While we all want to see as much of the world as possible, safety can become a bit of an issue — especially when traveling alone. Some countries or cities are not exactly known for their safety, and, as a solo traveler, it’s always good to know what areas to avoid and which ones to look out for. In this list, you’ll find our top 5 best places to travel alone – meaning they’re relatively safe and filled with (mostly) friendly people, while still being interesting, intriguing, adventures — not boring, is what I’m trying to say.
1. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Africa is probably the last thing coming to mind when you think about safety. But, I cannot make a list full of the best places to travel alone without mentioning at least one African country. Sure, trouble is all over the place there, but that does not mean you should skip the continent all-together as a solo traveler. Tanzania, for example, is actually pretty safe and definitely worth a visit. And Zanzibar, located a few miles off the coast, is a collection of islands you really cannot miss on your world travels. The archipelago is made up of several islands, and the biggest one (Ugunja) usually goes by the name Zanzibar. It’s everything you could wish for from an island. I’m talking endless white beaches, clear and warm waters, palm trees, monkeys, leopards… Definitely sounds like one of the best places to travel alone, if you ask me.
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
This one is high up my personal favorites list: Reykjavik, Iceland. Just the fact that I spelled that right on the first try, i should tell you how much I like this place. Snow, Northern lights, the Blue Lagoon, more stunning nature… There are so many reasons why Reykjavik is one of the best places to travel alone. But if you’re a solo traveler, one of the main reasons might be this city’s safety. Iceland is known to have some of the least substance abuse amongst teens for example, and Reykjavik is a popular destination for family vacation as well. If you are a member of the LGBT community you’ll be happy to know that Reykjavik is very accepting on that part as well, so no need to hide your pride!
3. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Ah, Amsterdam. The place of red lights, weeds, bikes and canals. Despite its rather edgy reputation, Amsterdam is a very safe city and absolutely one of the best places to travel alone. Plus you can find a cheap hostel to meet other people if you want! The many museums are definitely worth your time, and if you have a student card from some past life you can probably get a nice discount on entree fees. A little boat trip through the canals is also not to be missed, as is having a nice dinner by the water side – be it by yourself or with a new (Dutch) friend. And, obviously, you cannot leave The Netherlands without having risked your life on a bicycle at least once, so rent a bike and get ready for some bicycle lane traffic like you’ve never seen before.
4. Taipei, Taiwan
Although not widely known amongst travelers, Taipei is actually quite worth its spot between these best places to travel alone. Not only is it one of the safest cities in the world, it is arguably also one of the most diverse. Between the modern skylines filled with skyscrapers – such as the Taipei 101, the second-tallest building in the world – you’ll find countless museums, parks and ancient temples. The once Soviet-dominated concrete apartment buildings now provide homes for refugees, and show just how much progression has been going on in this city. Also, if you’re a food lover, be sure to check out the Shilin night market to spoil your taste buds with the best Taiwanese food they’ll ever experience.
5. Santiago, Chile
Ever feel like taking a little break from busy city life to enjoy a view of the Andes, but want to be back in time for dinner at a Tony restaurant or parties in the pub? Santiago has it all. This diverse city is full of modernity and luxury, all while keeping its “feet on the ground” and keeping that nice South American vibe alive. The city is full of museums, restaurants, rooftop bars and theaters, but if you grow tired of that it’s only a short drive away from a beautiful view of the Andes – a nice retreat into nature without having to get your camping gear out. At night the city comes to life with numerous bars and cafes, and the next day you can enjoy your hangover in one of the hillside parks. Once your head stops pounding you could take a stroll through the area, and see just how much every neighborhood has its own vibe and feel to it. With all this plus the pretty incredible safety (especially for a South American country), it’s no wonder over 40 percent of Chileans call this beautiful city their home. And who knows, in a little while, maybe you will too.
If you’re interested in some inspiration for solo female travel, read here! Or read the 10 Most Beautiful Destinations for Summer Travel here. Interested in teaching English abroad as a solo traveler? We’ve got you covered for that too! See programs here.