Top 17 Destinations for First Time Solo Female Travelers

Last Updated on April 3, 2024 by Natalie

If you’re an aspiring first time solo female traveler searching for the best place for your epic adventure, here are 17 amazing destinations for first time solo female travelers.

Solo Female Travelers are a special kind of breed.

In a world where we are told “being a woman going off on her is the most dangerous thing you can do,” it takes a strong woman to do just that.

If I had a dollar for every time someone brought up the movie Taken any time I talk about an upcoming solo trip, I’d likely have enough money to pay for all of the flights that I’ve taken to the 30+ countries I’ve traveled alone.

From the rice fields of Vietnam to the sunny beaches of Greece, I’m breaking down my top 17 destinations for first time solo female travelers.

My One Secret Tip for First-Time Solo Female Travelers

While some destinations are undoubtedly suited more for solo female travelers than others, I have found that my experience is often made by the accommodations I’ve booked.

Now more than ever, there are ample choices of social hostels and co-working hotels designed for solo travelers who want a fun and social experience. Even when I’m not on a strict budget, I will often book private rooms at hostels specifically for the social environment.

Plus, I feel way safer in hostels versus hotels and Airbnb because hostels are designed for young travelers to have a safe, affordable, and fun experience.

In fact, the only time I’ve ever had an uncomfortable experience abroad involving a man following me was when I was staying in a hotel! There’s something to be said about comfort in numbers, and backpackers tend to look out for one another.

I think for a perfect first-time solo female travel experience, it’s best to book a blend of hostels and hotels so that you have opportunities to meet people + have some alone time.

How to Meet People If You’re NOT Staying at a Hostel

I understand if hostels just aren’t your game! I’m sure as I get older I’ll get to a certain point where it just doesn’t fit my travel lifestyle and that is totally fine.

There are increasingly new ways for solo travelers to meet others outside of a hostel setting.

  • If you’re under the age of 35, I’d recommend finding a social hostel with a bar in your city. I do this ALL the time, and I promise so do others!
  • Find a WhatsApp group Chat. Follow @notquitesolotravel on Instagram and join your destination’s group chat. I did this in Tokyo and met so many awesome people!

Essentials for First Time Solo Female Travelers

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Top Destinations for First Time Solo Female Travelers

1. Paros, Greece

what to do in paros

Paros is a stunning Greek island part of the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, It’s known for its crystal clear waters and charming traditional villages. From lighthouse hikes, snorkeling, and picturesque towns, there is no shortage of things to do in Paros, especially for solo female travelers.

Paros is one of my top favorite destinations for first-time solo female travelers because it is beautiful and very social, yet attracts a slightly mature crowd of backpackers who enjoy nice dinners and sunsets on the beach rather than just straight partying. These are my kind of people!

I highly recommend staying at Paros Backpackers Hostel as you’ll be guaranteed to meet some like-minded travelers to work remotely, enjoy a glass of wine, and play games on the hostel rooftop.

Read my ultimate guide to Paros to find the island’s best-kept secrets.

Where to stay in Paros

Budget: Paros Backpackers Hostel (dorm or private room)

Luxury: Hotel Senia

2. Hoi An, Vietnam

3 Days in Hoi An

Hoi An is a perfect destination for first time solo female travelers. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with cute cafes, tailor shops, and art galleries. You can easily spend up to 5 days exploring everything this city has to offer.

My favorite experiences as a solo traveler in Hoi An were getting tailor-made clothes, participating in a bicycle tour of the old town, lantern making, and visiting the beach.

Read my ultimate 3-day travel guide to Hoi An.

Where to stay in Hoi An

Budget: Mad Monkey Hostel

Luxury: Anantara Resort

3. Budapest, Hungary

best things to do in budapest

Budapest is a dream destination for first time solo female travelers! A city so beautiful it’s often referred to as “Paris of the East.” You can get lost and aimlessly wander around this gorgeous city at a fraction of the cost as you can in Paris.

Filled with hostels and social environments like ruin bars – Budapest is a fun, beautiful, and cheap destination for women who love to travel.

Check out some of my favorite things to do in Budapest.

