So, you’re looking to travel solo? Maybe even for the first time? You want somewhere relatively safe, with plenty of opportunities for meeting fellow globetrotters.
With so many destinations to choose from, we’ve picked our top 10 for solo travel — and some might surprise you.
Mountains? Beaches? Tundra? Lakes? You name it – you got it in Canada, also considered one of the safest countries in the world. If you’re after a more outdoorsy destination for your solo trip, then Canada is a great choice because you can enjoy the rich culture of cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ontario, while being within easy reach of abundant nature in virtually no time. Go from food markets to kayaking in one day and why not add in some hiking, snowboarding or skiing too?
Another country that seems to have it all, being very thin but extremely long, Chile boasts plenty of climates, offering a variety of landscapes. If you travel from west to east, you will go from beaches to mountains. Like the sound of spending your nights under the starry sky in the desert? Just head further north. More into glaciers? Head south.
Chile is also considered one of the safest countries in South America. A good starting point for your solo trip is the capital, Santiago, a friendly city with great cuisine. And if you want to learn more about the country’s wines, a tour of its vineyards is a must.
3. Costa Rica
Let’s just start by saying Costa Rica has a reputation for being one of the happiest countries in the world. Indeed, it holds spot number 1 of 140 on the happy planet index. Now let’s add that it’s also one of the safest in Central America and throw in some gorgeous beaches and lush rainforest, et voilà – another amazing choice for your list of solo travel destinations.
It is also one of the most biodiverse nations in the world, prioritising wildlife conservation and focusing on hydro and wind energy, making it a hub for eco-minded adventurers. Look out for sloths, toucans, macaws, monkeys and plenty of other wildlife. Just want to relax? Head to the hot springs in Arenal. Looking for an adventure? Zip-line through the jungle, explore batcaves, volcanoes or chase waterfalls. Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo, La Fortuna and Nosara all have plenty of hostels catering towards solo travellers, making good starting points for your travels.
Another country that frequently ranks in the top 10 in terms of both happiness and safety globally, Denmark is both steeped in viking history and boasts a very outdoorsy culture. Peruse the many bike routes across the country and marvel at its medieval castles - the Kronborg Castle, which is a UNESCO World heritage site, inspired the Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Meanwhile, in cities like Copenhagen, you can admire the colourful townhouses along the canals and beautiful botanical gardens.
Another bonus is that the country is quite centrally located in Europe, so you can easily hop into surrounding countries to keep exploring.
Germany boasts fantastic infrastructure, meaning you can get around easily, whether you’re taking a train or renting a car on the famous Autobahn stretches without a speed limit. It’s also super centrally located in Europe, so, if you decide to extend your trip or pop over to a neighbouring countries, you can do so without too much hassle.
What to do? Well, take your pick. Berlin is very well known for its nightlife and party scene, particularly for electronic music lovers who beeline for clubs like Berghain, Sisyphos and Tresor. For culture vultures meanwhile, there are plenty of historical sites and museums, of which the Holocaust Memorial is one. And did you know that Germany has over 20,000 castles? We recommend checking out Schloss Neuschwanstein, which was the inspiration for the first Disney castle.
Explorers, assemble! Iceland is another of the safest countries in the world, and in fact, the most peaceful according to the Global Peace Index - so you can explore worry-free.
There is plenty to see, with waterfalls and caves to explore; volcanoes to climb; glaciers to hike and hot springs to relax in at the end of the day. If you’re in the capital Reykjavik, which is really more of a town than a metropole, be sure to hop over to the ever-popular Blue Lagoon or go whale watching in Faxafloi Bay. Feeling really active? How about a spot of camping and horseback riding in Thingvellir National Park? The geysers and waterfalls will take your breath away.
Ireland is another great solo travel destination, just head to one of the thousands of cosy pubs around the country, order a pint of Guinness, and you’ll end up in conversation with a local or fellow traveller. In Dublin, head to the lively Temple Bar district for more pubs and live music or make friends on a guided walking tour through the designated UNESCO city of literature.
You can easily travel around on local buses, since the country is quite small. Hike along the iconic Cliffs of Moher (pictured) overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, soak up sea views and seafood in the picturesque city of Galway or hop on a ferry to explore ancient sites on the Aran Islands.
8. New Zealand
Welcome to the second safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index previously mentioned. You’ll find everything in New Zealand - and it just announced it will soon reopen its borders to travellers. From Stunning islands, dolphins, rugged glaciers and gorgeous lakes to fjords, rainforests, waterfalls and whale watching. And Lord of the Rings of course. And wineries. What else do you need? You can go surfing on the east coast of the south island, drive an hour and a half and then go hiking in the Southern Alps. Another bonus? It might be close to Australia, but there are no snakes or deadly spiders here.
We’d recommend taking a road trip to explore all that the country has to offer. If you can’t drive or it’s too expensive, take a coach tour where you’ll meet plenty of other travellers en route, or team up and rent a van.
Fancy safari but doing it solo? Group tours offer a hassle-free way of going about it, and Tanzania is consistently rated one of the safest African countries for solo travellers.
Look for camps or lodges that offer communal meals and keep an eye out for discounted or waived single-traveller “supplement” costs that will make your trip cheaper during the low season. Reason being, solo travellers usually pay a little extra for that single room, if they can’t or don’t want to be paired with a stranger — or you could always try to find a like-minded travel buddy.
Our hidden gem: Albania!
When it comes to travel recommendations, Albania does not come up often enough, yet it’s one of the most underrated destinations for safe solo travel.
Albania has a gorgeous coastline with lovely traditional hamlets and cobblestoned streets. You will find plenty of beaches with pristine waters, rivalling nearby Greece. And the best of it? It’s much more affordable. With its azure blue water, it really should be a tourist mecca, plus it has a fascinating history and to-die-for Mediterranean cuisine.
Travel restrictions are ever changing in the current landscape, so, as ever, be sure to check entry restrictions for each destination before you start plotting a trip