More women are traveling the world solo today than ever before. Over 70% of travel experts say that women are more likely than men to travel alone, while nearly 3 in 4 American women have already taken a solo trip. Best of all, those numbers only keep growing!
Solo female travel is more than just a trend. It can be a life-changing experience – but not all destinations are built for it.
The women of the Travel Off Path writers’ team know the stress of researching and deciding where we can enjoy our solo adventures with peace of mind and without too much hassle.
Going on year five of full-time solo travel, I’ve explored more than 40 countries by myself. Better yet, my fellow female writers have solo traveled to hundreds of unique destinations!
We’ve traveled through the good and the bad, so you don’t have to roll the dice with your next solo destination.
Here are the top 10 countries for solo female travelers in 2023, hand-picked by women for women:
Solo female travelers love the compact size, friendly locals, and awe-inspiring nature of Iceland. Not to mention, Iceland is the #1 safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index.
Our writer Hayley has traveled Iceland extensively. Her top tip for solo female travelers is to take Icelandic day tours, as she says they’re a step above the rest.
“When you’re traveling to the South Coast for a 10-hour day trip with a bunch of strangers,” she explains, “it’s virtually impossible not to make a friend or two along the way.”
Another advantage of Iceland’s relatively smaller population is that accommodation tends to be warmer and more personal. People actually know your name and strike up a conversation. From intimate hotels to social hostels, you’ll have a warm bed and a warm welcome.
For an extended trip, add on nearby Scandinavian solo travel favorites like Norway, Sweden, and Finland. With world-class safety, gender-equal societies, great city breaks, and spectacular nature, what’s not to love?
Narnia is real, but you can’t find it through the wardrobe. It’s in Slovenia.
While it may seem like just a tiny country nestled between Italy and Austria, Slovenia is world-famous for its enchanting forests and storybook castles. Whether you’re looking for a dose of European charm in Ljubljana or a breath of fresh air at Lake Bled, Slovenia has what you’re looking for in a solo-friendly environment.
Slovenia is the 7th safest country in the world. Visitors can enjoy strolling solo through its charming streets stress-free. 85% of women feel safe walking alone at night here.
In fact, solo tourist Claire Ramsdell wandered around the capital city of Ljubljana practicing night photography, and told the BBC that she felt incredibly comfortable. “This could have been a dicey experience elsewhere,” she said, “but in this case it was a delight.”
And we’re not the only ones sweet on Slovenia. The BBC agrees, recently ranking it the #1 destination for solo female travel.
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3. United Arab Emirates
The Emirates are synonymous with luxury, it’s true. But they’re top of class in two other areas, too – hospitality and safety.
Emiratis are generally polite and generous, so solo female travelers should feel welcome wherever they go. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai also consistently rank in the top 20 safest cities in the world, making them a spectacular choice for solo female travelers.
Our CEO Kashlee Kucheran loved solo traveling in Dubai so much that she moved there! Two things she really values about Dubai are safety and comfort.
“People leave their Ferraris and Bugattis unlocked with the keys inside and the windows down,” she says. “You’ll see women from all different countries walking safely and confidently around the city, even after dark. Not once have I felt uncomfortable, which is a rare feeling for many frequent solo female travelers.”
Our writers’ experiences with male taxi drivers in the Emirates have been refreshingly safe and wholesome. What a win! But, if you prefer, there are all-female pink taxis available too.
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Japan is a long-time favorite with all kinds of tourists. But it’s especially perfect for solo female travelers because Japanese society is simply built for people to do things alone.
Restaurants usually have individual tables for one and service counters for solo diners. Single supplement costs for tourism activities are rare, and most of your fellow travelers will be solo too. From pod hotels to traditional ryokan, accommodation is tailored to singles as well.
Solo female travelers don’t have to stress about safety here either. Japan is the 3rd safest country in Asia and 9th safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. It was also recently named the safest country for solo travelers.
Japanese subway systems typically have women-only cars available, which solo female travelers are encouraged to take advantage of due to some concerns over chikan – groping and upskirting on public transport. (Look for the big pink sticker in Japanese and English on the rail platform.)
If you need help on your trip, uber-polite Japanese locals will gladly give you a hand. When one of our writers got lost in the chaos of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station on her first solo vacation, some local ladies walked her all the way to her train platform on the opposite side of the station – then insisted on giving her snacks for the journey!
This trending Balkans destination is a great choice for solo female travelers. Plenty of our solo female traveling writers have explored Albania and even lived there – and we’re all eager to go back!
After visiting the affordable pristine beaches of the Albanian Riviera, some travelers will call Albania “budget Greece” – but it’s so much more than that. Historical hillside towns and an up-and-coming digital nomad capital make Albania one of the most diverse and enjoyable countries in the region.
Albania isn’t in the Schengen zone, so Americans, Canadians, and Brits can spend a much longer time here than in other European destinations. U.S. travelers get one year visa-free, making it a great choice for slow-traveling solo women.
