Solo travel can teach you so much about yourself, like learning to love your own company, trusting yourself, you can gain incredible self-confidence, find fulfilment and meet more people than if you were travelling in a group. Solo travelling can really strengthen your relationship with yourself.
It’s a wonderful way to see the world and discover your true self, and Europe is one of the very best destinations in the world for those looking to venture out alone. There is an incredible network of trains, buses and roads that cover the entire continent, an abundance of safe and tourist friendly cities, and an incredibly diverse population throughout. The only thing left to do then is to get planning your very first solo adventure; but how are you supposed to choose where to go? Well, to help you out, we are going to take a look at some of the very best places to visit solo in Europe. Let’s dive in!
London | United Kingdom
Best for Attractions & Culture
London has been in situ for at least 2,000 years, after the Roman Empire conquered the country and founded the city of Londinium; although, it is estimated that people have lived on the banks of the River Thames since the bronze age. Today, London stands as one of the most incredible cities in the world and has a list of attractions so long that it’s virtually impossible to name them all.
It’s home to icons like Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye; but you’ll also find a truly wonderful arts scene, some of the best museums in the world and the world famous West End theatre district where some of the best stage actors in the world give enchanting performances.
London is also a great starting point for a longer trip thanks to its fabulous connections to the rest of the continent; catch the train, hire a car or take a short flight. You could even consider a solo cruise to kick start the next leg of your adventure. As a solo traveller you can expect incredible pubs, gorgeous parks, high quality hostels, and a ridiculous amount to see and do; maybe an extended stay would be a good idea!
Amsterdam | Netherlands
Best for Meeting People
Amsterdam is famous around the world for many reasons that lead the true charm of this city to be constantly overlooked. Originally a fishing village built around the canal networks which helped propel the city to the forefront of the Dutch economy, Amsterdam has been home to many famous artists, musicians, bohemian icons and important historical figures.
The city now is home to one of the world’s finest art scenes and is packed with gorgeous and picturesque buildings that nestle around the iconic canals and arched bridges. Great food, wonderful coffee and fantastic bars overflow with people from all over the world, meaning that making friends is incredibly easy. If you’re looking to share some of your solo journey with like minded folk, then you won’t have to look far in Amsterdam.
Lake Bled | Slovenia
Best for Outdoor Activities
Bled is probably one of the most underrated places in Europe, and certainly the most underrated on this list. For some reason people always seem to skip over Slovenia as a traveller’s destination, which is a real shame.
It’s home to some of the continent’s most stunning and dramatic mountains, gorgeous lush forests and plenty of wonderful towns; one such place is Bled. Tucked comfortably in a mountain valley this 7th century fishing town is almost too beautiful to be real. The striking emerald waters of the lake reflect the snow capped peaks beyond, and a thousand year old castle with white walls seemingly floats on the surface of the lake.
Aside from the breathtaking magnitude of the views, there is an incredible amount to enjoy here; with kayaking, SUPing, swimming, skiing, walking and biking all being offered up in abundance. The town is filled with family owned restaurants and hotels, making you feel like you really belong in this heavenly place; it is a must visit for any solo traveller.
Sagres | Portugal
Best for Beach Life & Surf Addicts
Portugal has long been famed for its wonderful climate and stunning coastlines, but many people don’t realise it is also one of the world’s premiere surf destinations. Waves of all sizes caress the endless golden sand beaches all along the country’s coast, but it’s Sagres that stands out as the surf capital.
Found on the country’s southernmost tip, this little surf town has cool vibes for days, fantastic beaches, great restaurants and bars and is fully connected by rail. It is a town founded in the 16th century famed for its music and beauty, but fast forward to 2023 and it’s the perfect location for surf and beach lovers. There are plenty of hostels where you can meet fellow surfers as well as world class surf camps led by some of the best instructors on the planet; there are also lots of great places to eat, do yoga, lie in the sun, and enjoy your own company.
Budapest | Hungary
Best for Cheap Drinks & Great Nightlife
Budapest has deep roots in the history of the area, reaching at least as far back as 2,100 years ago when it was a trading centre for goods and commodities on the banks of the mighty Danube River. In the modern world, Budapest is a bustling hive of multiculturalism and a magnet for travellers of all kinds. It’s packed with cool hostels, home to stunning architecture and fantastic foods, as well as being the supposed spa capital of Europe. There is an incredibly meaningful sense of history here, and the monuments to the World Wars can be found in abundance for those looking to explore the city’s past.
Another highlight is the city’s ‘Ruin Bars’ located in wartime hideouts, and packed with the weird and wonderful; enjoy great food, explore the maze of rooms containing bars, art exhibitions and games, then drink with friends in the off-beat courtyards. No trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to one of these incredible institutions.
Bologna | Italy
Best for Foodies
Italy is not only one of the most affordable cities in Europe, it’s also one of the best destinations for food on the face of the Earth. Within this highly regarded culinary country are small pockets of food that even the Italians believe to be the best of the best, and Bologna is at the top of everyone’s list. Literally nicknamed ‘the fat one’ by locals, Bologna is truly the gem in Italy’s diamond encrusted crown.
It’s a bustling mediaeval city that played an important role in the history of the country, and actually houses the world’s very first university. The gorgeous red tiled roofs and ancient structures litter the city centre, and the bustling metropolitan squares and piazzas are packed with travellers, foodies, gourmands and history enthusiasts. In a country full of incredible destinations, Bologna should stand out to anyone who considers themselves a foodie.
Prague | Czechia
Best for History and Architecture
If there was an award for the most fantasy-like city in the world, it would surely go to Prague; there is arguably nowhere like it on earth. Incredibly, archaeological digs have found evidence of humans as far back as 500,000 years, but the city itself is estimated to be several thousand years old. It has been through many periods of turmoil, but sprung to prominence during the renaissance when scholars, artists and philosophers rushed to the city to study and create.
It is home to an impossible number of staggeringly beautiful buildings and some of the world’s finest architecture. Cobbled streets give way to beautiful views over the river, cathedrals, museums and the gorgeous Charles Bridge; and the ancient Prague Castle looks over the whole city from atop a hill. Solo travellers will find amazing history, endless beauty, awesome bars and wonderful sights everywhere they go.
The Solo Traveler’s Guide to Europe
So there you have it, some of the very best locations picked from a continent packed with perfect locations for the perfect solo trip. Whatever type of traveller you are, and whatever it is you’re looking to get out of your solo European adventure, any of the wonderful locations on this list will deliver beyond your wildest expectations.