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Europe’s Leading City Escapes For Solo Female Travellers

There’s nothing like exploring a new city. Plus, travelling solo means you can visit, eat and stay exactly where you want to, with no strings attached.

We’ve released the first edition of our Solo Female Traveller City Index, which ranks city destinations across Europe based on group activities, attractions, accommodation and more, to find the best European cities for independent women to explore on their own. So, why not celebrate International Women’s Day by booking your next solo adventure in one of these top ten destinations?

#1 Hamburg

Crowned as our top destination to visit solo, Germany’s second-largest city is packed full of historical and cultural attractions to discover. Originally a fishing village, Hamburg has evolved to be Europe’s busiest port city. For travellers seeking a solo trip which promises vibrant cultural experiences, a thriving seafood scene and iconic architecture, look no further than this waterborne gem.

One of the best ways to explore Hamburg is by foot or bicycle, along its picturesque canals to spot iconic buildings such as the Hamburg Town Hall and St Michael's Church. Hamburg is also Germany’s second greenest city and is quite the urban jungle for solo travellers that want to experience a city escape with nature at its core. Speicherstadt, the world’s largest warehouse district, is a must-see destination within Hamburg and is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For travellers seeking a non-touristy area within the city, Blankenese is a charming village spot to spend a few hours exploring solo. Located near the Elbe river, this off-the-grid village is known for fishermen house spotting, seaside view restaurants and outdoor theatre shows. Located in the western part of Hamburg, the ‘Treppenviertel’ makes you feel as though you have walked into a postcard, with winding alleyways and stunning seaside views.

#2 Munich

This Bavarian capital is runner-up as one of the best places for women to explore solo, ranked as the eight safest city in the world. Famed for its annual Oktoberfest, Munich is a world-leading city for beer gardens, street food stalls and green spaces. Connected by the U-Bahn and a network of trams and buses, the average one-way trip costs £3.11, making it easy to visit the city’s iconic spots, including Munich’s iconic Nymphenburg Palace or New Town Hall.

Recognised as a ‘cultural powerhouse’, Munich has a range of architectural gems to explore and also features a historic city centre. For solo travellers looking to experience traditional German delicacies including Weisswurst sausage and cheeses, Viktualienmarkt is the city’s oldest farmer’s market and it features 100+ stalls to explore. Combining nature and history, Munich’s Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest urban parks and is rooted in deep history. Developed in 1789, this historic park has four beer gardens, a Japanese teahouse and you can also do a bit of surf-spotting.

Brimming with architectural wonders, Munich’s Adam Church is a top-rated attraction within the city. With Baroque architecture and detailed paintings, the tiny church is said to have a huge personality. Filled with walkable green spaces and with more than half of the city’s residents living within single-person households, Munich is an excellent city to add to your wanderlust list.

#3 Edinburgh

Crowned by Timeout as the best city in the world to visit last year, Scotland’s capital is a beautiful place to escape, especially for new solo travellers. Recognised as a safe and inclusive country, Scotland is considered safe for women and LGBT+ solo travellers alike, with Edinburgh scoring third within our research. A city steeped in history, Edinburgh is known for its rich cultural scene, stunning Gothic buildings, fairytale-esque cobbled streets and its historic castle which sits at the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital.

Europe’s hottest city destination is most famous for its vibrant arts and performance festival, but the city has endless possibilities for all solo travellers and can be enjoyed across the seasons. For nature lovers, take a hike up Arthur’s Seat for stunning views, wander through the unique UNESCO heritage site of New Town or take a stroll through the world-leading Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for 72 acres of beautiful scenery.

For those looking to get to know Edinburgh from a local lens, Stockbridge is a highly desirable area to explore. Known for its coffee scene and famous thrift stores, this charming area is a must-visit and it’s also home to Edinburgh's most Instagram-famous spot, Circus Lane. Named the UK’s foodie capital last year, Edinburgh also has a buzzing dining scene for keen foodie travellers, from Michelin star restaurants to award-winning cocktail bars.

#4 Faro

A hidden gem of the Algarve, this southern Portuguese city is an undiscovered icon which boasts a variety of culturally rich attractions. Often overlooked for its counterparts Lagos and Albufeira, Faro is Algarve’s largest city and is famously home to the international airport. Well connected by public transport or boat tours, Faro promises beautiful beaches, a buzzing nightlife and historic sites to explore, including its charming Old Town.

Faro is the perfect destination for solo travellers that are seeking an enriching city experience in a warmer climate. Within its mediaeval Old Town, visitors can walk through tiny lanes which hold 2,000 years of history, compromising cobbled streets, ancient walls and cosy coffee shops to relax in.

One of Faro’s best-kept city secrets is The Capela dos Ossos, ‘the Bone Chapel’, which as the name suggests is an ancient building made from the skeletons of 1,200 monks. Travellers wishing to learn more about Faro’s history can also explore the Municipal Museum which features a range of archaeological attractions.

For a bit of beach time, head to Praia Da Ilha Deserta for 6km of unspoiled sands and enjoy authentic gastronomic experiences at the top-rated Estaminé Restaurant. Finally, If you fancy some retail therapy, the Forum Algarve or Rua de Santo Antônio are ideal destinations to treat yourself to a spot of shopping.

