Solo Travel in Europe
Solo Female Friendly Star Rating – 4 out of 5
Budget – $35 to $100 a day
Cheapest – Baltic countries
Most Expensive – Liechtenstein
Languages Spoken French, Spanish, German, Serbian, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and more.
Did You Know? If you are travelling during the European summer months, accommodation can get booked up, so I recommend pre-booking before you go.
Why Solo Travel Europe?
Whether you’re looking for mountains, ancient civilisations, icy climates, chic cities or islands to sail around, Europe has a country for you. With nearly 50 countries to visit there is a diversity of languages, cultures and destinations to suit everyone’s budget.
Lose yourself in the romance of the Mediterranean, the solitude of the Alps, the stunning coastline of the Rivieras and the icy glaciers of the Nordics. Solo travel in Europe couldn’t be easier, with many open borders to travel through.
Europe is one of the safest continents for solo females to travel to. Although each country has a different culture, the majority have a liberal attitude towards women, especially in Western Europe.
Europe has many different regions: Western Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Nordic countries and the Baltics. Choose Western Europe for company of others and East Europe if you are on a budget.
If you're planning on solo travelling to Europe alone, below is a summary of each region to help you choose the right destination for you. Click on the images at the end for the solo destination guides. For the best places to solo travel in Europe, this guide covers the best cities in Europe for solos
How To Travel Europe Solo
Traveling Europe solo can be very easy as getting around Europe is not difficult with many open border crossings. Transport in Western and Northern Europe is extremely punctual, and the most popular method of transport is by rail. Buying a Euro-Rail pass before you arrive on the continent allows you to travel through several countries. If you don’t need all 33, you can just buy a pass for four or more countries.
Although most of the countries are in Western and Northern Europe, you can just buy a pass for the Balkans. Travelling through Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece is easier by bus, as the train system isn’t as efficient as those in Spain and France. It is wise to pre-book each sector if you are travelling Europe alone in the summer season.
Switzerland has panoramic train journeys, including one to Europe’s highest mountain station at Jungfraujoch. Buying a Swiss Pass will save you money on multiple trips. The Eurostar operates from England across the Channel Tunnel to mainland Europe and vice versa, or you can choose from one of the main bus lines.
EuroLines are comfortable buses within Europe and offer a pass for 15 days to range of destinations or you can buy a 30 day pass for unlimited access to as many destinations as you like!
Flying around the continent is cheap and easy, with many low-cost airlines to choose from, Although you can be in a neighbouring country in less than a couple of hours on a flight, going overland is definitely more sustainable. If you choose to hire a car, you could find yourself paying toll fees in countries such as France or Spain.
Car sharing not only is a way of sharing a journey, but it’s a chance to meet others too. Car-sharing sites such as BlaBlaCar approve drivers beforehand, so you can travel across 45 countries in the UK and Europe with peace of mind.
Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Macedonia have good bus systems, and tunnels connect the Faroe Islands, allowing for a good road network for buses and cars. You could always consider cycling too, especially around the smaller countries or through somewhere picturesque, like Tuscany.
Sailing around the Greek, Turkish or Croatian islands is the perfect way to island hop. Unless you pay a single supplement, you may find yourself sharing a cabin on a sailing holiday. For those who want to be more independent, there are ferries to get you between the islands.
Ferries operate between Albania and Italy and also Corfu in Greece. From Istanbul you can practically get anywhere if you’re prepared to spend hours on a bus. Internally, they have a great bus system, with safe overnight buses.
If you are unsure how to travel Europe solo and prefer to travel in a group, choose a hop on/hop off bus service as an alternative to local transport. These are great for solos, as you can meet other travellers on the buses and travel with them, at least to your next destination, anyway.
To help you decide where to go and plan your Europe trip, below is a summary of each region in Europe including how to get around.
Western Europe is made up of: Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal (and Madeira), Spain, Switzerland, Austria, England, Scotland, Monaco, Vatican City, Malta, San Marino, Luxembourg, Vatican City, Andorra and Liechtenstein.
