If you’re a fan of traveling solo, why not book a trip to Europe? Whether you love history and art, beautiful landscapes, lavish meals, or unforgettable parties, there is something out there for you. Europe has tourist destinations for every wallet and you generally won’t have to worry about safety.
The real challenge is deciding where to go. We’ve collected some of the continent’s best destinations for women who are traveling solo. But first, a few words of advice before we start exploring the perfect European destinations for solo female travelers.
How to Plan Your First Solo Trip to Europe
If you’ve never been on a trip without a travel buddy, you might feel nervous about the adventures ahead of you. However, all you need is some careful trip-planning to ensure a carefree and memorable experience. Let’s go over the most important travel plans you should make in advance.
1. Start with Choosing a Country
You don’t have to know your exact destination to start getting ready for your trip. But the planning process will become easier once you decide which of Europe’s 44 countries you want to visit.
2. Get All Your Papers In Order
Making sure you have the right documents is one of the most stressful aspects of international travel. You likely won’t have to jump too many hoops to travel to Europe, but this depends on where you live.
It’s important to find out whether you’ll need a visa or an international driving permit. Double and triple-check the expiration date in your passport, and make copies of everything before you leave.
Read more: Top European Destinations
3. Pick a Destination
One of the best things about traveling on your own is that you won’t have to make compromises. You can go wherever you like and choose the pace of your vacation. Those looking to relax might prefer a seaside vacation, while more adventurous travelers generally prefer to stick to cities. Take the time to look at every option – our short collection below is a good place to get started.
4. Book Ahead
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to look at accommodations and plane tickets. Once again, you only have to think about your own taste and budget here. Make sure to book a plane ticket in time, and add your ticket and reservations to your other travel documents.
5. Think About Local Transportation
Whichever of Europe’s gorgeous tourist spots you’re planning to visit, you probably aren’t planning to spend the whole trip cooped up in a hotel room. So, do some research and decide how you’re going to get around once you’re there.
In big cities, you are unlikely to have any unpleasant encounters on the bus or subway. If you’re planning a longer European tour, traveling by rail could be the most affordable way to go.
Still, some women who are traveling alone prefer to avoid public transportation. You can always look into car rental opportunities, and bike rentals can also be an excellent choice. If you’re visiting a seaside location, don’t miss out on cruises.
Hitchhiking on a solo trip:
If you’re traveling solo, hitchhiking probably isn’t your first choice. However, it can be done, with a bit of luck and extra preparation. Couchsurfing is also an option if you want to see as many sights as possible while staying on a tight budget.
6. Pack Wisely
What you pack can make the difference between the best Europe trip of your life and a nightmare vacation. Make sure your clothes match the local weather and prioritize comfort over glamour. Don’t forget about the necessities – medications, chargers, a water bottle, and so on.
If you usually carry pepper spray with you, you may need to leave it at home. It is illegal to use in many European countries, including Belgium, Iceland, and the UK.
7. Do Some Last-Minute Googling
You won’t need to do too much comprehensive research about your destination. Getting to explore and discover everything the location has to offer is part of the fun. However, you should make sure you know about the main attractions, as well as any art exhibitions or festivals that coincide with your stay there.
English is spoken widely in Europe, and you probably won’t have too many communication issues, as most Europeans are known to be welcoming to tourists. However, it’s a good idea to learn enough of the local language to greet people, thank them, and ask for help if necessary.
Where to Go in Europe as a Solo Female Traveler
Now that you know how to plan ahead for your trip, it’s time to decide on a location. Here are some of the best European destinations for solo female travelers who are looking for an unforgettable time abroad.
1. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
If you’re looking to bask in old-fashioned European splendor, consider Karlovy Vary, a town known for its gorgeous spas and hot springs. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the health benefits the royal baths have to offer.
On the other hand, this town isn’t only for tourists looking for a sedentary vacation. There are museums and churches to explore, and you can even visit the Karl Marx Monument. It’s worth finding a well-informed tour guide who can take you on a journey through this town’s complex history. Nature lovers will appreciate the lookout tower and the beautifully tended parks.
If you’re mainly looking for a cultural experience, the best time to visit this town is in September. There are three unforgettable music festivals you can enjoy that month. Of course, you can also go on a day-trip to Prague – reaching the city only takes around two hours by bus.
2. San Sebastian, Spain
Are you planning a summer vacation on the beach? San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful options, as it is also packed with splendid historical buildings, including castles and churches. You can alternate between exploring the narrow streets and stretching out on the pristine sandy beaches.
Fans of summer sports will have an amazing time in San Sebastian. This city offers a dizzying rage of surfing, water-skiing, and kayaking options. The hills provide a challenge for hiking enthusiasts.
You are also guaranteed to have a delicious culinary adventure if you visit Old Town. You can experience authentic Basque recipes even in the most affordable bars. On the other hand, the city boasts numerous restaurants with Michelin stars.
3. Loch Ness, UK
This Scottish wonder is an excellent choice for travelers looking for a calm, contemplative vacation. While visiting the most famous lake in the world, you can enjoy the untouched beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
While this area is sparsely populated in general, all the villages near Loch Ness are welcoming to tourists. You can visit a highly-respected museum dedicated to the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster, as well as the current and past flora and fauna of the area. But don’t miss out on the ruins of Urquhart Castle, which date back to the early 13th century.
Whether you’re looking for long hikes, cruises, historical wonders, or a cozy rural atmosphere, Loch Ness won’t disappoint.
Read more: When to Visit Ireland and Scotland
These three trip ideas are meant to serve as an aperitif. The best spot for you may be on the snowy peaks of the Alps, in the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, in a rain-washed city in the Netherlands, or a small island in the Mediterranean. Don’t rush your decision, and don’t worry about the specifics until you’ve decided where you want to go.