Making the decision to travel solo is a big leap of faith for many, for others it is an absolute adrenaline rush and for some, it is completely out of the question. Wherever you are on the spectrum, it is comforting to know that there are some great choices on offer and selecting one of these perfect solo travel cities will ensure a great solo travel experience. Here they are (and why they’re so perfect for solo travellers!)
Solo travel cities: Where to travel solo for an urban escape
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong was the first city I ever travelled to solo. I was 20 years old and really excited about my trip away (heading onwards to Europe on a solo adventure) and Hong Kong was a great starting point to break the ice. For a city that is chaotic with heavy pedestrian traffic, it might come as a surprise that you’re seeing it here on the list – but rest assured, Hong Kong has a way of making you feel more connected to your surrounds than you could imagine! As everyone around you goes about their daily lives without a fuss, you soon realise that we’re all doing it alone — just sometimes, there are others around us. Hong Kong is also a very modernised city (one of Asia’s most developed), making it a really comfortable getaway. But for the “old Hong Kong”, head over to Mongkok neighbourhood and you’ll be sure to uncover some hidden gems.
There are many Italian cities that are more renowned than Verona, but this particular city is perfect for solo travellers thanks to its history, laid back lifestyle and great food. The city is home to the balcony where Juliet stood whilst Romeo declared his love for her, so this is a great pitstop for the romantics (or those looking to rekindle their faith in love). Throughout the city you’ll find plenty of street food stalls and even markets, so be sure to make the most of this as there’s oodles of great produce on offer – especially coming in to summer! The strawberry, chocolate and cream extravaganza you see above really was as delicious as it looks. And the best part about doing it solo? Aint nobody there to tell you you can’t have two… or three.
Portugal’s capital has become incredibly popular over recent years and for good reason. The colours, culture, and incredibly friendly locals are reason enough to make your way over to Lisbon to begin a Portuguese adventure. There are also many young people in the city and start up/design culture is becoming really big… making this a great city to source inspiration! Alfama is my neighbourhood of choice and you absolutely cannot miss a trip to Pastel de Belem for those warm, gooey custard tart pastries (or try the recipe at home).
It is entirely possible that there are no people on earth more friendly than Canadians… and they probably don’t come more cool, calm and collected as they do in Vancouver. There’s a really large student population here and with so many young people to meet, you’ll quickly forget you arrived solo! This city really is a top choice for meeting people and if there’s anyone more likeable than a Canadian, it will be news to me!
If you find yourself road tripping around the United States, it won’t take long for you to realise that you’ll have a better solo travel experience going off the grid and away from the major cities. Sure, you can still have a really great time in cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but arguably the best/more authentic experiences where you’ll meet many locals is in the heart of the USA in the many small cities and towns. Sedona is one such town that made me feel extremely welcome and with so many great hiking trails to switch off and tune into yourself, this is a perfect stop for solo travellers.
I loved Berlin so much that I decided to move there for a couple of months amidst my travels and try it out to live. My circumstances changed shortly after my little stint (I found the love of my life elsewhere in the world), but if I had my time again I’d totally move back to Berlin, arguably one of Europe’s coolest cities to live in for young people. The start-up culture here is huge, as are the communal vibes. Everyone is super friendly, super chill, and just super… Berlin. Oh! And the food is really cheap and really good. A great stop for solo travellers.
When considering a trip to Scotland most travellers think straight to the fairytale city of Edinburgh, or the ethereal isles in the North. Whilst both are exceptional, a trip to Glasgow is by far and large the most favoured choice in Scotland for solo travellers. Citizen M hotels are a breakthrough in the solo travel landscape, offering cheap hotel accommodations a significant step up from hostels, but with that same communal vibe. The city comes to life in the evenings with the huge student population and believe me when I say the locals love to mingle with visitors!
Although the expense of Stockholm might turn a few travellers off, those who do make the investment and visit are bound to fall in love with the city. With so many interesting people doing interesting things, I really don’t think there is another city quite as inspiring in terms of youth culture. Stockholm street style is a category of fashion on its own, but the trends of the city usually follow the attitude: laid-back, effortless and chic. I really can’t see a reason not to love this city!
Melbourne is by far and large Australia’s coolest city. With an incredible cafe culture that guarantees great coffee and a great nightlife scene (check out the rooftop bars for something a little different), there really is no reason not to love Melbourne. This is particularly a great city for solo travellers as there is just so much to do and the locals are more than keen to show off their city to visitors.
Last but never least, a small city in Belgium that has long been considered as cool as they come, Ghent is another great stop for solo travellers. The city has a large student population who are always eager to meet a new face, plus the locals are very friendly and eager to show you their great city. On Thursdays the whole city goes vegetarian for the day (or at least, encourages it) and the city itself is as pretty as a postcard.
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