Europe is probably one of the best destinations for a solo adventure: friendly people, amazing food all around, some relatively inexpensive cities and distances aren’t too wide.
Whether you are thinking about your first solo European trip or whether you are thinking of moving to this part of the world, you must remember that while most of Europe is safe and easy for solo travelers, some cities are more ideal than others. Some destinations are easier because they have excellent public transport and infrastructure, others are ideal because the cost of living is lower, some other cities offer great and friendly local culture.
While, we already know that solo female travellers do it better, (guys, don’t get offended, you will get there too #jokingnotjoking), obviously, you need to have clear ideas in terms of what you are looking for because no place is right for all. Are you looking for fun and parties? Peaceful surroundings and easy transport? Or wild nature?
Here’s Spotahome’s 17 best European cities for solo travelers:
17. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of the most affordable cities in Europe and it is a beautiful place to explore. The city is very safe and you can lie on the beach or walk around the city without having to worry too much about keeping an eye on your stuff. There’s lots of ancient architecture and excellent museums like in any other European city combined with a very interesting nightlife that’s always a great way of meeting up with other travelers and to make new friends.
16. Barcelona, Spain
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is the perfect place to visit if you’re a solo travel. It’s not too big and moving around is quite simple. Spain in general is an inexpensive country, and Barcelona is no exception if you avoid the usual tourist traps. Barcelona is one of the very few cities that, since it lies on the beach, boasts the vibe of the big city as well as the chilled energy of the ocean.
15. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The laid back atmosphere in Amsterdam is actually one of the reasons why I keep going back there. Renting a bike and exploring on two wheels will make you feel like a local since the Netherlands are incredibly bike friendly and it’s a great way to see more and get some exercise at the same time. Everyone speaks English, so getting around and meeting new people is very easy.
14. Bologna, Italy
Bologna is fantastic for two reasons: the food and the locals. If you found Rome, Milan and Florence too much for you, Bologna will be like a breath of fresh air on your face. It’s one of the most famous university towns in Italy (and in Europe) so you can feel the young vibe all around town.
13. Dublin, Ireland
Beer lovers should head to Dublin, where the locals are super friendly and the vibrant pub scene is the perfect place to meet new people. Make sure to spend time wandering Dublin’s city center to check out vintage shops, pubs and the famous Trinity College.
12. Rome, Italy
Rome used to have a bad reputation for solo travellers, but I’ve been there a dozen times and I never had any trouble. Of course, you need to pay attention in crowded museums and on public transport, but seriously it has improved so much in the last two decades. I even have many foreign friends who have moved to Rome and they also never had issues, but instead came back with incredible memories of the food, culture, and men/women 🙂 Italians are always very friendly to foreigners (maybe even too much sometimes?), so you won’t have to struggle to meet locals to hang out with.
Turin is finally reaching the top of many people’s travel bucket lists. The reason?
Turin is possibly one of Italy’s most charming, unique and vibrant cities. Often forgotten by travellers aiming for the most famous destinations (Rome, Milan and Venice), Turin still feels unspoiled and precious to the fewer tourists. But don’t get mistaken, there is tons to see here, including the fabulous Royal Palace and the majestic Egyptian collection.
There are no places like Berlin. It is a young, vibrant, ever-changing city, filled with history and hip bars and clubs. It is the capital of electronic music and a the largest Turkish hub outside Turkey. It features a huge amount of must-see sights, like the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery and the Brandenburg Gate, and it will be difficult to see them all only in one visit. It is also one of the cheaper capitals in Europe to visit so your budget won’t be killed while there and almost everyone speaks English.
Surely one of Europe’s most charming cities, you will feel totally at ease exploring Florence alone. In fact, it might be the best decision since there is so much to see that you’d have to make compromises if you were there with someone else. Many students and expats decide to live here so meeting locals and foreigners isn’t hard. There are many Italian language schools so creating a new network of friends will be super easy.
