Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 10 Best European Cities for Solo Travelers

I recently made my first real solo trip to Stockholm, and ever since I was thinking about solo travel. What cities could be visited in Europe that are easy to travel through in a few days, that are safe and that offer up lots to see and to do for the solo traveler. When choosing your ideal destination, think about whether you’d prefer a large city with a simple public transportation system to help you cover more ground, or a smaller town that’s easy to explore on foot. Also consider whether you’re looking for an activity-filled city or one where you can kick back and relax. Watching your own back is always necessary, even in the most crime-free locations, but many European cities have safe reputations, so that you can focus more on where you go than how you go. Taking in all those considerations, here’s a list of cities that are most welcoming to solo travelers, and where you can build your own ultimate Eurotrip.

The 10 Best European Cities for Solo Travelers

1. Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s two-line metro system may look sparse, but it gets you exactly where you need to go (including from the airport to town) and makes it incredibly easy to jet around the Danish city. For the spots in between, grab a City Bike (some now equipped with built-in GPS) and pedal right into the 242 miles of designated lanes. No wonder Copenhagen’s been named the best bike city in the world. For where to stay, eat, and drink, check out our guide to the city and our list of the best cocktail bars around.

2. Stockholm

The Swedish capital truly has it all: a cobblestoned old town with pedestrian-only roads, 57 bridges that stretch over its 14 islands, an amusement park dating back to 1880s, a bath house from 1904, and the most artistic subway stations, each decorated with its own theme. So it was no surprise that the free walking tours in town were dominated by solo travelers finding their own piece of the low-crime city. It's a place that is both unusual and very inviting.

3. Bruges

This is truly a fairy tale town. There are many shops in the Market Square, and beautiful ponds filled with the most immaculate swans. What better place to explore on your own than a city that invites you to be the star of your own fairytale adventure?

4. Dublin

The jolly Irish spirit isn’t just the stuff of legends, the welcoming nature of the Dubliners should immediately make you feel like the city is your home, too. Leave your stress behind as you explore the centuries-old Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the capital ranked one of the safest cities by a Post Office Travel Insurance Study. Pick up a three-day Leap Card at the airport for less than 20 Euros (which includes your bus ride from the airport) and you’ll be zipping through town in no time.

5. Vienna

I loved the freedom of being alone in the City of Music, where coffee is sipped and indulged in a Sacher torte in a traditional café, people get lost on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, and take in a show at an opera house. With plenty of visitors and a burgeoning design scene, Austria’s capital is bursting with charm. So it’s no wonder it ranked in the top five for personal safety rankings in a Mercer study for expats last year.

6. Bergen

The friendly waterfront Norwegian town is an idyllic spot for traveling alone. It’s a cinch to locate the UNESCO Heritage wooden houses of Bryggen, the outdoor fish market, and Fløibanen funicular, but just challenging enough to get to surrounding sights like the Mount Ulriken Cable Car and Troldhaugen, home of composer Edvard Grieg. In winter expect sightings of Aurora Borealis.

7. Berlin

Berlin is young and old, historic and modern, and classic and cutting edge, all at the same time. The city is still constantly changing, and there are so many sights that it’ll inevitably be difficult to fit it all into your schedule. The Circus Hotel offers single rooms in both its hotel and hostel (and has its own useful C-Wiki, a simple guide to the city’s best). From there take on a city tour with them to get the lay of the land the first day. Once situated, run between sights like the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery and the Brandenburg Gate, snacking on currywurst along the way.

8. Reykjavik

With Iceland earning top honors as the most peaceful country in Europe according to last year’s Global Peace Index, safety is rarely a concern on the island nation. Flights are as low as $442 in the summer months, when daylight can last up to 21 hours. While the capital itself can be pricey, there are ways to navigate the high exchange rate: Two companies offer free city walking tours (there’s also a pub crawl tour for $16), a bed in a hostel starts at $27, and the most popular meal in town is the Baejarins Beztu Pysur hot dog stand, made famous by Bill Clinton and more recently, Kim Kardashian.

9. Lucerne

Follow in Mark Twain’s steps in this tourist-friendly town nestled in central Switzerland, on the northern tip of Lake Lucerne. The charming covered Chapel Bridge and Water Tower sit in the heart of the mountaintop city, making the small town an effortless getaway for first-time solo travelers. The railroad station is in walking distance of Old Town, and the entire city is extremely easy to expore by foot.

10. Prague

The Czech Republic capital is a manageable size, with major sites concentrated within walking distance. Whichever side of the Charles Bridge you stay on, you’re just steps away from Old Town and the Prague Castle, both of which provided a full day’s worth of exploration for me. Just a stroll away on the castle side is the Petřín funicular, where I took in hilltop views of the city’s orange rooftops, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque churches, and Renaissance palaces. And throughout town, you’ll find stands to buy affordable concert tickets in exclusive venues, like the stunning show in the Clementinum’s Mirror Chapel.

I hope these cities will be of inspiration for your future travels.



  1. They all look like they have their own magic. :)

  2. Your pictures make all of them seem wonderful....

  3. Najbliže solo putovanju što sam doživio bio je jedan devetosatni layover u Diseldorfu, kada sam sam lutao po gradu i moram priznati da je to bilo neobično pozitivno iskustvo. S jedne strane činjenica da se nalazim potpuno sam u stranoj državi mi je podizala adrenalin, zatim jedna doza brige da li ću uspjeti da se snađem jer iako svoja putovanja uglavnom ja planiram, po prirodi sam malo dezorijentisan pa onda uvijek povjerim taj dio navigacije u prostoru nekome od prijatelja. Pozitivno je i to što možeš da ideš kada i gdje želiš, bez potrebe da se bilo kome prilagođavaš. Negativna strana je što nemaš s kim da podijeliš radost i uzbuđenje ili se eventualno ustručavaš da odeš na neka mjesta.
    Inače, odličan izbor gradova. Nažalost bio sam samo u Beču i Pragu, ali sam zainteresovan da posjetim i ostale, naročito Štokholm, Berlin i Briž.

    1. Slažem se sa tobom. Solo putovanje ima svojih negativnih strana. Onda opet moraš probati da bi znao jeli za tebe. Možda negdje bliže i kraće može biti solucija za češća solo putovanja. Opet, ovo je samo lista, ja lično isto više volim sa svojim prijateljima da putujem.

  4. Great article with lots of info. Thanks!

  5. I would love to visit each and every one! great photos!

  6. Oh la! Super stunning images Mersad! Your images of these popular cities would entice everyone to visit ✨


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