Where to Stay in Budapest:

Budget: Maverick City Lodge

Luxury: Corinthia Hotel

4. Dublin, Ireland

3 Days in Dublin

Dublin is known for being a welcoming and fun city to visit, making it a great destination for first-time solo female travelers. It’s considered a generally pretty safe city to visit and is very compact, making it easy to walk from one end to another.

I’ve been to Dublin a couple of times now traveling solo and I love participating in the free city walking tours and pub crawls.

Here’s my guide on how to spend 3 days in Dublin.

Where to stay in Dublin:

Budget: Jacobs Inn Hostel

Luxury: Merrion Hotel

5. Cartagena, Colombia

best things to do in Cartagena

Cartagena is a city filled with colorful colonial buildings, beautiful boutiques, and vibrant nightlife.

The colonial city has quite a lot of tourism, which makes it a relaxed and inviting experience for solo female travelers.

My favorite things I did in Cartagena included a boat tour to the Rosario Islands and visiting the artistic neighborhood of Getsemani.

Don’t miss my 13 bucket-list things to do in Cartagena!

Where to Stay in Cartagena

Budget: Life is Good Hostel

Luxury: Ananda Boutique Hotel

6. Luang Prabang, Laos

Seasoned backpackers will often tell you that sometimes the smallest countries are the most fun. Every traveler I met along the Southeast Asia backpacking route raved about how great of an experience Laos was as a solo traveler, and it was totally true!

What I loved about Laos was there were so many outdoor adventure activities to do, and it was way more fun to do them with new friends from the hostel.

Luang Prabang specifically, you’ll want to book a tour or rent some motorbikes to see the Kuang Si Waterfalls, explore the Old Town, and take a jewelry-making class.

Where to Stay in Luang Prabang

Budget: Mad Monkey Hostel

Luxury: Avani

7. Krakow, Poland

Krakow has a famous hostel called Greg & Toms which is known for being one of the most social hostels in Europe. This hostel focuses on meaningful solo-traveler dinners, group tours, and of course.. pub crawls!

However, if you don’t want to stay in a hostel, it’s still possible to have a super fun and safe experience as a solo female traveler in Krakow. Because this city is so historical, there are loads of free and informative walking tours to take advantage of in Krakow in nearly every corner of the city.

Additionally, there are a lot of meetups organized through Couchsurfing at some of the many jazz clubs and wine bars.

8. Barcelona, Spain

best destinations for first time solo female travelers

Barcelona’s vibrant streets are filled with gorgeous architecture, delicious tapas, and stunning beaches. As a solo female traveler in Barcelona, I spent quite a lot of time exploring the cafes and art galleries that were seemingly on every corner of the city.

This is one of the most artistic cities in Europe so I would encourage travelers to indulge in the art scene by taking a street art tour or visiting the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

There are nice hostels in Barcelona suited for solo travelers and they organize loads of activities like beach days and pub crawls.

While Barcelona is particularly known for theft, as long as you are extra careful watching after your belongings you should be able to enjoy the city at ease.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Budget: Yeah Hostel

Luxury: Yurbban Ramblas Boutique Hotel

9. Chania. Crete

best destinations for first time solo female travelers

Chania is one of my favorite destinations to solo travel to in the WORLD! After traveling there 3 times now, I can highly recommend it for women traveling solo, especially for first-timers.

This is an ideal solo traveler haven because of the amazing cuisine, boutique shops, and ample day trips that will take you to places like the pink Elafonisi beach and Samaria Gorge.

Be sure to spend at least 4 days minimum in Chania.

Where to Stay in Chania:

Budget: Cocoon City Hostel

Luxury: Chania Flair Boutique Hotel

10. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is a fun and beautiful city in the North of Vietnam known for famous cooking classes, elephant sanctuaries, and day trips to unbelievably cool temples in Chiang Rai.

