Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

12 Best and Safest Places for Women to Travel Alone

There seem to be two opposing schools of thought when it comes to women traveling solo. The first says that women shouldn’t travel alone at all because it’s not safe. The other says that women can do whatever the heck they want, and there’s no difference between a solo male traveler and a solo female traveler. As a woman, I disagree with both these ideas. Women can certainly travel alone (I’ve personally done solo international travel), but it would be foolhardy for me to think that it’s just as safe for me to travel the same areas that a single man can travel.
 
When it comes to women’s travel, it’s best to cut loose from both fear-driven and politically correct ideologies and find a practical way to look at solo female travel. The reality is that women are more at risk when traveling. Women aren’t generally as physically strong as men, and they are more often targets of rape and theft. However, this shouldn’t stop us from traveling alone. After all, what is life if we spend the whole thing hiding from every danger? Besides, there are so many fun, safe places to travel that we’re not likely to run out of great destinations in a lifetime. It’s good to find a balance. By all means travel alone, but do it with caution.

 

Here are 12 great, safe places for women to travel alone.

 

1    Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne has a lot to love! There is so much to do in Melbourne that you’ll need another week (or year, or lifetime) to see it all. Melbourne boasts amazing food, a lively night scene, and endless shopping. Plus, there are lots of galleries to museums to wander through.
 
Melbourne, Australia
2    Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is one of the safest countries for female solo travel, and it’s also one of the coolest (literally!) places on earth. You can enjoy the northern wonders that Reykjavik has to offer, like geothermal pools, cultural centers, and the historic Old Reykjavik area. It’s also one of the best places to view the Northern Lights!
 
Reykjavik, Iceland
3    Montreal, Canada

Canada is a friendly and safe place in general, but Montreal offers wonders that you don’t want to miss. This city’s rich French culture melds the Francophone with the Anglophone, making it a place with an enticing foreign flavor. Go in the summer to enjoy beautiful outdoors, or visit in winter for a glimpse of Canada’s warm northern culture on cold days.
 
Montreal, Canada
4    Bali, Indonesia

Bali is one of the most beautiful places you can possibly imagine. It’s a perennial favourite destination for Australians, and with good reason. Bali is known for its friendliness and welcome towards tourists, and the gorgeous jungle coastline doesn’t hurt, either. If you want to take a solo tropical vacation, Bali is the best and safest place for women to travel.
 
Bali, Indonesia
5    British Virgin Islands

Bali is near to Australian travelers, but the British Virgin Islands are a bit closer to home for travelers from the Americas. Enjoy the beautiful Caribbean sunshine as you shop, snorkel and sunbathe your way through the BVIs.
 
British Virgin Islands
6    Singapore

Singapore is the ultimate safe and fun solo destination for female travelers. The perfect meld of Asian traditions and Eastern tech, Singapore has plenty of amazing things to see: old temples and modern skyscrapers, street food and rooftop bars, ultra-fast transportation and leisurely walking paths.
 
Singapore
7    Vancouver, Canada

Canada makes it on this list twice because Canada is just that awesome. British Columbia’s largest city is the perfect place for solo female travelers to hang out and relax. Rated as one of the world’s friendliest cities, Vancouver offers the best of city adventures and bracing outdoor activities. You may find your favorite restaurant in the world here, and you’ll be able to explore everything from indie bars to beaches or urban shopping adventures.
 
Vancouver, Canada
8    Hong Kong

Hong Kong is not China, however close the two may be. China’s trendy little brother is one of the best places in Asia for women to travel alone, and it’s not just because of the safety factor. Hong Kong is fast-paced, friendly, and fun. Shopping, dining, and urban exploring find their apex here!
 
Hong Kong
9    Barcelona, Spain

Spain is the dreamiest of European destinations. Old castles, hidden restaurants, and gorgeous coastlines offer the ultimate travel experience. One of the safest cities for female travelers (as well as one of the most beautiful) is Barcelona. Indulge in its amazing cuisine to learn why Barcelona is considered one of the top food cities in the world. Enjoy all the best of Spain, from food to history to fun.
 
Barcelona, Spain
10    Munich, Germany

One of Germany’s most interesting cities is Munich, a historically Bavarian town with more charm than you can pack into one trip. Munich is an ideal walking city, and a jaunt through the streets will bring you past dozens of interesting historic buildings, pubs, and hidden treasures.
 
Munich, Germany
11    Austin, Texas

Austin is one of the United States’ safest cities for solo female travelers, and it’s also a wonderful place to get lost in exploration. Its downtown is centered around live music, featuring a smorgasbord of rock, blues, and country. The Austin City Limits and SXSW music festivals draw hundreds of thousands of music and film fans annually. Want to burn off the calories from the famous Texas barbecue? Austin is an active, outdoorsy city, too – check out the many public parks and maybe take a bike tour or two. There are plenty of attractions to see here!
 
