Solo Travel

18 Best Solo Travel Destinations in Europe

When I look back at the many places I have visited around the world, some of my favorite destinations are in Europe.

On many occasions, I have taken a solo trip to various countries throughout this diverse continent, and each time my experiences have been memorable ones.

If, like me, you grew up in the United States, traveling usually means taking a flight or a very long bus/train ride. This is because our country is so vast that many of the major cities are hundreds, if not thousands of miles apart.

However, that is not the case in European countries. Barring a few places, such as Russia, Ukraine, and France, all other European countries are less than 200,000 square miles in size.

That means when you visit a small country, such as Belgium or Turkey, it almost feels as if all the best attractions are within walking distance.

If you are looking for the best places for solo travel, Europe has a lot of awesome destinations for you to enjoy.

I still remember my first solo trip to Europe as if it was yesterday, and I would give anything to walk down the cobbled streets of Paris, or enjoy delicious food in a seaside café in Barcelona.

There are so many great places to travel alone in Europe that even if I had a chance to experience it all over again, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

The European Union is home to many wonderful destinations, and I envy all the first-time solo travelers reading this article.

If you are ready for a fantastic solo travel destination in Europe, grab your backpack and prepare for an amazing time. With this list of the best solo travel destinations in Europe, unforgettable adventures await!

Travel Solo in Europe

The Beauty of Solo Travel

Table of Contents

When many people think of visiting European countries, they usually imagine going with their friends and families, or as part of the many group tours across the continent. However, European cities can be awesome destinations for a solo trip.

If the thought of a solo journey is a little intimidating, do not worry, it was the same for me too on my first solo trip.

However, as soon as I set foot in Europe, I forgot all my fears as I was swept away by the stunning architecture and wonderful people.

After visiting many of its major cities, I have found that some of the best places to solo travel in Europe are actually the smaller towns and villages that lie off the beaten path.

Most European countries have a very rich history that is best seen through the eyes of a solo traveler.

There is a certain beauty about visiting an old town square in Europe that you can easily miss if you travel as a group.

This is why I would greatly recommend that you take a solo trip to Europe at least once in your lifetime.

When Is the Best Time for Solo Travel in Europe?

The downside of visiting the best European cities for solo travel is that it is not easy to avoid the large crowds that flock there during the holiday season.

Unless you want to contend with packed restaurants, fully booked hotels, and waiting in line for hours to access the best attractions, you need to plan your solo trip to Europe carefully.

By far, the best time for solo travel in Europe is around early spring, from March to early June, and during the Autumn season, from September to October. I consider this to be one of the golden rules for backpacking through Europe in the cheapest and most convenient way.

You can enjoy cheap flights, less crowded day trips, and a wider selection of accommodation options.

However, if you must visit European countries during the peak summer months of July and August, you can work your way around some of the more crowded areas around Western and Central Europe.

I would suggest you consider exploring remote areas in Eastern Europe, such as the Balkans, while you wait for the large crowds in Western European countries to disperse.

European Visa: Do You Need One?

European Visa

Before discussing the best place to solo travel in Europe, it is important to make sure you understand the visa requirements first.

As an American visiting a country that is a member of the European Union, you are allowed to travel solo for 90 days without a Visa. However, not all countries in Europe are members of the European Union.

You may also be asked to provide proof of financial means, the address of the place you intend to stay at, or a return ticket to your home country.

It all depends on the specific country you are visiting, so I always encourage solo travelers to do some research before heading for Europe.

Four Ways to Get Around Europe on Your Solo Trip

One thing that all the best places in Europe for solo travel must have in common is easy access to all attractions and reliable means of transportation.

Whether you are taking day trips around the capital city center, or visiting a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, you do not want to struggle to move around.

Luckily, most European countries have invested in a well-connected transport network, and you can choose any of the following popular ways of getting around:

Take a Bus

If your budget only has room for cheap solo travel, Europe has some of the best-run bus routes in the world.

Before your Europe solo trip, you can plan each stage of your journey using reliable sources of information, such as Eurolines, FlixBus, Omio, and Getbybus.com.

Ride the Train

One of the best sources of public transportation in Europe is train travel, and I have many fond memories of relaxed train rides throughout the European countryside, from one charming city to another.

Fly

Thanks to the proximity of many of the best places in Europe, solo travel by plane can be a matter of a couple of hours from one fantastic city to the next. Although it may be expensive, you can save a lot of time by flying across the continent.

Rent a Car

There are a few times that I have opted to drive around a European country using a rented car.

Although I found this to be very convenient in terms of the freedom it afforded me, I would not recommend it for solo trips in which you need to save money.

Besides the added expense, there is also the need to provide an IDP from AAA before you are allowed to drive in certain countries.

You will also need to be prepared to drive on the left side of the road in places such as the United Kingdom, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland.

