czech out some more of the country (see what I did there? Sorry...I couldn't help myself), in particular, Cesky Krumlov and Karlov Vary.
Singapore has the great honor of being the only place in Asia that I've been whilst solo. If you're interested in seeing Asia and you'll be alone, Singapore is a great place to start. It is a very developed and organised city, so culture shock won't be as dramatic as with some other places. Singapore is exceptionally safe, in actual fact, it's one of the world's safest countries, it is reasonably priced, they have amazing public transport, great food options and also a forest of trees that light up in fancy colours with an accompanying soundtrack of dramatic music. What more could you possibly want in life?
|The traditional Peranakan Houses in East Singapore.|
First things first, Ireland is SUPER CUTE. Maybe this sounds like a stereotype, but it's true; everything is green, everyone is friendly and they have FANTASTIC accents. I have been known to engage Irish people in conversation purely for the pleasure of hearing them speak and indulging my love of Irish accents. I have no regrets. So why is Ireland great for solo travellers? Well. It's cheap, there's so many super fun day trips that you can do to meet other people, they have utterly outstanding nature, Irish people love drinking and going to the pub, so if you're wanting to meet some people, especially the locals, that's easy done and also they have great accents, which is reason enough for going there. A must see is Connemara National Park, which is huge and remote (by Irish standards), but can be seen by either renting a car or jumping on one of many day trips or short tours. There's also a great falafel restaurant in downtown Dublin called 'Umi Falafel' which deserves a special mention.
|Kylemore Abbey, in the wild remoteness of the Connemara region.|
I've been to Sweden three times in four years, so I guess you could say that I like the place. I've twice been as a solo traveller and had a great time both times, so it rounds out my top ten best places. Being Scandinavia, things can get a little expensive in Sweden, which isn't great when you're alone as there's no one to share costs with, but Sweden is still well worth considering as a solo destination. I can only speak two words of Swedish, but I've literally never had a problem getting around, there are a heap of museum, castles, galleries, a super cute Old Town in Stockholm and an incredible amount of beautiful lakes, national parks and green spaces to see. There's also this place in Stockholm called 'Herman's' which is a vegan, all-you-can-eat buffet. I would literally go back to Sweden again solely to eat at Herman's again because that place is HEAVEN. I quite seriously ate 4 times the normal adult intake of food when I went and they also had a snicker's cheesecake that I've dreamt about two nights in a row. In all honesty, go for the vegan buffet, stay for the great sights (including all the beautiful looking Swedish people...).
I plan on adding to this list over the next few years as I continue to take on the world as a crazy solo vegan traveller. I'm planning on heading to Asia, North America and Africa next to hopefully make this list a little less Euro-centric, but like I said, this list contains only places I have personally experienced whilst solo and till now, most of my time has been spent travelling in Europe. Let me know any recommendations you might have for good solo destinations because I'm always on the hunt for some more places to see!!