There’s always misconceptions surrounding solo travel including that it’s dangerous, hard to make friends, lonely and it can be boring. Now these assumptions can be true but solo travel is very much what you make of it. If you meet the right people and go about your solo adventure in a sensible way, then you will avoid any of these unpleasantries and the best way to do this is by picking the best cities for solo travellers.
I have selected 8 cities from my experience of travelling in Europe that are the best for people travelling alone. I have considered the simplicity of making friends, the places that are safe both at night and during the day as well as the places that have the most to do as a solo traveller.
1. Nice, France
First up on the list is Nice in France. The beautiful coastal city on the French Riviera is not only a great place to make new friends, it is also a city that has easy access to beautiful towns and villages up and down the south of France including Monaco, Eze, Cannes and Antibes, not to mention the secluded beaches that are wonderful to relax on. One of the best things about Nice is the laid back social vibe with clubs and pubs open to late. Or if you don’t fancy the pub, buy a pack of beers with fellow travellers and sit on the Nice seafront watching the sunset.
How about a trip to Austria and explore the beautiful palaces of Vienna . Stay in St Christopher's Inn where you will meet many other solo travellers and take part in events organised by the hostel in order to make new friends. From pasta nights to beer pong, there will be something for everyone to take part in making it a great way to socialise. Once you’ve made new friends, head out into the town, just twenty minutes walk away for some drinks. If palaces aren’t your thing why not pay to experience the famous Spanish Riding School, unique to the Austrian capital.
Fancy a hotter destination? Head to sunny Spain and visit the famous city of Barcelona . Chill out with fellow travellers on Barceloneta beach, visit the famous La Sagrada Familia and stroll up La Rambla while dipping in and out of the many pubs and restaurants. Barcelona offers many opportunities for partying due to its very popular nightclubs, making it a great place to mix with the locals and different people from across the globe. If you fancy a more relaxed evening try the famous Spanish Paella then travel to Montjuic for the beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views of the city.
Another great option for solo travellers is the German city of Munich. Get immersed in traditional German life by exploring the many town squares such as Marienplatz. Have a cultured stop in Hofbrauhaus, one of Germany’s most famous taverns and buy a stein of traditional German beer. Visit Odeonsplatz, remembering to touch the statue of a lion’s nose for luck on the rest of your travels! If football is your thing, why not experience German football by watching European giants Bayern Munich. Throughout my travels many recommended Munich as one of the safest cities in Europe, perfect for anybody solo travelling.
London is one the world's best cities for solo travellers - with amazing nightlife and too many famous landmarks to count, you'll never be bored in the UK capital. Walk along the Thames to see the London Eye, the Tower of London, Big Ben, and more, and immerse yourself in one of many local markets selling fresh produce, hot food and clothes. End your day by heading up to Primrose Hill and watching the sun set (if it's warm enough!) over the city skyline.
Next up is Prague in the Czech Republic. The beer capital of the world as many call it... with pints of beer as cheap as 85p! Explore Prague’s unique city and architecture by day with travellers from your hostel, then get to know them better with food and a drink in the town centre with numerous pubs on every street, without breaking the budget! The Prague locals are very friendly and will be more than happy to help you out if you become lost. Why not broaden your cultural experience as well by trying trdelnik, a local delicacy that is similar to a cinnamon roll.
Venice is made up of over 100 small islands with no roads; the only form of transport is by boat. That’s right, the island is made up of canals and the most common way to travel is by gondola. I highly recommend taking a gondola ride, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that can really help you depict what life is like for locals. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of accommodation on the island, however, the mainland’s train station, Venezia Mestre, has many great hostels surrounding it. With only a 5-10 minute train journey to the island, it is perfect for anybody who is interrailing. Finish your day on the island by dining in the local Italian restaurants and a drink in the gorgeous narrow streets.
Once you’ve seen the culture of Prague and Venice, why not take the journey East to Budapest in Hungary. A city steeped in history, start your visit by exploring the museum learning about how the different parts of the city (Buda and Pest) came together. Go on a boat tour of the Danube River and witness the magnificent Parliament building light up like a gold ornament when it gets dark. Finish the boat trip, meet up with some fellow travellers and head out to one of the many cheap pubs and clubs in Budapest and party until late!