Solo holiday ideas - Shows Byron Bay beach

Awesome Solo holiday ideas – The best places to travel by yourself

Your first time going on holiday alone can be tough, especially if it’s your first time. Our list of solo holiday ideas is great for both seasoned solo travellers and those embarking on their first adventure alone. They span destinations across the world and each have something special to offer. Here are all of the things that make a destination great for travelling alone and are what we’ve considered when assembling our tried and tested list:

  • High level of safety
  • Great selection of hostels and places to socialise and meet other travellers
  • Affordable accommodation options for one
  • Easy to get around via transport and without knowing the local language

Lisbon, Portugal

Solo holiday ideas - Shows the Alfama district in Lisbon

We had to include Lisbon at the top of our list as it’s simply one of the best solo holiday ideas when it comes to cities in Europe. The entire capital is full of hostels, many of which cater to those travelling alone excellently. Evening family dinners, group tours, organised bar crawls and an energetic and laid-back atmosphere will make you feel at home and making friends in no-time.

Being a fairly compact, very safe and accessible city, you can easily get around and explore the sights by yourself, returning to your hostel on an evening to socialise. Alternatively, join an organised tour and venture to the enchanting town of Sintra, which is full of fairy-tale-esque castles, or get a crash course in surfing at Nazare. You also have free group walking tours for a warm introduction to the city. Lisbon attracts solo travellers of all ages and interests and hostels feel like friendly community hotels rather than the budget dorm image you’d usually associate with them.

Best time to visit: May – June or September – October

The best solo traveller hostels to check out:

Thailand

Solo travel destinations - Shows a temple in northern Thailand

Thailand is the king of exotic travel destinations and attracts everyone from teenagers on their GAP year from school to graduates, couples and older adventurers. The travel industry is huge here and you’ll find fellow like-minded travellers no matter where you visit in the country. As one of the best solo holiday ideas for adventures, you can experience the captivating Thai culture by yourself and will meet others everywhere you go.

Start your trip at the backpacker HUB of Khao San Road in Bangkok before venturing to the northern jungles of Chiang Mai for trekking, temples and rural local culture. Alternatively, Island hopping in the south introduces you to a different side of Thailand, featuring beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife and some cool activities to try. A holiday in Thailand by yourself is great for first time solo travellers and most people speak English. It can be very easy to meet others whilst staying in hostels or joining tours, but we actually recommend spending some time alone too. This peaceful land has some experiences where you’ll want to be alone for reflection and getting out of your comfort zone.

Best time to visit: November – January

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Australia

Solo holiday destinations - Shows a speed boat overlooking a city in Australia

Australians are some of the friendliest people in the world and are easy to get on with. They also love to travel! As a popular solo holiday destination for 18-30’s on a working visa or taking a ‘year-out’ from work, you’ll find travel comrades in all of the main tourist hotspots. Sightseeing in Sydney and Melbourne, relaxing on the beaches of the Whitsunday Islands and adventures through the jungles of Cairns are just a small selection of what you can see and do here.

Everyone speaks English, the food and culture is very similar to back home in the UK and although you’re on the other side of the world, it really won’t feel like it! Visit for at least 3 weeks (the flight is too long to visit for less) and plan an itinerary of stops throughout Australia. As it’s such a large country you’ll want to focus on 2 or 3 areas and not stretch your itinerary too much. We recommend arriving with an idea of what you want to do in mind but keeping an open mind. A must-see for us is the jungles of Cairns and Great Barrier Reef to the north.

Best time to visit: During the Australian summer, December – March

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

The Croatian Islands

Shows a collection of yachts in Croatia

A solo holiday summer in Croatia will go down as one of your favourite trips ever. So much so that you’ll probably do it again! With a jam-packed line-up of music festivals and people flocking in from around the world, the mix of cultures, crowds and activities is phenomenal. The local people are also very friendly and it’s a fairly affordable place to visit.

We recommend starting your solo Croatia holiday in Split for some town sightseeing and nightlife and then touring the islands of Brac, Hvar, and Vis by boat. A Yacht Week boat trip can be a great way to do this and you’ll meet other travellers, however you can also do it yourself by ferry and stay in mainland apartments and hostels. Croatia offers beautiful scenery, charming pebble beaches, historic towns and endless excursion ideas. The summer vibes are welcoming and everyone is happy to be in the sunshine. It barely rains between June and August!

Best time to visit: May – July

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Yacht sailing in Greece

Shows yachts docked at a marina in Greece

Greece has over 200 islands that are filled with relics of its ancient past, stunning beaches and a Mediterranean lifestyle than anyone can appreciate. As a solo traveller that wants an adventure over a typical one-week holiday on a specific island, the best way to see the Greek isles is by boat. During the day you’ll head out to sea, stopping off at small coves for snorkelling, exploring remote and sparsely populated villages and then visiting the main sites on islands such as Santorini, Crete and Mykonos.

