The seven best places in the world to travel – all alone
More and more people are choosing to travel around the world all by themselves. Here is our round up of big cities that are cool, urban, and safe to experience on your own.
"I want to experience the world, but I don't want to wait for others" is the main reason travellers choose to go on a trip alone, according to a survey by Solo Traveler.
But it's not just freedom that explains why we are booking trip without inviting friends or family along. We want to experience things when we want, to feel independent, and also meet new people. So where do you go to get a boost to both your independence and your sense of freedom?
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Here are 7 great cities for travelling solo:
1. Reykjavík, Iceland
One website worth checking out is the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), which features an annually updated overview of the countries that are safest to visit as a tourist. Among other things, the list is based on societal security, ongoing conflicts, and political unrest. According to the list, Iceland is by far the safest place to travel to.
The country is known for its spectacular scenery, majestic waterfalls, volcanic landscapes, exciting restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. It's a great destination for those who love an adrenaline rush, but who also want to enjoy their own company in the famous Blue Lagoon spa.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
Number two on the safety list is Denmark, where our solo destination is the capital, Copenhagen. Ride around the city's bike-friendly streets and visit the National Museum and the city's many swimming spots and cosy cafés.
Copenhagen is also known for its modern design (you can find lots of cool swag in its clothing and interior design shops) and tasty culinary experiences at its wide variety of gourmet restaurants. The city has as many as 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, and is otherwise known for its creativity, sustainability and high quality – whether you opt for street food, a smørrebrød, or a place with a Michelin star (or three).
3. Dublin, Ireland
The third safest place to travel to is Ireland. The country is known for its beautiful scenery, from green hills and lush valleys to its dramatic coastline and rolling plains. We believe that anyone travelling on their own would enjoy the eating drinking culture in Dublin. The city has a large selection of pubs, bars, clubs, and restaurants. Dubliners are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness, making it easy to feel welcome and included when visiting – maybe you won't be alone after all!
This is where to go to party and hang out with others:
The Blind Pig Speakeasy:
Cool cocktail bar hidden behind a wall inside an Italian restaurant. Great cocktails and live music. It is recommended to book a table in advance.
Dublin's worst-kept secret isn't really in Dublin — it's a half-hour taxi ride outside Dublin, in Glencullen. As well as being one of Ireland's oldest pubs, it also offers great food and live music and entertainment. It is highly recommended to book a seat for The Hooley Show. Your ticket includes a three-course dinner, live music, and Riverdance by a local dance troupe. The whole experience feels, and is, a bit touristy, but that doesn't really detract from it being a great night out. You sit at long, shared tables during dinner, which is very sociable. The list of celebrities who have stopped by, and sometimes climbed up on the stage, is as long as a bad year.
Classic Irish. If good vibes, delicious Guinness, and live music are your thing, the Darkey Kelly's pub is the place for you, with live music seven days a week in one of Dublin's nicest pubs. The pub is frequented by locals as well as tourists.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the perfect destination for solo travellers, regardless of gender. It's safe, not that expensive, most people know English, and the locals are friendly. Moreover, it's easy to get there from most big cities. Lisbon offers a big city feel, nice parks, historical walks and museums. Get to know Portuguese cuisine, and maybe try something new, like sign up for a cooking course!
5. Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden's capital city is often ranked as one of the safest places to travel alone. The city is easy to get an overview of and get around in. You can shop for minimalist and Nordic style on Biblioteksgatan, head out to Djurgården for green nature and museums, and visit one of the city's many spas – overlooking the city centre. If you love roof terraces - perfect for parties and meeting someone - Stockholm has many of the coolest ones around. Make sure to stop by Stockholm Under Stjärnorna, Naboterrassen, or The Nest (Downtown Camper). (links + check tracking)
If you're as fit as Scandinavian hotel magnate Petter Stordalen, you'll be out of town in just under an hour. See the full article here: Sightrunning through Stockholm with Petter Stordalen
6. Havana, Cuba
If you want an authentic experience, it's still not too late to travel to Cuba. The country is perfect for those who want to experience a lot on their holiday. In Cuba, you can experience dance traditions such as salsa and rumba – and wonderful street life. Or you can set aside a few days to learn about the fascinating history of Havana.
The list of wonderful activities is long. One unique experience is to stroll around Havana's colourful streets and learn about the key revolutionary figure Che Guevara, snap pictures of the beautiful buildings and colourful exterior doors in Spanish colonial style, and enjoy Havana's old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also visit author Ernest Hemingway's home, Finca Vigía, just outside the city, which is now a museum . If you have plenty of time, you should make the trip (there is a bus) of just over four hours from Havana to Trinidad – a place with cobbled streets and colourful buildings that are just like a postcard.
The white sandy beach of Playa Ancon is also close by.
A good tip is to book yourself a Casa particular, where you stay in the home of Cubans. You will then get a genuine, first-hand experience of the people, culture and food. You can often meet friendly Cubans on the street who invite you to their home for lobster and other goodies, but it costs money... This is what they do for a living.
7. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
If you want to relax and be at one with nature, you should book a trip to Costa Rica in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua and Panama. The country is known as a tropical paradise, with rainforest, abundant wildlife, and beautiful beaches. You can travel almost anywhere if you are adventurous and love nature, but we've picked out Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica's Pacific coast.
Fantastic beaches, unique nature experiences, and cool hotels are the keywords here. The area's crown jewel is the national park of the same name. Known as one of the most beautiful national parks in the country with a rich wildlife, you'll have a good chance of encountering wildlife up close. Treat yourself to a guide and you'll get expert help observing sloths, monkeys, and more. The beach in the national park is also a must – just make sure your things don't get nabbed by the park's long-fingered monkeys.
In the evening, relax with one of the world's most beautiful sunsets from the terrace of the El Avion restaurant.