Women are often conditioned to believe that we need a companion in order to not only enjoy traveling but also to stay safe. While this may be personally true for some women, you don’t need to let these factors stop you from getting out and living your life to the fullest by exploring new places.
As a female solo traveler myself, I know firsthand that it’s imperative to stay vigilant while traveling, especially in certain areas or at certain times. There are precautions I always take, but I prefer to embrace travel as any solo male would. Given my experience, I’ve logged a lot of tips under my belt so far, and, along my journey, I’ve found some places to be more friendly, safe, and fun for women traversing the globe alone.
Here are 16 of my best destination recommendations if you want to set off to see the world with just you, your passport, and your bags by your side.
I mention Switzerland first because it was my very first solo travel destination, and it’s no surprise that it should be at the top of your list, too. Switzerland has been ranked as the number one safest travel destination for women in 2024 by iVisa, with only a mere 2% of women having reported violence.
Aside from its magnificent scenery and decadent chocolate, Switzerland is a country with strong infrastructure, a bustling economy, and a reliable public transportation system that boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This makes it an excellent place to start your solo travel journey.
Another country that should score highly on your solo female traveler list is Scotland, also one of my personal favorites. Well known for its breathtaking natural wonders, renowned whisky distilleries, and looming historical castles, Scotland is the perfect destination for those wanting to get an authentic, immersive experience.
The locals in Scotland are known to be particularly welcoming and friendly toward foreigners, making it a perfect place for solo travelers. From the beautiful historic cities to the impressive landscapes of the Highlands to the spectacular Scottish Isles dotting the coastlines, there’s never a dull moment when visiting the glorious lands of Scotland.
3. New Zealand
New Zealand may be known for its incredible landscapes, but it’s undoubtedly more than that. As a female solo traveler, you can feel confident in adding New Zealand to your next adventure—it also ranks in iVisa’s top 20 safest countries for women to travel.
From vast, heavenly beaches in the north to a snowy dream in the south, it’s no wonder New Zealand is such a popular destination for solo travel. The people of New Zealand, including the Indigenous Māori people, are known to be exceptionally warm and welcoming. Many locations offer female-only hostels as well, which makes it even more attractive to females traveling alone. Don’t miss out on a solo trip to New Zealand.
As one of the safest and most hospitable countries in the world, you don’t want to miss out on an excursion through Iceland. Especially known for its progressive stance on women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights, it’s a fantastic destination for solo female travelers.
You can feel safe walking through the capital of Reykjavik even at night, as well as on public transportation if you decide to take an island tour. Bask in the beauty of cascading waterfalls, dip in the lagoon, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Iceland’s safety has an extra layer, too: no animal predators dangerous to humans exist there. In Iceland, you’re sure to thoroughly enjoy your stay.
This unique island isn’t high on most travelers’ radar, but it certainly deserves a place on your next itinerary. Divided in two between Greeks in the south and Turks in the north, Cyprus is a place authentically rich in culture, cuisine, language, and beautiful scenery.
As a solo female traveler, Cyprus easily tops my list. I fell deeply in love with the seaside charm, the ancient ruins, the striking cliffside villas, the protected stray cats roaming the streets, the delicious fusion of foods, and so much more. Beyond this, however, it is an extremely safe country and I never once felt out of place amongst the numerous friendly people I met.
Given the exceptionally respectful and orderly nature of Japanese culture, it’s no wonder Japan bodes well for solo female travelers. You’ll rarely have to worry about someone invading your personal space—Japan takes courtesy quite seriously. It’s even commonly known that you can leave personal belongings such as a purse or laptop unattended without fear of items being stolen (but, I don’t recommend it).
From the aromatic pink cherry blossom trees to pristinely manicured gardens and temples to the unparalleled metropolitan paradise, Japan absolutely deserves a spot on your next itinerary if you are solo traveling as a woman.
Ranking #4 in iVisa’s safest countries, Finland is a cozy winter delight for any solo female traveler. Frequently noted as the “world’s happiest country,” you can count on this likely being true for you as a solo female traveler as well. Petty crimes, theft, and harassment are extremely rare in Finland.
With its luxurious culture of saunas to its moniker “Land of a Thousand Lakes” to the Lapland ski resorts and Northern Lights, you’ll be in paradise if you are an outdoors enthusiast. Another fun fact about Finland: it was the first country in Europe to give women the right to vote. That sounds pretty good to me as a solo female traveler.
Romania is one of the best hidden gems, and for solo female travelers, it is remarkably safe. As my third solo travel excursion, Romania holds a special place in my heart as I’ve now made it my home abroad. During my time living and traversing through Romania, I have never once encountered a dangerous situation and always appreciate the kind nature of the locals.
