Are you travelling alone as a female? Here are the safest destinations for women who want the solo trip of a lifetime.
Solo female travel is on the rise. Women of all ages and backgrounds are setting out on solo adventures.
Travelling alone for the first time can be one of the most empowering and self-rewarding activities a woman can do.
With the freedom to do whatever you want and meet new people from across the world, it’s a right of passage everybody should have a chance to experience.
Regardless of the thrill and independence solo travel offers, it’s hard to enjoy oneself when you don’t feel safe. Your safety should be your priority on your travels, and for this reason, it’s a great idea to do extensive research into where you wish to go, planning around your desired destination.
From alpine adventures to big city exploring to tropical beach relaxing, take a look at these 15 destinations, which have proven time and time again to be safe locations for a solo female travelling alone for the first time.
1. Zurich, Switzerland
With its snow-capped mountain vistas, friendly people and on-time public transport system, what’s not to love about Switzerland?
Switzerland has a virtually non-existent crime rate, and the country is incredibly safe to travel alone at any time of the day.
By basing yourself in the capital city of Zurich, Switzerland is an excellent option for active solo female travellers. You’ll be able to enjoy summer hikes, cycles, and swims in the crystal clear lakes and winter snowboarding, skiing, and tobogganing among the snowy Alps.
From the historic city of Zurich, grab yourself a slab of freshly made swiss chocolate and board a train to a nearby village, where you will be able to stay in a traditional wooden swiss chalet and soak up incredible panoramic views.
PRO TIP: As Zurich is a costly city, it’s wise to purchase a Zurich Pass, which will give you access to airport transfers, local transport on busses, trams, trains and boats and entry into over 40 local museums. At 27 Swiss Francs for 24 hours, it’s worthwhile for those planning to spend some time visiting the city’s historic sights.
2. Bali, Indonesia
The small Buddhist Island of Bali in Indonesia is a hotspot for great surf, delicious fresh vegetarian food, exciting nightlife, and friendly locals. However, it’s the breathtaking views, culture-filled temples, and perfectly cultivated rice paddies that make this island a top solo female travel destination.
The island is only 5780 square kilometres big, making it easy to rent a motorcycle and travel across the main towns. It’s also the main port from which you can travel to the Gili Islands, which are some of the best places to snorkel in the world.
Top 3 towns to visit in Bali:
- Ubud – Surrounded by beautiful rice paddy scenery and yoga retreats.
- Canggu – Filled with delicious restaurants, hip clothing shops, and social bars.
- Uluwatu – The best location for enchanting beaches filled with caves, cliffs and world-class surf.
3. Melbourne, Australia
If you’re wondering where to travel alone for the first time, Australia is generally a super safe place to start. With reliable transportation, low poverty and crime rates, it feels like a world of its own.
After arriving in the dynamic metropolitan city of Melbourne, schedule a ride on the free Route 35 tram.
This tram takes a specific route designed for tourists, which will inform you about the major points of interest in the city – front the city museum to Federation Square and the docklands.
This way, you’ll be more familiar with the city when you start your solo adventures!
4. Montreal, Canada
If you’re up for an adventure, Canada is one of the best places to visit. The city of Montreal is as civilised and cultured as it gets, yet has a very active appeal.
Canadians enjoy spending their time outdoors, and this city has been designed to accommodate the active population.
Just outside of the city, you will find vast lakes and twisting rivers, wonderful wildlife living in tall dense forests, soaring mountain tops, and desolate beaches to enjoy.
Whether you prefer hiking or swimming, Canada is a safe place to enjoy as a solo female traveller.
5. Rome, Italy
Those who are interested in ancient European civilisations will be blown away by the city of Rome. As an ancient city built up and added to over centuries, the city is a goldmine of culture and archaeological wonder.
PRO TIP: Join a daily free walking tour and explore the city on foot.
With all its prominent landmarks close to one another, two hours of walking could take you past the Spanish steps, the Temple of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain.
6. Madrid, Spain
As one of Europe’s most visited cities, Madrid is as abundant in culture as it is safe for solo female travellers. Of course, as with any large city, one should look out for their belongings and research to ensure you don’t stumble into dangerous areas.