You can either use the excellent ferry transport system to hop between islands and stay in hostels or apartment whilst you’re there, or join other travellers as part of ‘Yacht Week’. This involves boarding a small yacht with other travellers (many of them solo travellers like yourself) and sailing the seas of the Mediterranean. Daily group excursions, evening dinners with the captain and making friends on board will make your expedition extra enjoyable. As an alternative to Yacht week or for a shorter trip, we recommend staying in Santorini, Mykonos or Rhodes Town.

Best time to visit: April – June and September – October

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Colombia, Peru and Bolivia

Solo adventure holiday destinations - Shows ruins on a mountainside in Peru

South America is a continent for seasoned travellers and you’ll find that many people who visit, particularly on adventure tours, actually travel alone. Uncovering the charm of South America is an enlightening and eye-opening way to spend your holiday and as long as you don’t wander off the tourist trail too much, you’ll be completely safe! Cheap but excellent hostels are readily available everywhere you go and you can easily strike up a conversation with another solo traveller on the road.

Our top picks for a solo holiday in South America include the epic Machu Pichu trail to Cuzco in Peru, the Salt Flats of Bolivia (plus the daring death road!) and colourful country of Colombia. Latin culture is both exciting and vibrant and you’ll truly feel lost in nature with the sheer amount of mountain ranges, jungles and valleys. Throw in a remote Caribbean beach on the shores of Colombia and you have a collection of solo holiday ideas unlike anything else! For a short 2-3-week holiday, we recommend joining an organised tour. You’ll meet other solo travellers and can fit a lot more into your trip than you would travelling yourself, without having to worry about a thing!

Best time to visit: December – March (Colombia), May – October (Peru & Bolivia)

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Rome, Italy

Solo city break ideas - Shows tourists beside a monument in Rome

Everyone has to visit Rome at least once in their lifetime. It’s arguably one of the most historically significant cities on earth. Even today, Rome has an ancient façade, with churches, monuments and ruins everywhere you go. Whilst it’s a great city to explore with friends, your partner or family, it also has a welcoming appeal to a solo traveller. Many tourists choose to visit alone and join sightseeing tours, where you’ll learn all about Rome’s famous parks, buildings and ‘piazza’ squares. Accommodation is available for all budgets; the food is to die for and you’ll have no problem meeting other solo travellers if you stay in a hostel.

Stay in Rome for 3 – 5 days and plan an action-packed itinerary of sightseeing. The top sights to see include the mighty Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and an endless number of parks, impressive buildings and quaint city squares. There’s a lot to do here so be sure to pack some comfortable trainers and do your research before arrival!  Check out our list of Rome travel tips here.

Best time to visit: May – June or September – October

The best solo traveller hostels to check out:

A Nile river cruise in Egypt

Shows a cruise boat sailing down the river Nile

Ever felt like going on a solo adventure like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones? This is one of our solo holiday ideas that’ll felt you do just that! Historical tours such as a Nile River cruise or sightseeing day-trip from Cairo are best experienced by yourself. You’ll really pay attention to your tour guide and will learn a lot more than you would have travelling with friends or family.

We recommend joining an organised tour that starts in Cairo and onwards to the Great Pyramids, all before boarding a cruise boat that takes you up the River Nile to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. As one of the ancient wonders of the world, you’ll get a crash course refresh of everything you learnt about the Egyptians in school and will have memories to last a life-time. Being part of an organised tour, you’ll also get to meet other tourists that you can share the experience with.

Best time to visit: October – November or February – April

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Bali, Indonesia

Solo holiday ideas - Shows a remote beach in Bali

Bali is one of the trendiest islands to visit in the world currently. It appeals to young backpackers on a budget, couples looking for a romantic holiday and those looking for an adventure. With a good mix of beaches, cultural experiences and active excursions, there’s no wonder why it’s one of the most ‘Instragrammable’ spots in the world! Although it has become quite touristic in recent years, it’s still retained its Balinese soul and the island is perfectly set up to cater to tourism.

As a solo traveller, you’ll be able travel the relatively small island with ease. You can comfortably meet other travellers in bars, restaurants and hostel or guesthouse accommodation and head out to the beach for a cocktail. Another massive plus-point for a solo trip to Bali is the cost! It may not be as cheap as other parts of Asia, but compared to Europe, the US and Australia, your money will stretch very far here. We recommend picking a few key destinations such as Nusa Pendia, Ubud and Canggu and joining organised tours to socialise. Check out our Bali guides and itineraries here for help planning your holiday.

Best time to visit: April – October

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Barcelona, Spain

Shows a main square and historic city gate in Barcelona

Certain cities in Europe are perfectly catered to solo travellers. They’re large, full of exciting things to do and have lots of affordable accommodation options. Barcelona is a must-see city on any Euro-trip and it just so happens to be a place where you’ll feel at home whilst travelling alone. Stay in a central and top-rated hostel to be alongside other travellers and plan an itinerary of sightseeing throughout the day. The Sagrada Familia, architecture of Gaudi and Mount Tibidabo are the top things to see for first timers, but there’s enough going on here to keep you entertained no matter how many times you’ve been!

As a city that never sleeps, the people in Barcelona eat late and like to party until the early hours by the beach, or in the trendy neighbourhood of ‘Eixample’. The tapas on offer is some of the best that Spain has to offer and we love the laid-back vibe to the city. Rent a bike and tour the city solo or make some friends at your hostel and head to Barceloneta beach, which sits right within the city. It’s a place where you can ‘go with the flow’, make no plans and still have a great time – perfect for a long weekend city break!

Best time to visit: April – June or September – October

The best solo traveller hostels to check out:

Palawan, Philippines

Shows a blue lagoon on Palawan island

Popular traveller hot-spots Thailand and Bali may be great places to meet other people as a solo traveller, however there’s no denying that they can feel quite touristic. The exotic island of Palawan in Philippines attracts the same crowd of solo backpackers, adventurers and honeymooners, but with far fewer crowds. Many of the beaches here remain untouched and you can snorkel in crystal clear waters that haven’t been swamped with pollution.

We recommend a Philippines adventure that starts in the capital city of Manilla (which you’ll probably fly into) and then onward to the beautiful destinations of Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Port Barton and the neighbouring tiny island of Coron. The lagoons, caves and beaches here are some of the best in the world and you’ll be lost in a paradise of nature. The government’s tourism policies have helped reduce over-tourism and it still has an ‘off the beaten track’ appeal compared to other South-east Asian countries. Plan an itinerary of island hopping and hostels by yourself or join a top-rated multi-day tour to have everything scheduled for you.

Best time to visit: November – April

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal

Solo holiday destinations - Shows a group of trekkers crossing a bridge in Nepal

If you really want to challenge yourself both physically and mentally and take away memories to be proud of, an Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal couldn’t be a better way to do it. The Everest summit trek is widely regarded as one of the most difficult and dangerous things to do on earth! The shorter trek to the Everest Base Camp, just before the summit climb is a great way to experience Everest without the dangers, although you’ll need to be somewhat fit!

Embark on a 2-week trek amongst Nepalese rivers, mountain ranges and through local Buddhist villages as part of a guided group tour. Due to the challenge that entails, many people actually join the treks as solo travellers and experience Everest with fellow adrenaline seekers from around the world. Whilst Everest Base Camp is one of the most known options, there are plenty of other hikes that will interest you too, so it’s well worth doing your research into the destination. Nepal is a beautiful country that is cheap to travel around and is one of the ‘once in a lifetime’ solo holiday ideas.

Best time to visit: Autumn (September  – November for clear skies)

Recommended organised tours for solo travellers:

Our top tips for going on holiday by yourself:

Shows a man standing on a rock looking at the beach - Tips for going on holiday by yourself
  • Consider booking an organised tour designed for solo travellers. Top Deck Travel, Tour Radar and Intrepid Travel have tours around the globe that are all dedicated to solo travel. You’ll meet other like-minded travellers and will have activities to try every day. This is a great option for first-timers or those that don’t mind a more restricted itinerary.
  • Research your destination thoroughly in advance so you know where to go, what to do and how to get around. You’ll feel much more confident heading out alone!
  • Hostels are a great way to meet other travellers, no matter your age. Check review for hostels and stay in accommodation that attracts similar age-groups and is popular for solo travellers. Many hostels offer private rooms so you don’t even have to compromise on personal space if you don’t want to.
  • Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Spark up conversations with other people, try things you would have never thought of trying before and arrive with an open mind. You’ll have a much better experience.
  • If you’re feeling lonely at any point, stay in frequent contact with friends and family back home. Readily available WiFi and data plans make it extremely easy to stay in touch.
  • If you’re nervous about eating alone, why not ask someone at the hostel if they’d like to grab a bite to eat or go for a low-key casual restaurant? Once you get used to it, eating alone can feel quite relaxing and you’ll really focus on a tasty new cuisine.

Have we inspired you to book your first trip alone with our solo holiday ideas? If you’re really nervous about it, book an organised tour and join other travellers. There’s also the old school way of simply jetting off by yourself and seeing where your trip takes you. Both options are great in their own ways and we’re sure you’ll be eager for another solo trip as soon as you return. As much as we love travelling with friends, family and partners, there’s a definite place for solo holidays and it’ll open your eyes to travel in a new way! If you have any questions about any of the destinations we featured on our list, be sure to get in touch.


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