If you love cities, Western Europe has some of the best cities to travel solo in Europe. There are plenty to choose from, each with its own unique style. Take your pick from Paris, Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Budapest and Copenhagen to as far as Istanbul, the gateway to Asia. From the modern to the more historical, visit Greece or Rome for ancient civilisations, Germany for its political past and England for its timeless monarchy.
Relax on the French or Italian rivieras, hike in Malta, sip port in Portugal, take part in a Spanish festival or try the chocolate delicacies of Belgium. Ski in the Alps, sing on Austrian hills and explore the highest point of Europe in Switzerland. Whether you enjoy history, culture or art, Western Europe has a country for all types of solos.
Be prepared for some flirting and flattering attention along the Mediterranean. You’ll not be short of company in the south of Spain, where the area attracts both families and a party crowd. When in France or Monaco, you’ll find that the locals are much more accommodating if you can speak a bit of French.
There is a dress code in Monaco, so don’t walk around barefoot or in swimwear if you’re not at the beach. As in any city, be careful of pickpockets here, especially in Barcelona and Paris.
Travelling solo in Liechtenstein isn’t one of the best places for solo travel Europe only because it is difficult to meet other solos here as the country attracts more families than solo travellers. Switzerland has kind locals and you’ll find friendly Scots, especially on the west coast of Scotland.
Travelling Around Western Europe
Mainland Europe has some of the best places to travel solo in Europe. The continent is easy to travel around due to good infrastructure. There are connecting train and bus networks such as EuroLines coaches and Flixbus, making each country accessible. You can also buy an Interrail pass, which is a train pass for various countries. If you prefer to navigate this region at your own pace, then consider hiring a car.
In England, there are regional buses (National Express) and trains, as well as an excellent transport system in London. Use your bank card to get around London by Tube, bus and overland train by swiping before and after each journey
Public transport is also good in Scotland but you may want to consider hiring a car to reach the more remote areas. You could also join a fun-loving Scottish tour, such as MacBackpackers to take you around the country. A ferry will take you to the Isle of Arran and the company Megabus also operate to Edinburgh.
From West to East. Eastern Europe includes: Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus and Turkey.
Eastern Europe is synonymous with World War II and may not be your usual holiday hotspot, but the countries of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have untouched mountains, rivers and lakes, and are much cheaper to visit than Western Europe (although slightly more challenging with the language). Cyprus is a good destination for a beach holiday, although the island does have ruins and interesting sites to visit.
Slovenia is incredibly safe with a low crime rate, small cities and women with the same opportunities as men. Slovenia attracts the more adventurous traveller and those who love the outdoors.
Russia is a beautiful country with stunning palaces and the Kremlin but it isn’t really known as a solo destination so you may find yourself feeling isolated here, especially if you don’t know any Russian.
Turkey is a different story and being such a male-dominated society, you will encounter leering men who make their advances pretty clear. Although parts of Istanbul are liberal, you will still see women wearing headscarves. Cover up if you’re not within one of the beach resorts and especially in rural towns.
Avoid eye contact to not give men the wrong idea and be wary of any tour guide who wants to give you a private tour and take you to watch the sunset with just them for company. Expect attention in Cyprus from men of all ages, who will openly stare at you.
Eastern Europe Travel
Turkey has a really good transport system. Night buses are safe and they allocate you a seat number to ensure that you are sitting with another woman. A snack and a drink is included and they do have a toilet on board but they also make frequent stops along the way so you can pick up Turkish gifts or food.
Russia is so vast that travelling around is best done by train, especially on one of the iconic ones, such as the Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian. Passengers do smoke in third class and it can get cramped, so pay the extra for first class if you can.
In Moldova it is easier to hire a car or take a tour if you want to see the country within a certain timeframe. Ukraine has old Soviet trains, and it’s easy to travel to and from Moldova with their train system. They also have sleeper carriages for overnight journeys.
