I see lots of people saying I want to travel solo, but I am unsure where to go first. Many people want to go somewhere they can be assured that it is safe and that their families will not object. Others say they want to make sure they won’t be lonely or bored. It can also be an overwhelming choice to make as there are so many great places to visit in this world. Here are eight great first time solo travel destinations.
I have traveled solo to London several times, and it never disappoints. I like it for solo travel for several reasons. One is that it is easy to get around on public transportation. Solo travel can get expensive so having access to public transportation is excellent. It is also a great first time solo travel destination because the primary language is English making it easy for most people to travel to even if English isn’t your first language.
You will never be bored in London either. There are tons of museums, historic sites, parks and shows to see here. There are also things happening at all times of the day. The great thing about being solo is that if tickets are close to being sold out, they usually have space for one! One drawback to solo travel can be that restaurants sometimes want to sit you at the bar instead of a table. Speak up if you don’t want to sit at the bar and if they won’t sit you, go somewhere else.
Florence is one of my favorite cities to visit. It is like walking in a museum. Walking is the reason it makes it a great solo destination. You can walk to all the major attractions in Florence. There is also tons to look at on the way. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Italian food! I don’t think I have had a bad meal in Florence in the four times I have been there. Although, you might need reservations at some of the more popular places. If you aren’t keen on eating alone, I recommend getting a ham sandwich to go and walk around with it. The same can be done with gelato! Just don’t sit on church steps when you do it as it is frowned upon.
Getting into attractions in Florence will also be easier as a solo traveler. The lines can be long for many museums so booking a ticket in advance is recommended, and you might get your desired slot because you are just one. While Italy is one of the more expensive destinations in Europe, you can find hostels and cheaper Airbnbs in Florence. If you stay across the Arno River rather than in the central area, you will also get lower prices, and the bonus will be seeing the Arno every day!
Almost everywhere in Thailand is a great first time solo travel destination and a good solo travel spot in Asia. That is because there are so many other solo travelers in Thailand. You will never be lonely here. In Bangkok, there is great public transportation. It is also single travel budget friendly. Thai food is also excellent and can be had at decent prices.
From Bangkok, there are flights to all the other destinations you might want to go to. This includes Chaing Mai in the North were many travel bloggers and digital nomads hang out and to the south to the beaches. Again, these areas in Thailand are budget-friendly and offer company. Even if you don’t want to save money in a hostel dorm room, you can book a private room and still enjoy meeting new people in a hostel.
4. New York City
After living in New York City for seven years, I can say that New York City is probably the ultimate solo travel destination. The New York subway is a breeze to navigate. It is also one of the cheaper public transportation systems around the world, which will help in this notoriously expensive city.
In the city that never sleeps, you will never be bored or lonely nor will you ever feel odd if you choose to eat alone. New Yorkers eat alone all the time. They even go to the movies alone. There is so much to do in New York, you could visit multiple times and still not see it all. One drawback is that accommodation can be expensive in New York City. To help with that I recommend not going in the summer or around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As many of you know Greece is one of my favorite places to visit. The Greek Islands make an excellent solo travel destination. This is because the locals are friendly and it is very safe! Every year I got to Greece and every year I come back with new friends. Plus Greece is less expensive than most European countries due to their financial crisis a few years ago. So you benefit and you are helping some lovely Greeks get back on their feet when visiting.
Did I mention Greek food?! Greek food is amazing. You will never run out of things to try in Greece. My favorites are zucchini balls, pasticcio and mousakka. And the beautiful beaches aren’t bad either. All the Greek islands have great beaches to enjoy. Go in September or October to avoid the crowds and still have great weather.
Dublin was a huge surprise to me when I visited a few years ago. I only stayed a few days but it was an easy city to navigate. Not only that but it was very walkable. Except for my visit to the Guinness factory, I walked everywhere. It also was very safe.
The food was also a pleasant surprise. Irish cuisine was great and there were plenty of things I hadn’t tried before. Don’t worry about being lonely in Dublin either as you can also visit a pub in Trinity Hall and make new friends!
This list would not be complete without Paris on it. Paris is known for being a romantic destination but I think it makes a great solo travel destination as well. This is mainly because there is literally something for everyone to enjoy in Paris. Love art, visit one of the many museums. Love history, see so many historic sites including Notre Dame or the Sacre Cour. Love architecture, look up!
The one drawback to Paris is that not everyone will willingly speak English to you. In fact, several people were rude to me when I tried to speak a little French to order a coffee. Don’t let this discourage you, there are plenty of people that speak English and most will be nice to you especially if you try.
Porto, Portugal is a great option for a solo traveler. It is very walkable and there is plenty to do. I enjoyed walking around this city looking at all the tiles. All of the entrance fees to the sites were very reasonable and because Porto isn’t a popular as many places in Europe, there were only two places with lines to get in.
Porto really comes alive at night along the Riberia district and you won’t be lonely or bored. You can get dinner there and people watch. Most of the restaurants have outdoor seating even when it is cool as they offer heaters. The food was really great as well with lots of seafood options.
Picking a destination for your for solo trip can be hard but hopefully, this list will help guide you to the perfect destination for you. Then after visiting one of these, you can venture further afield on your next solo trip!
Where do you recommend people go on their first time solo trip?