The Safest Places for Women to Travel Alone
Traveling alone as a woman can be an empowering experience. You get to set the pace of your travels and decide what to see and when. While safety abroad is a big factor when deciding the best solo trips for women, we wanted to see which countries brought more to the table beyond low crime rates. How are women treated on a societal level? Where is it the easiest to get around without a car? Which countries accept and respect queer women? Choosing the right location to kick off your solo travels is a crucial part of making sure you have a good experience.
How We Identified The Best Solo Trips for Women
Women are not a singular, uniform group and we did our best to acknowledge that. To determine the best places for women to travel to alone, we pulled data from various places to encompass women’s wide variety of interests. These sources include The Women’s Danger Index, U.S. News and World Report’s Best Countries for Women, The 2023/2024 Women Peace and Security Index and the 2022 Global Gender Gap Index, which looks at how well men and women do in the labor market in terms of jobs and wages.
The organizations behind these indices looked at several factors to determine how safe or equitable a country is for women. These categories include street safety, attitudes about violence against women, intentional homicide of women, rates of economic participation, maternal mortality, global gender gap, parliamentary representation, sexual violence, legal discrimination/protection and education rates.
The U.S. News and World Report included a global survey of 9,000 women giving their personal perceptions about a country’s equality, safety, and human rights. So, we looked not only at the numbers but also how solo female travelers felt while in a given country.
The 10 Best Countries For Women to Travel To on Their Own
Women make up half the world’s population, and therefore are a diverse group with a wide variety of interests. What appeals to one person may not to another. Whether you want to relax in a beach resort, climb a mountain or visit world-class art museums, the following destinations are not only safe for solo women travelers but also offer a wide variety of activities. You’re sure to have a fun travel adventure in one of these welcoming countries.
10. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is known for its canals, windmills and colorful tulip fields. The country has a rich history and a progressive outlook that creates a friendly atmosphere for visitors from around the world.
The Netherlands has a strong cycling culture. You’ll find 22,000 miles (35,000 km) of interconnected bike paths spread throughout cities, suburbs, and rural areas. There are even “bicycle civil servants” in each city whose job it is to maintain and improve the paths. This sustainable mode of transportation is a great way to explore everything the country has to offer. If bicycling is not your thing, you always have the option to use the country’s efficient public transportation system.
In the capital, Amsterdam, there are a wide variety of things to do no matter your hobbies. Interested in art? Check out pieces by Dutch painters Van Gogh and Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum. Do you enjoy local delicacies? Try a stroopwafel at a cozy cafe. Are you a history buff? Swing by the historical Anne Frank House.
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The country is full of great solo trips for women outside of the capital as well. In the springtime, head on over to see the blooming tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk to see traditional Dutch windmills. Enjoy a boat tour down the picturesque canals of Giethoorn or Utrecht.
The government emphasizes LGBTQ+ rights through laws and by actively promoting social acceptance of queer people. The country has low crime rates and regularly scores highly on the Global Peace Index. Also, many Dutch people speak English. This makes it a bit easier to communicate and helps solo travelers feel more secure that they’ll be able to make friends or ask for help if needed.
9. New Zealand
New Zealand is a small island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses, the North Island and the South Island.
The country offers a working holiday visa to numerous countries that lets you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months. As such, New Zealand is extremely popular with backpackers. There’s also a well-developed tourism infrastructure, making it easy and safe to get around.
Solo women travelers confirmed this in another survey from U.S. News and World Report, ranking the country in the top ten best solo female travel destinations. Locals are used to visitors and are welcoming of different nationalities. The streets are safe to walk alone at night and the country is regarded as LGBTQ-friendly.
New Zealand is best known for its natural beauty. A road trip on the South Island will have you stopping every few minutes to snap photos of mountains, glaciers, rainforests and waterfalls. On the North Island, you’ll find beautiful bays, harbors, geysers and volcanoes. This diverse landscape offers unique opportunities for beach lovers and thrill-seekers alike.
It’s popular and legal to hitchhike on both islands. We don’t recommend you hitchhike alone, but if you do so, don’t forget to send a free text message to SAFE (7233). You can send details about the car, driver, and locations involved. This offers solo female travelers extra peace of mind.
Canada is the only North American destination to rank in the best countries for solo female travel. A large and diverse country, Canada is full of natural beauty and welcoming, multicultural cities.
