It’s official: travelling solo is no longer ‘uncool’. In fact, with more and more people discovering just how rewarding it is to explore new places on their own terms, it’s actually become quite trendy to go it alone.
And it’s not hard to see why. A lot of people love the freedom they have when they’re just on their own – no having to make concessions for anyone, no feeling guilty about unscheduled rest breaks (or dawn-to-dawn walkathons) bringing down travel partners, no missing out on something you want to do just because the rest of the group doesn’t want to.
Plus, things like community groups, travellers’ meet-ups and a staggering wealth of online resources have made solo travel easier than ever before. Convinced that you should hit the road (1) on your own? Here are some of the best cities to do it:
Colonial architecture (2) in elegant decay, classic ‘50s cars, back-street artisan shops, cigars – the Cuban capital has never been short on charm. Havana is also incredibly travel-friendly for solo explorers, with a long tradition of good-quality home stays, low crime rates, and excellent weather all making for a safe and comfortable solo trip all year round.
Barcelona may be one of the best places to travel alone. It has it all: year-round sun, stunning architecture, pedestrian-friendly boulevards (perfect for people watching), world-class beaches, and a well-connected public transport system that’s super easy to use. And even if you’re there by yourself, eating alone doesn’t have to feature in your itinerary – do what the Spanish do and scoff tapas shoulder-to-shoulder with the locals in one of the city’s buzzing bars.
New York City, USA
When there’s too much to see and do in a short period of time, you want the least amount of hassle when deciding what to keep and leave out of your must-do list. That’s why a trip to New York City, especially if it isn’t a long one, may be best done alone. Skip the arguments over which world-famous museum or iconic landmark to visit, take your own sweet time to soak up the vibes, and make your own connection with this amazing city.
Australians are known to be some of the friendliest people on the planet, which makes its showpiece city one of the best places to explore alone. Visit iconic attractions like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, go for a solo dip in one of the city’s world-famous beaches, or make the short trek to gape at the nearby Blue Mountains. And don’t let any talk of local drop bears (3)(demon koalas that eat you) put you off – tall tales of mythical creatures (4) add character to travel destinations.
The cool and laid back capital of Denmark is a brilliant place to spend a solo weekend. It’s compact enough to explore on foot in a day or two, and there’s plenty to experience by yourself: from a thriving café culture and excellent museums, to a buzzing nightlife and fun-filled harbour -side activities in the summer.
For solo travellers, Jaipur in Rajasthan is the perfect introduction to India. Packed with old forts and palaces, and bustling, colourful streets, you’ll have no shortages of atmospheric places to lose yourself in. The rest of Rajasthan is pretty special too. Known as the Land of Kings, its beautiful desert landscapes and countless cultural sites, all steeped in history, make for great mini-excursions out of the city if you want to take your solo adventure a little bit further.