From the Carpathians to the Danube Delta to the vast Black Sea, there is plenty to do in Romania whether you want a chill experience or an adventure. No matter where your trip takes you, it is also astonishingly affordable. Traditional food is plentiful and you will undoubtedly love the rich culture. As far as safety rankings go, Romania boasts low crime rates, including pickpocketing and street assault. Run, don’t walk, to buy those tickets to Romania.
9. South Korea
Because of its societal expectations toward courtesy and rule-following, South Korea is very safe and, indeed, a great solo travel choice for women. Ranking in the top 25 safest countries, South Korea also possesses a robust police presence that is widely known to be extraordinarily attentive to emergencies.
Your options for things to do in South Korea are endless. Enjoy the contemporary vibes of the cities, dance at one of the famous nightclubs, or try delicious foods at one of the many markets. I would not recommend South Korea for first-time solo travelers, however—it can be a bit more difficult to navigate. Nonetheless, it is certainly worthy of a visit after you’ve packed some experience in your bags.
The small but mighty nation of Malta is perhaps one of my personal favorite destinations as a solo female traveler. Travel Ladies App ranks Malta the #2 safest country for solo female travel. Malta may not have entered your mind while searching for plane tickets, but I wholeheartedly urge you to add it to your list.
In studies that measured safety statistics, Malta turned out very high for safety in areas such as walking at night, street harassment, and petty crimes, making it especially advantageous for female solo travelers. With its extraordinary history, sparkling seaside beaches, and winding streets, Malta is a truly wonderful destination.
Another jewel located in southeast Asia, Singapore is widely famous for its cleanliness, luxury, efficiency, and—you guessed it—safety. Known as “The Lion City,” Singapore is a metropolitan wonderland full of many unique places to explore. As a solo female traveler, it should top your list as it has been ranked as the #14 safest country.
Due to stringent regulations and security measures such as heavy law enforcement presence, Singapore boasts an extremely low crime rate. Head to Singapore for a truly exquisite trip filled with gorgeous skylines, extravagant shopping malls, and traditional cuisine you won’t soon forget.
12. Georgia (the country)
Georgia, a country often confused with the U.S. state of Georgia, is a seriously underrated travel destination that certainly tops my personal list of favorites. Straddled between Europe and Asia, Georgia provides an intricate medley of culture, cuisine, and scenery.
What you may also not know about Georgia is that it ranks #20 on the list of safest countries, making it an excellent location for your next solo adventure. From the magnificent Caucasus Mountains to the shores of the Black Sea, this little country is full of friendly faces and lots of places to explore.
Did you think Africa wouldn’t make the list? Think again. Botswana, a country once bound by colonization, has now progressed significantly over time and currently has the steadiest democracy in all of Africa. It offers a diverse array of options for solo travelers due to its good safety score and friendly locals, which bodes well for solo travel.
You can catch a glimpse of African wildlife such as zebras, elephants, or hippos on a safari, experience a “mokoro” canoe ride, or even partake in a traditional communal dinner. However, it’s worth the minor warning that you may have a harder time getting around in Botswana due to poor road conditions, so be prepared. Otherwise, Botswana absolutely should be on your itinerary.
14. Costa Rica
Scoring high at #25 in Travel Ladies' list of safest countries, Costa Rica is a dazzling location to consider for your next solo trip. Known for its lush, exotic jungles teeming with wildlife and the jewel-toned sapphire seawaters, Costa Rica should definitely make your travel list.
Don’t go just for the tropical vibes, though. Costa Rica is a superb destination to get a rich taste of Central American culture and cuisine as well. With its divine blend of Latin and Caribbean influences, there’s a lot to love about this place. Costa Rica is also known to be one of the friendliest countries in the region toward women, which means you’ll feel comfortable almost anywhere you go in this delightful country.
Another coveted favorite of mine as a solo female traveler is Montenegro. A true hidden gem, Montenegro will not only help protect your wallet but may well protect you in your travels as well. Ranked #12 safest country, Montenegro has a lot to offer from its glittering sea views (which are easily comparable to Italy or Greece), astounding mountain hikes, and historically quaint seaside towns.
Montenegro is a must if you love any of these aspects of a vacation destination with the extra perk of relative safety. Mark this one down on your bucket list before everyone else picks up on its splendor and it becomes a tourist trap.
This phenomenal country might be toward the bottom of this list, but that doesn’t mean it should be at the bottom of your travel plans. Portugal, ranked #3 for safest countries by Travel Ladies, has a lot to behold for female solo travelers.
Your wallet will thank you as you traverse Portugal, as it is known to be one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe. On top of that, the safety ratings are excellent. Whether you choose to roam the streets of Lisbon, visit the relaxing beaches of the Azores, or explore the magnificence of Sintra National Park. You’ll never be bored in Portugal, so be sure to include it in your next plans.