Looking to venture around Europe by yourself but not sure where to start? Well, here’s some good news: if you’re looking to go travelling solo in Europe, then there are a myriad of destinations from which to choose. From seaside escapes to city breaks, and between cultural excursions and foodie experiences, hands down these are the 11 best places to travel alone in Europe!
Often mistaken to be the capital city of Switzerland (there is actually no capital city), Zurich is a stunning Swiss destination that should be on any Europe itinerary. Located in the North of this land-locked country, some of the best things to do in Zurich on your own include exploring the Altstadt (literally translated as ‘old town,’ this district features many cobbled lanes and plenty of traditional Swiss architecture), and catching the best view of the city from the top of the 12th-century Grossmünster cathedral.
Though the city is beautiful to visit during any time of the year, it’s worth noting that while the summer months promise the best weather (and are therefore the best time to enjoy day excursions from the city), the winter months coat the city in a stunning blanket of snow and the Christmas Markets of Zurich are easily among some of the best in Europe.
If it’s your first time visiting Europe on your own, then I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Paris as a solo traveller (the city can be pretty overwhelming and is vast)! Instead, the smaller Eastern French city of Lyon is best-known for its world-famous foodie scene, impressive Roman ruins, and wealth of stunning architecture. Lyon also happens to have a fantastic international airport not far from the city centre!
Whether you enjoy wandering around historic museums, taking day trips to the nearby wine country, or simply enjoy soaking up the sights of an old town, Lyon is perfect for the first (or hundredth) time solo traveller in France. Nearby, the town of Vienne has stunning Roman ruins, while Lyon itself acts as the gateway to wine country, i.e. Burgundy. Not yet convinced? Here’s why you might consider a visit to Lyon ASAP!
Of all the places in Belgium to travel solo, there is perhaps nowhere quite as enticing, thrilling, or exciting as Antwerp. A cool and vibrant port city that’s often overlooked in favour of the Belgian capital city, Brussels, Anvers as it is so-called in French or Antwerpen as it is known in Flemish is filled with historical and beautiful things to do.
For example, if you love modern art, then you should certainly head to the MAS museum (which also happens to offer a free panoramic rooftop terrace), while history buffs should certainly try to follow in the footsteps of Rubens, who hailed from the Northern Belgian city. Elsewhere in Antwerp, there’s many a hidden gem to uncover, including several stunning and ever so Flemish churches.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Picture this: you wandering along 17th-century canal houses, camera in one hand and curiosity in the other. There is perhaps no European capital city quite as suited to solo female travel as that of Amsterdam. Filled with quirky museums, stunning vistas, and plenty of unusual things to do, you can’t go wrong by dedicating at least a long weekend to discovering the delights of this city.
While in the Dutch capital, must-see attractions include the Rijksmuseum (where you’ll spy the world-famous painting The Night Watch) and enjoying the many hidden gems of the city, such as the hidden courtyards that are the hofjes.
For one of the best Dutch experiences to be had in Amsterdam, I personally recommend visiting Café de Sluyswacht (address: Jodenbreestraat 1, 1011 NG Amsterdam). Offering a wide selection of local beers, you can even order vegan bitterballen to accompany your tipple. For more information on visiting the city alone, check out my solo travel Amsterdam guide.
As the capital city of Scotland, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in Edinburgh. Between scouting out Harry Potter inspiration locations and drinking some of the best local beers that the city has to offer, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time wandering around this UNESCO world heritage literary city, especially if you’re travelling alone and are free to set your own schedule!
Of course, other highlights of the Scottish capital include visiting the world-famous Edinburgh Castle, enjoying the best viewpoint in Edinburgh by climbing up to the top of Arthur’s Seat, and enjoying the attractions of Scotland’s most famous street, i.e. The Royal Mile.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
In a landlocked country in the very heart of Europe, you’ll find countless castles, endless hiking trails, and many a glittering lake. Welcome to Luxembourg, the last Grand Duchy in the world with a capital of the same name, Luxembourg City. And thanks to its great transport links with the rest of Europe and beyond, you’ll soon discover that it’s the perfect stopover on any solo Europe trip.
Highlights of Luxembourg city include wandering around the cobbled streets of Luxembourg old town, exploring the centuries-old underground casemates which were first begun in the 17th-century, and enjoying the city’s excellent foodie scene (think pastries and tarts).