Austin, Texas
12    Copenhagen, Denmark

Scandinavia has been getting a lot more attention since Frozen came out. After all, who wouldn’t want to see a place as beautiful as Arendelle? For a place with a fewer ice castles but more cozy charm, check out Copenhagen. Here, you’ll discover a place known for happiness and charm. (Actually named as the World’s Happiest Country!) Home to palaces, Tivoli Gardens, the iconic Little Mermaid sculpture, and fabulous shopping, it is a perfect solo destination. Rent a bike and see the colors of Denmark’s historic yet modern neighborhoods.
 
Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Traveling solo offers women the chance to experience amazing travel destinations on their own terms. You may have concerns about safety, but these are some of the best and safest countries for women traveling alone. Don’t let your worries keep you from a great adventure!
 

12 Comments

  1. Yoji
    March 27, 2017 - 2:39 pm

    If Vancouver is British Columbia’s capital city, where have you hidden Victoria?

    Reply
    • brejay
      March 28, 2017 - 4:29 pm

      At the far end of an hour and a half ferry ride?
      Would you believe I was feeling very old-school British? “A capital city! Simply smashing!”
      No, I messed up. The text has been edited. Thanks for the head’s up.

      Reply
  2. July 14, 2017 - 7:43 pm

    A good list provided and a nice article.
    We would like to suggest another great and safe travel destination.

    Ireland’s capital Dublin would also be that perfect place! Why?

    It’s full of fun, safe and In Dublin nobody feels lonely. Its a beautiful and cosmopolitan city, rich in history and full of friendly people.In 2016 Dublin was voted the 3rd mots friendly city in the world.People in the bars,pubs or on the streets will always give you directions, help you with any question you have…

    Reply
  3. Lizzy Brown
    August 23, 2017 - 12:44 pm

    Personally, I believe that women can embark on most travels solo, but not at Hong Kong. I like going there with my Husband. I’ve been to Barcelona, Spain and Vancouver, Canada alone and they were very friendly. I’d enjoin any woman not to give it a second thought going to these two places alone.

    Reply
  4. Caitlin
    August 23, 2017 - 4:26 pm

    I have been to Austin numerous times and I am so happy it made it to this list! Apart from the typical party atmosphere that comes with any major university town, there are tons of little restaurants featuring cuisines from all over the world and absolutely gorgeous, expansive parks that seem to have some kind of festival or event going on every time you turn around. It also has a chain of old-school pinball arcades with lovingly restored and maintained machines! No matter what your goal is…

    Reply
  5. Halyna R.
    August 23, 2017 - 5:16 pm

    My sister is always traveling alone but she’s only visited the countries that are just a few hours bus ride away. She’s only had positive experience so far but I guess we should take safety more into consideration. She’s now planning a trip to Poland in a couple of months and she was thinking about going to Germany for a few days while she’s at it. She was deciding between Berlin and Munich so this article comes in handy. Scandinavian countries are on her destinations list as well, but she…

    Reply
  6. August 23, 2017 - 5:18 pm

    I love Vancouver and British Columbia! It has to be one of my favourite regions of the world. I used to live on the North shore of Vancouver and I have to say I never had any issues at all while I was there. Actually I’ve been to quite a few of these cities, and I’ve never had any issues in any of them.

    Reply
  7. Augusta Florence
    August 23, 2017 - 6:03 pm

    Any rational person wouldn’t agree any less that there are places women should not travel to all alone. On the other other hand, the safe places are worth touring anytime. As a woman, I can’t miss going to Munich solo when next I visit Germany.

    Reply
  8. Mitchell
    August 24, 2017 - 6:33 am

    I love these lines; ….”It’s good to find a balance. By all means travel alone, but do it with caution.” Thanks for the advise. Of all the places mentioned, I’d opt for Munich. That has been in mind ever since. But how about the language barrier over there? Please advise. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Joanne
    August 24, 2017 - 8:39 am

    I’ve been waiting for this list. I’ve been planning on embarking on a solo travel journey for a few months now. I am so happy to read this about Iceland and Bali because they have been on my wishlist for a long time now. So I might have to reconsider my travel priorities after reading this. I think that most destinations are safe for women as long as you are careful and stay away from dangerous situations. I’m definitely bookmarking this for when I leave.

    Reply
  10. Deborah Wallace
    August 29, 2017 - 2:37 am

    I want to start traveling solo, but I don’t know where to start. I’m from Nasville, Tn. Any suggestions? I want to go December 13 through December 17 or 18.

    Reply
  11. November 12, 2017 - 8:43 am

    I’ve researched the subject of the safest places to visit for solo woman travelers for my project singlewomantrip.com and should tell your list is one of the most truthful. Thank you for great work! Putting your link in my bookmarks 🙂

    Reply

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