Georgia has a good bus network, making it easy to travel to Kutaisi or Batumi from Tbilisi, the capital. Greece has a reliable bus system called KTEL, which is comfortable and safe, and goes almost everywhere in Greece. There are also international buses that take you across the border to neighbouring countries. If you want to island hop, ferries operate between the islands. Hire a car if you are heading to Cyprus, which is quicker than taking the island’s buses.
The Nordic Countries
The Nordics are made up of: Denmark. Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
These countries are known for being pricey but Scandinavia and the Nordics are great countries to visit for winter activities. Take a cruise around the Norwegian fjords, go snowmobiling or dog sledging in Finland or visit Santa Claus in Lapland. Iceland is in a league of its own, with geothermal activity and a funky capital, or choose Greenland for its remoteness.
Iceland is more touristy, so expect crowds if you visit here. Visit in the winter for the Northern Lights or the summer for the midnight sun.
You need to be comfortable with your own company in countries such as Greenland and the Faroe Islands, where you won’t see many other travellers, let alone solo women. Not only do they have a very low crime rate, but these countries are known for their relaxed attitude, warmth and hospitality.
Travelling Around The Nordics
Ferries operate between islands and you can hop from Estonia to Sweden and other destinations in the Nordics, or from Denmark to the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The best way to get around the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland is by hiring a car, otherwise you may need to take a tour to see the islands.
There is a good train network in Norway and also sleeper trains, which cover long distances. Both Denmark and Sweden have a good train system, which takes you to all corners of the countries. Finland also has trains, buses and even steamships. Scandinavian Airlines operates between the Scandinavian countries, which is ideal if you don’t have much time.
The Baltic Countries
The Baltic countries are: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Just north lies the Baltic Sea and although tucked away in the northern corner of Europe, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the Baltics have a lot on offer, with glacier lakes, Slavic and Scandinavian influences and over 1,500 islands to explore.
Visit the romantic city of Tallinn, the Baltic Coast in Latvia for seaside towns and Vilnius for its UNESCO World Heritage. This region is very cheap and also safe for solos. The hostels here are sociable, and they have cobbled old streets and free walking tours.
Travelling The Baltics
These small countries are easily connected by bus. The buses are modern and comfortable, and to travel from capital to capital takes less than five hours.
Related Post: Travelling The Baltics
The Balkan countries are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Romania and Slovenia.
The Balkans are some of the most interesting countries in Europe. Made up of some of the former states of Yugoslavia, they all have an interesting and moving past. Visit Mostar for its Old Bridge, Slovenia for Lake Bled, Montenegro for its coastline, Macedonia for its Turkish bazaar and artist’s capital or just sail around the Croatian islands.
The Black Sea is known for its touristy towns but Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Ukraine have so much more to offer and you'll find old towns and mountain regions within these surprising countries.
The Balkans are more suited to the intrepid traveller. You may find yourself in the minority in the Balkan states, where there aren’t many solo females, but there are plenty of solo males to meet and travel with. You do need to take extra care in Bulgaria, as there is petty crime along the Black Sea coast and it’s a good idea to avoid the bus station area in the capital at night.
Albanians are very friendly and are proud that you’ve chosen their country to visit. Islam is the main religion, so it’s wise to cover up in the main cities, such as Shkodra, where you may encounter a few looks, but anything goes along the Albanian coastline. The same applies to Bosnia.
Although it is a country that is sometimes overlooked, Macedonia is really safe for females. Most street signs are in the Cyrillic script, so finding your way around can be challenging, but the people here will make you feel welcome and go out of their way to help you even if they can’t speak your language. If you venture away from Skopje and Ohrid, you’ll be guaranteed to meet more locals than tourists.
Travelling The Balkans
Hitchhiking may not seem like the best idea for a solo female but it is common in Albania if you have to wait hours for the next bus. Trust your instinct if you do decide to hitch alone and be careful which country you choose to do it in (avoid Bosnia, for example). Otherwise, buses are the way to get around Albania.