Even if you’re travelling on your own, you’ll soon discover that there are plenty of group tours in the city to join, and that the country’s wonderful transport links mean that taking day trips from Luxembourg couldn’t be easier! Some of the best excursions from the city include the fairytale town of Vianden and the impossibly pretty town of Clervaux.
A small city of buttery stone architecture and Georgian façades, just a couple of hours from the UK capital city of London, Bath is so-called thanks to its wealth of Roman ruins, most notably in the form of the Roman Bath complex that’s easily one of the largest in Europe.
In the past few centuries, the town has become famous for its literary connections, most notably with great writers such as Jane Austen and Fanny Burney. Centuries before, it’s said that even Chaucer had found inspiration in this two millennia old city. Nowadays, the student vibe of the town, as well as its small and compact nature (meaning that getting around on foot is the easiest way to explore), makes Bath one of the best places to travel alone in Europe.
As the capital of the Piedmont region of Italy, it should come as no surprise that there’s no shortage of incredible things to do in Turin (known locally as Torino). Between spying the views from the Basilica di Superga that sits atop a nearby mountain to enjoying the city’s fantastic chocolate scene (it’s said that the chocolate bar was actually invented in Turin), there’s something for everyone in this historic Northern Italian city.
Furthermore, Turin is a great place for solo travel in Europe thanks to its great transport links to both Italy and the wider region of Europe. The city even has its own international airport! And thanks to the wealth of tours and activities in the city means that meeting new people isn’t too difficult!
Of all the Greek islands (contrary to what many might believe, Athens is actually on the mainland!), Mykonos is probably one of the most famous, secondary only to the island of Santorini. Easy to reach on a quick flight from Athens, highlights of Mykonos include wandering around the old town (known locally as the Chora) and enjoying the bars and restaurants of Little Venice.
If you have a little more time while on the island, then you might consider taking a day trip to Delos. Alleged to be the mythical birthplace of Apollo, there’s an archaeological museum on the island, as well as plenty of millennia-old ruins. Otherwise, Mykonos has plenty of beaches on which to relax and local taverns in which to enjoy some Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. For more tips, check out my one day guide for Mykonos.
Located on the West Coast of Sweden and often overlooked in favour of the hip, cool, and trendy capital city of Stockholm, missing out on a visit to Gothenburg would be your first mistake. Easy to visit all year round thanks to international flights from airports such as Amsterdam and London, there are plenty of things to do in Gothenburg, even for the solo traveller.
Truth be told, the best time to visit this Swedish city is in the summer months when the daylight lasts for hours and everything in the central botanical gardens is actually in bloom. Otherwise, highlights of Sweden include a fantastic foodie scene, plenty of museums, and the chance to explore further along the Bohuslan coastline. Check here for the best free and self-guided tour of Gothenburg!
Leiden, The Netherlands
Small, quaint, and compact, if you choose just one destination to visit as a solo traveller in Europe, make it the Netherlands. Easy (and fairly affordable) to get around via public transport, this beautiful country is characterised by its many cheese markets in the summer months, stunning canal cities, and wealth of tulip fields in the spring. Furthermore, every time I travel to the Netherlands, even when alone, I feel very safe!
Leiden itself can be found somewhere between the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague, making this 17th-century timewarp a perfect base from which to explore the wider region of Holland. Highlights of Leiden include many a stunning canal, lots of traditional Dutch bars, and even some association with the pilgrims. After all, it’s from here in the 17th-century that many Pilgrims sailed to what is now the USA.
Solo travel tips you need to know before visiting Europe on your own
Firstly, Europe has some amazing transport links! This means that to visit most of the major cities, and even the larger towns, you won’t need a car. Instead, the easiest, most convenient, and cost-effective way to explore the continent is via public transportation in the form of planes, trains, and buses.
Next, the easiest way to meet people during your travels is in hostels and group tours (i.e. guided walking tours of the city). I personally use and love GetYourGuide to book the coolest experiences in each city I visit. When it comes to accommodation, I use Booking.com to compare the best hotel rates.
And if you’re wanting to go it alone but are worried about the experience of dining for one, here’s how to eat alone as a solo traveller. Finally, for further practical advice for planning your visit to Europe, check out my step by step guide for planning your first solo trip.
The long and short of it is that it’s normal to be nervous, but I’m sure you’re going to have a fantastic time! For more insider information on solo travel, check out these solo female travel hacks.