New Year, new travel plans. And it feels like 2023 is the year that travel is finally back. If you haven't yet made plans for your next solo travel trip, I've put together a list of the 2023 Solo Travel Destinations to inspire you. This diverse list covers countries in Europe, South and North America, Africa and Asia (all countries are listed in alphabetical order). You don't even need to go far to explore one of these destinations. I hope that this article inspires you to book somewhere new.
And when you're ready to book, here are my recommended travel resources for solo travellers. Book through these sites and Girl about the Globe donates 10% of net profits to organisations helping vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping!
Travel Destinations For Solos
Australia is finally back on the list! This was the first country that I backpacked alone and I loved it. After the last 2 years, it seems as though it's finally making a comeback as more and more of us are searching for how to travel alone in this friendly country.
Australia is a fantastic country for nature lovers. It has Aboriginal culture, and world-famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, and it has epic train journeys through the Red Centre. Plus the East coast is the place to meet others and party along the coast. Then there are the islands: Tasmania, Rottnest Island and many more. With great tourism infrastructure, Australia is just perfect for solo females.
Another stunning country with amazing architecture and a great rail network. You can even do your own walking tours in Vienna or Salzburg with the free maps that you pick up in hostels or join a ‘Sound of Music’ tour instead.
Vienna is the capital and one of my favourite cities. Here you’ll find modern architecture, old taverns and coffee houses as well as tons of galleries and museums to look around. Salzburg is not just known for the ‘Sound of Music’ it’s also been nicknamed ‘The Rome of the North,’ because of its churches and cathedrals. Don’t forget to visit the monastery where monks brew their own beer! Then there’s Innsbruck, a mecca for adventure seekers with you can do practically any outdoor activity you’ve ever desired. Austria has amazing ski resorts, great hiking and fantastic sightseeing.
If you've ever wanted to dance the tango or eat an Argentine steak, head to Argentina. The capital, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of hidden gems. Then there's Cordoba, and the wine region of Mendoza, not to mention Patagonia – an area of glaciers, icefields and mountain peaks. Argentina can be described as electric, passionate, and stunning and whether you want to party hard or fall in love with the scenery, Argentina is amazing.
Bali remains a popular choice with solos. It appeals to the Adventurous Girl about the Globe, Cultural GatG, Digital Nomad GatG, Nature GatG, Party GatG, Surfing GatG, and Wildlife GatG.
Climb Mount Batur at sunrise, indulge in a traditional Balinese massage, soak in the hot spring, go river rafting, surf at Kuta beach, see the monkeys at Monkey Forest in Ubud or take a bike tour here, and discover all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And if you have time visit the Komodo Islands to see the largest living lizards in the world.
I know that I’m biased with this country having lived there for 18 months but there's a reason that I love it. Although stereotyped with drug cartels and violence, Colombia’s reputation is gradually changing to one of entrepreneurship, transformation and hope. Admittedly, parts of the country are still out of bounds for tourists but 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. There's even a desert here!
Croatia is stunning. It's also becoming a digital nomad hub too. It's a country for the History Girl about the Globe, Movie GatG, Old Town GatG and Sailing GatG. From old towns to the Plitvice Lakes and the Dalmatian coast, Croatia is a lovely country with an amazing coastline.
Walk the 2km trail along the Ancient City Walls to the highest point of the Old Town. Allow approximately 2 hours for the walk. Explore the Medieval magical of the Old Town. Enter through the Pile Gate and you’ll find historic sights to explore the other end such as the Sponza Palace, a 16th-century palace, and the Church of St. Blaise with a beautiful facade and stone carvings above the door.
Step inside the Dominican Monastery in the Old Town to admire the renaissance and gothic cloister and collection of art. Take the cable car to the top of Srd Hill for some breathtaking panoramas of the Old Town and its islands. The Museum of the Homeland War is also at the top. Don’t forget the islands too! If you want to avoid tourists, visit outside of the cruise ship season. You could also combine Dubrovnik with a sailing trip across the Croatian islands.
Having recently moved to Dubai, I may be a bit biased but this cosmopolitan Emirate in the Middle East is so unbelievably safe for solo females. Tourism here is booming as people are realising what this dynamic city has to offer. It's not just about the shopping malls either as there are gorgeous beaches, rooftops with amazing views, dancing fountains, futuristic museums and a stunning marina.
Venture outside of the city for a true Bedouin experience with fire shows, camel rides and ATVing across sand dunes. Or take a tour to Abu Dhabi, a neighbouring Emirate to see the region's own Louvre and a stunning mosque. With new attractions being constantly built, it's a great destination to visit in 2023.
I love Estonia. I visited this country a few years ago and found it so cheap. As one of the Baltic States, it’s growing in popularity as one of the new hot spots for European breaks. Although there are a shortage of girls travelling alone here, the Baltics are incredibly safe, great for those on a budget, and are popular with travellers who travel from north to south or vice versa.
You’ll find all sorts of activities from staying overnight in a former Soviet prison to bobsledding or husky dog sledging. It’s got a cute colourful old town and fab nightlife making it really easy to meet others here. Plus there are so many hostels to choose from, most with a friendly, social vibe.
