In the spirit of Beyonce – to all the single (traveling) ladies out there – add these places to your list. These 20 cities are considered some of the safest in the world for the female solo traveler – so book a ticket, pack a bag and get ready to make some of the best memories of your life.
photo: Lucy Laught
1. Basel, Switzerland
Basel is one of Switzerland’s most underrated and charming cities known for its rich architecture and world class art scene.
With its relatively intimate medieval town centre and good transportation around the area in their famous green trams, it makes for an easy city to navigate and explore within a small area.
If you happen to be there during the summer, make sure you drop by the famous art fair Art Basel, which is the leading event for modern classics and contemporary art. After taking in the fair, drop by to watch the spectacle of the elites of the art world at Campari Bar while you’re sipping on a drink. It will be quite an experience, and definitely something to do solo.
2. Perth, Australia
Perth – the capital of Western Australia – is a diverse city that embodies the Australian spirit. The city’s isolated location and relatively small 2.million population gives it more personality than the hustle and bustle of larger cities in Australia and fewer people make this a part of their travel itinerary because it seems to lack the adventures of the East Coast.
Visit the Perth Royal Mint to learn the history of the city during its Gold Rush days or enjoy the famous beaches for surf and sun.
3. Brussels, Belgium
The capital of Belgium, headquarters to NATO and the European Union, has more to offer than just its political connotations.
The city is considered to be a melting pot of different cultures due to its history mixing both Dutch and French history. Most sights in the city will take you along the old cobblestone roads of Old Town and are within reasonable walking distance of each other making it safe to wander on your own.
The city has nine boroughs with all different characteristics and culture and encompasses beautiful sites such as the Grand Place and St. Catherine’s Square and various bars and restaurants on Place St. Géry, including the famous Halles St-Géry meat market.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Considered the contemporary and trendy capital of Scandinavia, Copenhagen offers a lot of culture and charm for the solo traveler.
Despite its big city-big lights feeling, it’s still small enough to navigate safely whether it’s by foot or on one of its many bike lanes connecting all the boroughs.
From drinking beer at a sidewalk restaurant by the canal in Nyhavn to shopping the trendiest up-and-coming labels in Vesterbro, the city is teeming with small and intimate spaces, and friendly locals.
5. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is the capital of Austria and is known for its immense history being a former imperial capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The city centre is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and if you enjoy beautiful architecture you can bask in Vienna’s grand Baroque castles, gothic churches and monumental sculptures.
Considered one of the safest cities in the world because of its size — it is a culturally rich city to enjoy on your travels. If you want to experience old traditions of the city, visit the beautiful Vienna State Opera and attend a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic.
6. Osaka, Japan
photo: Robert Schrader/Leave Your Daily Hell
Osaka is the third largest city in Japan and is historically known as a merchant city because of its location by the mouth of Yodo River on Osaka Bay.
Despite being inhabited by 2.7 millions, the city is considered very safe for travelers and maintains a low crime rate.
A must-see in the city are the cherry blossoms at Osaka or Himeji Castle in the Spring. If you’re a foodie, immerse yourself in the rich food culture and its many food markets. The areas of Umeda and Dotonburi have the most places to indulge in various cuisine ranging from restaurants, and famous and local street food. Make sure you the ol’ traditional sushi or the broth-heavenly-delicious ramen.
7. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area of Western Canada and the third largest city of Canada. It is known for both its nature and coastal beauty as it is located between the Coast Mountains of British Colombia and the Pacific Ocean.
Enjoy a stroll in Stanley Park and then grab a coffee in the area of West End or go to the city centre to experience more cultural input such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Lookout Tower or Vancouver Aquarium.
The city is full of diversity and Canadians are known across the globe for their hospitality and friendliness – in a plaid-shirt or not!
8. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, also known as Helsingfors, is the capital of Finland and has more to offer than just cold, snow and dark. Despite its lengthy winter lasting from November to March, the city holds its beauty all year around.
Visit the Senate Square to behold the statue of Tsar Alexander along with seeing the President’s Palace, House of Nobility and Government Palace all in short distance of each other. Helsinki also has a big market, Kauppatori, by the northern end of the Eteläsatama harbor where you can find seasonal food, souvenirs and a bustling produce market.
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
The Scottish city of Edinburgh has all the charm that you look for in a travel destination. The city itself has an ancient, but modern feel to it – combining small cobblestone streets and narrow passages to Gothic churches alongside hip and modern coffee shops and boutiques.
Visit Edinburgh Castle to get an amazing view of the city below and the Scottish Highlands in the distance and then head down to the intimate and small space of Fruitmarket Gallery for a pot of tea, cake and contemporary art.
Since the city is relatively small with its 450,000 inhabitants, it doesn’t feel to daunting to walk alone or explore the city on your own.
10. Reykjavik, Iceland
The largest city of Reykjavik is one of the focal points of tourism in Iceland. Legend has it that the first permanent settler in the country was a Norwegian named Ingolfur Arnarson. He is said to have thrown his seat pillars into the sea en route to Iceland, and decided to settle wherever the pillars washed up. Hence, the city was born.
But Reykjavik has a lot more to offer than just history. The city is small and easy to walk around and boosts a variety of houses painted in bright colors. The majority of travelers take in the beautiful scenery of the Icelandic nature, but there is plenty else to do – from arctic surfing and whale watching to swimming in the hot springs of the Blue Lagoon.
11. Seoul, South-Korea
Seoul, the capital of Korea, is a well-organized city and has both a modern and ancient history. Explore Seoul’s different 25 districts, each consisting of an area and population comparable to a small European city.
