Over the last five years travelling the globe solo I have had many ups and downs, good experiences, terrible experiences, and most important of all, life lessons. However if I could have known then what I knew now, there are some cities I would have avoided and others I would have visited sooner. Below is a comprehensive list of the safest cities for female solo travelers, where I have felt most comfortable and enjoyed every minute of my time in. Sure, there are many more… but these cities are a safe bet!
The Best Cities for Female Solo Travelers
1. Zurich, Switzerland
Switzerland as a whole is one of the safest countries to travel to solo, but Zurich is the city that captured my heart most. Just big enough to remain interesting for a few days but with a small village feel, the city is full of winding alleyways and postcard-worthy views. For an authentic experience consider renting an apartment (with a balcony) for a few nights and spend your days meandering the cities’ many pockets.
Read more: How to Spend 48 Hours in Zurich
2. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is the kind of city you imagine yourself living in just hours into your visit. The city has a casual vibe to rival Melbourne but with a more outdoorsy feel thanks to Stanley park bustling with runners, walkers and cyclists in even the worst weather.
Read more: How to Spend 48 Hours in Vancouver
3. Bruges, Belgium
I absolutely adore Bruges and this is also one of the first cities I travelled to solo. My visit to Bruges was almost entirely by mistake, when I began researching day trips from Paris and became a little sidetracked and somehow wound up in next door Belgium… oops! Though I did appreciate my one day in Bruges many years ago, I was even more appreciative when I got to return a couple of years ago and stay two nights. Two should be a minimum, but ideally you could spend three-four nights here and really lose yourself in the charm.
Read more: Five Things You Must Do in Bruges
4. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm has always intrigued me with its’ iconic street style it has become so renowned for, but I was absolutely amazed when began exploring by foot and realising how large and intriguing this city is. You could easily spend three-four days in Stockholm before venturing off further in to Sweden, as this is easily one of the safest countries to travel in and really easy to get by (nearly everyone speaks perfect English which is handier than you would think!)
Read more: Stockholm Bucket List!
5. Kyoto, Japan
Of all the cities I visited in Japan, Kyoto was by far my favourite. If your idea of Japan encompasses history, tradition and culture, then look no further… this city has it all! Located just an hour away by train is another safe city with a completely different urban vibe: Osaka. Both should be on your itinerary.
Read more: A Quick Guide to Kyoto
6. Lisbon, Portugal
Every time I visit Lisbon I feel as if I’m still just skimming the surface. The first time I visited I went alone and had an absolute blast: wandering, shopping for trinkets, searching out views and avoiding any sense of direction until the sun started to go down. The second visit I went with three girlfriends and had just as much fun, so with this one you can go either way!
Read more: The Ultimate Lisbon Bucketlist!
7. Budapest, Hungary
When I first travelled to Budapest six years ago I thought I had stumbled upon a hidden gem. I was on my first solo adventure and wanted to throw a couple of “off the beaten path” destinations into the mix, of which Budapest was one at the time. Now, Budapest has become a mandatory stopover on any travellers European itinerary! But despite its increase in popularity, the Hungarian capital has managed to retain its charm and is still a great choice for budget travellers.
Read more: 20 Places You Must See in Budapest
8. Sedona, Arizona
I was working in Phoenix some years ago when I sporadically decided to rent a car and drive north through the length of Arizona. In just four days I made my way to the Northern tip and until today, it remains one of the best adventures I have ever had. If you’re a solo female traveller who prefers isolation and serenity, I truly don’t think you could beat using Sedona as your base. There are oodles of hiking trails shooting off in every direction, leaving me to believe a week here would not be an overkill.
Read more: How to Spend a Weekend in Sedona
9. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The first city I ever travelled to was Hong Kong and so it has occupied a very special place in my heart for some time now. Each time I visit the city seems to change beyond recognition, so that I never get bored exploring a new neighbourhood or one of the outlying islands. Solo females will love the abundance of hiking trails you can enjoy outside of the city, giving the perfect balance for girls who want to experience both the city and serenity. I would recommend 9-10 days for your first visit… there’s a lot to discover!
Read More: Hong Kong in 48 Hours
10. Hoi An, Vietnam
Vietnam is another destination that has rapidly gained in popularity over the past five or six years, but one visit to the country and you will soon see why. Not only is Southeast Asia cheap to travel to (and as a consequence you get a lot more bang for your buck), but it is also rich in history, culture and traditions. Hoi An was the city I felt most safe in: wandering around by myself in the muggy evenings, enjoying the night market vibes and retreating to my beach resort after a few days in the city.
11. Bergen, Norway
Although expensive, Bergen is one of the most quaint and charming cities to visit in Northern Europe. This seaside city in Norway has long been on my list of places to travel, of which I finally got to experience and explore last year. Be sure to venture beyond the market strip on the waterfront and venture in to the hilly neighbourhood above – the gorgeous neighbourhoods are too charming not to witness in real life!
Read more: How to Spend One Day in Bergen
12. London, United Kingdom
I don’t think I could count on my hands the amount of times I have visited London and I can say with certainty that I never seem to tire of it. This city has so many things to see and do that it is the perfect choice for solo female travellers who prefer to keep busy and immerse themselves in history and culture. Best of all… many of the museums are free!
