With solo travel becoming more popular than ever, we thought we’d put together a list of some our favourite destinations for solo travel in 2019. Whether you’re a first-time solo traveller or someone who already loves travelling the world on your own, here are a few of the best places to travel solo in 2019.
19 Places to Travel Solo in 2019!
Our list of solo travel destinations have places that offer a mix of experiences that are entertaining, inspiring, and perfect to either find solitude or meet a few new friends. Sometimes solo travel can be a challenge, but it can also reap some unforgettable rewards. If you think this type of adventure is for you, take a look at our list of the best places to travel solo in 2019.
The North Coast 500, Scotland
Best solo trip for: Outdoor and nightlife enthusiasts
While London is a fantastic city for solo travel, why not explore the rest of the UK, too? It’s no secret that Scotland is filled with incredible culture and beautiful landscapes, but it’s worth exploring more than just Edinburgh or Glasgow. Rent a car from Inverness (or, for the fitness buffs, rent a bicycle) and set out on the North Coast 500 that takes you on a loop around the top of Scotland. This is for the solo traveller that craves adventure and loves a great view.
When we say this is one of the most beautiful road trips in the world, we mean it. Amazing views of the ocean, the seemingly endless Scottish Highlands, and even a few Highland cows mean you’ll be stopping constantly for photos. Throw in castle ruins and picturesque towns for a trip you won’t soon forget. Even better? Head to the nearest local pub in the evening and you’re sure to make a few new friends.
Best solo trip for: Animal and adventure lovers
While many associate Rwanda with the horrors of the genocide in 1994, today it is safe for tourists. Kigali, the capital, is one of the safest cities in Africa, and you’ll find tons to do and see here. A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is essential, and you’ll find that, despite the difficult topic, most people are willing to share their experiences.
Outside the capital, you’ll find rest and relaxation at beautiful Lake Kivu, where swimming is possible (unlike many other lakes in East Africa, there are no crocodiles or hippos here!). And of course, Rwanda is famous for gorilla trekking; book well in advance to ensure you get your time with these absolutely magnificent animals. Rwanda should definitely make your list of solo travel destinations in 2019.
Best solo destination for: Foodies and ocean lovers
While many tourists flock to popular Southeast Asian destinations like Thailand and the Philippines, Malaysia is an absolute gem that deserves to be explored just as much as any other country in the region. Kuala Lumpur is full of fantastic street markets, and a visit to the Petronas Twin Towers is a must. Malaysia, like most Southeast Asian destinations, is a relatively safe country for solo travellers.
If you’re looking for a beach destination in Malaysia, head to either lively Penang or the idyllic Perhentian Islands in the north. In both locations you’re sure to find lots of other solo travellers eager to soak up the sun and indulge in a few Malaysian dishes. For those really craving some adventure, head to Borneo to camp in the rainforest and search for a glimpse of the elusive orangutans that live there.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Best solo destination for: Nightlife lovers and foodies
With unbelievable architecture and a nightlife to rival London or New York, Buenos Aires is for the solo traveller looking to eat, drink, and play. Wine connoisseurs will revel in the choices of local wines – Malbec is obviously a popular choice – and those who eat red meat will love the variety of local steak restaurants.
As Argentina is home to the tango, you might want to try out a few lessons and then take to the clubs. Just be warned… Argentinians often eat late (even as late as 11 p.m.) so don’t break out your dancing shoes until the sun is well and truly set! While it is reported that a number of solo female travellers experience some difficulty in Argentina, such as getting catcalls when they are wandering the streets alone, Buenos Aires is still a relatively safe destination. But if you think this kind of thing will make you very uncomfortable, then consider your options for a solo trip. It’s your trip and your choice!
Best for: History buffs and nature seekers
While some people might skip Luxembourg to visit nearby France, Belgium, or Germany, Luxembourg is definitely worth a stop. It’s also so much more than just a day trip. The capital city is full of beautiful architecture and museums, and its Old Quarters and Fortifications are an officially registered UNESCO site. Not only that, the countryside is perfect for avid hikers.
For the adventurous solo traveller, you can even walk across Luxembourg in approximately nine days! Now that’s a story to take home…
Best for: Backpackers and beach bums
If you’re looking for a country with a vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and charming cities, look no further than Nicaragua. The country is perfect for both the beach bum and the historian, or for the solo traveller who simply wants to relax for a while. Surfing is very common here, as are yoga and meditation retreats. Find your travel tribe here in Nicaragua, and you’ll be a solo traveller no more!
Head to León and Granada for cobblestoned streets and magnificent cathedrals, or make your way to popular San Juan del Sur for surfing and great nightlife. Discover paradise on the Corn Islands in the Caribbean, where all your dreams of swaying palm trees and blue waters will come true. Also make sure to head inland to Lake Nicaragua to visit the island of Ometepe, a quiet place to chill and recharge.