You can easily spend 5 days in Chiang Mai eating at some of the best restaurants in the country and exploring temples all around the city. Chiang Mai is also well known for its delicious coffee culture.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

Budget: Sylvis Hostel

Luxury: THEE Vijit Boutique Hotel

11. Tokyo, Japan

Japan can sometimes be a hit or miss for solo travelers, not because of safety, but because it isn’t a huge backpacker destination so it’s not always the most social. Due to it being expensive and there being SO much to do in the city. I would often be gone from my hostel from 9 AM to midnight which meant I wasn’t meeting people at my hostel.

However, once I signed up for some free walking tours and reached out to people through the Hostelworld chat, I met loads of other travelers. Tokyo attracts a bit of an “older” backpacking crowd in their early 30s, which I loved! I had such a blast having drinks in Golden Gai and going to the nightclubs in Shinjuku with my new travel friends.

Tokyo was one of my all-time favorite solo travel trips, but you might just have to “try” a little harder to make friends to have experiences with.

The city, transportation, and hostels were very safe, I was never concerned for my safety (even in such a big city!)

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Budget: NUI Hostel

Luxury: Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park

12. Bratislava, Slovakia

best things to do in Bratislava

Bratislava is the fairytale-like capital of Slovakia and it’s filled with an eclectic mix of interesting architecture, delicious Slovak restaurants, and charming cafes.

Travelers may convince you to only take a day trip, but I found myself there for over a week not wanting to leave! Bratislava is very safe and walkable making it perfect for solo female travelers.

Where to Stay in Bratislava:

Budget: Wild Elephants Hostel

Luxury: Marrol’s Boutique Hotel

13. Amsterdam, Netherlands

best destinations for first time solo female travelers

Amsterdam is no doubt one of the most well-known cities to visit in Europe, if not all over the world. Offering stunning cityscapes, historical museums, and all the cheese and stroopwafels you could want – Amsterdam is a lovely destination for first-time solo female travelers.

During my solo trip to Amsterdam, I took advantage of a free walking tour and of course toured the Anne Frank Museum and the Moco Art Museum.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Budget: The Flying Pig

Luxury: The Hendrick’s

14. Hanoi, Vietnam

best things to do in Vietnam

Get a taste of Vietnam’s sizzling flavors by spending an epic solo adventure in Hanoi.

Hanoi is a great way to base your trip in Vietnam because the city itself offers so much, and you can easily book day and weekend trips to Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, or even Sapa.

A couple of my favorite things activites I can recommend in Hanoi as a solo female traveler are the free walking tour and Om Hanoi Yoga & Cafe.

Where to stay in Hanoi:

Budget: Buffalo Hanoi Backpackers

Luxury: Peridot Gallery Hotel

15, Vienna, Austria

best destinations for first time solo female travelers

Vienna will bombard you with classic architecture, gorgeous cafes, and chocolate shops on every corner.

Solo travelers will especially love the free walking tour and a visit to the unforgettable Shonbrunn Palace.

Where to Stay in Vienna:

Budget: Wombats City Hostel

Luxury: Lindner Hotel

16. Koh Tao, Thailand

best destinations for first time solo female travelers

Koh Tao is filled with jaw-dropping sunsets, beautiful beaches, and that laid-back beach-town vibe everyone comes to Thailand looking for. Not to mention, the food in Koh Tao is some of the best in the Thai Islands.

Solo female travelers will feel safe to roam the island day or night without much worry. Plus, there are lots of cafes and yoga classes offered around the island if that’s your thing!

Where to Stay:

Budget: Savage Hostel

Luxury: Koh Tao Heritage

17. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia in general is an epic destination for first-time solo female travelers!

Dubrovnik offers an adventurous old town and city walls along with plenty of social activities like relaxing on the beach, booking a boat tour, or signing up for one of Dubrovnik’s legendary pub crawls.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Budget: Hostel Angelina

Luxury: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

Why I Hand-Picked These 17 Best Destinations for First-Time Solo Female Travelers

I consider myself to be a “solo female travel expert” because I’ve traveled to over 30 countries by myself beginning from the age of 17!

These are my personal recommendations for first-time solo female travelers for these reasons:

  • Safety
  • Easy to get around
  • Much of the population speaks English
  • Social Environments
  • Great hostels and accommodations

This post was all about the best destinations for first time solo female travelers.

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