Buses in the Balkans can be an adventure but they are a good alternative to the trains, which tend to be slower. Taking a train ride in an old-fashioned train carriage in Bosnia is a nostalgic journey. Navigating your way around the Balkans by car can be tricky, as signs are in the Cyrillic script, so you may need to ask locals for help.
Bulgaria is a country where you have to figure things out for yourself, but if you like rustic travelling and the odd challenge, it’s the country for you. Kosovo has plenty of buses from the capital to Prizren and Peja, and travelling here is easy and welcoming.
Slovenia has a good bus system and nowhere is too far here. Croatia has a good bus network and also ferries to take you to some of the islands if you want to island hop. A sailing trip is the best way to see the islands if you only have a week.
Europe is definitely an intriguing and interesting continent to travel to alone. If I've inspired you to take a solo trip to Europe, click on the photos below for the solo destination guide to help you plan a trip to that county.
- Related Post: Best Places To Solo Travel in Europe
- Related Post: Best Places For European Winter Sun
Best Things To Do in Europe
- Taking a gondola ride in Venice
- Seeing the Colosseum in Rome
- Skiing in the Alps
- Visit Edinburgh Castle in Scotland
- Hiking in Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland
- Visa the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
- Marvel at the Milan Cathedral in Italy
- Explore Montmartre Cathedral in Paris
- View London from the top of the Shard
- See windmills and tulip fields in Amsterdam
- Go clubbing in Berlin
- Visit a chocolatier in Bruges, Belgium
- Meander the back streets of Salzburg in Austria
- Walk along the coastal villages at Cinque Terra in Italy
- Dance the flamenco in Spain
- Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour in Paris
- Walk along Charles Bridge in Prague
- Relax in a spa in Budapest in Hungary
- Enjoy a cream tea in the Cotswolds in England
- Take a Turkish hamman in Turkey
- See Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia in Turkey from an air balloon ride.
Seven Wonders of the World
- Aurora Borealis – Norway/Iceland/Sweden
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia – Greece
- Temple of Artemis in Ephesus – Turkey
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Bodrum – Turkey
- Colossus of Rhodes – Greece
- Colosseum – Rome.
One Week Europe Itinerary
- If you only have a long weekend or a week to travel, a city break is perfectly doable from three to seven days.
- England – London, Oxford, Bath, Stonehenge
- Switzerland – Zurich, Lucern, Interlaken
- The Baltics – Lithuania, Latvia
- Denmark/Sweden – Copenhagen, Helsingor, Helsingborg
- Sailing around the Greek, Turkish, or Croatian islands.
2 Week Europe Itinerary
- France to Italy – Paris, Lyon, Nice, Monaco, Milan in Italy.
- London to Amsterdam – London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Munich, Heidelberg, Rhine Valley, Amsterdam.
- Dubrovnik to Athens – Dubrovnik, Bay of Kotor, Tirana, Saranda, Corfu, Athens.
- Rome to Venice – Rome, Florence, Venice.
- Madrid to Nice – Madrid, Lisbon, Algarve, Seville, Granada, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco.
- Oslo to Kiruna – Oslo, Trondheim, Lofoten Islands, Tromso, Kiruna.
- London to Scandinavia – England, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Gothenburg, London.
3 Week Europe Itinerary
- Rome to Budapest – Rome, Siena, Florence, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, Venice, Lake Bled, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest.
- Berlin to Budapest – Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest.
- Estonia to London – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Berlin, Netherlands, Belgium, London.
- United Kingdom – London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork.
- The Baltics – Lithuania, Latvia. Estonia, Finland.
A Month in Europe
- Croatia to Istanbul – Croatia, Mostar, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Istanbul.
- Paris to Spain – Paris, Versailles, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Salzburg, Fussen, Venice, Florence, Rome, Vatican City, Monte Carlo, Barcelona.