Having travelled solo throughout much of Europe and the rest of the world, I have certainly found that some countries are more suitable than others for solo travellers. Last year I took A Year To Myself and started my adventures across all 6 continents in Europe for the first four months. For first timers to solo travel, Europe is a great place to start. Not just because it is safe and for the most part stable, but because there is so much history, culture and difference in every country you visit that you just can’t help but to enjoy yourself and the solo journey. So here are the best solo travel destinations in Europe (enjoy the journey)!
Ireland hits number one on the list as it was a special place for me in my year of travels. I had already been right across Europe from West to East, through the South and Centre of Europe, before I arrived in Ireland. It was in Ireland where I really learned to enjoy my own company, having spent so much time by myself driving the length of the country in just one week! Once I landed I booked a rental car on the spot after a night in Dublin and hit the road. I had no plans, no intent on arriving, and relied on pretty pictures on Pinterest to dictate my travels. Talk about an adventure! The people were incredibly friendly and welcoming and I stayed in B&B’s every night. Be sure to ask for the “single” rate to save some dollars!
My time in Scotland was exactly what I imagined it would be. It felt rough, rugged, and real. The people in Scotland were particularly friendly in the Highlands and again I stayed in B&B’s and some hotels. I actually joined a tour for my time in the Scottish Highlands, which can be a really great option to break up the “alone” time when travelling solo.
While the first two destinations are countries and Berlin is just a city, it is a city like no other and absolutely perfect for solo travellers! Berlin is unlike the rest of Germany and incredibly fun, friendly, and one of the cheaper capital cities in Europe to visit. There is a great nightlife scene here if you would like to meet people and food is impossibly cheap (and good!)
Another capital city that cannot go without mention is the gorgeous and ethereal Prague. I first travelled to Prague when I was 20 years old on my first solo adventure overseas. Then I returned again last year a few years later and loved it so much that I re-visited once more for good measure to introduce it to my mum! Prague is a great city for solo travellers as hostels are really cheap and/or cheap hotels aren’t hard to find. Air BnB is another great choice in Prague if you’re looking for a local experience. Although prices have hiked since Czech Republic joined the EU (still not on the Euro, though), it is still relatively cheap in comparison to other capitals. Another plus – there are some great vegetarian restaurants in Prague making it cheap to eat healthy for once! Try Maitrea and Lehka Hlava.
Paris has always been one of my favourite cities to visit in the world (even before I had been there), however France outside of Paris is even more captivating. France can be a bit of a challenge for solo travellers in regards to the language barrier, but this could be a great chance to take some classes and learn a bit of French! I loved France for solo travel as it has this captivating allure that just can’t be found elsewhere. France and everything French will always have a special place in my heart!
Located just next door (and perhaps therefore a good combination with France!?) is the totally underrated country of Belgium. Before I went to Belgium on my solo adventures at 20 years of age, everyone had told me it was “boring”, “bland”, and asked “but why would you go to Belgium!?” As is often the case, they were wrong! Until you go somewhere yourself, you never know… and many people offering their two cents had not actually been to Belgium. So I went anyway! My time in Belgium was one of my favourite trips EVER. My favourites include Brugges, Ghent, and Antwerp. Skip Brussels as a solo traveller.
Where to even begin when it comes to Finland!? Such an incredible country and such an incredible destination for solo travellers. Be sure to stop in Helsinki for a night or two to get your bearings, but definitely make your way out of the capital and venture North if you’re looking for a great solo adventure. Lapland is an absolute winter wonderland or if you’re visiting in the summer, head to the lakes district!