18 Best Solo Travel Destinations in Europe

Although I have narrowed down my list of the best places to travel solo in Europe to just 18 memorable destinations, there are many other European cities that are worth a visit.

In my experience, having great accommodation options plays a huge role in the travel experience. That is why I have included some great places to stay in each European city during your solo adventure.

If you are looking for a great city to add to your “solo travel Europe itinerary,” here are 18 tourist hot spots to consider:

1. London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

With a reputation as one of the best cities in Europe for solo travel, London has always been a personal favorite of mine.

I regularly use it as a home base whenever I travel alone in Europe because of the many great attractions and conveniences the city has to offer.

It also gives me easy access to the rest of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, which are all very fascinating places to visit.

One of the things that draws me towards the United Kingdom is the beauty of its cities, and some unique things that you only find in London, such as the famous red double-decker buses, or any of its many popular pubs.

Looking back at my first solo trip through London, I can still remember attending a live football game for the first time, meeting some very friendly locals, and then celebrating the night away at a popular watering hole.

Another thing that the UK has going for it is that the locals speak English. Depending on the part of the United Kingdom you are visiting, you may find the accent a bit overwhelming at first, but you will soon get the hang of it.

Having people around you who speak English is something you will miss when you travel alone in Europe, especially in the far eastern regions.

The public transportation throughout London and other parts of the British Empire is excellent.

I was able to visit many great museums, parks, castles, and other famous attractions, such as the Stone Hinge using just the trains and buses available throughout the country.

Even when I was far from the city center, I was able to take a day trip to any place that I wanted, and return to my hostel without too much trouble.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

If you find yourself staying in London alone for a few days, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation. The city has many great places to stay, such as:

  • Wombats City Hostel
  • Smart Hyde Park Inn Hostel
  • St Christopher’s Inn Camden
  • Astor Victoria Hostel

2. Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

The White City is one of the best solo travel cities in Europe for those who appreciate the fascinating history of the continent.

While Athens is a very modern and developed metropolitan for the most part, there are still many parts that resemble an old town in which the people seem to be from another Era.

Even after you have seen many of the common attractions of the city, such as the Acropolis, which is still one of my favorite places to visit in Europe, you will still have so many things left to do.

The nightlife is particularly vibrant in Athens, and I found the locals to be friendly and entertaining.

I also took some time to join one of the many day trips to Mount Lycabettus, where I enjoyed some breathtaking views, and took a walk through history at the Museum of the City of Athens and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Once you have had enough of the city center, you will find that the rest of Greece is within easy travel distance from Athens.

If the weather is pleasant, you should not miss the opportunity to visit one of the famous Greek Islands, such as Aegina and Hydra.

Spending time in Athens and other small towns in Greece was like stepping a few steps back in time.

The city and the people are unlike anything you will ever come across anywhere else in the world. As a food-lover, I also enjoyed the local cuisine very much.

Back home, you will never taste a traditional Greek salad that comes close to what you can order in any Athens restaurant.

I also enjoyed other great traditional dishes, such as Greek bouyourdi, souvlaki, and dolmades.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Accommodation in Athens is easy to find if you visit the city during the off-season. During my visits, I have stayed at great places, such as:

  • Athens Gate Hotel
  • Zorbas Hostel
  • Bedbox Athens
  • Sparta Team Hotel

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is one of the few cities I have visited during my Europe solo trips in which I felt right at home, to the point where I would not have minded moving permanently to the city.

The capital city of Denmark deserves its place as one of the best places to solo travel Europe has to offer, thanks to its beauty and exceptional standards of safety.

One of the things that I was not expecting when I visited this lovely city was how well the locals speak English in Copenhagen.

I had spent a lot of time before the trip learning a few common Danish phrases that I thought I would need, but it turns out I didn’t use any of it. You can walk up to almost anyone on the street, say hello, and be greeted in excellent English.

The city itself is not a big place, and I found it very easy to go from one place to another.

In fact, a few day trips are all you are likely to need to see the most popular city attractions, such as the Little Mermaid Statue, the Tivoli Gardens, the colorful Nyhavn harbor, and the Royal Palace.

This will leave you with a lot of free time on your hands to find small towns to explore and make new friends in.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

If you are staying in Copenhagen for a few days, the following are some great places to consider:

  • Urban House Copenhagen by MEININGER
  • Bedwood Hostel
  • A&O Copenhagen Sydhavn

4. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Even though Belgium is a very small country that seems to have been wedged between France and Germany, it is still considered the best place to solo travel Europe has to offer by many travelers.

Brussels, in particular, is a very fascinating city, with loads of entertainment to offer. Enjoying the local beer scene is one of my favorite things to do, and I have not found a better place to do that than in Belgium.

All the major cities are so close together, and you can visit the most popular attractions and breweries in no time at all.

