Solo Travel

10 Best First Time Solo Female Travel Destinations

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 first-time solo female travel destinations. After all, safety is the number one priority for any solo female traveller!

This means the best places to travel for solo females are the safest countries. So if you are travelling alone for the first time, you might want to do some research and choose a place where you will feel safe.

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Top 10 picks for best first-time solo female 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.

Before going to these countries, I did some research first and scrolled through Instagram to get travel inspiration.

But my ultimate decision to travel to a new place for the first time 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.

Whether it is your first time travelling alone or you want solo travel ideas, here are my picks for the best first-time solo travel destinations.

1. Japan

According to the Global Peace Index, Japan is rated as the 9th safest place in the world. The crime rate is low, and the chances of pickpocketing and scams 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 many things to do in Japan. I especially love how Japanese people are polite, conscientious, and humble. It is not an issue if you think language is a barrier to travelling to Japan. 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, the southern island where you will find Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kagoshima. And I’ve been to some 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 as it is one of the best places to travel alone for the first time. And it is fantastic for anyone who wants to experience cosmopolitan cities, rich culture and heritage and gorgeous natural landscapes.

Want to explore Japan? Learn more about Japan here

2. Taiwan

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

I am surprised that Taiwan is not rated as one of the top ten safest countries because I feel it is one of the best first-time solo travel destinations for women. Previously, Taiwan ranked higher, but the rating fluctuates quite a bit. Perhaps it has to do with the 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 HualienYilan, Kenting, and outside of Taipei, and metropolitan cities like Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, and 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 your first solo trip to Asia, 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

3. Iceland

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

I visited Iceland in 2014 and saw some of the most amazing scenery. My journey started in the capital city, Reykjavik, where I visited the famous Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle on a day trip. 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 for a first solo trip 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 on the same day, then choose Iceland as your next solo travel destination!

4. Australia

Statistics show Australia is rated the 13th safest place in the world. Furthermore, the New World Wealth publishes many statistics, ranking the safest countries for women, and Australia has the top spot. Iceland, New Zealand and Canada are also included in the top 5.

I’ve been to Australia twice and spent over three months along the East Coast of Australia. I’ve never had a safety issue or felt threatened or unsafe.

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 my priority. Then, I ended my trip to Brisbane, which included a day trip to Noosa.

During my first solo trip (which was 15 years ago), I visited Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and sailed 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 one of the best travel destinations for solo females. 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

5. New Zealand

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

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, and Queenstown and explore the outdoors around Auckland, Lake Tekapo and Wanaka. Hopefully, I can do a bit of slow travel and 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. 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!

6. 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 many solo female travellers have. For my last trip, I stayed in Vienna for a few days, then went to Bratislava, Slovakia, for 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 had to do with Mozart and the Sound of Music.

If I had to do it all over again, I would plan a perfect Austria itinerary that 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. Austria is one of the top travel destinations for singles. Does anyone want to join?

7. Portugal

Portugal is the fourth safest place in the world. And it is an affordable travel destination in Europe. Accommodation, food and transportation are relatively cheap, ideal for solo travellers.

Interestingly, most Portuguese locals speak English, especially the younger generation. That means talking to locals and getting around the country is easy.

I loved travelling solo in Portugal. I loved meandering through Lisbon’s narrow and hilly streets, 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 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 as well.

So if you like big-city vibes, small-town charm, wine tasting and gorgeous beaches, you have to consider Portugal as it is one of the top first-time solo female travel destinations.

8. 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-30s, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Danes are friendly (and good-looking) and have remarkable hospitality which makes the city one of the best cities to travel solo.

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 one of the best countries for solo travel and the happiest country on the planet!

9. 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 of Toronto. I felt safe and protected growing up in a new multicultural neighbourhood. 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 of 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 expensive. But don’t let that stop you from visiting a country that has beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities. 

10. Singapore

Singapore, an island city-state in Southeast Asia, is the eighth safest place in the world. As one of Asia’s most westernized cities, 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.

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 service 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, 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 alone and for free!

First-time solo travel destinations: Where will you take your first solo trip?

I hope you enjoyed reading my post on my top ten safe solo travel destinations for women and got some solo travel ideas. If you are travelling alone for the first time, these are some of the best places to travel alone for the first time. Female travellers have lots to choose from!

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!

Thank you for reading my post about solo travel destinations

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!


  • Alayna
    October 30, 2019 at 8:53 pm

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

    • 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! 🙂

  • 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!

    • 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! 🙂


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