25 Best International Destinations for Solo Travel

When you’re looking to travel alone, these are the safest, most exciting, and all-around best destinations for flying solo.

Hiker in front of Red Crater, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Photo: Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Sometimes you are your own best company. Whether you want to plan a romp around Japan on your own terms, or your friends can’t fit that Scottish sojourn into their schedule at the moment, there are a variety of reasons to travel alone.

The benefits of traveling solo range from the freedom to fully indulge your every whim to a sense of empowerment to opportunities for reflection, self-discovery, and new friendships.

Whatever your reasons, traveling solo can be one of life's most rewarding experiences. And, whether you're about to embark on your first solo trip or your 20th, tackling a trip by yourself can be incredibly nerve-wracking. 

We wouldn't want a lack of company to keep you from booking that ticket, so we've come up with a list of countries ideal for both first-time and experienced solo travelers, including safe destinations where you can expect a warm welcome. We take you through longtime favorites like Mexico, as well as destinations that are becoming increasingly popular with solo travelers like Egypt and Croatia.

From castle crawls in Germany to seeing the Northern Lights in Norway, here are the best countries for solo travel abroad.

1. Iceland

A woman watching the sunset from behind a waterfall in Iceland.
Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

There's a reason why Iceland has consistently ranked among the hottest destinations in recent years: The country is a haven for travelers who love the outdoors, with caverns and caves to explore, volcanoes and glaciers to hike, and geothermal spas to soak in — and since it's the most peaceful country in the world, according to a recent Global Peace Index report, solo travelers can explore the country worry-free.

If you're traveling to Reykjavík, consider taking a day trip to the ever-popular Blue Lagoon, or go whale watching in Faxaflói Bay. For those wanting to get out of the city, Thingvellir National Park offers camping, hiking trails, horseback riding, and the freshwater Silfra fissure, considered one of the best diving spots in the world.

2. Costa Rica

A young woman hikes along a hanging bridge near Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica.
Jeff Diener/Getty Images

Costa Rica has long had a reputation as one of the happiest countries in the world, and it's easy to see why. In Costa Rica you'll find plenty of outdoor activities to please your adventurous side, from whitewater rafting down the Reventazón River and zip lining through gorgeous rainforests to rappelling down waterfalls and hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park.

If you need a bit of respite amidst all the activity, Arenal has hot springs perfect for relaxing, or you can enjoy the white sands and wildlife at Playa Manuel Antonio, a tropical beach in Manuel Antonio National Park.

3. New Zealand

Hiker in front of Red Crater, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

New Zealand is a popular destination for backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers striking out on their own — maybe because it's the second most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index.

The country is a haven for outdoorsy types and one of the best places to meet fellow travelers. You can take a cruise through the fjords, rainforests, and waterfalls of Milford Sound; heli-hike your way through Franz Josef Glacier; trek part (or all) of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves; or go whale-watching in the Bay of Plenty.

If you need some down time from all your adventuring, take a day trip to Waiheke Island for wine tours or make your way to the Hobbiton Movie Set to wander the real-life version of the Shire. With so much to do, you won't miss having a travel buddy.

4. Mexico

Narrow street in the old town of San Miguel de Allenge, Mexico
Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

With a thriving backpacker culture and accommodating resorts, Mexico is an optimal place for any type of solo trip. Locals are friendly and the country is dotted with cultural sites and a beautiful natural landscape — never mind all the tacos, empanadas, and tortas!  

There are Mayan ruins near Cancun, whale watching in Los Cabos, Instagram opportunities in Tulum, tamales and mezcal in Oaxaca, and a thriving art scene in Mexico City.  

5. Switzerland

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Switzerland is known for its stunning beauty and there may be no better way to see the country than by train. Purchase a Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat, and journey past stunning waterfalls, forests, and lakes. Then, hop off the train to hike the Alps, visit medieval castles, and drink Swiss wine.

In the country that invented milk chocolate, indulging in the decadent, creamy treat is a no-brainer. But instead of simply picking up a bar of Toblerone or Lindt at the nearest grocery store, take a chocolate-themed walking tour in Lucerne or Zürich, or visit one of the area's several world-famous chocolate factories.

6. Chile

Guanaco in Chilean Patagonia
Getty Images

Chile's landscape is as beautiful as it is diverse. Whether you explore Torres del Paine National Park or the San Rafael Glacier in Patagonia, climb an active volcano in the Lake District, or camp underneath the brilliant night sky in the Atacama Desert, you're sure to find an adventure that suits your fancy.