Austria’s capital bursts with charm and positive vibes. Being alone in the City of Music can be the perfect opportunity to indulge in a sacher torte while sipping on a hot drink in a traditional cafe in the city centre. While in Vienna, make sure to go to a
show (or two) at an opera house. Even if you are not a music expert, you will love the scene here. PS: Vienna also ranked in the top five for personal safety rankings in a study for expats this year.
7. Budapest, Hungary
Eastern Europe is still relatively cheaper than Western Europe, so if you are travelling on a shoestring, Budapest could be a great option for your budget. Not many know that this city is actually made of two cities Buda and Pest divided by the Danube River. Despite being smaller than other metropolis, the city is packed with things to do and see as well as great food and a great public transport system.
PS: if you are looking for nightlife, there are dozens of nightclubs and bars in old warehouses and abandoned buildings.
6. Paris, France
Paris may be the city of love, but that doesn’t mean that solo travellers aren’t welcome. In fact, the city attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year, so meeting fellow travellers will be easier than you think. One of the things I love the most doing while travelling alone is taking my time to admire galleries and museums, so remember that by travelling to Paris alone, you will have the change to wander around the Louvre (and all other attractions) for as long as you like soaking up history and art like never before. You can also sit at one of the many cafes and just watch life and fashionable Parisians passing by.
5. London, UK
London’s large size can be overwhelming for a solo traveller, but it is quite possibly one of the easiest cities to explore thanks to its excellent public transport system and the fact that everyone, obviously, speaks English. Walking about London is also one of the best way to really see how diverse the British capital is. There’s Hampstead, with its pretty houses, there is edgy Shoreditch with its bearded hipsters, but also Brixton and Soho. It’s impossible to get bored in London, so make sure to get a nice flat white from one of its many cute coffee shops.
4. Seville, Spain
This cute and small Spanish city is perfect for solo travelers looking for a sunny destination filled with activities and social gatherings. Set right in the middle of Andalusia, Seville features a mix of north-African, European and Jewish cultures which are reflected both on the architecture and the local cuisine. Surely, you will be invited to some underground bars to dance flamenco since Spanish locals are probably among the friendliest in Europe and food and lodging is quite cheap.
3. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
I used to travel to Luxembourg very often when I was in my old corporate job in London. I must admit that I used to spend most of my time at the offices but a few times I decided to spend the weekend there and…what a nice surprise! Luxembourg is minuscule in comparison to most other countries in Europe and beyond, but I guess this is what makes it special. The compact size of the city makes it perfect to walk around. Another plus is given by the fact that being off most tourists route, you can almost feel like you are visiting an unspoilt and traditional place. There are hundreds of expats living in Luxembourg (many corporations have their European HQs there for tax reasons), so you will find a surprising large international community for such a tiny city.
2. Ljubljana, Slovenia
I was in Ljubljana for my birthday this year and I absolutely fell in love with the city (and the rest of Slovenia!).
I am glad I went this year, because I think it will be a much more popular destination in a few years. It’s still relatively cheap and it has a laid back vibe, it features tons of edgy coffee shops and bars and it’s a place I could definitely call home for a while.
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
With Iceland being named the most peaceful country in Europe according to last year’s Global Peace Index, safety is rarely a concern for travellers in Reyjavik. If on one hand, the capital is quite pricey and travelling around can be challenging without a car, there are many ways to beat the exchange rate, like joining one of the free city walking tours and eating at the most popular spot in town, the Baejarins Beztu Pysur hot dog stand (yes, the one Kim Kardashian went to).
Iceland, not only Reykjavik, offer city lovers and nature lovers enough reasons to fall in love with the country and Icelancers are meant to be some of the most sociable and friendly people in the world so making new friends won’t be hard for a solo traveler.
And you? Where did you travel solo and felt A M A Z I N G ? Have we missed any destinations? Let us know in the comment below!