Backpacking and solo travel go together like peas and carrots, like Forrest and Jenny. Why should we wait for our friends to be ready to explore the world when we can venture out solo, meet heaps of incredible new people and discover an inner independence and sense of freedom that we never knew existed? More and more solo travellers head to hostels each year to take advantage of the social areas and friendly, laid-back vibes. But where are the best places to travel alone?
We’ve looked into the trending solo travel hotspots around the globe to give you The 411 on where to visit on your next independent adventure. It’s time to treat yo’self to the trip of a lifetime! Here are our 10 best places to travel alone based on our highest number of solo bookings.
1. The USA
The USA is one of the best solo travel destinations thanks to its diversity of locations. In other words, The USA really does have something for everyone – from the sunny surf havens of California to the iconic skyscrapers of NYC, surreal landscapes like the Grand Canyon to the music and foodie hotspots in the South. And the best part? You’re travelling solo, so it’s totally up to you to pick the adventure you wanna have. The US is a wonderfully accessible spot for first time solo travellers, with excellent infrastructure and high safety levels. Add to this some classic American friendliness and a bit of Southern Hospitality, and it’s no surprise that The USA sees some of our biggest numbers of solo traveller bookings!
The land of the free can be rather expensive to visit, which is where hostels come in to save the day. By sharing dorms, not only will your budget stretch way further, you’ll also meet all kinds of amazing people that’ll make your solo adventure anything but lonely. In the mountains of Colorado, The Bivvi brings warm, family vibes that can melt through the snow. Here travellers share beers around the campfire and stay in for cosy movie nights, after spending their days hanging out on awesome group activities like white water rafting and hiking!
So old chaps, second on our list of the best places to travel alone is England, a great first step for anyone who’s a little nervous about travelling solo. It’s safe, modern and easy to get around, plus it’s so small that you won’t have to face any bum-numbing 24 hour train journeys on your own! London is constantly one of our highest booked cities for solo travellers who want that quintessential British experience – red buses, black cabs and a trip to Buckingham Palace to say hey to Queen Liz. Not to mention local faves like a curry on Brick Lane, a pint in a traditional pub and some of the best nightlife in Europe! Venture outside the capital to discover creative hubs like Liverpool and Bristol, historic gems like Cambridge or Bath and the surprisingly beautiful beaches of Cornwall. For more England inspo, check out 22 places that travel bloggers love.
For a London hostel with an unbeatable social atmosphere, try Hostel One Camden. Not only is it in the heart of one of the city’s most famous neighbourhoods, an absolute must-visit for music lovers, it’s run by backpackers who love nothing more than showing solo travellers a great time. Think nightly free communal dinners, group bar crawls and drinking games in the basement.
Every region in Spain has a distinct, vibrant culture, meaning that you can spend months embarking on an epic Spanish adventure and never get bored. Although each city has its own unique feel, there are a couple of things that connect them all. Firstly, the welcoming hospitality that makes solo travellers feel instantly at home. Secondly, Spanish food is out of this world – seriously! Indulge in tapas and sangria until you’re sleepy enough to slip into a siesta. Dreamy right?! So, what Spanish spots should solo travellers hit up? Big hitters Barcelona and Madrid are so packed with things to do, plus so many other backpackers, that it’s impossible to really feel alone. For a chilled-out time, San Sebastian is a foodie’s dream with incredible surfing spots, or for a spot of Andalusian tradition, the flamenco shows in Seville are legendary.
La Banda Rooftop Hostel is a favourite with solo backpackers who love getting involved with the drinking games, live music and artsy nights on the beautiful rooftop. There’s a family dinner every night and the staff will take you on a bike tour of the city to make you fall deeper in love with Seville.
Perhaps the first place to spring to mind when you think of the best solo travel destinations, Australia is practically a rite of passage for travellers. The backpacker scene here is second to none, with hostels all around the country filled with party-loving travellers wanting a slice of the land down under. Most find it difficult to leave, which is where the Australia Working Holiday comes in, allowing solo travellers to settle down for a bit and start their own global fam. And with the money they save working, they’re able to visit the most incredible spots this country has to offer. We’re talking cosmopolitan Sydney, trendy Melbourne, the idyllic Whitsunday Islands, the vast Outback, the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef… seriously, we could go on all day. It’s safe to say Australia is one of the best places to travel alone!
Being lonely is impossible at Australia’s fun-loving hostels. The parties at Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort Cairns are legendary, which is no surprise when you’ve seen their massive lagoon-style swimming pool, open-air bar, massive sports screens and on-site nightclub!
Sure, I could tell you about the classic beauty of Rome’s architecture, the romance of Venice’s waterways, the fairytale-esque cliff hugging houses in Positano, or the enthralling history of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but I know what you’re really looking for from a trip to Italy… food, glorious food. Widely considered the centre of the carb universe, Italian food is globally renowned, and you’ll get the best quality straight from the source. Avoid the tourist traps and instead ask the hostel staff for insider tips on where the locals eat. And PLEASE, for the love of Cheesus, head to Naples to try pizza in the city where it began. The amazing train network in Italy makes it a dreamy solo traveller destination, as it couldn’t be easier to explore the country on your own stress-free. Why not extend your solo trip by grabbing an Interrail pass and travelling even more of Europe on a budget?
