Most experienced travelers agree that Europe is one of the best destinations for solo travelers, especially those traveling alone for the first time.
You can travel between many countries freely without having to deal with borders and customs hassles and many incredible cities can be just a short flight, train, or bus ride from one another.
Getting around most of Europe’s larger cities is a breeze for solo travelers and traveling alone is generally quite safe. There are also plenty of ways to travel throughout Europe on a budget.
Europe is ideal for solo travelers looking to connect with other solo travelers, but those looking for a bit of solitude can find plenty of options as well.
Whether you’re looking for cultural excursions, a seaside getaway, delicious foodie experiences, or historical attractions, there are countless European countries that are perfect for first-time solo travelers. Here are my top five favorites.
Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe
I can say from personal experience that Amsterdam is probably one of the best solo traveler cities in the world, but that’s not to say there aren’t several other great cities in the Netherlands that are really geared towards solo travelers.
Amsterdam of course offers up terrific public transport which includes buses, trams, trains, and the metro. You can also get around on foot rather easily and the city is of course known for its high use of bicycles.
Most people in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam, speak fluent English which makes conversation and meeting people quite easy.
There are countless hangouts and meet-up locales for singles around the major cities which can be found via Facebook, and dating apps are quite popular here if you’re looking to change your single status, if even for just a few days.
Digital nomads seem to be around every corner here, and meeting other solo travelers is quite easy when staying in rather affordable hostels; many hostels host events that are available even to those not booking a room.
Use Amsterdam as a base for taking day trips to other fine Dutch cities like Rotterdam, Maastricht, Groningen, and Utrecht. Many cities have large student populations and therefore exceptional nightlife.
Germany is a safe, marvelous country that can offer several memorable experiences for tourists who are traveling alone for the first time. If you are a gambling enthusiast, you will find Germany will featured on several lists for being the home of world-class casinos including Casino Hamburg and Casino Baden-Baden.
But you don’t have to be a gambling enthusiast to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and opulence of Casino Baden-Baden, as they offer guided tours that explore the casino’s history and showcases its lavish fairytale magnificence (it’s one of the world’s most beautiful casinos).
One thing all Germans excel at is celebrating. Solo travelers can always feel like they’re part of a crowd, and never have to deal with feeling lonely.
There are a number of great music festivals, The Berlin Film Festival, Munich’s Oktoberfest, Carnival Season which takes place in cities like Cologne, Bachfest in Leipzig, and even something for booklovers like me with the Frankfurt Book Fair which is regarded as the world’s largest book trade fair.
You can also find multiple beer gardens since green spaces are abundant in Germany, and can’t forget about the fairytale castles that are one of the main attractions of Germany, like Neuschwanstein.
Germany is made up of 16 states, each distinct and offering up different activities and unique cuisine served up in generously-sized portions.
Whether you settle on Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, or a quieter country town, you’re likely to encounter a youthful spirit and tourist-friendly atmosphere which is perfect for solo travelers.
Budapest is another top European location for solo travelers since it is easy to navigate, providing terrific public transportation. English is widely spoken, so it should be easy to ask for directions. Even the signage provides an English translation to help out foreigners.
Also, much like Amsterdam, there seems to be a large population of digital nomads that make their way to Budapest. The city abounds with nightlife and a party atmosphere, while also surrounding you with beautiful architecture, UNESCO sites, and its famous thermal spas.
Known as the “Pearl of the Danube”, Budapest offers solo travelers community-oriented hotels and countless affordable hostels where meeting people is easy. However, you can readily book private rooms in hostels here if you rather enjoy a bit of privacy.
Budapest is far more affordable than other famous Western European cities like Paris, Rome, or London, since there is a much better currency conversion rate than is offered with the Euro or Pound.
Tourist crowds too are much more manageable here, especially during the off-season, and day trips can be easily be arranged to nearby cities like Vienna or Bratislava.
Italy may be home to a large number of cities which are very popular with honeymooners (the Spanish Steps and Amalfi Coast are some of the most famous locations for proposals). Yet, solo travelers will have the chance to fall in love with the country itself when traveling on their own.
Italy is the perfect country for young solo travelers fresh out of school to find themselves or for recent divorcees to reinvent themselves. You may recall the Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert spending four months traveling alone through Italy after having just finalized her divorce. The New York Times bestseller inspired many solo travelers to discover Italy on their own.
Whether it’s Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Cinque Terra, or the Amalfi Coast, you can be guaranteed you’ll be surrounded by so much beauty that you’ll quickly forget family and friends back home.
Yes, many areas are touristy and often crowded but that means you’ll definitely never feel alone as a solo traveler. Whether you’re a lover of food, history, or quiet relaxation in the beautiful countryside, Italy offers it.
Greece is often overlooked by solo travelers, as many consider it to be the main destination for traveling couples or families.
But the truth is that solo travelers shouldn’t feel deterred, as Greece can be a wonderful solo travel destination so long as you’re more comfortable being alone and you don’t have a limited travel budget.
Greece can make it a bit harder to meet people, especially when straying far from Athens or when island hopping the Greek Islands.
You’ll notice a lack of hostels on the islands and things can get costly traveling alone for an extended period. For this reason, many solo travelers to Greece tend to be older individuals who are more financially well off.
If you are afraid of feeling isolated as a solo traveler when visiting Greece, I would recommend you go to Athens. Since it has a relatively big population and a great flow of tourists, you have more chances to meet other solo travelers, which can enhance your overall experience. The city also offers several great tours that will allow you to interact with locals, while also witnessing incredible sites like the Acropolis and Parthenon.
If you’re feeling more adventurous and confident in your ability to travel solo, by all means set out for the many incredibly beautiful Greek Islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and Corfu.
Once you set your mind to go on a solo holiday don’t let your anxiety stop you from making some great memories on your own. Traveling alone is a great way of learning more about yourself, and it creates more opportunities of meeting new people from different cultures.
We hope you get some inspiration from our list when deciding which mythical land to visit next. We have no doubt you will have the time of your life, wherever you choose to go!