Traveling alone is a different and unforgettable experience. Although it may seem boring to many, others believe that it is the best way to enjoy a destination and an opportunity to know yourself. It allows to carefully appreciate every detail, at the rhythm of each traveller. However, it also has other implications to pay attention to, such as security or unforeseen response.
15 Best Places to travel alone
Here is a list of 15 places that you can visit on your own. A selection that will surprise you, where you will find very famous cities but also other less known corners.
Camino de Santiago: an interior journey
Without leaving our borders is probably the favorite destination for those who love to travel alone: Santiago de Compostela. However, this World Heritage city is only the end of the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route that purifies you from within and that invites you to reflect on your life course. It can be done for religious reasons since its original objective is to visit the tomb of the Apostle Santiago, but it can also be done for any other reason: to fulfil a promise, overcome a sporting challenge or discover Spanish Romanesque art, among others. Furthermore, the spirit of help and complicity between pilgrims will make you feel sheltered at all times.
Paris: a very bohemian city
If you are an urban person, passionate about literary environments and artist streets, one of your favorite cities may be Paris. The French capital is one of the most bohemian destinations in the world, where you can walk endlessly through charming areas such as the Latin Quarter, home to great feathers such as James Joyce or Ernest Hemingway, or Montmartre, the district of great painters such as Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
Amsterdam: solo art
But if we talk about painting, one of the most interesting cities is undoubtedly Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands wastes art in abundance, a passion that can be enjoyed perfectly alone. It houses important museums such as the one dedicated to the aforementioned Vincent Van Gogh, or the Rijksmuseum, one of the great art galleries in the world. And we don’t want to forget two very interesting house-museums: that of Rembrandt and that of Anna Frank. In addition, in this city, you can move unlimitedly in the individual means of transport par excellence: the bicycle.
Iceland: the pleasure of solitude
But if what you really want is to be alone and quietly enjoy nature, one of the countries where you can do it best in Iceland. It is one of the states with the best population density, with only 3 inhabitants per km2, due to its remoteness from the continent and its cold climate, as this island is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just below the Arctic Circle. It offers landscapes of great contrast, exemplified by the presence of ice on glaciers or fire on its volcanoes.
Thailand: an earthly paradise
You will find an absolutely opposite climate and nature on another island: Phuket, in Thailand, one of the best-prepared destinations for tourism in Southeast Asia. In towns like Patong, you will find lush vegetation and beaches with crystal clear waters and fine sand. And although this natural spa invites relaxation during the day, the atmosphere changes at night, becoming a leisure place with bars and clubs.
Andalusia: a region with open arms
Another Spanish destination that you can visit alone is Andalusia, a region characterized by the open spirit of its citizens. Making friends there is a matter of time, although its great extension and its natural beauty will also allow you to live moments of retirement and reflection. The province of Cádiz is a good example of both: while the capital, known as the ‘Tacita de Plata’ stands out for the beauty of its corners and the outgoing character of its people, in other towns such as Tarifa you can enjoy real moments of solo gold, such as a walk along the Bolonia beach in Tarifa or a good day of surfing in Vejer de la Frontera.
Japan: hanami, sakura and cherry blossoms
At the eastern end of Asia, you will find another very special destination: Japan. And one of the experiences that you will enjoy the most is the hanami, a festival dedicated to the sakura or explosion of cherry blossoms in different areas of the country since the end of winter. The hanami is an authentic national symbol, an event in which families, groups of friends or company partners participate, who gather to have a picnic under these newly flowering trees.
Some of the best places to attend hanami for sakura are the Ueno Park in Tokyo, the Osaka Castle Park or Mount Yoshino in Nara. In some cases, cherry blossoms integrate with the natural flora of the space. But in others, the sakura that is celebrated in the hanami is produced in urban parks, where the cherry blossoms have been planted in such a way that the flowering reaches a certain desired effect.
El Valle del Jerte: a claim from Extremadura
But the Japanese hanami sakura is far from the only option you have to delight in the beauty of cherry blossoms. You have another one much closer: in the Valle del Jerte province of Cáceres, in Extremadura. The month of March is usually the ideal time to contemplate the panoramic view of the white valley due to the flowering of these trees, giving the environment special magic. And the view will not be the only sense that will delight you on your trip: also the taste, at least if you dare to try the freshly picked cherries or one of the many products that are made with them: pâté, jam and much more.
South Africa: wild nature
If nature is sweet in hanami, with its beautiful cherry blossoms or sakura, in South Africa it is very different: wild. This country has about twenty National Parks, each interesting for different reasons. One that can be highlighted is Krueger, with more than 18,000 km2 and a huge variety of species, highlighting its thousands of lions, its tens of thousands of African buffalo or its hundreds of cheetahs. However, remember that if you travel alone to these National Parks, you will not be able to freely access the territory, but you will have to do it accompanied by an expert and onboard a 4 × 4.