I love visiting emerging destinations and one of these growing in popularity is Georgia. Georgia may not have been on anyone's radar before but it is definitely growing in popularity. I found it easy to travel here alone and there are several day trips you can do if you want to base yourself in the capital. It's also possible to combine with Armenia and Azerbaijan due to the overnight train services.
Georgia has ancient cave cities, monasteries and plenty of mountains to explore. It's also very cheap and has fantastic cuisine. From the Black Sea coastal resort of Batumi to the Winelands of Kakheti. If you're looking for a budget destination that has culture, Georgia promises culture, monasteries, and mountains. This country is definitely one for the intrepid explorer.
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.
If you love beautiful islands, history and ancient temples, then stick Greece on your solo bucket list. This European country with its breathtaking islands and vibrant contemporary culture make Greece a must-visit stop on any itinerary. The country offers something for everyone whether you are a history buff, beach babe, foodie or party-goer (or a mixture of all of them!)
Greece is generally very safe for solo female travellers as locals are friendly and helpful. Visit Athens for the Acropolis or skip the mainland and head straight to the islands. Santorini has to be the most beautiful of the islands but if it’s too romantic for one then travel to Kos, or Mykonos instead to meet other travellers. If you prefer to see as many islands as you can, a sailing trip is not only perfect for island hopping but it’s also a fun way to travel with like-minded others. Make sure to spend time in Athens, Santorini and Paros.
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.
Why Japan? It’s got Mount Fuji for a start which is the highest peak in the country. This active volcano is not only an inspiration for many artists but it’s also a place of pilgrimage, although you can just see it from afar if you don’t fancy hiking it. 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.
Takayama is one of the best-preserved old towns in Japan where you can experience the rural side of the country. You can’t miss enchanting Tohoku either – home to idyllic mountains and more of Japan’s zen temples. But the main reason to come here is of course Tokyo, Japan’s crazy capital with a fast-paced way of life. Where tall skyscrapers meet historic Asian temples (don’t forget the cat cafes either). From ancient temples to traditional villages steeped in history, there is more to Japan than meets the eye.
It may be an expensive country to visit but it has to be on the bucket list especially as a destination to watch the Northern Lights. It's the perfect place to cruise through the most stunning fjords, go whale watching and learn more about Viking history. What I love about it is that it is so safe.
I've spent 6 weeks here exploring Oslo, Bergen and Tromso in the Arctic Circle and loved the country. Whether you decide to visit in the summer to experience the Midnight Sun or in the winter for skiing, husky sledging or the Northern Lights, Norway promises breathtaking scenery.
Krakow is one of my favourite cities. It’s safe, a budget destination and there is so much to see and do whether you are into history, or just want to explore the salt mine and marvel at crystal salt chandeliers and sculptures. Learn more about the history of Krakow in the historic Jewish Quarter. See the fusion of architectural styles of Wawel Castle: people-watch in Market Square, the heart of Krakow Old Town: see the Barbican, the remaining gatehouse of the old medieval city: and listen to the buskers at St Florian’s Gate.
Go underground and explore the chambers and chapels of Wieliczka Salt Mine, explore the Royal Castle in Warsaw, and learn about life under Nazi rule and the Uprising at Warsaw Rising Museum. Or learn more about the sombre history of the largest concentration camp at Auschwitz.
If you're a Budget Girl about the Globe, a Dark Tourism GatG or History GatG, Poland should be on your wish list. Make sure to visit Warsaw and go skiing here too.
Portugal is fantastic. I've visited here twice and loved the country! Lisbon is the country’s hilly capital and it's the ideal starting place for the country. See the medieval Tower of Belem, the Moorish castle named Castelo de S. Jorge which sits upon a hilltop, and Jeronimos Monastery (a World Heritage Gothic monastery) or just relax and find a cafe to people-watch at Praca do Comercio. If you visit in the summer months, enjoy one of the nearby beaches too.
Lagos is more for the nature Girl about the Globe with its colourful cliffs and natural wonders. Just south of Lagos is Ponta da Piedade you can also explore on a kayak or boat. Hike down the nearby steps at Praia do Camilo to see this gorgeous little cove. Explore the historical Old Lagos with its whitewashed houses and see the monument from the former slave market at Mercado de Escravos.
Just along the border from western Spain is the area known as Douro, an area that is known for its production of Port wine. Pay a visit to the UNESCO city of Porto, with its historic centre and baroque churches, (and pop into a world-famous port wine house or two).
Trek to traditional villages in the Montemuro hills marvel at prehistoric rock art in the Coa Valley which dates back as far as 10,000 BC. Or simply get pampered in the Algarve, an area known for its thalasso spa treatments. If you're a Digital Nomad Girl about the Globe, Foodie GatG or a Sightseeing GatG, there is so much to see in Portugal.
