November 11 is #SinglesDay, and to mark the occasion, we’ve put together a list of the 10 safest cities, curious countries, and all-around best destinations for solo travelers
Solo travel has lately emerged as an empowering trend, appealing to those seeking personal growth and adventure. It allows you to explore the world at your own pace, connect with diverse cultures, and create lifelong memories. Singles’ Day is November 11, and for all you singles out there, let these top 10 solo-travel destinations inspire you to embrace the thrill of discovery on your own terms.
@kiwi.com Replying to @pietro._.luzietti …and he went😀 #kiwicomtravelhacks #kiwicomflight #cheapflights #cheaptravel #iceland ♬ original sound – Kiwi.com
A bucket-list destination for a lot of people, Iceland is popular among solo travelers due to the very fact that it’s become such a popular destination. The rise of tourism has created companies and tour guides that specialize in grouping people together for a trek along one of the well-traveled routes, such as the Golden Circle or the Ring Road. Moreover, due to its reputation of being a very safe country, we highly recommend it to solo female travelers.
It’s a small nation, too, with most of the population living in the capital, Reykjavík. You’ll never be short of someone to chat to in one of the many bars or cafes in the city, and though it’s an expensive place, maybe someone will stand you a beer — you never know!
Finally, there are a lot of things that are — if not exclusive to, then certainly associated with — being in Iceland. Bathing in the hot springs, trekking across glaciers, heading out at two in the morning to see the northern lights; these are all things that become shared experiences because of their personal and unusual nature. Even traveling solo, you’ll share a lot.
@kiwi.com Replying to @Georgia K Ready to travel to Slovenia in October? Follow @ad.molota ‘s tips #slovenia #sloveniatiktok #sloveniatravel #visitslovenia #exploreslovenia #feelslovenia #travelcheap #travelforfree #wehacktravel #wehackthesystem #kiwicomtravel ♬ Trap, hip hop, dark beat ♪(963369) – Ninja_Muzik_Tokyo
Small but perfectly formed, if we’re talking in cliché, Slovenia’s size, location and natural beauty mean that it’s become a popular spot for travelers looking for somewhere cultured, friendly, rugged, but not too taxing.
The landscape is glorious, with national parks filled with crashing rivers and craggy mountains. There are lakes to swim in and caves and castles to explore, and the transport infrastructure is great, meaning you can hop on a regional bus to just about anywhere, and be there quickly and for very little money.
The capital, Ljubljana, is not big, but it’s a reflection of the rest of the country: small, amiable, walkable, relaxed. The locals, knowing that Slovenian is not widely spoken (and being bordered by two linguistic powers in German-speaking Austria to the north and Italy to the west) generally speak good English. Statistically, it’s one of the very safest countries in the whole world. And if your idea of a good time is walking, taking photos, wandering into interesting-looking places, and occasionally stopping for a drink or to read your book, Slovenia will be right up your street.
View this post on Instagram
Japan is a very popular bucket-list destination, and rightly so, but making it there requires setting aside considerable chunks of time and money (especially if you don’t live in East or Southeast Asia). Perhaps your friends can’t commit to such an investment? Never mind — just go solo.
Again, its renowned safety makes Japan an ideal destination for solo travelers. The low crime rates, the hospitable people, and a culture that values respect and politeness will quickly make you feel at ease as you explore this unique country, with its unparalleled blend of tradition and modernity. Ground yourself in the contemplative tranquility of ancient temples, serene shrines and Zen gardens, and experience the dynamic energy of futuristic cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’re spoiled for choice with the spectacular natural landscapes, from the snow-capped mountains in Hokkaido to the mangrove forests and coral reefs of Okinawa.
This diversity is partly what makes Japan such an immersive destination — it feels like you’re in a completely different world, a world that everyone should visit at least once. You’ll be able to tell your friends this when you return.