In Santiago, adventure meets culture, and the city is easy to navigate by foot or bicycle. You can hike San Cristóbal Hill or Santa Lucía Hill for panoramic views of the capital, browse the boutique shops, cafes, and cocktail bars in the Bellavista neighborhood, or explore the city's many museums and art galleries.

7. Netherlands

Tulips and Windmill in the Netherlands
Getty Images

For any first-time solo travelers, the Netherlands is a great place to get your newly-independent feet wet. In Amsterdam, with its laid-back and friendly culture, do as the locals do: Get around by bike. Start in Vondelpark, a popular urban park, then bike to world-famous museums like the Van Gogh Museum, passing the city's picturesque canals and bridges along the way.

Head to the Netherlands between mid-April and the first week of May, and you'll be welcomed by a glorious array of the country's most beloved flower: the tulip. The Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is located just outside Amsterdam and boasts over seven million bulbs and hundreds of varieties of tulips. Or, go to Noordoostpolder to see even more colorful blooms during the annual Tulip Festival.

8. Spain

People At Beach Against Blue Sky
Getty Images/EyeEm

Spain has a little bit of everything to please everyone: art museums, gorgeous architecture, delicious food, stunning beaches, exciting nightlife, and jaw-dropping hikes.

In Barcelona, wander Park Güell, a public park that doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features modern architecture, sculptures, and mosaics designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Continue your Gaudí tour at Sagrada Família before moving onto the Picasso Museum. When you start to get hungry, make your way to Mercado de La Boqueria, the oldest market in the city.

You can also find some of the world's best beaches in Spain, such as Ocata Beach near Barcelona and Socorro Beach in Tenerife. The brave and truly adventurous can join an organized hike through Caminito del Rey in Málaga or begin their journey along the famed Camino de Santiago.

9. Austria

Famous Mirabell Gardens with historic Fortress in Salzburg, Austria
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Austria is a must-see for solo travelers with a taste for fine culture. See for yourself why Vienna is known as the City of Music and attend a concert at the State Opera House or the Musikverein. The city also boasts hundreds of museums, prime for exploring in between experiencing traditional Viennese coffeehouse culture.

In Salzburg, backdrop to "The Sound of Music," fans of the musical can take themed tours of the city and round out their trip by visiting Mozart's Birthplace and climbing to the top of Hohensalzburg Fortress for unforgettable views of the city.

10. Denmark

Fishing boats in Nyhavn, 17th century waterfront, Copenhagen, Denmark, Scandinavia, Europe
Michael Runkel/Getty Images

Denmark is another easy-to-tackle country for solo travelers. Start in Copenhagen and head to the Nyhavn district to see the city's iconic wooden ships and colorful townhouses lining the canal. Afterward, take a stroll through Tivoli Gardens. While beloved for its amusement park, the popular attraction also features flower gardens, bubble fountains, and an aquarium.

Shakespeare aficionados should head to Kronborg Castle: The UNESCO World Heritage site inspired Elsinore Castle in "Hamlet." While there, take the train to nearby Hillerød, where you'll find Frederiksborg Castle, home to the Danish Museum of National History.

11. Japan

Japanese garden seen from inside a traditional tatami room, Kyoto
iStockphoto/Getty Images

First stop: Tokyo. Whether you shop in the luxurious Ginza neighborhood, ride to the top of one of the world's tallest towers, tour the Sensō-ji temple, dine on ramen at Ichiran Shibuya (the famous chain serves steaming bowls of ramen at no-frills booths), or take a leisurely stroll through a traditional Japanese garden, you'll never run out of things to do in the glitzy city.

If you need some rest from the hustle and bustle, you can take a bullet train to Kyoto, where you'll find a plethora of shrines, gardens, and temples. Since the tea ceremony has its roots in Kyoto, you may wish to partake in the tradition while you're there. Be sure to visit during the springtime to see the gorgeous cherry blossoms in bloom.

12. Norway

View of the Northern Lights in Lofoten Islands, Norway
Steffen Schnur/Getty Images

Visit Norway during the summer for warmer weather and lots of outdoor attractions and activities. In Oslo, you can explore the capital's many museums, restaurants, and parks by walking, cycling, or taking public transportation. Or, book a spot on a Hurtigruten coastal steamer — there's no single supplement on select voyages — and cruise through the country's famous fjords on a multi-day adventure, stopping at numerous ports of call along the stunning coastline to hike, kayak, safari, and more. You'll even cross the Arctic Circle!

On the other hand, if seeing the Northern Lights tops your list, a trip to Norway between November and March will land you there during peak aurora borealis season. For optimum viewing of the natural phenomenon, head to the heart of the aurora zone: the city of Tromsø.

