It’s 2018! And if you haven’t yet planned your solo trip for this year, it's time to get planning. But with so many places out there how do you decide where to travel to? With the help of other solo female travellers in our Girls about the Globe community I've compiled this list of the best places to travel solo in 2018. I hope it gives you some ideas.
Sandwiched between Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro is the small country of Kosovo. This country declared independence in 2008 and although it isn't exactly on friendly terms with Serbia, it is definitely worth a visit. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage monasteries as well as other Medieval Monuments, explore the beautiful countryside or enjoy the cafe culture in the capital.
“The people are so friendly and helpful, I travelled around the whole country and I felt really safe. Don't be alarmed if people, usually guys, come to chat to you while you're sitting/eating alone. Also a general tip, take lots of small denomination Euros. I can recommend Buffalo Backpackers hostel in Pristina and Driza's House in Prizren. Also a lot of older people speak either German or Italian, handy if you know either of them!” – Emily Banwell.
“People are very nice! I recommend going in the summer, you might get a chance to visit Dokufest- internationally documentary film festival in Prizren. I fell in love with the vibe there.” – Monika Simunac
Moldova is known for its wine and has both the biggest wine collection in the world and the largest underground wine city in the world. This European country is perfect for those looking for something a bit different. Visit Russian Orthodox churches, or Soroca – the country’s gypsy capital, and a craft centre to watch local women weave traditional carpets. Old Orhei, an open-air archaeological complex is also a highlight where you can explore inside a cave monastery and even meet the monk!
“Moldova was such a surprise. My highlight was definitely Cricova Winery. I’ve visited a few wineries in my time but taking a tram inside a maze of tunnels to taste wine at Cricova is definitely my favourite winery experience. The country is definitely an adventure and so cheap too!” – Lisa Imogen Eldridge (me!)
Israel has to be the most cosmopolitan country in the Middle East. From the modern beach city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the holiest place on Earth, Israel is fascinating.
Visit the little town of Bethlehem, or Jerusalem – a mecca for pilgrims who come to visit the many religious attractions and monuments that this 3000 year old city has to offer. Walk along the promenade from Tel Aviv to the Old City of Jaffa – one of the oldest ports in the world, before heading down south to sunbathe in the coastal city of Eilat. Masada Gorge is stunning to hike and you can’t miss the Dead Sea either.
If you are looking for plenty of history, culture, a sea where you can float and 300 days of sunshine a year, Israel should be on your solo bucket list.
“It’s super safe, people are friendly, and there are a lot of nice nightclubs on the main boulevard. Even in the winter it is warm, which is pretty good if you want to escape from the from European or North American cold and snow.” – Angélica Brandão
One of the safest countries in thew world, Japan has to be seen to be believed. Mount Fuji is the highest peak in the country, a place of pilgrimage and an inspiration for many artists. If you don’t feel like hiking it you can just admire it from afar. Then there are the islands in the Yaeyama archipelago, and Ishigaki – Japan’s premier beach destination with clear blue waters. Visit Hiroshima, a city that has recovered from the atomic bomb, or Kamakura – a seaside resort with a relaxed vibe and a huge bronze Buddha amongst its temples and shrines. To see Japan at its prettiest, visit during the cherry blossom season in March and April.
“I just got back from a 2 week trip. Amazing experience! Lots to see and do, super easy to navigate via trains, and the people are so friendly!” – Megan Martin
Known for its infamous nightlife and beer swilling locals, Germany is a great country to visit. Berlin is such a vibrant capital with so much to do that a long weekend just isn’t enough. From funky street art, to beach bars with sand. This capital has museum after museum so you’ll never be short of sightseeing here. Then there’s Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany’s very own Disney-style castle where the mad King Ludwig II once lived. Cruise along the River Rhine, sample wine in the vineyards or learn about the harrowing history during the Second World War. If you only make it to one place here, make it Berlin.