#5 Dublin

For an escape that guarantees a good time, there’s nowhere quite like the Republic of Ireland’s capital city and Ireland itself is ranked the tenth safest country in the world. This welcoming city is known for being the home to Guiness and literary greats, in addition to supporting a pub scene with live music galore.

To experience the city’s fun-filled character, one of the best places to start is with Dublin’s guided bike tour which enables you to see all of the sights the city has to offer, including Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle is also top-rated for solo travellers and visitors can take a self-guided tour of this historic spot. Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle are also must-visit destinations within the city to tick the touristy spots on the list.

Dublin has a range of museums to become immersed in, including the Archaeology Museum, Natural History Museum and Museum of Decorative Arts. In more recent years, Dublin has also become known for its Game of Thrones filming locations, including television tours which include day trips to The Giant’s Causeway and an insight into The Dark Hedges.

#6 Prague

Home to composers, scientists and writers, Prague is a hub for bohemian culture and history. Its unique past makes the Czech Republic capital a great choice for architecture and art lovers, with the St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and Alfon Mucha being essential stops. Nestled in the heart of Europe, its well-preserved buildings, Gothic cathedrals and mediaeval squares are all what makes Prague a unique destination to add to your list.

If you’re looking to experience Prague’s architectural delights, its UNESCO-listed Old Town, Prague Castle and The Dancing House are all must-see attractions. Charles Bridge, also known as the bridge of a thousand kisses, is tipped to be a must-visit landmark within the city.

If you’re looking to relax, there are plenty of cafes, bars and gardens to enjoy along the city’s cobbled streets, with the Old Town Square, Vinohrady and Bubeneč being ideal places to sip a crisp Czech beer in the sunshine or try Medovnik, also known as honey cake.

‘The Fairytale City’ also has a foray of secret spots for solo travellers to enjoy including Wallenstein Garden and Strahov Library, the perfect spot for book-lovers. Finally, for those seeking a unique experience, Prague also offer ‘beer baths’ for a spa with a difference. Promising to regenerate skin and hair, the spa experience is also complemented with a beer massage.

#7 Heraklion

For a beachside getaway with a difference, Crete’s ancient capital offers a millennia of history and is recognised for its beautiful beach offering. Considered to be one of Greece’s major city centres, this seaside city offers an urban feel and is a top spot for solo travellers seeking a destination which combines a beach holiday feel with a city trip escape.

Starting with the city’s ancient heritage, tour the island's iconic monuments including the Knossos, visit one of its three museums or take in the stunning architecture at the Venetian port and Koules fortress. Within Heraklion Town, there are plenty of traditional tavernas and charming bars to enjoy tasty Cretian food or enjoy a glass of the local wine. For history buffs, Knossos Palace is an ancient treasure known for being home to the legendary Minotaur.

Sun, sea and sand comes to mind in Heraklion, with over 32 beaches to choose from within the city. Heraklion’s top-rated beaches include Agia Pelagia Beach, Matala Beach, and Star Beach. Featuring water sport activities to suit all tastes, the city’s diverse beach offering will suit travellers looking to unwind over the Summer months.

#8 Helsinki

With its quirky culture and world-renowned design scene, Finland’s capital promises an alternative solo escape for travellers interested in art, fashion and architecture. This UNESCO city of design is recognised as being the leading Scandinavian capital for design, which can be seen within its public spaces across the city. Often known as ‘the white city of the north’ due to its light-coloured granite buildings, Helsinki offers a seaside landscape, an array of Nordic delicacies and diverse architecture to admire.

For solo travellers seeking pure escapism, Helsinki is known for its many spas to unwind in. Valo Hotel, Hotel St George and Kämp Spa are Vogue-recommended wellness spots to experience for a recharging solo trip. If you’re looking for a spot of retail therapy, you can browse a range of stylish Nordic fashions and designs in the Punavuori shopping district or check out striking landmarks in the Töölönlahti area.

When it comes to its food scene, Helsinki has a delicious Nordic dining scene. Head to the Hakaniemi Market to try muikut, pick up some gourmet treats at Anton and Anton or drop into one of the city’s ravintolas for a delicious local meal. The Finnish capital is also known for its open-air markets which are popular amongst locals, featuring a big selection of seafood, coffee bars and fresh ingredients.

Travel solo in style

Whichever European city you choose for your solo escape, you need to make sure you have the right luggage for your trip. If you’re looking for a chic, practical backpack that’s perfect for a short trip or a cool, spacious travel bag for your week’s worth of outfits, Kipling is sure to have an iconic, timeless style you’ll love.

Kipling’s Solo Female Traveller City Index



Cities were included on the basis on appearing in the Euromonitor 2019 top 100 cities by number of tourists or their airport(s) being among the busiest in Europe. Source factors included the Safety Index , Global Gender Gap , Attractions,Group Activities, Hostels and Transport Cost.

Ranking Factors

Each factor was given a score using a percentile ranking system, and the average score was multiplied by 10 to give each city. a score between 0 and 10.

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