17. Puerto Rico
This gorgeous island in the Caribbean is part of the U.S with a Spanish flair. I love Puerto Rico and spent 5 weeks here! The island has a fusion of cuisine, plenty of salsa dancing and two additional islands: Culebra, and Vieques. You can spot wild horses, kayak in a bioluminescence bay, or just sunbathe on one of the World's best beaches. Puerto Rico promises music, cuisine, and a Latin flair, and if you're in the USA and haven't yet visited, you should definitely go!
With a rise in sustainable travel, one of my predictions as an emerging destination this year will be Rwanda; a country with a capital city that has banned plastic bags! Rwanda has a very tragic past with the Rwandan genocide that happened in 1994. Now, more than twenty years since the genocide, Rwanda is overcoming its ethnic differences and is building a new identity. The country is very welcoming to travellers with minibuses taking you around the country.
Things to do here include gorilla trekking of course! See chimpanzees at Nyungwe Forest National Park, See Rwanda’s Art Renaissance, and learn more about the Rwandan genocide that happened in 2014 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Rwanda is a safe country for solo females to visit and a perfect choice for the nature and wildlife Girl about the Globe. You may prefer to take a tour to see the best of this country.
Not only are the Scots friendly but they are surrounded by beautiful nature. Scotland oozes traditions and you don't have to be completely solo either as there are fun tour companies to take you throughout the country stopping at whisky factories and the Isle of Skye. The scenery in the Highlands really is breathtaking and there is so much culture and history here too. Scotland promises lochs, whisky trails, and plenty of kilts, and if you're a solo traveller, it's really friendly too!
20. South Africa
Known for the Big 5, South Africa doesn't have to be explored solo. There are many companies offering safaris but if you do want to be alone, explore the Q&V Waterfront in Cape Town and take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for amazing views. I've been to South Africa solo and also joined a camping tour. It's such a fascinating country and one for the wine and wildlife lovers. South Africa definitely promises tribes, safaris and plenty of nature.
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.
22. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is back after a period of instability. Having visited this country, Sri Lanka really has much to offer. Beautiful beaches, traditional fishermen on stilts, and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy are just some of its attractions. With three thousand odd years of history, eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a giant rock (Sigiriya Rock) for you to explore, Sri Lanka promises Asian mystery, Buddhist culture, and timeless history.
It's definitely a country for the cultural solo. Sri Lanka isn't really a first-timer destination so if you feel a bit apprehensive about travelling here, consider a group tour instead.
Although it is more expensive than other countries, you simply cannot beat Switzerland for scenery. Take the train to the top of Europe for snowy peaks, relax around one of the many lakes, or go chocolate shopping in Zurich. If I had to sum up Switzerland in one word it would be ‘stunning.’
Visit Zurich during August for the Zurich Street Parade, See the former residence of Albert Einstein, see the ‘Dying Lion of Lucerne’ one of the country’s most famous monuments, take the panorama gondola up Mount Pilatus before riding the world's steepest cogwheel railway en route to Alpnachstad, go bungy jumping or hand gliding in Interlaken or just explore the mountains and lakes. Take the Jungfrau Railway to the ‘Top of Europe.’ Hike the valleys in Lauterbrunnen, and visit Trummelbach Falls. And whilst in Switzerland, don’t forget to try a fondue!
Yes, Thailand is on the list again. I don’t think this Buddhist country will ever not be good for solos. If you’ve never travelled solo before then Thailand should be your first port of call. The people are incredibly friendly (it’s not called ‘The Land of Smiles' for nothing) and there are so many travellers here following the same routes that you’ll be looking for those hidden gems to escape the crowds.
The capital, Bangkok is one of Asia’s most exciting and culture shocking cities. The beaches are every cliche under the sun and there are so many to choose from especially along the Andaman Coast but its real magic lies in its Buddhist culture and stunning temples. With dreamy beaches, a cultural north and hedonistic south, Thailand can be whatever you need it to be.
With a newfound interest in the ancient Silk Road, Uzbekistan is definitely a destination for this year. It has good tourism infrastructure with high-speed trains along some of the routes, hotels in UNESCO World Heritage Cities, and it's cheap too.
Standing in front of one of these enormous mausoleums for the first time is completely awe-inspiring. With more tourist infrastructure than its neighbouring ‘Stans,’ you may not find that many solos here but there are tourists. The fast-speed trains are good, tour guides speak English and the old city of Bukhara feels as though you have stepped back in time and onto a movie set. With entry to the country via eVisa, Uzbekistan is now more accessible than ever.
There are so many monuments to see in the country. The most famous is the Registan in Samarkand but there are plenty of other impressive monuments in the capital. See the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of Timur: the Shah-i-Zinda with the meaning ‘Tomb of the Living King.’ Stay in Old Bukhara and see the Ark, the country’s oldest structure before admiring the Kalyan minaret lit up at night. Visit a silk factory in the west, or if you make it to Khiva, the Tosh-Hovli Palace is a must-see as well as the Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum.
Uzbekistan promises: ancient history, mausoleums and (of course) the Silk Road and is one for the Architecture GatG, History GatG, Shopping GatG, and Spiritual GatG. It's a relatively easy country to explore independently too.
Are any of these on your list for 2023?
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