“I have one foot in the East and one foot in the West in. Berlin was vibrant, all inclusive, and friendly. I felt safe and there is much to do. Although it has so much history it is also so very modern. I loved and lived every second.” – Fiona McGill
It's pretty, it's relaxing and it has fab nightlife. This city has everything and possibly even more that you'll ever need in a city break and is for anyone interested in history, spas, shopping, eating out, sightseeing and evening entertainment. There's even an island once known as the ‘Isle of the Rabbits' attached to the mainland if you need some time out.
But, did you know that Budapest is actually two places? One side of the river is Buda, a UNESCO Heritage Site and the other is Pest (pronounced ‘Pesh'), the more modern part of the city that is home to trade and industry (and the shopping and nightlife). Buda and Pest became united in 1973 and is now the city that we know today. With nightclubs now offering electronic parties in spas, it’s perfect for those who love to party.
“Budapest is so beautiful, so much culture, so cheap and the people are very friendly.” – Jas Bird
Taiwan is ranked as the second safest country in the world behind Japan. In Taipei you’ll find some people speaking English. The Taiwanese are so accommodating and will even make a u-turn in the street to help you if you look lost and escort you where you are supposed to go.
Why go to Taiwan? The country has museums, monuments, water parks, hot springs, and also smaller islands with gorgeous beaches and great scuba diving. There is also a Buddhist monastery where you can stay and immerse yourself in Buddhism. If you love hiking and outdoor adventure then this Asian island is ideal.
“Taiwan is very safe with great transport and great people. It’s relatively cheap too. I visted Taipei, Jiufen, Hualien, Taroko Gorge, Kaoshuing, Sun Moon Lake and Taichung. It was very interesting.” – Tracey Jayne Molamphy
Colombia has come a long way in the last decade and is now a place of magical realism with coffee plantations, Caribbean cities and mountain landscapes. Now a cosmopolitan capital, Bogota is known for its street art, and the funky vibe of La Candelaria, but there is more to Colombia than its capital. Explore the old colourful streets of Cartagena, dive off the Caribbean coast, see the tall wax palms in the coffee region, or fall in love with the mountain valley known as Medellin. They’ve even got a desert!
“Go to Bogota! Beautiful city, friendly people and everyone was super nice and helpful. It’s very cosmopolitan and chic in most parts. There is a good abundance of clubs and bars and it’s super affordable.” – Addai Best
Spain has so many areas to visit from vibrant cities with a Spanish flair to traditional Spanish villages. Known for their siestas and fiestas, the locals know how to have a good time and enjoy lazy afternoons and long evenings. The country is most famously known for the Camino de Santiago, a series of pilgrim routes which stretch from France to Portugal. Visit the country for one of its never-ending festivals; Valencia for its famous paella and futuristic science buildings; Madrid for culture and Granada for the stunning Alhambra; or the white towns of Andalusia.
Whether you want to throw tomatoes at strangers in one of the festivals, sample cava in a vineyard, or walk along a world-famous pilgrimage, Spain is an amazing place, no matter where you choose to visit.
“Spain! Particularly Granada, but also Madrid and Seville. The people are friendly, the public transportation is easy, and there is so much to see. I always felt safe. The people in Grenada are especially friendly, helpful and kind. One woman even returned the sunglasses I had accidentally left behind on the bank counter. I couldn't believe it! Everyone was like that there. It was my first solo trip ever and I loved it.” – Meghan Ralston
You’ve probably never heard of this one. Transnistria is an unrecognised nation between Moldova and Ukraine which is practically an open-air Soviet museum. It is technically Moldova but even entering from Moldova you have to go through a border crossing and register that you are in the “nation.” It’s a quirky, interesting place which may appeal if you are interested in Soviet history. You can watch a tank show and army show, or drink the locally-made brandy with the locals. It’s definitely an experience.
“Hitchhiking, staying in a monastery, chatting to priests and criminals was as authentic as it gets. In a world that makes money from selling a consumable bite sized package of “culture” to the masses. You really must go to the ass end of nowhere for an experience like this. In the end, the one thing I know is that Transnistria is the most surreal place that I’ve been to in 2017.” – Shilpa Sisodia
Have you been to any of these places? Which ones are on your solo bucket list?