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10 Best First Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

Last Updated on August 27, 2020 by queenie mak

When you google “safest countries in the world,” many websites have articles about travel and safety ranking. The statistic is based on the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks countries to determine how safe and peaceful they are. Some of the 23 factors include societal security, political stability, the potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides and level of violence, plus many more criteria.

Out of 163 countries in the world, many countries belong to the list of best places for first-time solo travel. After all, safety is the number one priority for any solo female traveller!

Which means the best solo female travel destinations are the safest countries. So if you are travelling alone for the first ti, then you might want to do a bit of research and choose a place that you will feel safe.

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My top 10 picks for best first time solo travel destinations

My top ten choices for the best destinations for solo female travellers are based on my own experiences and my research on the safest places for solo female travellers.

Prior to going to these countries, I did a bit of research first and scroll through Instagram to get travel inspirations.

But my ultimate decision for travelling to a new place as a solo female traveller has to do with how safe I feel in the new country and what type of experiences I want out of it.

So in no particular order, these are my picks for the best first time solo travel destinations.

Japan is an excellent spot for solo female travellers as the country is warm and welcoming
Japan is an excellent spot for solo female travellers as the country is warm and welcoming

Japan

Japan is rated as the 9th safest place in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. The crime rate is low, and the chances of pickpocketing and scam are very low as well.

Japan is the best place to travel alone for the first time because the country is safe for solo travellers, locals are friendly and helpful and there are so many things to do in Japan. I especially love how Japanese people are so polite, conscientious, and humble. If you think language is a barrier for travelling to Japan, it is not an issue. Getting around is quite easy, and Google Translate can do a lot of the work.

I’ve been to Japan six times and visited major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. I’ve also been to Kyushu, which is the southern island where you will find Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kagoshima. And I’ve been to some of the off the beaten path places like Nara, Uji, Himeji, Naoshima, Teshima, Kurashiki, Onomichi and Miyajima. Even though I visited these places over several trips, it is possible to fit it all in one month.

I highly recommend Japan to any solo travellers who want to experience cosmopolitan cities, rich culture and heritage and gorgeous natural landscape.

Want to explore Japan? Learn more about Japan here

Experience culture and food in Taiwan as it is one of the best solo travel destinations in Asia
Experience culture and food in Taiwan as it is one of the best solo travel destinations in Asia

Taiwan

Taiwan is rated as the 35th safest country in the world. The crime rate is relatively low; terrorism risk and violence are both pretty low.

I am a bit surprised that Taiwan is not rated as one of the top ten safest countries because I feel it is one of the best female solo travel destinations. Previously, Taiwan ranked higher, but the rating fluctuates quite a bit. Perhaps it has to do with risks of natural disasters and other political and economic factors.

In the past few years, I spent over three months travelling around Taiwan and I witnessed the gorgeous natural landscape in HualienKenting, and outside of Taipei, and metropolitan cities like Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, and the enjoyed the best food in Asia.

Taiwan is one of the most welcoming countries in the world. The little island attracts more than 10 million visitors yearly. And it is pretty cheap to travel around the country as well.

So if you are planning a solo trip to Asia, make sure to include Taiwan in your itinerary. And if you aren’t sure what you want to do, follow my three week Taiwan itinerary.

First time going to Taiwan? – Learn all the best travel tips before going to Taiwan

The landscape in Iceland is out of this world! And not to mention all the lush greenery and amazing waterfalls!
The landscape in Iceland is out of this world! And not to mention all the lush greenery and amazing waterfalls!

Iceland

Iceland has been the safest place in the world for the past 11 consecutive years. Just like other Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, which are all rated within the top 25 spots in the Global Peace Index for many years.

I visited Iceland back in 2014 and saw some of the most amazing sceneries. My journey started in the capital city, Reykjavik, where I visited the famous Blue Lagoon, and the Golden Circle as a day trip. And instead of seeing all the touristy spots in the south, I rented a jeep and drove along the Ring Road towards Akureyri, a town on the north part of the small island, and explored Westfjords as well.