It is a very beautiful place despite its small area, and you will be surprised at the many things you can get up to. I had a great time visiting Gent, Antwerp, and the small but very charming town of Dinant.

At each city or town where I stopped, I was greeted with friendly faces, top-notch beer, and, of course, delicious food.

If you are looking for an easy-to-navigate European country to solo travel, Belgium should be high on your list.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Accommodation is easy to find in Brussels, or any of the other cities and small towns. Consider staying at:

  • MEININGER Hotel Bruxelles City Center
  • Sleep Well Youth Hostel
  • YUST Hostel
  • Hostel Uppelink

5. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Known as the “Gateway to the East,” Istanbul, Turkey deserves its high ranking as one of the best places for solo travel in Europe.

With its picturesque sights, it is sometimes hard to believe that you are still in Europe, not in a country in the Middle East. Turkey is a very colorful country, and Istanbul is its pride and joy.

As a former capital of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Istanbul still retains a lot of history and culture from that prosperous period. T

The locals take great pride in their history, and you will find many great historical attractions to visit within walking distance.

If you find that the place you want to visit is too far away, Istanbul has awesome public transportation that you can use.

One of the things I enjoyed the most on my visit to Istanbul was the food. The local cuisine is nothing short of extraordinary.

This is one of the only places in the world where you can treat your palate to the perfect balance between Eastern and Western cuisines.

When you are done eating, it will be time to hit the streets and visit some of the beautiful attractions, such as the Sulaymaniyah Mosque, Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia in the Sultanahmet area.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Accommodation in Istanbul is relatively affordable, and you can choose to stay in any one of the following areas:

  • Taksim City Suites
  • Nostalji Hostel
  • Galata West Hostel
  • Cheers Lighthouse

6. Dalmatia Coast, Croatia

Dalmatia Coast, Croatia

Few people consider Croatia as the best place for solo travel in Europe, but after visiting the Dalmatia Coast, my mind has changed forever.

This is a very beautiful place that seems tailor-made for solo travel in Europe. If you time your trip perfectly and go to Croatia during the summer months, the Dalmatia Coast offers a breathtaking experience of the Adriatic Sea.

Time seems to have stood still in many of the medieval towns that are located in the region, which is perhaps one of the reasons you find these towns being featured in many popular TV shows, such as Game of Thrones.

The towns are beautiful and well-maintained, and offer you an unforgettable experience that you will always cherish.

One thing I noticed when I visited Croatia is that the country is a favored destination for solo travel in Europe.

If this is your first solo trip, and you want to stick to areas that are popular among other solo travelers, the Dalmatia Coast is a great place to meet other backpackers.

Here, you will be able to make many new friends, and you will feel right at home with your backpack as you take in the awesome scenery around you.

The nightlife is also wonderful no matter which part of this vibrant country you decide to visit.

When you get tired of the medieval towns along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, you can venture further inland and explore a lot of new places. Other great places to visit in Croatia include Zagreb, Zadar, Dubrovnik, and Split.

Each place has its own signature feel that you will enjoy as you backpack through the country. The great local transportation service will make life very easy for you, no matter which corner of the country you want to visit.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Whenever I visit Croatia, I usually stay at the Backpackers Fairytale, but there are other great places to consider, such as:

  • Design Hostel 101 Dalmatinac
  • Backpackers Home Hostel
  • Downtown Boutique Hostel

7. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

After my first visit to Sweden, I never wanted to leave, which led me to understand what Stockholm syndrome is all about. With just a few days spent in the Swedish capital, I felt right at home. Thanks to the reliable public transportation system, the city is a joy to explore.

There are a lot of great attractions to visit, and the fact that English is spoken very well by over 90% of the population means that you will not have a difficult time navigating your way around Stockholm.

What makes this one of the best European cities solo-travel-enthusiasts can try is that Stockholm has a great mixture of historic and modern architecture that you will not forget any time soon.

The city has many beautiful buildings that are well worth the visit, and if you want the ultimate experience you can take a walking tour through the streets.

If you are wondering what is there to do in Stockholm, you will be spoiled for choice. You can start by visiting the Royal Palace, where the Swedish Royalty calls home, then immerse yourself in the medieval architecture, streets, and alleyways of Gamla Stan.

One of my favorite attractions in the city was the Vasa Museum, where a well-kept Swedish warship  from the17th Century is on display.

You should also take the time to walk through the Brunkeberg Tunnel. This 1886 masterpiece of Swedish engineering is over 758 feet long, and is a marvel to see.

If, like me, you have a keen interest in environmental sustainability, you will enjoy exploring the many parts of Sweden dedicated to combating climate change.

I had the chance to ride the Arlanda Express train that joins the Stockholm Central Station and the Arlanda International Airport, and could not believe that it runs completely on renewable energy!