Read more: The London Bucketlist!
13. Alesund, Norway
Another city I loved in Norway is the art deco lover’s dream: Alesund. Also located on the coast and almost entirely surrounded by an impressive body of water, this is one of the most photogenic cities I have seen to date.
Read more: The cutest town in Norway
14. New York, New York
Although there are times I have questioned my decisions whilst staying in the city that never sleeps, I have always felt safe on my own and never ran into trouble. The neighbourhood you base yourself will play a big part in how comfortable you feel, so I would propose thinking hard about what you would like to experience in New York and match the neighbourhood with it.
Tourist sites – Stay in Midtown
Feel like Carrie Bradshaw – Stay in Greenwich Village
Dive Bars & STudent Culture – Stay in the East Village
Old School Hipster – Williamsburg in Brooklyn
Read more: The New York Files
15. Helsinki, Finland
I didn’t fall in love with Helsinki until my third visit. There, I said it. But what I did enjoy and appreciate upon every visit was how safe and comfortable I have always felt. Even the locals will tell you ‘nothing really happens in Helsinki’… its true! I would recommend 1-2 days here, one more if you feel like catching the ferry over to Tallinn for a day trip.
Read more: Helsinki Photo Diary
16. Paris, France
My one true love: Paree! For those of you who don’t read this blog on the regular – I am OBSESSED with Paris. Every time I have visited I have found a new focus or lens to explore the city through, like my pastry tour of Paris last year, Spring blossoms the year before and my first discovery in Montmartre back when I was seventeen (almost a decade ago – eep!) Safe neighbourhoods I would recommend staying in include: St Germain, Le Marais and the 1st arrondissement (near the Louvre). These are also really central locations to explore from.
Read more: Paris in the Spring
17. Tallinn, Estonia
If fairytales are true they must all be based off Tallinn. Hands down the cutest city I have seen with my own eyes, the charm of Tallinn exists in the Old Town, a reasonably sized area that has retained its charm and authenticity over the years. Tallinn is a great stop for two or three days on your European adventure.
Read more: The Top 10 Things to Do in Tallinn
18. Melbourne, Australia
As my favourite city in Australia, I am constantly telling everyone I meet that they cannot miss the “culture capital” of Oz (self-dubbed, the capital of Australia is Canberra). Here you will find the best coffee (probably in the world), street culture and city nature on overdrive. There really is nothing I don’t enjoy about Melbourne!
Read more: How to Spend 48 Hours in Melbourne
Each time I have visited Amsterdam I have gone solo and I’ve got to say, it is still one of the best cities to experience in your lifetime. If you like photogenic cities that sometimes feel too pretty to be real, then this ones for you!
Read more: Amsterdam Photo Diary
20. Copenhagen, Denmark
Although not the friendliest/most outgoing city to visit, Copenhagen is a really safe city and beautiful to explore over a few days. Be sure to save some cash, though, as it is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe. I chose to travel through Germany and arrive by train, which I found really easy to navigate and more affordable than flying. Staying in a hostel or guest house is a great way to meet people!
Read more: Copenhagen Bucket List
21. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is almost as special to me as Paris, as I believe it has just as much charm, great pastries, and beautiful architecture to admire along with an enviable art collection. You could easily spend four or five days exploring Vienna, especially if you’re looking to visit the museums and sites outside of the city.
Read more: Vienna Bucket List
22. Edinburgh, Scotland
My obsession with Harry Potter is what led me to Edinburgh and boy did it not disappoint! J.K. Rowling wrote much of the books here in the city, making it a real lens into her creative mind and process. If the Potter series aren’t really your thing, there are still so many reasons to visit Edinburgh! Road tripping through Scotland was also one of my ost memorable travel experiences and a great adventure to experience solo.
As one of the safest cities to visit in the entire world, this list would not be complete without mention of Singapore. The city is vast and there is much to discover, so I would recommend travelling by MRT if you plan to see it all (or close to it!)
Read more: Where to go in Singapore for Nature Lovers
24. Prague, Czech Republic
Still one of my favourite places in the world, I’m sure you need no convincing that Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The first time I visited six years ago was a little hairy, I’ll be honest. But my visits since then have felt really safe, comfortable, and I’ve found plenty to see and do around the Old Town. I would highly recommend jumping on the bus to Cesky Krumlov after you’ve seen Prague, as it is a great stopover town to visit en route to Austria (Salzburg or Vienna aren’t far away).
Read more: The Best of Prague: A Prague Walking Guide
25. Dublin, Ireland
Probably the most memorable solo trip I have taken was my road trip through Ireland, which began in Dublin. This city has a lot of vibrancy (pubs dominate the streets), but if you can look past the craziness on the streets, you’ll see there is a lot of charm to discover. Galway is another great city I would highly recommend in Ireland.
Read more: A Quick Guide to Dublin
26. Venice, Italy
Finally, Venice! This is another one of the all times greats that I believe all travel lovers should experience in their lifetime and one that I very much hope to visit again! The city is best explored on foot, winding your way through the alleyways that inevitably lead to a bridge, square, or pontoon. Travelling by water is your next best option (albeit an expensive one), which is all part of the Venetian experience.
Read more: Venice Bucket List