At last, the world is opening up again after the pandemic. Finally, trips abroad will be a reality once more after so many months of having to cancel holidays. And while going abroad with friends or family is always fun, what about wanting to take yourself away on your own?
Solo travel can be fun, challenging and rewarding, and a way to get to know yourself and become a more independent person. Of course, it can be daunting, but once you get past that, you should find you’re enjoying thing and a feel a real sense of freedom in where you go, what you do, and what you eat, without having to worry about anyone else. We’ve compiled a list of the best places for solo travel, and these are particularly good if you’ve never done it before or feel concerned about it.
Our first entry on the list, Sweden is one of the most prosperous and attractive countries to visit in Europe and a great place to travel solo. There’s plenty of beautiful landscapes with snowy vistas, an impressively large number of lakes, and the cities and villages are very pleasant. The capital, Stockholm, likely to be a lot of people’s first choice to visit, stretches across fourteen islands and has a lot to explore. Popular attractions include the Abba Museum and the lakeside sauna in Helläsgarden. There’s also a cool viking themed restaurant in Gamla Stan that you can check out. Other good cities in Sweden include Malmö and Gothernberg, and if you prefer smaller cities/villages, Abisko is a good place to spot the northern lights, Jukkasjärvi has an annual ice hotel, and those who remember Pippi Longstocking from their childhood may want to stop off in the small city of Vimmerby, home of her creator Astrid Lindgren and the theme park featuring her creations.
The country of Japan is one of the most visited countries in the world, and one of the best for solo travel. Tokyo is by the far the biggest draw, a huge metropolis of a city (the most populous in the world), with an almost limitless amount of things to do. You could walk through a traditional Japanese garden, ascend the tallest tower in the world, and even take yourself “cosplay go-karting”, which means go-karting through the streets of Japan in a costume inspired by Mario Kart, among others. Other things to do in Japan for a solo traveller include speeding on one of the country’s famous bullet trains, watching some of Japan’s famous sumo wrestling, and of course eating its delicious cuisine. If you can afford it, you may want to stay in one of Japan’s traditional ryokans, which are not only a nice place to sleep but also serve fantastic meals. The people in Japan tend to be very polite, and there’s a culture of helping you out in getting around and finding things.
The biggest obstacle people in the UK face when taking a holiday to New Zealand is the distance- over 11,000 miles from London and around 20 hours by plane. However, once you get past that, it’s definitely worth it for all that the country offers. More than anything, New Zealand is perhaps known best for its incredible landscapes, with mountains, lakes and rivers, as well as plenty of sheep. It’s largest cities- Auckland, Christchurch and capital Wellington, are all worth a visit. Auckland for example has plenty of art and culture, including museums on Mãori history, and Christchurch has some lovely beaches. New Zealand is a great place for solo travel, and the country enjoys a high quality of life. Not only does it share a monarch with Britain, it shares the language, which makes things a lot easier. Oh, and of course, you can’t mention the country without mentioning New Zealand native Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, which draw in a huge amount of tourism into the country- there’s a lot of Middle Earth related attractions you can immerse yourself in. Visiting Hobbiton is every Tolkien fan’s dream.
Italy is another great solo travel idea- not least because the country holds some of the most fascinating and incredible history, art and culture in the world. The capital Rome, with its storied past and amazing architecture like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, can easily take up an entire trip by itself, but there’s also other hugely popular cities like Florence, Milan and Venice. You’ll find that there’s more food in Italy than just pasta and pizza, and more to the history than just the Romans. There’s also the country’s natural attractions like Mount Vesuvius, Amalfi Coast and the mountains of South Tyrol. Italy is definitely one of the best places to go in Europe, and Italian is a popular language to study, so if you’re looking to brush up on it, a trip is a very helpful way to do so and a chance to use it practically. There’s also a pretty large football presence in Italy, as evidenced by their Euros win last year, if you’re into the sporty side of life. The cities are probably the best to find places to stay, and the people will be used to tourists during holiday periods. Italy is one of the biggest countries in Europe, so there’s plenty to see wherever you go.
Ireland is the closest place to London on our list, and another fantastic destination if you’re going by yourself. Being the capital city, Dublin brings in the most tourists, and there’s tons to see and do in the area, from pubs and bars, the beautiful St Patrick’s cathedral, and exploring the amazing Trinity College library. There’s also a tour around a Guinness brewery you can go to, if you’re into your dry stouts. Other great cities to visit include Galway, with nice exploration areas like Galway City Library and Latin Quarter, as well as Cork, which has touristy areas like Elizabeth Fort and even a Cork Butter Museum to see how the spreadable stuff is made. There’s so many scenic areas in Ireland that we can’t name them all, with lush mountains and hills, and beautiful winding rivers, but rest assured, Ireland should definitely be on your list for somewhere to travel solo.
The United States of America
The USA is a huge place- not least because it’s a country with a bigger population than all of the other countries on this list put together. Due to its vastness, we’ll mostly be focusing on the two most places in the country: New York City and Los Angeles. New York City is mostly thought of as Manhattan, and indeed that’s where you’ll find the most stuff to do when you’re travelling solo: take a ride in an iconic yellow NY taxi, see some of the most famous buildings in the world like the Empire State Building, the World Trade Centre complex and the Chrysler building, as well as eat a huge array of food in this multicultural city. There’s Broadway too, though the shows are of course pretty pricey, and there’s also more areas in NYC like Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx.
Los Angeles is quite different from New York, stretching and sprawling over a larger area, with a three hour timezone difference between the two cities. Of course, one of the biggest draws to Los Angeles is everything to do with Hollywood, like its Walk of Fame and the Hollywood sign, but there’s also Grand Central Market, The Getty Centre, Venice Beach and much more to experience. There’s also some iconic buildings like The Griffith Observatory, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Capitol Records. There’s really no limit to what there is to do here.
Of course, this is without mentioning the other 48 states in America! These can also be a great place to visit, but Los Angeles and New York are just the most popular ones. There’s some other great cities in America to visit solo like Houston, Atlanta, San Diego and Philadelphia. And as with New Zealand, the crucial thing here is the shared English language.