The 14 Best Solo Travel Destinations

by Nathalie O'Neill

So some far-flung country has been on your bucket list for as long as you remember, but none of your friends are interested. Why not head there solo? Here are the best countries to travel alone, if you need inspiration. While it might sound scary, many people claim traveling by themselves is a must-have experience that offers a unique way of seeing the world. When you travel solo, you focus on your own experience without a buddy's influence. And traveling alone means you get to call the shots — whether that means hunting for flea market treasures for hours, or enjoying local delicacies all evening. Traveling alone not only opens your eyes to a new place, it also serves as a voyage of self-discovery (hey, it's a cliché for a reason).

A big concern for solo female travelers is, understandably, safety. But if you follow solo travel safety precautions and pick your destination wisely, traveling alone can be an amazing worry-free experience. So whether you just want to indulge your wanderlust or you're getting ready to plan your next getaway, I've rounded up 14 of the best destinations to explore all on your own. As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in her solo-travel classic Eat, Pray, Love, “The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” Sometimes, when the travel bug calls, you've just got to answer.

1. New Zealand

Anyone who's seen the Lord of the Rings movies knows the gorgeous natural landscapes to be found in New Zealand. While you're there, take the time to learn about Māori culture and end your days with delicious craft beer.

2. United Kingdom

Every good Anglophile knows to hit up London, but also spend some time in the countryside's rolling green hills.

3. Chile

Head to Santiago, one of the safest large cities in South America, to enjoy the vibrant street life. Make sure to visit Patagonia, one of the few places in the world that is still untouched, for its breathtaking mountains, fjords, and glaciers.

4. Thailand

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Thailand's beaches and islands are a backpacker's favorite for a reason. Head there to enjoy some tropical sunshine and make friends with fellow travelers.

5. Iceland

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Reykjavik is one of the safest places in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. Schedule your trip at the right time and if you're lucky, you might just get to witness the Northern Lights.

6. Germany

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Head to Berlin to experience the city's vibrant nightlife and arts scene, or hit up Munich for Oktoberfest.

7. Austria

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Austria is definitely worth a visit for its charming mountain villages and its beautiful baroque architecture. History buffs will be in heaven.

8. Indonesia

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Learn to surf, snorkel, or dive in crystal-clear waters. Hop on a rickshaw, and visit a local market. Make sure you save time to visit a Buddhist temple.

9. Guatemala

Hello, ancient Mayan ruins. Guatemala also has lush jungles to explore, and Central America's most active volcano. While you're there, pick up a little Spanish to try your hand at haggling at the country's colorful markets.

10. Netherlands

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Bike along the canals in Amsterdam, and take the time to leave the city and take in those famous tulip fields.

11. Japan

This friendly country makes for great solo traveling. For some urban adventures, hit up Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Sapporo (best known for its eponymous beer!). Venture out of the city to visit Japan's beautiful historic temples.

12. Portugal

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Walk along the steep streets of beautiful old Lisbon, or head out to the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, in the South.

13. Costa Rica

This land of rainforests and sunny beaches is the perfect place to sign up for a surf safari or a yoga retreat.

14. Denmark

Denmark offers a perfect taste of Scandinavia. Hit up Copenhagen for its colorful harbors and hip culture, or head to the Nordic beaches to enjoy long summer nights.

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