If there’s one thing we’re advocates for here at Contiki, it’s exploring as much of the world as you can. We love travelling the world and recommend that everyone do it solo at least once! With good reason, too, as solo travel is one of the greatest joys of life. It can be daunting to set out on your own, but we’ve got you covered with our guide to some of the best solo travel destinations. Check out our top picks below…
1. Vancouver, Canada
Canada is one of the best places for solo travellers to visit. With friendly locals, beautiful scenery and a thriving tourism industry, the country is perfect for those travelling alone.
Begin your Canadian trip with a visit to the city of Vancouver, known for outdoor activities, sprawling parks and vibrant city pockets. It’s easy to bike or walk around and it’s not hard to figure out your bearings in the well mapped-out streets. Vancouver also acts as a gateway to the natural beauty of British Columbia, with bright blue glacial lakes, forests of towering pine trees and epic activities to enjoy.
2. Reykjavík, Iceland
Iceland is on the top of many bucket lists – but if your friends don’t want to visit this amazing spot, just head out on your own! A haven for outdoorsy and curious folks, Iceland is perfect for solo travellers seeking natural wonders.
Head to Reykjavík to experience the best of the city with sights like Harpa Concert Hall, Old Harbour, Laugavegur Street and the Hallgrimskirkja church. Venture out of the capital city on a day trip, taking the Golden Circle route to see the famous Strokkur geyser, Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss waterfall. If you time your trip just right – from October to February – and have luck on your side, you can even see the Northern Lights from downtown Reykjavík or any number of surrounding villages.
3. Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand is known as one of the safest solo travel destinations, along with being one of the most beautiful countries in the world (of course). If you’re travelling alone to NZ, you can’t go wrong with Queenstown on the South Island.
The energetic village is the home of action, with tourists filling out the town year-round to check out experiences like the Ben Lomond Track, AJ Hackett Bungee Jump or Shotover Jet. The small village is perfect for solo travellers, with tour companies and plenty of hostels filling out the streets, making it easy to find accommodation and activities to fill your days. It’s also the perfect base for longer day trips or weekends away, with nearby sights like Milford Sound, Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park to be explored.
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4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
With a laid-back attitude and world-famous sights, Amsterdam is the perfect place to begin your solo travels through Europe. The city is fun, rich in history and culture and boasts beautiful canals to relax along.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank Museum or Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Cycle out to the Keukenhof, a picturesque garden with more than 7 million tulip bulbs, or spend a day sampling local delicacies in the many cheese shops of the region. And, of course, you’ll need to check out the famous Red Light District. There’s a lot going on in this solo travel hot spot!
5. Santiago, Chile
Santiago is an epic solo travel destination for the curious tourist! Santiago offers up city sights like Santa Lucia Hall and Plaza de Armas set against the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains in the distance. The South American city is known as a clean, easy to navigate by bike or foot and perfectly safe place for solo travellers to visit – and visiting alone will give you plenty of time to really immerse yourself in the city.
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6. The Northern Territory, Australia
We couldn’t pick just one spot in this incredible region of the land down under, so we chose the whole territory. From the coastal plains of Kakadu to the majestic sight of Uluru, to the plunging waterfalls and swimming holes of Litchfield National Park, adventure is waiting for you in the NT. And with a booming tourism industry and friendly locals always willing to give you advice, it’s a super safe place to travel alone.
7. Kyoto, Japan
Solo travellers flock to Japan from all over the world – and with good reason, too. Cities like Tokyo are famously exciting, and prefectures like Miyagi are known for their natural beauty and lush greenery, but we think Kyoto offers up the best of both worlds for a first-time visitor.
Kyoto is known as one of the safest cities for visitors with polite and friendly locals, easy to navigate streets for walking and excellent public transport. Plus, it’s full of epic sights to see. Visit the historic Buddhist temple Kinkaku-ji, the Shinto shrine Fushimi Inari-Taisha and the famous geisha quarter in Gion.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
Once you set foot in the cobbled streets of Lisbon, you’ll never want to leave. The striking colourful buildings, historical architecture and relaxed vibes make it one for the bucket list. Plus, you can spend all of your ‘alone time’ eating Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Tarts) – and isn’t that what dreams are made of? Truly, we think that’s what Lizzie McGuire was singing about.
Often referred to as a melting pot of cultures, Singapore is the perfect place for solo travellers to immerse themselves. Eat your fill at Hawker Food Centres like Maxwell Road and Newton Food Centre, and, of course, you’ll need to scope out the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Gardens by the Bay.
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10. Dublin, Ireland
Ireland is another must-visit destination for solo travellers, with Dublin standing out as an exciting city for culture vultures to add to their bucket lists. The city is simple to navigate, and relatively small, meaning you can easily take yourself on some self-guided walking tours. Take in the history of this great city at sights like the National Gallery of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol. Or simply kick back at St Stephen’s Green or the Guinness Storehouse with a delicious pint.
11. Edinburgh, Scotland
Another historical city, Edinburgh’s cobbled streets are perfect for solo travellers. The compact city boasts countless attractions, like Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, St Giles’ Cathedral and the National Museum of Scotland. Arthur’s Peak offers an escape to nature – and incredible views of the city – while the Royal Mile (the city’s main thoroughfare) is brimming with shops, bars and eateries to enjoy. You won’t be bored on your own in this electric city.
12. Marrakech, Morocco
While you may not think of Morocco as the ultimate solo travel destination, the city of Marrakech is an incredibly popular tourist destination and – though the busy atmosphere might make you feel overwhelmed at times – it’s considered perfectly safe for those travelling alone. From the colourful market stalls of the medina, to the beautiful pools of exquisite riads, there’s a lot to love about this vivacious city.