Top 6 cities for solo travellers 

Tuesday 26th Mar 2024 |

Travelling to a city alone doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, solo travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences there is, whether you’re looking to make friends when you’re out there or enjoy time alone.

There are so many options, so we’ve made it easy for you and rounded up our pick of the best cities to explore solo. Whether you’re looking for budget travel, a great food and drink scene, or LGBTQ+ friendly, we’ve got you covered.

🏴‍☠️ Pirate tip: hostels are a great budget option and are also the best bet if you’re looking to meet people. We’ve provided options for hostels and hotels for each destination.

Skopje, North Macedonia

Skopje is well-known as a good spot for tourists travelling on a shoestring budget. This can be even more important for solo travellers when prices for accommodation and car rental already cost more. In particular, Skopje is known for its super-cheap cost of public transport, making it easy to explore all areas of this fascinating city. Accommodation is also a bargain – so this really is the spot for you if you want to save up some cash whilst experiencing a new and exciting city.

You’ll discover the perfect mix of history with Roman-era archaeological sites, as well as Byzantine monasteries, modernity, incredible street-food, and friendly locals who mostly speak English as a second language, meaning there will always be someone to help whilst you’re travelling alone.

There’s also really impressive nature to be found just outside the city. Matka Canyon has emerald waters, surrounded by wooded mountains, secret caves, and solitary monasteries.

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Porto, Portugal

There’s a reason Portugal has become such a popular tourist destination in recent years. It’s a safe and easy country to travel around, with loads to offer.

There’s an impressive coastline lined with chilled beaches and surf spots, mountainous countryside, quaint medieval villages, plus delicious food, and wine. Hello Pastel de Natas.

Throw in awesome cities like Lisbon and Porto, and you’ve got a pretty special destination. It’s the latter city, Porto, that takes our pick for solo travel spot.

Porto is smaller and arguably has a more authentic culture and cuisine. Plus, being in the Douro Valley is a major bonus for wine lovers.

Portugal isn’t as cheap as it used to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it on a budget. There’s still good-value accommodation to be found, with plenty of hostels for meeting other travellers, and some decently priced single hotel rooms. And if you wanted to do some exploring whilst you’re there, train travel is well-priced compared to other places in Europe.

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Osaka, Japan

Japan continues to grow in popularity, with travel bookings to the area having increased by 1300% since 2019. This really is no surprise, considering what a unique place it is.

You can discover fascinating culture and traditions, bustling metropolises, pristine forests and mountains, 25 Unesco World Heritage Sites, 7,000 islands to hop around, and top-notch cuisine.

The solid infrastructure and excellent travel links also make getting around the country a breeze. Plus, you’d struggle to find a country that was better set up for solo travellers. Firstly, it’s incredibly safe, with low crime rates. Secondly, it’s a place that actively celebrates being alone. You’ll find many places set up that cater to this, such as hitori restaurants (restaurants for solo dining), hitori karaoke (karaoke for one), hitori bars (bars you can enter alone), or Japanese capsule hotels where you book a single bed in a dedicated pod.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire trip alone. There are plenty of hostels and activities available to get you mingling.

We recommend the city of Osaka for solo travellers; more affordable than Tokyo but equally as thrilling. Beautiful architecture, fabulous food and an electric nightlife make this vibrant city the perfect base for your time in Japan.

It’s also close to Nara and Kyoto; two awesome cities filled with spectacular natural and cultural sites, if you wanted to do a bit more exploring whilst you’re out there.

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Austin, Texas

Austin has a lot going for it; a vibrant music scene, delicious barbecue and tex-mex food, and eclectic culture, making it a super fun place to explore on your own.

Austin also has a thriving LQBTQ+ scene, with several LGBTQ+ friendly neighbourhoods, such as South Congress and East Austin, where solo travellers can find LGBTQ+ owned businesses and welcoming community spaces.

Austin Gay Pride week takes place each year in August and hosts a week-long series of events and parties, culminating in a major Parade on the Saturday of Pride week.

On top of this, you can find great LGBTQ+ accommodation on offer, with misterb&b offering gay rooms and rentals in the city.

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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is a really easy-going and chilled place to explore, making it the perfect spot to visit solo. Its small size means you can wander around without feeling overwhelmed, and it’s also decent value.

There’s a beautiful river that runs through the heart of the city, and on either side, you’ll find pretty streets lined with coffee shops and restaurants. There’s a hilltop castle where you’ll get views of the snow-capped Alps on a clear day.

There’s also plenty of tours on offer, including guided walks around town and paddle-boarding on the river, so these provide a perfect opportunity to meet fellow travellers. We also recommend taking a cruise on the Barka Ljubljanica, the only wooden boat offering trips on the river.

And to top it all off, you’ve got some impressive natural wonders right on the doorstep, including Lake Bled and Triglav National Park.

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Seville, Spain

Seville, with its maze of alleys and lanes, courtyards dotted with orange trees and impressive baroque architecture, is the perfect place for meandering whilst solo. The numerous quaint neighbourhood tapas bars also make for excellent places to set up camp for a few hours and watch the world go by.

But if you did want to meet people, with so much to see and do, there are plenty of excellent tours. You can get guided tours of some of the most famous sites, including Alcazar (royal palace) and the gothic cathedral, as well as tapas, wine and history tours. There’s also out of town excursions to some of the beautiful white towns and villages in the region.

This being southern Spain and the home of flamenco, come nightfall you should book in for a performance — options range from formal dinner dances to standing room only in crowded bars.

Whatever you decide, you can expect a jam-packed getaway.

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To cater for this popularity, HolidayPirates has launched its very first ‘Solo Travel’ selection where its team of experts have identified and curated a collection of incredible deals for one.

The Grand Hotel York: Fabulous, Luxurious and Delicious!