Morocco: a leader in African tourism
However, statistics say that the largest flow of tourists occurs in North Africa. Specifically, in Morocco, which attracts numerous travellers to its cities (Marrakech, Fez) and its beaches (Agadir, Al Hoceima). But a destination that can be unforgettable alone is the Sahara desert. Located in the south of the country, during the day it shows the immensity of the sand dunes in areas like Merzouga and at night it offers the magical experience of contemplating the best starry sky. From the hand of local agencies, you can access the heart of the desert and sleep in a Berber tent.
The Trans-Siberian: when the journey is more than the destination
The Trans-Siberian train, which covers a route of more than 9,000 km2, is a good example that the beauty of traveling alone is the journey itself, and not so much the destination. Although part of a very beautiful city like Moscow, worth visiting for tourism, it is the railway route itself that attracts many people.
This route takes about 7 days to reach Vladivostok, on the Russian Pacific coast. And along the way, you will see immense landscapes of Siberia that make us understand how small the human being is. Currently, there are other branches ending in Beijing.
Route 66: the biker’s dream
Another nice way to travel alone is on a motorcycle. And if there is an experience that all bikers dream of living, that is the mythical Route 66. Called by many as the Mother Highway of the United States, it travels about 4,000 kilometres from end to end, starting from Chicago and crossing the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, concluding in Los Angeles.
But paradoxically, Route 66 was discontinued as a highway in the 80s, although it was reborn thanks to tourism with the name of ‘Historic Route 66’. Without a doubt, an unbeatable way to discover deep America, that of roadside motels and Harley Davidsons.
New York: the city that never sleeps
For many, New York is probably the capital of the world, a city with more than 8 million people and where such decisive institutions are found on our planet as Wall Street or the UN headquarters. A frenetic metropolis that never sleeps and where you will get lost among so many people.
But also a city where you will discover how high man can go, thanks to its main skyscrapers such as the legendary Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building. Also, if you are passionate about cinema, you will be able to relive in the first person some scenes shot in spaces immortalized by the big screen, such as the Queensboro Bridge in Woody Allen’s Manhattan movie or the Tiffany & Co store on Fifth Avenue with breakfast with diamonds.
Peru: a country for backpackers
The big solo travellers are probably the ‘backpackers‘, who leave light luggage and even on a budget. Well, one of the most suitable countries for this type of adventure is Peru: inexpensive and full of fascinating places, both from a natural and archaeological point of view.
Here is located one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World: Machu Picchu, the most sacred place of the Incas, near the mythical city of Cuzco. And further southwest you can fly over the Nazca Lines, one of the great mysteries of human history. In addition, many cities in the country retain the Spanish colonial charm, such as Trujillo or Cuzco itself.
Rio de Janeiro: joy and color
Finally, one of the cities that will leave the most impression on you is Rio de Janeiro. After demonstrating its organizational capacity with the 2016 Olympic Games, this Brazilian tourist destination offers color and beauty in places such as Copacabana beach or in the imposing Cristo del Corcovado, also named Wonder of the Modern World. But for color and fun, the one that is lived during the Rio Carnivals, the most famous and massive in the world.
Tips for traveling alone
As you might imagine, traveling alone involves a series of circumstances that you must know to avoid problems. Some of the main tips in this regard, which in many cases have to do with your own security, are listed in the following list:
Find out about the tourist destination
Not only as to what to see and what to do but also as to when to see and/or do it. Following the example of the sakura and cherry blossoms of the hanami, you have to take note of the places where it happens and the approximate dates when it is expected, updating the information on the weather forecast.
A detailed plan for traveling alone
This will allow you to reduce possible setbacks. And in the event of unforeseen situations, nothing can be left to chance: you can momentarily get off the roadmap, without losing sight of important intermediate stages or even the return trip. Therefore, keep a good record of the departures of your trains, buses or planes, and especially your return ticket home.
Traveling alone does not mean going incommunicado: before leaving, inform your loved ones of your travel plan, both in relation to the planned itinerary and dates. And when you’re on the road, reach out to them, or at least stay available for calls or messages.
Safety when you travel alone
Reduce your safety precautions: these are small measures and decisions aimed at protecting your physical health and material goods during the trip. For example, avoid frequenting bad-reputation neighbourhoods, don’t carry too much money with you, ask permission before taking a photo (especially if it can be compromised), drink bottled water, discard restaurants that neglect their hygiene and cleanliness, etc.
Take out travel insurance
It is always recommended to do it, but even more so if you travel alone. Without route companions, insurance can be your only point of support, beyond the collaboration that the local police or the solidarity of the locals can offer you. We remind you that you can find tailored travel insurance, both for a short getaway and coverage to go around the world.
Respect the regulations of each country
Respect the safety regulations of each place, which you should know before leaving. For example, regarding the auto-stop: is it possible to do it or is it sanctioned with a fine? Is it dangerous or is it a frequent solution in the country? Or if you travel with a caravan or motorhome, is it possible to spend the night on the road or do you necessarily have to go to a campsite or a service area?
All of them are precautionary measures that will save you a lot of trouble and that will allow you to focus on the true objective of the trip: to enjoy your destination, be it the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, the hanami festival for sakura or Japanese cherry blossoms or the starry sky of the Sahara desert.