Best for: Culture and adventure travellers
This small country in between Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey perhaps isn’t on many people’s radars, but it absolutely should be. Although there may be a few language barriers here, as a solo traveller you’ll find that people are helpful, kind, and eager to show off their fascinating country. This former Soviet Republic is ready to open up to the modern world, and taking in visitors with open arms.
Make sure to head to both the Open Air Museum of Ethnography and the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi for an overview of Georgia’s fascinating culture and history. If you’re into hiking, you’re in luck; Georgia is often referred to as the “Gem of the Caucasus” due to its fantastic hiking opportunities. Take the bus a few hours to Kazbegi and make the pilgrimage up to Trinity Church overlooking the stunning Mount Kazbek.
Georgians are known for their amazing hospitality, making this an ideal destination if you’re looking for solo travel opportunities. There are plenty of artsy and inviting hostels to stay in the main city of Tbilisi, so you’ll be sure to find some friends and plan an adventure to the mountains together.
Seoul, South Korea
Best for: Solo female travellers and history buffs
If you’re currently obsessed with K-pop, you’re not alone. While Japan gets a lot of love from solo travellers, nearby South Korea absolutely deserves your visit, too. Safe, friendly, and bursting with things to do, Seoul balances tradition with modernity. South Korea is a country that’s one of the safest to travel solo, and one of the safest travel destinations for women. South Korea is relatively much safer than most countries in Europe and North America.
The royal sites in Seoul will impress any history aficionado, while areas of the city like Myeongdong and Insadong are full of great restaurants and shops. Make sure to head out to Bukhansan National Park for hiking and a break from city life, where you’ll encounter breathtaking views, ancient fortresses, and beautiful temples.
Best for: Nature and culture seekers
While you’ll probably see Iceland on a lot of similar lists – and for good reason, it’s a fantastic spot for solo travellers – Norway is equally suited for those travelling on their own. There’s no beating around the bush here: Norway is outstandingly beautiful, arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. With amazing infrastructure to boot, it’s easy and enjoyable to travel around Norway solo.
Whether you’re heading to the Lofoten Islands for jaw-dropping scenery, checking out Norwegian history and culture at a museum in Oslo, tackling the challenging but rewarding hike to Trolltunga, or browsing the local fish market alongside the fjords of Bergen, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Norway.
Best for: Culture seekers and ocean lovers
Morocco is so much more than the lively souks in Marrakesh! Essaouira is home to incredible surfing and windsurfing as well as stunning whitewashed houses. While Morocco might not be your typical country on a list of best solo travel destinations, there is so much to be found here! Located on the Atlantic Coast, this port city is often referred to as the “Wind City of Africa”, so while you may not spend your days relaxing on the beach, there’s still plenty to do.
Soak in the fascinating Berber culture by strolling through the streets of the fortified medina, where you can shop for spices, jewelry, and antiques. Stop for mint tea and a piping hot tagine full of roasted vegetables and couscous. Spend time in one of the city’s many galleries or art museums. Head to a local hammam for a massage and a steam. Simply put, it’s perfect for the solo traveller eager to experience a different culture!
Best for: Adventure travellers and history buffs
Not quite as crowded with tourists as its neighbour Croatia, Montenegro has just as much charm, beauty, and Balkan appeal. In fact, the entire Balkans region – including Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, and more – is a fantastic destination for the solo traveller looking to immerse themselves into one particular region for a while.
While in Montenegro, head to Kotor for stunning vistas over the Adriatic Coast, or spend a few days exploring the winding medieval streets and stopping in one of its many churches, including the Kotor Cathedral. For a bit of glamour, check out Budva, where alongside the historic old town you’ll find beautiful beaches, shiny yachts, and a lively nightlife.
Best for: Adventure travellers, backpackers, and culture seekers
Colombia is not what it was in the 1990s. Despite a rocky reputation, today’s Colombia is amazing for the solo traveller. No matter what you’re after, Colombia has it all: nature, nightlife, and everything in between. While it’s not recommended to walk around alone late at night in many places in the country, Colombia is much safer than it used to be and more solo travellers are landing in this beautiful country every year.
For great scuba diving, including lessons, head to Taganga on the Caribbean coast. While visiting this region, Cartagena’s Old Town will blow you away with its beauty and its energy. Hikers will find paradise all over the country, though there are some especially beautiful hikes around Salento’s rolling hills (which is also where you can visit a local coffee farm). The major cities of Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín are great for galleries and dancing, while a visit to Ipiales to see the stunning Las Lajas Sanctuary is well worth it.
Simply put, there’s something for everyone in Colombia.
Best for: Island lovers and foodies
If you’re looking for relaxing beaches, delicious food, and a fun atmosphere, look no further than Zanzibar. While there are many islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago, many people informally refer to the main island of Unguja as Zanzibar. There you’ll find Zanzibar City with its historic Stone Town, where you can spend a few days taking in the sights, learning about Zanzibar’s culture, and indulging in a few spices (the islands are known for cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg).