Some notable districts are Jung with its historic and lavish UNESCO World Heritage site Cheongyecheon Palace, Gangnam with its glamour and luxury and Hongdae known for its underground art scene and nightlife.
Despite its huge municipal population of over 11.8 million people, Seoul is a remarkably safe city despite its size and both pickpocketing and violent crime is minimal.
12. Bergen, Norway
Explore one of Norway’s most scenic cities blessed with its location alongside seven mountains and the coastal waters of the Northern Sea.
With its mild climate, there is no fear of getting caught in a snowstorm so there is more to the city than just the cold.
Walk along Bryggen by Vågen harbor to see the old architecture and history of the town and then head up to Fløyen to get a spectacular view of the surrounding fjord. Finish your walk or trip by visiting the small and intimate food hall or fish market for a fresh catch. As a solo traveler, you can walk safely along the small cobbled streets and take in Bergen’s intimate atmosphere.
13. Venice, Italy
The dreamy and romantic city of Venice is not only for honeymooners and couples. The magic of the place is that Venice is virtually the same as it was 600 years ago making it a nostalgic and ancient place for solo exploring.
Divided into different boroughs, the main districts include Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Castello, Santa Croce and San Marco where the main monuments and sights are located.
These areas are also relatively safe. Filled with culture and arts, The Doge’s Palace and St. Marks Basilica is a must see. End the day by one of the canals sipping on a Aperol Spritz as the sun goes down – a pretty good deal for a solo traveler if you ask me.
14. Lisbon, Portugal
photo: Lisbon Lux / http://www.lisbonlux.com/lisbon/chiado.html
Lisbon is situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the European cities that is known for its thriving and energizing contemporary culture. The city is built on seven hills making for some steep inclines and declines as you explore the winding and tricky cobblestoned streets. The neighborhoods of Alfama, Chiado and Bairro Alto have everything your heart desires containing a genuine Portuguese charm and friendliness.
A personal recommendation of mine is to experience an authentic, modern, but atypical Portuguese cuisine at Bairro do Avillez, chef José Avillez (one of the nicest guys I have met!) new restaurant in Chiado. Try the octopus salad along with some local wine – it is to die for. The perfect foodie experience in Lisbon.
15. Marseilles, France
photo: Azamara Club Cruises / https://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/de/blog/12-books-inspire-wanderlust
Marseilles is the second largest city of France and the biggest Mediterranean port of the Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, it has a rich history and is known for its beautiful waterfront and harbor.
Though it may not be considered as aesthetically pleasing as Paris, Marseille still has charm despite being more industrial. Visit the basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde located at the highest point of the city for the beautiful Neo-Byzantine architecture and the view of the Old Port of Marseille and then go to the area of Le Cours Julien La Plaine for shops, bookstores, cafeś and inspirational street art.
16. Budapest, Hungary
Hungary’s capital, Budapest is a unique and historic city and is nicknamed “Paris of the East”. Having been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987, the city is known for its natural thermal baths and scenic and grand architectural buildings such as the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and National Gallery at the Royal Palace.
Budapest is generally very safe and makes for an great travel destination because of its rich cultural sights. Most of the city’s highlights are within short walking distance from each other and the city centre of Buda.
17. Jerusalem, Israel
Though you may seem skeptic of the capital of Israel, Jerusalem is considered safe for tourists. Just keep in mind that one should dress accordingly to the culture and be aware of religious views and time in regards to Muslim prayer. Taking that into consideration, the city is one of the most ancient in the world and named ‘The City of Gold’.
It can be divided into districts where the Old City is the place to go for the most holy sites and truly breathtaking and beautiful building quarters. For a more picturesque view of Jerusalem visit the neighborhood of Ein Keres located among hills covered with olive trees and cypress trees. While you’re there stop by the small galleries owned by local artists and sculptors.
18. Singapore, The Republic of Singapore
Singapore is a city-state island in the Southeast of Asia founded as a British trading colony in 1819. Since then it has become one of the most contemporary cities in the world with skyscrapers and a central position within the financial market of the world.
Despite the 5.5 million living in the city, it is considered to be one of the safest places in the world and especially when it comes to single female travelers.
What is also unique for the densely populated island country is that it contains over 50 major green parks and 4 nature reserves making it a beautiful garden city. While you’re there, be sure you try the various cuisines which consists of a mix of Asian fusions such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Thai and even American food. One of the specialities is supposed to be the chili crab, which is notoriously difficult to eat without making a mess (but supposedly totally worth it).
19. Tainan, Taiwan
Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan famous for its ancient temples and historic buildings. One of the most famous districts is the Anping District, the original capital of Taiwan and home to the Eternal Golden Castle, a 19th century coastal fortress, and the ruins of Anping Fort, which originates from the 17th century.
Another famous sight is the picturesque Chihkan Towers with a beautiful garden that is even more enchanting at night when the lights are lit and enhances the architecture. Tainan is safe for the solo traveler, but just make sure to look out for the heavy traffic while you are there.
Because of the city’s many canals, Amsterdam has been named ‘Venice of the North’ and conjures the same feeling of charm and romantic as Venice itself. The city attracts almost 7 million travelers annually and has more than 1,500 bridges that connect the various districts and areas together.
Amsterdam is one of the safest cities in the world and offers an abundance of interests – from culture to partying to food – as any good city should do.
Visit the Old Centre which is the most visited area of Amsterdam known for its canals, shopping and many coffeeshops or hop on your bike and go to the Plantage to visit the many museums there. Whatever you are looking for, Amsterdam has it.
Whether you travel alone or not, make sure to always take precautions and stay safe, but don´t be afraid to travel as a single female traveler.
Got anywhere else to add to this list? Leave a comment below!