Toronto is a diverse city, with immigrants making up nearly half of its population. You can wander around Chinatown, explore Koreatown, or grab a pizza in Little Italy. In Montreal, you’ll find European influences, bilingual English-French speakers and an incredible arts scene. Vancouver, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, offers a vibrant city life with easy access to nature.
Then you have the nature itself. The breathtaking landscapes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Caribbean-blue waters of Lake Louise in Alberta and the famous Niagara Falls. And those are just the more popular tourist destinations! Canada has 37 national parks and 10 national park reserves spread across this great landmass.
The country is highly rated on the Global Peace Index and the Gender Gap Index. It’s also the nation with the lowest rate of domestic violence. This indicates their attitudes toward women in society — and the county has laws to back this up.
Canada’s reputation for being inviting towards foreigners, its pristine wilderness, and its societal treatment of women make it a great destination for female-presenting travelers from around the world.
Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a compact city-state — an independent country made up of a single city and its territories. As such, the entire country is basically a single urban center. So not only is Singapore a fantastic country for women, but it’s technically also one of the safest cities for solo female travelers!
Singapore’s size is one of the reasons it’s a great destination to travel to alone. Its excellent infrastructure and public transit make it easy to get around and check out all the sights. You can see just how accepting Singapore is of immigrants by exploring its diverse cultural neighborhoods like Little India, Chinatown, and Kampong Glam, home to Malay and Arab communities. The presence of tourist police in popular areas also adds to the sense of security women feel when traveling alone.
If you’re interested in architecture, don’t miss the view from the famous Marina Bay Sands or the futuristic Gardens by the Bay. When you need an escape from the busy city streets, you’re never far from a nature bath — Singapore is one of the greenest cities in the world. The Botanic Gardens are a centrally-located UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The country’s international airport, Chiang, has been named the world’s best airport multiple times and is a tourist destination in and of itself. Inside, you can see the largest indoor waterfall on earth or visit a butterfly garden while waiting for your flight.
Keep in mind that Singapore is the most conservative country on our list. You may receive comments or looks if you’re in a same-gender relationship or gender non-conforming. That being said, physical violence against LGBTQ people is rare. Pink Dot Pride has been held annually since 2009 and the younger generation is more accepting of the community.
Located on the Iberian peninsula, Portugal is a popular European destination. The country offers the most affordable cost of living out of any on our list. This makes it an excellent destination for female travelers who are budget-conscious.
Portugal can cater to a variety of interests and hobbies. Major cities like Lisbon and Porto are cultural hubs where modernity and tradition blend together on cobbled streets. Beach lovers have their choice of the Algarve region, the Silver Coast, and the southern islands of Madeira and the Azores. The Serra da Estrela mountain range offers hiking trails and even skiing during the winter months.
Wherever you go, the locals are known to be friendly and welcoming. What’s more, many are fluent in English! This makes it an inviting atmosphere for solo trips for women as it ease and the excellent public transit makes it easy to get around and meet new friends.
Be it on the bustling streets of Lisbon or a sunny beach in the Algarve, Portugal has a low crime rate. Women report feeling safe walking alone, even at night. The country’s progressive laws, LGBTQ+-friendly atmosphere and welcoming locals make Portugal one of the top safe places to travel alone as a woman.
Switzerland is one of the top five safest places for women to travel alone. This central European country is famous for its snowy peaks, luxury watches, and delicious chocolate.
Switzerland has four official languages — German, French, Italian, and Romansh. In addition to this, most people speak English fluently. The ability of the Swiss to communicate in so many languages makes the country accessible for travelers from around the globe. It also indicates they are welcoming and accepting of diversity. As you explore the country, you’ll find the different areas each offer their own unique cultural experiences.
What Switzerland is perhaps best known for are the Swiss Alps, which cover 60% of the total land area. The world-class skiing and snowboarding are a winter sport enthusiast’s dream. During the summer, the network of hiking trails offers equally breathtaking Alpine views. Whether on a sled or your own two feet, you’ll be sure to see picturesque vistas when exploring this area. You can also learn about the Swiss tradition of yodeling and taste cultural dishes like raclette while in the area.
In addition to its natural beauty, the country offers a high quality of life to its residents, from universal healthcare to clean, well-lit and well-maintained city streets to efficient public transit. The ease with which single women travelers can move between different cities and regions makes for a comfortable experience.
Bordering Switzerland, Austria is the fourth most peaceful country in Europe and the fifth overall. Like its neighbor, Austria offers Alpine landscapes, a love of winter sports, and a spot on our list of the safest countries in the world for women.
