Have you ever felt anxious about travelling alone in Europe? You will be delighted to know that it is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. Contrasting cities, magnificent beaches, and the warm Mediterranean Sea are just some of the marvelous experiences you will enjoy with most of Europe. Every country in Europe is incredibly different from the next one. This solo travel blog post will help you to find out the best places to travel alone in Europe and gather the courage to go it alone.
Traveling alone is intensely personal. You can discover more about yourself at the same time you’re discovering more about Europe. Traveling on your own is fun, challenging, vivid and it’s a gift from you to yourself.
Benefits of Travelling Alone in Europe
Here are my top 5 benefits of travelling alone in Europe:
It’s Easier To Make New Friends
Being a solo traveler makes it much easier to interact with the local people of Europe, meet other travelers and make new friendships. And, more often the locals in Europe are much more interested in what someone traveling on his/her own is doing in their country, and, are more likely to help you out.
Being a solo traveler, you start getting to know yourself much better. You start listening to your heart and you are finally able to achieve inner peace and focus of mind. And, Europe is one of the friendliest destinations for adventuring alone.
Boost Your Confidence
Fortunately, Europe is as safe as your hometown and combating loneliness in Europe is quite easy. Traveling alone to Europe is such a healthy option as it makes you a happier person and cuts out your depression and stressful phases. So be confident, keep going and realize that you can achieve anything.
In most cases, you can find traveling alone cheaper than traveling with someone. Why? Because when you travel on your own, it is much easier to keep up with your budget, as you are the one who decides where and what to eat. Europe has a lot of little tiny shops where you can be pre-made sandwiches or ingredients to make your own. Buy some food, eat outside, and watch the city go by. It’s a much more enjoyable and cheaper way to eat. You’re also no paying for things that you don’t really want to do, but do anyway because they are really important to your travel buddy!
Peace & Flexibility
When you travel alone, you are open to change and welcome it with open arms. You are free to change your plans whenever you want to. You just follow your rhythm, heart, and mind. You meet more people on solo travel trips hence you’re seen as more approachable. You’re more likely to experience the kindness of strangers.
Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe
While Europe is safe and easy for solo travelers, some destinations are more ideal than others. You need to have clear ideas in terms of what you’re looking for because no place is right for all. Are you looking for fun and parties or peaceful surroundings or wild nature? The countries I have selected have something for everyone. Here are my best places to travel alone in Europe:
Iceland is the most peaceful country in Europe according to The Global Peace Index 2017 and safety is rarely a concern for solo travelers. Iceland will simply blow your mind away with its natural beauty and the people are meant to be some of the most sociable and friendly people in the world.
Although England is small, it’s worth your visit. From the winding medieval alleyways of York to the diverse and delicious food markets of London, England has something for everyone and it draws a lot of solo travelers, particularly from English-speaking countries. Stay in any hostel and you’ll meet others easily. Plus, it’s got great public transport!
Scotland has Europe’s most stunning highlands and there’s really something to do for everyone – cool cities to explore, breathtaking road trips, thrilling adventures, relaxing hikes, island hopping, wild swimming, golfing, castle touring, a vibrant foodie scene and gorgeous beaches. Make sure that you spend at least 48 hours in Edinburgh, Scotlands beautiful capital city.
The Czech Republic is a safe, vibrant country that has tons of options available to solo travelers willing to explore. Immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of the Czech Republic and you will certainly not be bored on your independent adventure. A walking tour of Prague should be top of your list for the Czech Republic!
Hungary is a charming and budget-friendly country in Central Eastern Europe. For solo travelers, Hungary is perfectly safe during the day and even at night too. The country has a long and fascinating history, incredible cuisine, fantastic culture, and vibrant nightlife. Budapest has a great cafe scene and is perfect for digital nomads.
France attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year, so meeting fellow travelers will be much easier. There’re numerous galleries, museums where you feel like soaking up history and art like never before. Head to Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge in Paris to combine historical Paris with nightlife. You can also sit at one of the many cafes and just watch life and fashionable Parisians passing by. You will probably need to get some basic French under your belt, so I recommend downloading Duolingo to get learning!
If you look for warmth and sunny skies, Portugal should be your must-do solo trip if you want to spend a lot of time outdoors! Just remember to use your sunblock (in the summer months not the winter!) Portugal is extremely safe and you can lie on the beach or walk around without having to worry too much about keeping an eye on your stuff. I spent a fantastic 2 days in Lisbon browsing the the sights such as Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon Cathedral and Belem. There’s lots of ancient architecture and excellent museums too to enjoy in Portugal. One of my all-time favourites is Pina Palace in Sintra. Portugal is such a fantastic destination that many Brits opt to move to the Algarve or coastal areas surrounding Lisbon such as Cascais.
In the Algarve you will find a stunning coastline and solo travellers can enjoy many boat rides – one of my favourite trips in the Algarve is the Benagil Cave tour. This rock formation has produced one of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal.
Who doesn’t fall in love with Italy? Let’s face it – with pizza, pasta, beaches, scenery and, architecture, what’s not to love?! It’s easy to get around Italy by train as a solo traveler, just remember to validate your ticket in the yellow ‘Convalida’ boxes. The language barrier is not as bad as you might think. Many Italians speak English and the bus and train stations are very easy to navigate. Despite the chance of pickpocketing (I got pickpocketed in Venice!), there are relatively low crime levels and a low risk to travellers. I adore Florence, Milan, and Pisa.
Safety Precautions for Travelling alone in Europe
Overall Europe’s very safe but it’s important to take some safety precautions and follow some tips. Here’s your tip-list that’ll help you master the art of solo travel and save along the way:
1. Get out of your comfort zone. Push yourself to start a conversation with someone next to you.
2. Stay in hostels or couch surf. You will save money and meet people. If you’re staying in hostels, prepare to meet a lot of study abroad students.
3. Carry photocopies of your credentials such as passport and credit cards. And travel with at least two credit/debit cards. Also, keep an emergency stash of money in your backpack.
4. Don’t drink too much alcohol (especially when you’re alone).
5. Make sure the taxi driver has the meter on and is a marked, legal taxi.
6. Use a cross-body purse or travel money belt. They are not only harder for thieves to pull off, but also great when you’re carrying a backpack. Lock your zippers too. If there’s a locker available, pay to lock your valuables.[amazon box =”B01FB9IKM4″ button_detail=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FB9IKM4?tag=templeseeker-20″ button_detail_text=”Buy on Amazon US”]
7. If your accommodation has a kitchen, I highly recommend exploring the local morning markets and cooking your own meals. Not only are they cheaper than eating out, but you will also get to try out local fresh produce and have fun experimenting.
8. Don’t care much about your calorie intake. Enjoy that pasta in Italy, try all the food in Greece, and eat chocolate in Switzerland. Europeans take their food seriously and you ought to embrace that!
9. And yes, flip-flops aren’t a good choice on the cobblestone streets unless you’re on the beach. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (gold converse or Karrimor walking boots are my top choice of footwear!)
10. Carry a light and thin rain jacket. The weather can be unpredictable in Europe, especially in the UK!
There’s much more to do in Europe of course and trying to list everything on a continent would be too difficult to do! Apart from all this, Europe boasts a rich cultural heritage and dramatic history, a diverse climate catering for all types of activities and areas of divine beauty. Enjoy it to the fullest!
Travelling alone in Europe? You might enjoy this further reading…
- Solo Travel Brussels – The Ultimate guide
- Solo Travel Paris – How to make the most of the French capital
- Solo Travel in Poland – The ultimate guide
- Solo Travel Greece – The Ultimate Guide
- Guide to Solo Female Travel in Portugal
- Solo Female Travel England