PRO TIP: When travelling alone for the first time, spend a few nights in a Hostel female dorm room. Madrid has some of the most exciting and affordable Hostels where you will easily meet like-minded solo travellers.
If you’re more interested in meeting Spaniards, take a walk around the Mercado de la Paz and mingle with the locals as you taste authentic Spanish delicacies.
7. Siargao, The Philippines
Head over to the Philippines and enjoy the calm oceans while sipping on delicious fresh coconuts for a more laid-back vacation.
The tropical paradise of Siargao is a small island on the east of the Philippines. Known as the country’s surfing capital, it’s a great place to learn to surf, or if you prefer rock climbing or exploring caves, there are lots of postcard-perfect mangroves and freshwater lagoons to explore.
With an abundance of ocean life, Siargao is a beautiful spot to rent a boat and skipper and explore the surrounding islands – some of which are sandy tidal islands that disappear at high tide, and others that are home to deep and dense tropical jungles!
PRO TIP: Make sure you buy a waterproof bag in the main town. It will come in handy when you take boat trips to other islands. Renting a bicycle will save you a bunch of time walking up and down the main street, which separates most accommodation from the main town.
8. Coffee Bay, South Africa
Regardless of what you might hear about safety in South Africa, there are in fact, many places that are secure for solo female visitors. Coffee Bay is a small seaside village on the country’s east coast. It’s home to the Xhosa tribe and was once home to the iconic freedom fighter and past South African President, Nelson Mandela.
In this traditionally African setting, you’ll find rolling grassy hills with animals roaming free, dramatic cliffs descending into a wild ocean, and colourful rondavels (round huts with grass roofs) scattered across the land. There is not much to do here other than eat, drink, relax and interact with the friendly locals, making it a truly memorable holiday location.
PRO TIP: Don’t expect anything too fancy. The beauty in Coffee Bay is that it is a rural town with more cows than people and not a tourist hotspot. Coffee Shack is the most popular hostel and is the best place to meet similar solo travellers and socialise.
9. Tokyo, Japan
With a burgeoning local population, Tokyo is one of the best places to disappear into a crowd, making it an easy location to travel solo without being hassled. The Japanese put a lot of effort into ensuring the safety of their citizens and tourists through enforcing joint responsibility. You won’t have to look too far to see young children using public transportation alone to get to school.
It’s simply one of the most unique cities in the world, colourfully combining traditional Japanese history with a modern high rise city. After your culture shock has set in, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the extraordinary buildings, the exquisite fashions and the luminous lights.
PRO TIP: During busy peak hours, trains offer access to female-only cabins, which are slightly less crowded.
10. Jaipur, India
It’s no secret that travelling is one of the richest ways to learn about the world and its people and what better place to do this than in the heart of India. Surrounded by the colourful culture and rich history, Jaipur, called the pink city because of its buildings’ pink hues, is famous for its ancient history meshed into a modern metropolis city.
Visit the Pink City Palace and the Amber Palace, which will blow you away with their intricately carved marble decorations and painted walls. Jantar Mantar is another exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the world.
- Dress with respect to the local people. Cover your shoulders and knees when in holy places.
- Expect a lot of people to want to take your photo.
- Never drink tap water – don’t even use it to brush your teeth.
- Carry a medical bag with anti-nausea and rehydrate in case you get a stomach bug.
11. Cascais, Portugal
Located under an hour train ride from the city of Lisbon, Cascais is a small Portuguese beachside town with quaint restaurants and boutique shops.
The town has a beautiful secluded beach, historic castles to explore and lush park lawns to lie on. It’s the perfect location for solo female travellers who enjoy solitude during the day with a social nightlife.
In the hills above the town lies Sintra. An absolute must for any visitor to the area, Sintra is a small town that hosts an array of royal palaces, castles and historic fortresses from the newly restored pastel-coloured mosaic Pena National Palace built in the 1800s to the ruins of the Castelo dos Mouros from the 8th century.
PRO TIP: While public transport is perfectly safe and suitable within Lisbon, renting a car is the most convenient and safest way to travel around the greater Lisbon region.
While it might seem daunting to embark on a solo trip for the first time, many safe destinations are rich in culture, beauty and filled with friendly people to ease the beginning of your travels.