The Austrian Alps, like the Swiss Alps, are a great destination for women who enjoy outdoor activities. From skiing to trekking to mountain biking to climbing, there are numerous activities to keep you occupied. Just be sure you have good travel insurance before you participate in these adventure sports! If you prefer to experience nature in a more relaxing manner, there are plenty of spas available with scenic alpine views.
The capital, Vienna, is often referred to as the “Music Capital of the World.” Home to Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss, the city has a rich music history. And it isn’t all in the past! Music lovers can check out the celebrated Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to music, there is also a thriving literary scene in Vienna.
The country boasts some of the lowest levels of sexual violence and gender inequality in Europe. The locals are hospitable and enjoy sharing their culture and traditions with others. From the natural beauty to the rich cultural heritage and traditions, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied when visiting.
Like Portugal, Spain is another affordable and popular European destination for solo women travelers. The country has a rich, diverse heritage, relaxed lifestyle and fun tapas culture.
The southern Andalusian region is one of the more popular tourist areas of the country. Locals won’t give you a second glance tanning topless on the Mediterranean beaches and catcalls are rare. Nearly 80% of women state they are comfortable traveling and walking alone throughout the country.
Public transit is widely available and you’re easily able to move from the sunny beaches of Málaga to cosmopolitan Sevilla and beyond. If you’re not interested in sunbathing in the south, you can jump on a high-speed train and explore the central plains or the more mountainous north. The Pyrenees make for great skiing in the winter and offer excellent hiking trails in the warmer months.
Where Spain stands out for hikers, compared to other countries on our list, is the famous “Camino de Santiago” or the Way of St. James. This is a network of several walking paths that lead pilgrims to the shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Started in the Middle Ages, the routes are still popular in modern times. This means that even the smallest villages along the paths are used to seeing and greeting people from diverse backgrounds.
Read More: Advice and Scam Alerts for Travel in Spain
Ireland is one the safest countries for solo female travelers. It’s a popular tourist destination and locals are known for being friendly and welcoming of visitors.
The natural beauty of the country is what draws in many tourists. Ireland’s infrastructure and public transit make it easy for tourists to move between destinations. The Cliffs of Moher on the west side of the country offer stunning views above a deep plunge into the Atlantic. Further south, you have the Ring of Kerry, a scenic drive past charming rural villages, coastal views and mountain ranges. National Parks spread throughout the country offer diverse landscapes that make for great hiking.
If you like urban city centers, check out the major cities of Dublin, Galway, and Cork. Each offers a range of activities, whether you prefer learning about its history in museums and galleries, stopping by a pub to listen to traditional music, or finding James Joyce’s favorite bookstore.
The country has low crime rates and strong laws to protect women against violence. Locals are always ready to lend a hand to travelers. The welcoming people, stunning landscapes, and safe cities make the Emerald Isle a fantastic place for women to explore on their own.
1. The Nordic Countries (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Finland)
The Nordic Countries are the safest places to travel alone as a woman. All of these countries are rated in the top ten on the Women Peace and Security Index, with most falling into the top five. In fact, Iceland is rated as the best country for women’s rights. The country has managed to close over 90% of its gender gap in terms of job opportunities and equal pay for women — and the other Nordic countries are right behind it.
It isn’t just the laws that make these countries the best places to travel alone as a female. Their emphasis on equality for all people regardless of their gender, background or sexual orientation creates a welcoming atmosphere on the streets for anyone who visits.
From the geothermal hot springs of Iceland to the fjords of Norway to the cliffs and coastal areas in Denmark, you’ll find the natural features of these countries are clean and well-kept. Cities, large and small, are equally clean and highly safe for female-presenting travelers. They are all highly rated for being accepting of the LGBTQ community as well.
Adventurous foodies can explore the unique flavors of dishes such as Surströmming (fermented herring), Lutefisk (dried fish that’s been soaked in lye to rehydrate it) or Salmiakki (a salty licorice-flavored candy). And what’s more, this region makes for some of the best viewing of the Aurora Borealis, especially during the winter months!
Other Best Places to Travel Alone As a Female
There are so many great solo trips for women available around the world. Australia, Japan, and Germany are only some further examples. Keep in mind, just because a country did not make our list, does not mean it is a dangerous or lackluster country. Check out our Travel Safety Tips for Women for advice to minimize risks no matter where you choose to travel in the world as well as the 5 Best Countries for Women’s Health Care.
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