Even though travelling in Iceland is not cheap, it is the best place to travel alone for the first time and a fun girls trip destination. 

If you want to see a landscape that looks like the planet Mars, tour inside a volcano and experience all four seasons in the same day, then choose Iceland as your next solo travel destination!

If you have never been to Australia, explore the East Coast as it has vibrant cities, beautiful natural landscape and the gorgeous beaches
If you have never been to Australia, explore the East Coast as it has vibrant cities, beautiful natural landscape and the gorgeous beaches

Australia

According to statistics, Australia is rated as the 13th safest place in the world. Furthermore, the New World Wealth publishes many statistics, including a ranking for the safest countries for women and Australia has the top spot. Iceland, New Zealand and Canada are including in the top 5 as well.

I’ve been to Australia twice and spent over three months along the East Coast of Australia. I’ve never had a safety issue, nor did I feel threatened or unsafe at any time.

I started my last trip in Melbourne and drove along the Great Ocean Road. Then I continued my journey to Sydney and Byron Bay in New South Wales. And because I love beaches, visiting the Gold Coast was high on my priority list. Then I ended my trip to Brisbane, which included a day trip to Noosa.

During my solo first trip (which was 15 years ago), I visited Fraser IslandAirlie Beach and sail around the Whitsunday Islands. I had the time of my life on a small sailboat even though I have motion sickness. That’s how much I enjoyed it!

Even though it is not cheap to visit Australia, it is the best destination for solo female traveller. It is possible to see all of these places in four weeks. If you don’t have that much time or budget, you can still see the East Coast highlights in ten days.

Related Post – Everything you need to know before going to Australia

New Zealand

As the second safest place in the world, New Zealand had over  3.8 million travellers visited the country last year. Furthermore, many people are considering moving there to make New Zealand their permanent resident.

Personally, I have never been to New Zealand, but it is on my priority list for the upcoming year. I’d love to visit cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and explore the outdoors around Auckland, Lake Tekapo and Wanaka. Hopefully, I can do a bit of slow travel and really get to know the country.

I have high hopes for New Zealand. I’ve met many Kiwis (people from New Zealand) travelling, and they are easy-going and happy people. And I thoroughly enjoy hiking and living outdoors, and New Zealand has a natural landscape that looks unbelievably beautiful.

Even though I have never been, I met many other solo female travellers, and they all highly recommend New Zealand as it is one of the best countries for solo travel. So stay tuned for my future posts on my New Zealand solo trip!

Enjoy all the museums and cultural events in Austria, one of the world's most exciting and safest countries.
Enjoy all the museums and cultural events in Austria, one of the world’s most exciting and safest countries.

Austria

As the third safest place in the world, Austria is one of the most dreamlike cities where you can see many UNESCO Heritage sites and the best modern contemporary art museums at the same time.

I’ve been to Vienna a few times, and it always feels great to be back. The city is full of culture, magnificent architecture and world-class cuisine. And Austrians are really good looking, just saying…

I haven’t travelled extensively in Austria, but I know many solo female travellers have. For my last trip, I stayed in Vienna for a few days then went to Bratislava, Slovakia as a day trip and continued my journey to Budapest, Hungary. During my previous trip back in 2008, I visited Innsbruck, a small town between high mountains in Tyrol, and Salzburg where I enjoyed every activity that has to do with Mozart and the Sound of Music.

If I have to do it all over again, I would plan a perfect Austria itinerary which includes Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. And I would include the Hallstatt and Zell am See because I heard so many great things about both places. Does anyone want to join?

Portugal is one of the best places for solo travellers because it is safe and affordable
Portugal is one of the best places for solo travellers because it is safe and affordable

Portugal

Portugal is the fourth safest place in the world. And it is one of the most affordable travel destinations in Europe. Accommodation, food and transportation are relatively cheap, which is ideal for any solo traveller.

I thought it was interesting that most Portuguese locals speak English, especially the younger generation. That means it is easy to talk to locals and get around the country.