@kiwi.com🌴 Discovering Bangkok’s Hidden Treasures! From the Serene Floating Market to the Enchanting Vat Arun Temple 🚣♀️✨ Here’s a message to you from our Hacker: Hey there, I’m Betty, and I’ve just had the most incredible time in Bangkok! 🇹🇭 Looking for the best places to visit? I’ve got you covered! 🤩 I went to Kiwi.com/Stories and searched Bangkok, and what did I find? A travel guide: The mesmerizing Floating Market! 😍 We hopped on a shuttle bus from the city center to get there. For just €3, we rented a boat for an entire hour! 🚤 Feeling hungry? No worries! There are plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. If you’re a fan of sweet treats like me, you can’t miss the delicious coconut ice cream for only €2! 🍦 Another unforgettable spot we explored, all thanks to K dot com, was the Vat Arun Temple. 🏯 It only costs €3 for the entrance; they even provide free water! A quick tip: Remember to dress modestly, covering your knees and shoulders before entering the temple. 🙏 Oh, and don’t forget to stick around until 7 p.m.! That’s when the temple comes alive with enchanting lights. ✨ These hidden gems made my Bangkok trip unforgettable! 🌟 So, book your flights with the Kiwi.com app and follow me for more amazing travel tips and adventures! #BangkokDiaries #TravelGoals #KiwiAdventures #FloatingMarket #VatArunTemple #BangkokLights #DiscoverWithKiwi #TravelInspo♬ original sound – Kiwi.com
The classic solo traveler destination for many years now, Thailand has the image of the place people go when they want to either divest themselves of all mortal care, or simply go absolutely nuts with partying. In truth, as with almost everything, the real answer lies somewhere between these two poles.
Bangkok, the city known for its nightlife (and it has that in spades, of course) is also home to ornate temples and monasteries that give the solo traveler pause to reflect. It’s also a place where you can try some of the best food in Southeast Asia, with its famous street food stands covering parts of the city with a heady combination of spicy aromas.
Outside the cities, there are thousands of beaches to discover — so many, in fact, that you may even find one to yourself if you’re out in the countryside far enough — as well as mountain villages to visit and people to meet. Traveling solo also means you can rent a scooter to get around (be careful, though!), or if you’re craving company, the long-distance buses will allow you to meet the locals and get a true impression of everyday Thai life.
View this post on Instagram
I [David] was considering putting Ireland on this list, but the famed Irish hospitality and gift of the gab have been done to death, so let’s head to Scotland instead. The stereotype of the dour Scot may be in stark contrast to that of the happy-go-lucky Irish, but it’s a stereotype that’s far from always true.
You’ll almost certainly visit both Edinburgh and Glasgow, two fine cities with two very different personalities. Edinburgh is all sandstone and grandeur, avenues and hills; while Glasgow is gritty, exciting and artistic.
For a massive change of pace, head up the west coast and out to the islands. There are ferries from places like Oban to the islands of Mull and Islay, or onwards to the Hebrides. If you’re a fan of whisky, there are distillery tours, or you can simply head out to trek across the eerie, almost treeless expanses of the islands. Feeling even braver? From the very north, you can get a boat to Orkney or even out to the Shetland Islands, a windswept collection of rocks in the North Sea to meet the hardy but welcoming locals. You’ll have earned your dram or two of whisky by then!
The Pacific Northwest, US
Three cities within easy reach of each other, at least by US distances. From south to north we have Portland, Oregon, a city that manages to be so self-consciously both twee and cool that it spawned a mildly surreal sketch show — Portlandia — that played on the city’s hipster reputation. It’s not unfounded either, but it’s no bad thing; it is a genuinely nice city, with a lot of locally-owned businesses, breweries, coffee shops, thrift stores and the like, and it is within reach of the bleak but beautiful coast to the west and the Mount Hood National Forest to the east.
Head up the coast three hours (there are regular low-cost trains and buses taking you from door to door) and you’re in Seattle — home of technology, coffee, the Space Needle, bustling Pike’s Place Market (the location of the original Starbucks), and more of a big-city vibe than Portland. See the city from the water on one of the commuter ferries, learn about the culture of the region’s First peoples, or simply head to a park, record shop or bookshop (depending on the famously changeable weather, of course!).