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Solo travelers in Stockholm can stay in a wide range of places, such as:

  • Generator Stockholm
  • Rygerfjord
  • Den Roda Baten

8. Lisbon or Porto, Portugal

Lisbon or Porto, Portugal

If you do not have either Porto or Lisbon as part of your best solo travel Europe itinerary, you are missing out on something special.

Portugal can be a magical place to visit, with lots of great food, wonderful people, and beautiful attractions to see.

One of the reasons why I can’t wait to solo travel in Europe again is because of the lovely experience I had when I spent time in Portugal.

This is a warm and inviting country that you will instantly fall in love with from the first time you visit.

As a lover of fine wine, I enjoyed tasting the many world-famous Portuguese wines right at the vineyards where they are made. This, along with the excellent and spicy food made for an unforgettable vacation.

While Lisbon and Porto are, by far, the biggest tourist attractions in the country, you can never run out of new places to see in Portugal. I had a wonderful time visiting places such as Algarve, Sintra, and the Azores Islands.

These islands are widely known as the “Hawaii of Europe,” and after spending a couple of days there, I have to agree with that sentiment.

Although Portuguese is obviously the predominant language spoken throughout the country, you will also find many locals who speak very good English.

However, if you want to truly immerse yourself in Portuguese culture for a few days, try learning a few words in the local language. The locals are very friendly, so finding a willing tutor will not be too difficult.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

The Yes! Lisbon Hostel was once voted the best hotel in the world, and after spending a few nights there, it is obvious to see why. Other great places to stay while solo traveling through Portugal include:

  • Selina Porto
  • The House of Sandeman
  • Areia Branca Youth Hostel
  • Horta Grande Hostel

>>  Here is my full list of hostels in Lisbon.

9. Paris, France

Paris, France

The romantic city of Paris has been one of the best places solo-travel-Europe enthusiasts have been enjoying for many years. France is a must-visit country, full of breathtaking beauty, delicious cuisine, and a wonderful history.

It is an expensive place to visit, well beyond the means of many solo travelers, but if you can afford it, you will have one of the best times of your life.

Some of the most popular attractions that Paris has to offer are well-known across the world, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre Dame.

These are the places that you are most likely to see on postcards, but to experience them in person is something entirely different.

However, while you are in the city, you should take time to explore some of the lesser-known attractions, such as the Montmartre vineyards or the Galeries Lafayette. Paris is a beautiful city that is best appreciated by walking down the cobbled streets.

This is why you need to set aside some time to simply get lost in the city, and discover hidden places where tourists do not usually visit.

One of the things I love about France is that even if you avoid the peak summer months when the city is full of tourists and everything is expensive, you can still have a great experience any time of the year.

Spending winter in Paris can be a dazzling experience on its own, with the entire city blanketed in white snow. If you are looking for an affordable time to visit France, winter might be a good option.

One of the problems many solo travelers face when they arrive in Paris is that there are simply too many things to see and do in the short amount of time they have.

However, with proper planning, and thanks to the efficient public transportation system, you can see all the great locations in a few days.

Some of the places are very close together, meaning you can visit two or more attractions in a single day.

Although you may be exhausted at the end of your trip, you will not regret the time you spent exploring all the corners of the beautiful city of Paris.

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

One of the most popular hostels where you will find many solo travelers in Paris is the Les Piaules. Other great options include:

  • Generator Paris
  • Jo&Joe Paris Gentilly
  • International Youth Hostel
  • HotelF1 Paris Saint Denis Stade

10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

What makes Ljubljana, Slovenia one of the best cities for solo travel Europe has to offer? In my opinion, it is the beauty of the city, combined with the fact that not many people visit Slovenia compared to the countries that are located in Western Europe. This means you will have a lot of freedom to choose when and where to visit in the country.

If you have never thought of visiting Ljubljana before, maybe it is time to put this city on your radar. One thing I have to mention first is that Slovenia is regarded as one of the safest places for Europe solo travel, especially if you are a female traveling alone in Europe.

You can arrange plenty of fun day trips without worrying about being the victim of some of the criminals that target tourists.

Ljubljana is a great European destination, with a city center that is car-free, meaning you can walk around freely without worrying about traffic noises or congestion.

The result is that you will enjoy a very peaceful atmosphere that is perfect for a relaxing day spent exploring restaurants, bars, and cafes. Also, the food itself is quite delicious, so you will have a lot of new experiences in store.

There are many experiences tailor-made for solo travelers, such as viewing the experimental art at Metelkova City, walking along the nature trails of Rožnik Hill, enjoying tasty foods at the Ljubljananjam Foodwalks, and enjoying the Watermelon Ljubljana Bike Tours,

Best Hotels and Hostels for Solo Travelers

Are you looking for a great place to stay in Slovenia? Consider these