9 Best European destinations for the solo traveler

Person taking selfie in Paris
Person taking selfie in Paris

9 Best European destinations for the solo traveler

by Nicole Standish
Stripes Europe

Tired of spending countless hours planning a trip everyone can agree on? Looking to embark on a new solo adventure? Europe has many locations that are great for solo travelers. Each of the nine destinations listed below offer a wide variety of activities for solo travelers with almost any interests and are relatively safe.

  1. Paris, France

Paris is first on the list because it is one of the most traveler-friendly locations in Europe. The mass transit system is easy to navigate and very efficient. It is pretty easy to find a hotel or vacation rental at a reasonable price (even during peak season, although the prices are considerably higher). Snag a Paris Pass and see the city via Seine River cruises or a hop-on-hop-off bus. Add on a Paris Visité Pass and enjoy unlimited trips (for the number of days you choose) on both the metro and bus system.  Enjoy the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and the Museé d’Orsay at your own pace.

  1. Rome, Italy

For art and architecture enthusiasts, Rome is for you. Take a stroll through the world famous Colosseum, explore renowned artwork and take in the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City. Rome’s taxis are generally safe, and many Italians speak English; making it much easier for a non-Italian speaker to get around the city. The Via Guilia is often regarded as Rome’s most gorgeous street and has many accommodation types available. The Roman Guy, a touring company, offers numerous excursions to often overlooked areas such as the ancient catacombs.

  1. Tuscany, Italy

Another Italian gem, Tuscany also has a large population of English speaking citizens. Tuscany offers many different types of excursions, food and wine festivals and historical tours. You can also follow the Via Francigena, a route the runs through much of the Tuscan region that served as an ancient pilgrimage path. The food and wine scene here is as rich as its history with any one of Tuscany’s trattorias just waiting to fill you up with delicious pasta and local wine.

  1. Seville, Spain

This capital city of Spain’s Andalusian region has an easily navigable and extensive mass transit system. With beautiful and historically significant landmarks right in the heart of the city, it is easier to see more of what the region has to offer in less time. Some of the most visited areas include the Cathedral of Seville, the Torro del Oro, the Giralda and the Alameda de Hercules. This bustling area offers live flamenco dance shows, lively soccer games and great nightlife (check out the Alameda and Triana neighborhoods).

  1. Ljubljana, Slovenia

This home city of the First Lady usually has many tourists but offers extraordinary scenery. Here you can take a boat cruise down the Ljubljanic river and see the famous Dragon and Triple Bridges. You can also enjoy a two-hour city tour of the Ljubljana castle and the city center. Take a funicular ride or explore the ancient ruins of Tivoli Park. Make sure to get a Ljubljana card as it offers access to 21 attractions, unlimited city bus rides and complimentary Internet access around the city. If you finish your exploring around the city earlier than expected, hop on over to Bled, just 32 miles northwest, where there is an exquisite 11th century castle and a gorgeous lake vista.

  1. Iceland

Iceland is a wholly unique experience. Called the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is host to some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders.  Here you can find glaciers, waterfalls, volcanos and hot springs. In the summer months, enjoy nearly 24 hours of sunlight and send stunning pictures home to friends and family right on the spot as WI-FI access and cell phone reception are excellent in the entire country. Plan to use Reykjavik, the capital city, as your home base. Here you’ll find art galleries, shops, cafés, museums, the best accommodations and the international airport. Those interested in outdoor adventures include ice climbing, caving, cycling and hiking. For easy navigating, most locals speak English and welcome visitors to enjoy what Iceland has to offer.

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is easy to get to as there are trains, buses, flights and tours from all over Europe that land on this riveting city scene. Once there, rent a bike from one of the city’s many bike stations and travel the city like a local. Before you leave, it is essential to tour the stunning canals by boat, as there is no better way to take in the city. Definitely visit the floating gardens and the Anne Frank house. The many museums are stunning and offer opportunities to experience art in unique ways. Amsterdam also boasts an ever-changing restaurant scene with foods from all over the world. Don’t forget to visit the world famous ice bar or the many cafés that make Amsterdam the gem that it is.

  1. Berlin, Germany

Although Germany has many amazing cities and picturesque landscapes, Berlin, the capital city is a cultural center with its own jazzy personality. A mix of both historic and modern sites, Berlin is a great fit for people of all ages and with a large array of interests. Visit the remains of the Berlin Wall (there is a free museum there as well), enjoy pastries in one of the city’s eccentric cafés, explore the many art museums and see the murals that drape the buildings in the vibrant art community. The mass transit, consisting of the bus system, tram and metro is super convenient and easy to navigate. There is a fair number of English-speaking locals there, in case German is not in your repertoire. Let your inner kid come out and explore amazing displays in the Legoland Discovery Center and afterwards spend time in the Sony Center where there are great restaurants and the aquarium nearby.

  1. Oslo, Norway

Get all your positive vibes on in Norway, a high scorer on the World Happiness Report. This eco-friendly city on the fjord is replete with super friendly people and has superb public transportation. Visit the Viking Ship museum or, in the summer months, the Royal Palace. Take amazing, Instagram-worthy pictures in Vigeland Park or at Akeshus Fortress. Bring your swimsuit and jump right into the fjord at the city center before visiting one of the city’s rooftop terraces. Take a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens or go kayaking on the fjord. In the summer months, Oslo is home of several music festivals and outdoor concerts, including a very unique outside opera festival.

Whether you are looking for an epic solo vacation, tired of waiting for everyone’s calendars to sync or just looking for a little alone time, solo traveling means you get to enjoy what matters to you most! Eat when and where you would like and have a unique set of pictures from your travels to bring back to share with your friends. Finding relatively safe place to visit means there is less to worry about and more time to focus on the amazing adventure that awaits you. Come back relaxed and ready to plan your next adventure!

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