Best of all, Albanian hospitality is absolutely unparalleled. Solo female travelers will find friendly locals and helping hands everywhere they go in this spectacular country.
Latin America can sometimes get a bad rap when we talk about solo travel safety. While it’s true that some of the most dangerous cities in the world are located in this region, Latin America is not a monolith. There’s so much variety in both culture and safety between countries.
Argentina stands out as the third safest country in Latin America and one of the only countries in the region trending safer over time, according to the Global Peace Index. For reference, Argentina is still 24% safer and 60 rankings higher than the United States.
Solo female traveler Trisha Velarmino has been exploring the world for 14 years and loves Argentina so much that she even decided to move there. Like many others, she was drawn to Argentina for its vibrant mix of cultures, world-class food and wine, and overall safety.
“You don’t have to worry about safety in Argentina,” she says. “It’s a very tourist-friendly country.”
It’s safe to say solo female travelers will never be bored here. Whether you’re learning to tango in Buenos Aires, tasting world-famous wine in Mendoza, or trekking Patagonia, a trip to Argentina will definitely be packed with spectacular solo experiences.
The Irish are famous for their hospitality. Enjoy a cold pint of Guinness and a warm welcome because pub culture here is seriously solo-friendly.
According to one Irish tour provider, “New faces from out of town are always welcome, whether you’re alone or part of a group. This makes Ireland a dream destination for solo travelers. Just pull up a bar stool and join in the fun.”
Solo female traveler Rhonda shared that she never once felt lonely on her extended trip to Ireland. “It was easy to start up a conversation with a stranger, even as an introvert, because the locals were always up for a chat.” She found most day tours in Ireland are mostly geared toward solo travelers, making it easier than ever to explore and meet like-minded adventurers.
Women visiting Ireland can have good craic and peace of mind on their solo trip. Last year, travel app Bounce ranked Ireland as the #1 safest destination for solo female travelers.
Ireland is the third safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. 70% of women here feel safe walking alone, and crime rates are very low.
Ireland was actually the first stop on my first-ever solo trip. On night one in Dublin, the solo travel bug got me good. There’s no better destination for a beginner solo traveler!
Oman is the most underrated destination in the Middle East by far, especially for solo female travelers. This Arabian oasis has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and is widely regarded as the most open-minded Gulf country.
For women looking for a solo luxury vacation, Oman offers Dubai-level five-star hospitality at more affordable prices. Beyond luxury, the capital Muscat makes for a fantastic city break with dazzling architecture.
For solo female travelers looking for authentic experiences, Muscat’s mutrah souq and nearby Nizwa pull back the curtain on a unique country steeped in tradition. If adventure is more your thing, some of the best hiking in the world is between Omani wadis – natural swimming holes – hidden deep in the Hajar mountains (expert trekkers, head to Al Wakan village).
Locals here take hospitality and kindness to foreigners really seriously. But don’t just take it from me – they’ve actually been voted the nicest people in the world, and the most foreigner-friendly! You shouldn’t be surprised if you’re invited in for tea or offered directions without asking.
A European destination that’s scenic, easy, and safe? Yes, please!
Croatia’s excellent tourism infrastructure, popular backpacker hubs, and laid-back culture make it a top choice for solo female travelers – and we aren’t the only ones who think so. The Global Peace Index ranks Croatia in the top 20 safest countries in the world, while Culture Trip and Mediterranean Traveler both say Croatia is one of the top global destinations for women traveling solo.
I loved my solo trip to the affordable and welcoming capital city of Zagreb the best, while fellow Travel Off Path writer Dale votes for the coastal town of Split. “Split is safe, beautiful, and has tons of things to do nearby,” she says. “It makes a great base for exploring Krka National Parks and islands like Hvar and Vis.”
In between Thailand and Indonesia lies the often-overlooked paradise country of Malaysia. This Southeast Asian destination offers that goldilocks combination of affordability, safety, sandy beaches, and global city convenience – making it perfect for solo female travelers.
Whether you’re looking for a modern city break in Kuala Lumpur, a beach vacation in Langkawi, or a taste of rich culture in Penang, Malaysia has something for every kind of solo traveler.
Malaysia is the third safest country in Asia and one of the top 20 safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. It also has the U.S. State Department’s blue seal of approval as a Level 1 safe destination. In other words, no unusual danger here.
The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is statistically safer and more affordable than most U.S. and European cities. And the cherry on top – it’s a well-equipped digital nomad hub that’s skyrocketing in popularity. For solo female travelers who take their work on the road with them, Malaysia is a top contender.
64% of global travelers today are women, and that number is only going up. Women aren’t waiting for the trips to make it out of the group chat. We aren’t even waiting for our significant others to explore new corners of the globe.
The world is literally your oyster, so there is no need to stop at these ten destinations. Happy solo travels!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com