Once you’ve had your fill of the city, head to one of the many beautiful beaches on the islands. Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, a party vibe, or something in between, there’s a beach to suit your needs. Kendwa Beach is known for its Full Moon parties, whereas nearby Nungwi has a lot of quiet resort and hotel options. No matter how you spend your time on the island, Zanzibar is a wonderful place for the solo traveller to recharge.
Best for: Nature and adventure solo travellers
If you’re all about those #vanlife dreams, New Zealand is the ideal place to rent a car and try your hand at living on the road for a while. Chock-full of stunning views and plenty of campsites, New Zealand is perfect for the solo traveller who loves nature and the outdoors. It’s safe, clean, and easy to navigate, all fantastic news for inexperienced solo travellers. If you can take the long flight, New Zealand will prove to be well worth the trip!
If you’re exploring the South Island, make sure to check out the activities around Queenstown, including bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, and more. It’s a great way to see the area as well as make a few new friends. Nothing says “nice to meet you,” like jumping out of an airplane together!
Best for: History buffs and foodies
Poland is quickly becoming one of the most popular Eastern European countries to visit, and for good reason. Extremely affordable, the architecture of cities like Gdansk and Kraków rival that of cities more often found on the tourist path like Prague or Budapest. You’ll also find great nightlife and an emerging culinary scene alongside sightseeing spots, a perfect example of which is Warsaw’s Old Town.
Essential to any visit to Poland is a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, now a museum and memorial. Though an incredibly sobering experience, it’s vital to keep the history of this concentration camp alive and honour those who lost their lives in WWII.
Mexico City, Mexico
Best for: Art and culture seekers
While many people think “beach holiday” when they think of Mexico, you’d be missing out if you decided to totally skip Mexico City, which has recently emerged as a cosmopolitan, vibrant city.
Make sure to spend a few days here to explore the local galleries and museums, most notably The Frida Kahlo Museum and The National Museum of Anthropology. Foodies will love the seemingly endless food markets and street stalls, while those looking for a foray into Mexico’s history will love hiking to the top of the pyramids at Teotihuacan, found about an hour outside the city. Mexico City definitely deserves its spot on the list of the best solo travel destinations for 2019.
Best for: Cultural enthusiasts and photographers
Though still lesser-known compared to other European countries, this tiny archipelago packs a real punch. From the turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon to the cobblestoned streets of Valletta to the delicious seafood of Marsaxlokk, you could easily spend a few weeks getting to know Malta as a solo traveller.
For a taste of Malta’s history, head to St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta. Scuba divers will love the waters off of Gozo. For a beautiful view of Valletta across the water, head to the tiny island of Vittoriosa, where the charming streets will have you reaching for your camera at every turn. Safe, beautiful, and filled with things to do: Malta is a solo traveller’s dream destination.
Best for: Hiking enthusiasts and spiritual travellers
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a hiker to love Nepal! Although the country is indeed known for some of the best hikes in the world – both the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp are popular ones – there’s so much more to Nepal than the Himalayas.
Nepal is perfect for the solo traveller looking for a blend of the liveliness of a big city like Kathmandu and the calm of the surrounding countryside. Start your travels in Kathmandu and you can organize a group hike to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. You’ll quickly fall in love with Nepali food – make sure to sample some momo dumplings and chai tea – and shoppers will find heaven amongst all the markets. Head to Pokhara for all of your adventure needs, including skydiving, paragliding, and so much more.
Nepal is an absolutely beautiful country, one with so much to offer, and it’s extremely rewarding to visit as a solo traveller.
Best for: Foodies and photographers
Our last recommendation for the best solo travel destinations for 2019 is Bologna, Italy. While it’s no secret that Italy is full of beautiful and dynamic spots to visit, the reason Bologna makes this particular list is simple: food. And again, you may be thinking that the entire country is known for its cuisine, but Bologna, found in the Emilia-Romagna region in the north, stands out. The region is home to the best prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan in the country, so you know you’re going to eat well no matter where you dine.
Beyond its gastronomical feats, Bologna has plenty to offer. As a university city (with the oldest continuing university in the world!), it’s cosmopolitan, lively, and full of energy. Make sure to climb the Two Towers for a magnificent view over the city… and to work off some of that delicious Italian food you’ve been enjoying.
Wondering What it’s Like to Travel Solo?
If you’re thinking of going it alone, well, you’re not alone! Independent travel is becoming very popular and there are lots of places that are safe to travel, even if you are a solo traveller. But, it’s always better to be safe and mindful when planning your trip and once you’re on the road. If you’re not sure if a country you are planning to visit as a solo traveller is safe, check the Canadian government travel advisory website. For more solo travel tips, we have a guide for you here. Travelling solo as a female? Here are some tips from a fellow woman on the road to inspire you for your next solo trip!
What do you think? Would any of these places make your list of the best solo travel destinations in 2019?