I loved travelling solo in Portugal. I loved meandering through all the narrow and hilly streets of Lisbon, taking day trips to Sintra and Cascais, and trying different port wines in Porto. I also had the opportunity to stop by Coimbra, a quaint town near Porto. Then my trip ended with a lot of sun and fun in the Algarve. I spent over a month in Portugal, but you can see all of these places in two weeks.

I didn’t feel nervous and my guard was down pretty much most of the time. And best of all, I met many other solo female travellers who were also discovering the beauty of Portugal.

So if you like big city vibes, small-town charm, wine tasting and gorgeous beaches, then you have to consider Portugal as it is the best destination for solo female traveller.

See why the Danes are the happiest people in the world. Don't wait another minute and visit Denmark!
See why the Danes are the happiest people in the world. Don’t wait another minute and visit Denmark!

Denmark

Scandinavia is the safest region in the world. That means countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all ranked pretty high in the Global Peace Index and Denmark has the fifth spot.

Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always wanted to visit Denmark. Actually, I wanted to move there! I didn’t get a chance to visit Denmark until my mid-30’s, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Danes are friendly (and good looking) and have remarkable hospitality.

I only visited Copenhagen before continuing on the rest of my journey to Sweden and Norway. I would’ve loved to visit Aarhus, Odense, Helsingør and Skagen. Can’t wait to return to the happiest country on the planet! 

See vibrant cities like Toronto and Vancouver and experience natural beauty in Banff during your solo trip to Canada
See vibrant cities like Toronto and Vancouver and experience natural beauty in Banff during your solo trip to Canada

Canada

As the 6th safest place in the world, Canada is a very welcoming country for different types of travellers.

I grew up in Scarborough, a suburb in Toronto.  I felt safe and protected growing up in a new multicultural neighbourhood. And I spent my adult life in downtown Toronto where I felt safe and comfortable.

Aside from Toronto, I’ve travelled across Canada to cities like Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Banff, Montreal, Quebec City, Charlottetown and St. John’s. I’ve experienced many Canadian cities and have only felt the warmth from local people. No wonder Canada is rated as one of the safest countries in the world.

However, it may not be the cheapest country for solo travel as accommodation, and transportation can be quite expensive. But don’t let that stop you from visiting a country that has beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities. 

You don't have to worry much about your safety if you are travelling in Singapore, one of the best cities in Asia
You don’t have to worry much about your safety if you are travelling in Singapore, one of the best cities in Asia

Singapore

Singapore, an island city-state in Southeast Asia, is the eighth safest place in the world. As one of Asia’s most westernized city, Singapore is safe and super clean. Can’t imagine such a pristine city to be dangerous at all!

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. Most Singaporeans speak perfect English, and all major signages around the city are in English. That means it is super easy to get around the city.

And if you are flying into Asia and catching a connecting flight, you will be flying into Singapore Changi Airport, the best airport in the world. Singapore has several low-cost carriers that services to many other cities in Asia and it doesn’t cost much to fly within Asia from Singapore.

So if you are planning a solo trip to Asia, definitely make a stop-over in Singapore and enjoy city life, shopping and authentic local cuisine. Even though it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, you can easily see Singapore in 2 days and there are plenty of things to do for free!

Where will you go for your first solo trip?

I hope you enjoyed reading my post on my top ten female solo travel destinations. If you have never travelled solo before, these are some of the best places to travel alone for the first time.

But as always, be alert wherever you go and practice safety precautions day and night. And if you feel something is wrong, listen to your gut. It never lies to you!

Happy travels, ladies!

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

4 Comments

  • Alayna
    October 30, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Hello!
    I cannot decide whether to travel to Taipei, Taiwan or to Singapore while being budget-friendly. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      November 1, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Hi Alayna, if you are looking for budget-friendly, definitely check out Taiwan. I find Singapore more expensive although there are many free things to do in the city. But I think you will get more with your money in Taiwan. Hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply
  • Gregory US
    July 8, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    These are really interesting! I’ve traveled solo for 7 years and have barely done any of these!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 10, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Hi Gregory, oh interesting! The list has a lot of places that are considered safe which is a concern…for myself and i’m sure for other solo travellers as well. But would love to hear where you’ve been as well! 🙂

      Reply

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