13. Ireland

Temple bar in Dublin, Ireland
Marc Dufresne/Getty Images

If the idea of traveling by yourself to a country where you don't speak the language makes you nervous, then opt to visit Ireland. In Dublin, you can take a literary walking tour of the UNESCO City of Literature, browse Grafton Street's bustling shops, and cozy up in the Guinness Storehouse with a pint of the world-famous stout.

With its stunning scenery and friendly inhabitants, Galway is not to be missed, either. While you're there, stroll along the lovely Salthill Promenade, or park yourself in a traditional pub in Eyre Square to listen to live Irish folk music. If you're looking to get out of the city, hop on a ferry to the nearby Aran Islands to explore medieval ruins and forts, or take a public bus to the iconic Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking views.

14. Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay, Independence Plaza
vale_t/Getty Images

This South American country is perfect for those who just want to relax by the ocean and soak up the sun. Punta del Este may be best known for its gorgeous beaches, like Playa Mansa and Playa Brava. But, if you want to escape the crowds, consider visiting the more secluded beaches in Jose Ignacio and Rocha.

Montevideo isn't short on beaches, either, and for those who want to mix up sunbathing with cultural experiences, the capital also offers historical attractions, museums, and traditional Candombe music and dance performances.

15. Albania

Young woman walking along a beach with a boat, Ionian Coastline south of Himara, Albania
Keven Osborne/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Its friendly locals and gorgeous scenery makes Albania an up-and-coming destination for solo travelers. Journey to the Blue Eye spring near Saranda and you'll encounter some of the bluest, clearest water in the world. Since you might find the water too cold to swim in, head to the Albanian coast for fun and sun on any of the country's beautiful beaches, or soak in Përmet's Benja Thermal Baths — they're said to have healing properties.

You may also want to consider taking a day trip to Berat — nicknamed the "town of a thousand windows" — to marvel at the city's stunning architecture. From the Ottoman-era buildings and medieval castles to the mosques and Holy Trinity Church, you'll quickly see why the city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

16. Vietnam

Streets of Hoi An, Vietnam at dusk
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Endless adventure awaits in Vietnam. Hop on a boat that departs from Hạ Long and cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay, home to some of the world's most striking blue water and natural landscapes. Take a guided tour of Hang Sơn Đoòng, the largest natural cave in the world. Visit Hội An during the full moon and you'll be welcomed by the awe-inspiring sight of hundreds of lanterns floating down the Thu Bồn River during the city's monthly full moon festival.

In Ho Chi Minh City, you can indulge in street food at Bến Thành Market, one of the city's earliest surviving structures, and brush up on Vietnam War history during a tour of the War Remnants Museum and the Củ Chi Tunnels. Travel to Hanoi to explore the capital's impressive historical and cultural sites, and take a leisurely stroll around Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

17. Germany

View of Spree River and Berliner Dom, Berlin, Germany
Getty Images

Germany has several major cities that are accessible to anyone traveling on their own. Hop on a bike in Berlin to explore the city's abundance of museums, historical sites, cafés, nightclubs, and parks. You can also visit Munich during Oktoberfest, but if you'd rather avoid the crowds, you can enjoy the city's beer gardens any time of year. And if you head to Frankfurt, you'll discover an eclectic array of museums, cafés, boutiques, restaurants, and a lush botanical garden in the increasingly popular city.

You should also consider planning side trips to see some of Germany's famous castles — there are over 20,000 of them. From the Gothic-style Liechtenstein Castle to the dramatic Neuschwanstein Castle, visiting any of Germany's magical old sites will have you feeling like you stepped straight into a fairy tale.

18. Finland

Cityscape of Helsinki, capital of Finland
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Thanks to the camaraderie of the traditional sauna experience, it's easy to meet people in Finland as a solo traveler — the country is home to over three million saunas, from Helsinki to Tampere and Savonlinna.

But there's more to Finland than saunas. In Helsinki, you'll find magnificent architecture, museums, parks, markets, and more — all easily accessible by foot or public transportation. Travel to the coasts to see a lovely array of lighthouses, or head to Rauma or Loviisa to spend a day in a wooden town. While it may be best to go to "The Land of the Midnight Sun" in the summer, visit during the winter for peak viewing of the Northern Lights.

19. Scotland

Cliff landscape of leading towards Neist Point Lighthouse

Jess Macdonald/Travel + Leisure

With extensive folklore, outdoor adventure, and stunning beauty around every corner, Scotland is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself. It’s a safe, cozy sojourn for anyone who loves postcard-perfect views. Explore Edinburgh by bike, stopping at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Holyrood Park

You’d be remiss not to try the country’s world-class golf while you’re there — you’ll have more than 550 courses to choose from. 