If you love hostels with pure, wholesome, homely vibes, look no further than Giovanni’s Home in Naples. Giovanni gets to know every single guest and makes solo travellers feel right at home with his famous hospitality, which includes whipping up homemade pizza and providing the best local tips to help you steer clear of tourist traps.
Thailand is without a doubt one of the best solo travel destinations on earth, a fact that’s evident from the thousands of lone wanderers who head there every year. The chaotic charm of Bangkok, the laid-back hippy vibes of Chiang Mai and Pai and the paradise-like islands in the south are just some of the things that pull us in… and the insane nightlife, incredible food and world-class hostels don’t hurt either! You may feel a million miles from home when you touch down in this unique country, but nothing brings solo travellers together like a few cocktail buckets on Khaosan Road. P.S, Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is every bit as wild as you might expect. You have been warned!
If your priority as a solo traveller is finding pals to party with, then Slumber Party Hostel Bangkok will make all your dreams come true. Expect crazy pub crawls, beer pong tournaments and copious amounts of shots to break the ice. If your liver can handle it, they’ve got several other hostels around Thailand too.
Known for its beer, bratwurst and the best (and most exclusive) nightclubs in the world, Germany is an awesome solo traveller destination that’s perfect for meeting fellow backpackers. In summer, capital Berlin is essentially one massive beer garden with locals and travellers alike sharing a stein of the cold stuff. Its notorious nightlife scene is unrivalled in Europe, and bouncers are known to favour individuals and smaller groups, so you’ll have no trouble getting in as a solo traveller. Munich’s beer-fuelled Oktoberfest is a true bucket list event that every backpacker should experience at least once, and if you visit on your own you can guarantee you’ll be leaving with several boozy new buddies. But there’s a lot more to Germany than partying, which you’ll discover when you leave the cities and head to the epic natural landscapes and fairytale castles of the countrysides.
In Berlin, Circus Hostel has heaps of social spaces for solo travellers to hang out, like an on-site microbrewery and an Instagrammable cafe/restaurant. It’s right in the city centre, so you’ll never have to worry about being far from the action when you want to head out on a solo mission!
Paris might be known as the city of love, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the best places to travel alone too! Eating croissants overlooking the Eiffel Tower, sipping wine in swanky bars, catching a show at the Moulin Rouge or taking a stroll through the Louvre are all equally as fun without a romantic partner – or even better, with a new hostel BFF. It’s why Paris remains one of our top booked cities for solo travellers! There’s way more to France though, so if you’re the type of traveller who prefers lesser known places, we think you’ll love Hossegor, one of our best backpacker destinations for 2020. It’s a surfing hotspot with hippy vibes, amazing beaches and lots of cute cafes where coffee doesn’t come at Parisian prices.
One of our favourite French hostels for solo travellers is Paris’ Les Piaules, a fully renovated Art Deco building in the beautiful Belleville neighbourhood. It’s surrounded by cafes and bars that locals love, but when you’re not sampling them you can hang out in the hostel’s games room or swanky rooftop terrace with your new roomies.
Visiting parts of Japan feels like taking a trip into the future, with its insane technology, huge modern cities and space-inspired pod hostels. The bright lights of Tokyo are as exhilarating as they are overwhelming, and the street food is truly sensational. But it’s also a country of unspoiled nature and centuries old tradition. Visit gorgeous temples and sleep in traditional ryokans, spot geishas gracefully walking through the streets of Kyoto and be inspired by the postcard perfect Mount Fuji. The Japan Rail Pass makes it easy for solo travellers to navigate the country, with a super efficient, high-speed service that gets you between cities comfortably for a pre-paid bargain price. Pod hostels are also a godsend, offering solo travellers the privacy of their own room while keeping the cheap prices and social benefits of dorm living.
Solo travellers can’t go wrong staying at Mosaic Hostel Kyoto. They claim to host more events and activities than any other hostel in Japan, with a weekly schedule including Japanese cooking classes, calligraphy workshops and sake tasting nights. They’ve got a communal lounge with games, rooftop terrace and bar that’s always buzzing with atmosphere.
10. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is truly one of the best solo travel destinations with some of the friendliest locals in the world. The home of gorgeous tulip fields, winding canals and, of course, legalised marijuana, The Netherlands will forever be one of our favourite places to visit in Europe. Whether you’re cycling around Amsterdam or admiring Rotterdam’s unusual architecture, you may be a little more – err – laid back than usual while in The Netherlands, making it the perfect destination to travel alone, to meet new people and open yourself up to new experiences.
The ultra-stylish King Kong Hostel Rotterdam is conveniently located in the city’s coolest neighbourhood, so you’ll have no problem channelling your inner hipster. There’s a lively bar and cafe, as well as an outdoor social space that comes alive in summer. The staff’s expert local tips make exploring Rotterdam on your own a total breeze.