Finally, after having made sure you’ve got the paperwork if you need it, skip over the border into Canada and Vancouver. A city of parks and forests, with a strong multicultural identity that manifests itself in everything from the arts to the city’s strong street food scene, it’s a lively place with a history of welcoming people from all corners of the world. If you’re traveling solo, it’s the perfect city in which to find yourself — in more ways than one.
Still one of travel’s best-kept secrets, Georgia is a fascinating country. If you like city life, great food and cool places, this is for you. If you like spectacular landscapes and untouched scenery, this is also for you. If you like combining all of that together, get yourself to Georgia.
The capital, Tbilisi, has an Old Town full of quaint shops and cafes, and a mish-mash of architecture that reflects its complicated history including being ruled by Persia and the Soviet Union. Georgian cuisine is utterly delicious, with fresh vegetables, spicy sauces, grilled meat and hearty bread-and-cheese dishes to the fore. Wash that down with a glass or two of local wine and conversation with the locals will flow.
You can get out into the wilderness and backpack through the hills and mountains as well. It’s generally pretty safe, with small mountain villages dotted here and there, many providing basic but colorful places to stay. You’ll also be almost alone in visiting some wonderful historical sites, such as the 10th-century Udabno monastery, cut into the rocky hillside centuries ago. For a solo travel experience at the true crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia is the place to be.
If you’re looking for somewhere that ticks a lot of boxes in one compact go, Singapore might be it. Sure, it’s a super-modern city-state, built on commerce and trade, so maybe not the most personal place in the world, but it’s clean, safe, easy to get around, and more varied than you’d think.
If you like shopping, there are lots of malls and shopping streets featuring big designer names, but there are also little corners of multiculturalism like Little India and Chinatown (after all, it’s a city built on a rich heritage of mixing cultures). To relax, there are welcome swathes of green space — indeed, 47% of the city is greenery — and there’s a network of walking routes and cycle paths through the city that means you’ll rarely meet a car.
There are forests to explore outside the city as well, and you can join an early-morning nature trail or take anything from an hour to a day hiking the routes through the surrounding nature reserves and rainforest. There are well-marked trails ranging from 3-kilometer lopes to 15-kilometer loops involving treetop walkways.
A South American adventure can take many forms — being a beach bum in Brazil, hacking through the jungles of the Amazon, exploring Incan ruins — but if you head to Chile, you could easily pay your own way and have a solo experience on the cheap.
Starting in Santiago de Chile, you can travel up and down the country, from the arid, mountainous landscapes of the north, to the wetlands and glaciers of Patagonia in the south. Almost all long-distance travel is done by bus, so you’ll meet plenty of locals on your overnight journeys.
There are also loads of working holiday schemes, so if you’ve ever felt like working on a farm, building an eco-community, teaching English in a mountain village or organizing events in a hostel, there’ll be something to keep you busy and give you a chance to meet fellow travelers.
To plan your South American adventure and read an interview with someone who’s done it, click here.
If you’ve always wanted to go on safari but were worried about the logistics of it all — finding lodging, getting a guide, crossing borders between countries like Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, all the time wondering if you’d missed some vital bit of paperwork — there are now companies that specialize in helping solo travelers experience the natural wonders of East Africa.
As the tourism infrastructure improves, you can now avoid any (sometimes apparently random) solo traveler charges by applying as an individual to join a group safari. The beauty of this is that the other people applying will almost certainly be people like you, so you won’t be the odd one out in a group of 60-year-olds from Windsock, Nebraska, or wherever.
It’s not just wildlife-watching, either. You can opt for jungle trekking, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a yoga retreat, or staying in groups of three or four with the Maasai people to learn about their way of life. For a truly amazing travel experience, maybe it’s best to meet other like-minded solo travelers on a trip none of you will ever forget.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Check out more travel inspiration on Kiwi.com Stories.