Feeling brave? Head to the Scottish Highlands to seek out the legendary underwater monster at Loch Ness, and while you're there, visit Urquhart Castle, which dates all the way back to the thirteenth century.  

20. Australia

Sydney Opera House in Sydney Harbor with downtown skyline, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Gallo Images / Getty Images

This popular solo travel destination is considered to be an exceptionally safe place with a wide range of areas to explore. Start in Sydney, with its friendly vibe and thriving art, food, and sport scenes, where you can walk around Sydney Harbour or explore the white-sand shore at Bondi Beach. Hit the epic swells of Victoria and then ride the tram around Melbourne for a coffee shop crawl. You can also hit hiking trails in Tasmania to experience Australia's natural splendor by foot. Speaking of, the Great Barrier Reef awaits snorkelers off the coast of Far North Queensland. 

You’ll probably want to fly between destinations — this is a huge country, after all — but you can also rent a car and indulge in an Australian road trip. Or, go old-school and traverse the country by train on The Ghan, where you can experience the outback on a journey from Adelaide to Darwin.    

21. Canada

Banff National Park
Epic nature is at your fingertips at Banff National Park.

Getty Images/Julia Gnther/EyeEm


From the slopes of British Columbia to the cosmopolitan wonders of Toronto, Canada has tons to keep you entertained, even when you’re alone. Our neighbor to the north is a quick flight (or a reasonable drive depending on where you’re coming from and going to) and accessible in terms of language, exchange rate, and transportation.   

If you opt for Canada's largest city, explore the arts and culture of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, eat your way through St. Lawrence Market, or get to know the city's eclectic range of neighborhoods. Over in Vancouver, you can bike your way through the waterfront city, or cross the vertigo-inducing Capilano Suspension Bridge, a 450-foot-long, 230-foot-high bridge cutting through lush woodland. Go straight to Alberta to explore Banff National Park’s famous glacial lakes and Rocky Mountain vistas.   

22. Thailand

Tourist sitting on a longtail boat in Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Tourist sitting on a longtail boat in Phi Phi Island, Thailand.

Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Thailand has long been an affordable destination and, because of its safe, accessible atmosphere, it’s becoming just as popular with solo travelers. Explore the delicious food, thrilling nightlife, and tranquil spas of Bangkok. The tropical paradise also has beautiful beaches — we recommend those of Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands — for lounging the day away by the Andaman Sea.  

Public transportation is easy and readily available, from trains, subways, buses, and taxis to long-tail boats and tuk-tuks. Head here in mid-April for the Songkran Water Splashing Festival to celebrate the Buddhist New Year with parades, street parties, and performances. 

23. Croatia

Aerial panoramic view at famous european travel destination, Dubrovnik cityscape on Adriatic Coast, Croatia

Dreamer4787/Getty Images

If you’re feeling spontaneous, book a solo trip to Croatia, where you’ll be able to stretch your budget across spectacular beaches, rich history, and delectable cuisine. With a desirable exchange rate and friendly locals, this is perfect for any party of one. Become a beach bum on the unspoiled shores of the Dalmatian Islands. You’ll have the blue waters, white sands, and dramatic limestone cliffs to admire as you lounge by yourself. Then, eat your weight in white truffle pasta and fresh seafood before walking it off around Dubrovnik’s medieval Old Town.  

24. Egypt

Luxor Temple, famous landmark of Egypt, first pylon view

Anton Aleksenko/Getty Images

Egypt is becoming more desirable for solo travel. A cruise down the Nile might be the best (not to mention safest and most convenient) way to see the African country alone. Eat delicious falafel in Cairo, explore the Great Pyramids in Giza, and discover ancient temples and tombs. And then return to your five-star accommodations before sailing off to the next archaeological wonder.  

There are also new (or updated) sights to see in the ancient destination. In 2022, the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor reopened after years of renovations. And, be on the lookout for the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, which should open sometime in 2023. 

25. England

Castle Combe in fall, in Wiltshire, England.
Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

Take solitary strolls along stunning cliffs, around quaint, small towns, or down urban streets in England. London is a natural choice for any Americans traveling across the pond. Traipse around Trafalgar Square, see the Rembrandts and Cézannes at the National Gallery, or enjoy a proper afternoon tea service at The Lanesborough

But, of course, there are also the charming English towns that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. One of the best parts of traveling to England is the history and you’ll find plenty of that in its storybook castles and the industrial-age towns of Yorkshire.   

Updated by
Elizabeth Preske
Elizabeth Preske is an associate editor at TripSavvy and a former associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. She writes and edits content about destinations around the world, covering everything from travel-related news and tips to stories about quirky destinations.
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles