Best Cities in Europe to Travel Solo
Whether you are a solo female traveler or a solo male traveler, traveling alone has become extremely popular. Nowadays, no one looks at you weirdly when you say you travel by yourself. When I went on my first solo trip 16 years ago, I felt out of place and people used to look surprised. Times have luckily changed.
And no other continent is as great for solo traveling as Europe. The continent is so compact with so many great cities to travel to that it is my first pick for solo traveling.
Public transportation is great, you can get around easily, it is generally safe, and there are so many amazing cities and sights that you will never get bored…. Okay, prices here tend to be higher than in Southeast Asia, but it has its perks.
So, whether you are looking for a trip around Europe or for just a weekend getaway – here are my tips for the best cities to travel solo in Europe.
Where to Go Solo in Europe? Here are the Best Cities in Europe for a Solo Trip
Let´s start with a crazy place first.
London in England
London is one of my first picks because it is so bustling, busy, and exciting that you will not have time to get bored. With so many sights and attractions, you can easily fill your itinerary with fun things to do.
Public transportation is also great and you don’t have to worry about using expensive cabs to get around. As in many other major cities, avoid side streets at night and watch your valuables. If you stay in a popular area that is close to main attractions – and probably close to a bus/tube station – you will be fine.
If you like to socialize, you can book a room at a hostel or have a drink in one of the numerous pubs.
The only downside: London is quite expensive (especially the accommodations, so a single room is often not much cheaper than a double room). And let´s not forget how vegetarian and vegan-friendly London is.
Paris in France
Yes, I know. Paris is known as a city for love birds – many say it is the most romantic city in the world. And while Paris is great for a trip with your partner, you can also have a wonderful trip to Paris by yourself.
Paris is so compact and small that it is easy to get around and see many landmarks and attractions on foot. Public transportation is reliable and easy, so you don’t have to worry about getting around.
Paris is pretty, especially at night. So, to experience Paris at its best, stroll the city in the evening. When Paris lights up, it becomes absolutely stunning. There are some tourist scams and not all areas are safe to stroll – especially not alone. But if you are aware of the tourist scams and exercise common sense you should be fine.
My tip: On average, the hotels in Paris tend to be worse than in many other major cities, so I recommend investing a bit more in a hotel that is close to the city center and the metro station.
Zurich in Switzerland
Zurich is one of my most favorite cities and absolutely amazing for solo female travelers. Zurich is a beauty – not as wild and exciting as other European capitals (well, Zurich is not the official capital of Switzerland, but kind of the unofficial), but still a beauty.
Clean, surrounded by a pretty lake and lovely mountains, and safe. So, if you appreciate beautiful cities and safety is an issue (and you appreciate beauty), then Zurich is your place to go.
With its lovely old town, beautiful Lake Zurich, the many cafes and bars, and the house mountain (Uetliberg), it also offers fun attractions for a great weekend.
Zurich is one of the cities where I felt safe staying out at night and walking around as a solo traveler. Of course, common sense is important, but I felt safer than in cities like London or Paris.
However, accommodation prices in Zurich are insane. It’s tough when you cannot split hotel costs with anyone, but there are a few budget-friendly options.
Tallinn in Estonia
Tallinn is the beautiful capital of Estonia – lovely, charming, fun, and affordable. It is probably one of the most affordable capitals in Europe and a great solo destination on a budget.
If you stay in the old town of Tallinn, you can explore most of the city on foot (and don’t miss out on the pretty cathedral, which was my favorite landmark) and experience the city’s own unique charm.
Tallinn´s public transportation was good, but I actually did not need it that much (taxis are also still affordable, but of course, not the best option if you don’t want to further increase your carbon footprint). After two days in the city, you can also do a day trip to Helsinki.
Here is my 2-day itinerary for Tallinn.
Munich in Germany
Munich is one of the prettiest cities in Germany – not crazy, stylish, or hip, but pretty. I love Munich as a solo travel destination.
Bavaria´s capital is clean, fancy, and neat, and the public transportation is superb. Okay, it is quite expensive by German standards, but you do get a lot for your money.
If you book your accommodation in a central location, you can discover many things by walking – the market square, the pretty gardens in the area, and more. Also, it is perfect for day trips to Schloss Neuschwanstein or Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Find out more about Bavaria beautiful places.
Bremen in Germany
Okay, this might be a biased recommendation, but I still do truly recommend the incredible, fantastic, beautiful city of Bremen. Yes, it is my hometown, but it is also amazing.
I regularly play tourist in my own city and am impressed every single time.
Many great places in Bremen are near the city center, so you can explore the city on foot and see what the fuss is about.
The prices aren’t high (though not the cheapest in Germany either) and the people might not seem the friendliest (but hey, that is hardly unusual in Germany), but I am sure you will love it here.
Just book a hotel near the city center to stay safe and avoid side streets and parks in the dark.
Click here for my locals guide for Bremen
Lisbon in Portugal
Though I haven’t visited Lisbon solo (I visited with a female friend), I think it is a perfect city in Europe to travel solo.
I love the Portuguese people – they are friendly and nice. So, this makes it great for solo travelers.
Lisbon has become an incredibly popular travel destination and there are a few reasons why you should add it to your list as well (apart from the nice people): beautiful sights, lovely scenery, and an overall beauty – while still being a bit hip and fun.
Also, Lisbon is not extremely expensive and public transportation is good, so it is super easy to get around and explore the city by yourself.
Here are my top travel tips for beautiful Lisbon.
Barcelona in Spain
Barcelona is also one of the few cities that I actually did not visit by myself – my sister and I had a wonderful time in Barcelona.
While the city is known for its pickpocketing, we made it without any negative incidents. Keep your valuables close to you, avoid side streets at night, and pick a central accommodation. With these tips in mind, you will have a wonderful trip to Barcelona.
With a lovely beach, great sights, and many fun activities, Barcelona should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
Here are more travel tips for Barcelona.
Bergamo in Italy
Bergamo is probably not the first city that comes to mind when thinking about Italy travel. However, this pretty city in Northern Italy is great for your first solo trip.
Bergamo is one of the prettiest cities in Northern Italy It is not so big that it overwhelms you. If you book your hotel in the upper area of the city, you can easily stroll the city and see all the beauty Bergamo has to offer.
Many fly to Bergamo (which is served by discount airlines) before heading to Milan. My tip is not to skip this pretty city.
It is not only much cheaper than Milan but also much prettier!
If you need more inspiration for Bergamo just click here to read my travel guide.
Venice in Italy
Venice is probably the most unique city in Europe – and like Paris, it is a great honeymoon destination or at least a good place for lovebirds.
But I actually think it is also great as a solo traveler. The city is so fascinating and special that you don’t need anyone to help you enjoy it.
There are quite a lot of attractions, like Markus Square, with several landmarks within them (and don’t forget to visit Burano), so you will not get bored at all – even if you are by yourself.
However, accommodations in Venice are extremely pricey and a single room is almost as much as a double room, so this is a downside of a solo trip to Venice.
Here are more travel tips for your solo trip to Venice.
Edinburgh in Scotland
Edinburgh was one of the first European cities I traveled to solo – and I loved it.
Yes, accommodations are very pricey, but there are many hostels that ease socialisation and reduce costs. Also, Edinburg is the perfect size for anyone who doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by a large city, but also doesn’t want to be bored.
There are many sights and tourist places, but given its location, you find yourself in nature pretty fast.
The lovely locals are just the icing on the cake. Edinburg is one of my favorite solo trips in Europe.
Lucerne in Switzerland
Another beautiful city in Switzerland that is made for solo travelers is… Lucerne.
Lucerne is pretty stunning – and perfect for those who like a mix of nature and city life. Lucerne is actually a very small city (though not a town), but well worth discovering. After that, you have a lot of time for nature – which is incredible here.
If I compare all the cities mentioned in this post, Lucerne is probably the place with the prettiest scenery. So, if you enjoy some time in the mountains or spending your day in/on/around a stunning lake, then Lucerne is the place to go.
It is also safe, and public transportation is amazing. There is, of course, a downside: accommodation prices are insane! Seriously. However, since Lucerne is so safe, you can also book a hotel outside the city center and commute.
Berlin in Germany
And here is another German city on my list of the best places to travel alone in Europe… but this time, it is the trendy capital.Berlin is hip and crazy. Not necessarily beautiful, but definitely exciting.
Like many others, my first impression of the city wasn’t good: unfriendly people ruined the trip. The people haven’t become much nicer, but I learned to ignore them because the city has a lot to offer.
There is so much to see and do (from history to art) that you will not get bored at all.
If you like to meet people, book a bed in a hostel and focus more on visitors rather than locals.
Berlin is safe – overall. However, as a major capital, you have to watch more carefully in the evenings. Avoid side streets, try to avoid using the tube at night, and book a central accommodation.
Find my detailed Berlin travel guide here.
Salzburg in Austria
Salzburg is another pretty, pretty city in Europe that I love to visit solo.
It is romantic – actually very romantic – but you can enjoy it even without a partner. The pretty attractions, including some castles, make it picture perfect. Also, the old town with its colorful and beautiful buildings make it ideal for anyone who enjoys a trip to the city and seeing lovely architecture.
It is quite a small city – perfect for those who enjoy walking a lot and who are interested in old buildings and music (after all, it is Mozart´s birthplace).
The people here are friendly and nice to talk to. It is actually pretty expensive to stay overnight, but 2 days in the city is enough to see all the beautiful places.
Check out more Salzburg pictures and info here.
Vienna in Austria
Vienna is one of the most romantic places in Europe (personally, I think it is even more romantic than Paris). Stroll along the beautiful streets and visit the charming castles – and you can do it all by yourself.
Even if a place is great for love birds, it doesn’t mean it isn’t great for solo travelers, too.
So, do all the things you would do as a couple and you will find out why Vienna is absolutely stunning.
It is also very walkable and you can explore most places on foot (though, unlike accommodations, public transportation is quite cheap should you need it). Ah, this beautiful city has won me over and is one of my top picks for your solo trip.
Tip: Stay in a central hotel so that you don’t have to worry about safety if you get home late (not that I had a bad experience, but still).
Helsinki in Finland
Helsinki actually did not make me fall in love with it instantly. I visited the city as a day trip from Tallinn, and though we did not become besties, I still think it makes a great day trip from Stockholm or Tallinn.
It was easy getting around and the market square was lovely – however, the highlight of the trip was Suomenlinna Sea Fortress with the Hobbit-like houses.
Public transportation is great, I felt safe during my trip, and I discovered some pretty locations.
Here is a bit more on my day trip to Helsinki.
Stockholm in Sweden
Stockholm is amazing for solo travelers. It might be a coincidence, but I met great people both times I visited and I totally loved Stockholm. If you are looking for a city in Northern Europe to visit, Stockholm is it.
The city is expensive (but it has some great hotels – even though I hardly stay in hostels, this one was one of my favorites ever), but it is so worth it.
If you are interested in the museums, get a Stockholm Card and see what the city has to offer. But even if you aren’t there for the museums, the city has some other great places to see (the old town is just one of them).
Annecy in France
Annecy is not a city, but I still felt I have to add it to this list. It is the perfect solo destination in Europe for those who are looking for a small town with colorful houses and a Venice vibe but still surrounded by nature.
Annecy offers all that – its close proximity to the Swiss border makes it pretty expensive by French standards, but I still absolutely loved Annecy!
It was one of my favorite solo destinations in 2017 and I cannot wait to go back. Given its small size, it was easy to walk around and I felt safe every second!
Here is my Annecy itinerary with more travel tips.
Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sarajevo is not only one of my most favorite places I visited in 2019, it is also an amazing city to travel solo in Europe.
Sarajevo is an extremely beautiful and underrated city in the Balkans that is still not frequently visited. However, it should be. I hardly met so friendly and nice locals – alway ready for a chat (and most spoke good English or German) and with big smile on their face.
But Sarajevo has to offer much offer – from beautiful hill and mountain views to a lively old town with a lot of history. You won’t get bored in Sarajevo – whether you travel solo or not.
Also, in the city center itself crime is low (just be careful at Mount Trebević if you travel solo as theft is apparently quite common. However, other than that, there is no reason to worry about your safety.
Sarajevo might have a troubled past but with so many lovely locals, I can just hope more people visit (solo) and experience those people. Plus, Sarajevo is also quite affordable so you don’t need to worry too much about your budget which is another great reason to visit.
These were some of my favorite places for solo travel in Europe – there are a few cities in Europe that are still very high on my list (like Athens) so of course, I don’t claim this is the ultimate or complete list. However, I hope, this post has inspired you to and you have found your perfect solo destination in 2020.