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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!