So you want to travel solo in Europe? These cities are great for solo travellers!
After recently catching up with a friend over coffee to plan her 2017 solo European summer journey, I realised it must be time for a refresher on the blog of the best cities to travel solo in Europe. After travelling solo through most of Europe over the past four years blogging and a solo trip to Europe at 20 years of age before that, I have seen first hand how rewarding and life changing solo travel in Europe can be.
The beauty of Europe is that you can fall asleep in one city and wake up in another, crossing over borders and cultures simultaneously in a matter of hours. With so much to see and do in the region it can often be difficult knowing where to start. So I present to you my favourite cities in Europe for solo travel!
Although Budapest has built a reputation over the past decade as a must-visit city in Europe, the capital of Hungary remains one of the cheapest capital cities to visit in Europe, making it a great destination for solo travellers on a budget. Budapest is also a city full of attractions, monuments and unique neighbourhoods to discover, giving solo travellers plenty of activities to keep busy and intrigued.
Best for: Lively nightlife, Expats, History, Low cost
Cost: $15-$90 for a 3 star hotel room // $2-$4 for a local budget lunch
When I first travelled to Vienna solo five years ago I had no idea just how sprawling this city would be. Imperial and imposing, Vienna is full of history, art culture, cafe culture and museums galore. You certainly won’t run out of things to do here!
Best for: History & Art culture
Cost: $43-$175 for a 3 star hotel // $5-$9 for a local budget lunch
Although rapidly increasing in terms of visitors and cost, Prague is still one of those quintessential cities you must visit on a solo trip through Europe. With plenty of travellers passing through the city you won’t find any shortage of new friends, making this a great city to escape day through night!
Best for: Lively nightlife, History
Cost: $20-$165 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$7 for a local budget lunch
Not only is Ljubljana one of the most underrated capital cities in all of Europe but it is also a great city to visit solo as a base to explore Slovenia. As a country filled with natural beauty, Slovenia and its capital city are a great choice for the more active solo traveller.
Best for: Off the beaten path
Cost: $36-$151 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$8 for a local budget lunch
As one of my first cities I visited solo on my year of adventures, Amsterdam will always hold a special place for me as one of the most beautiful, surreal cities to travel to solo and particularly so in winter (without the summer crowds!) Given this is such a hot spot destination for young travellers you are bound to meet plenty of fellow solo travellers, making this a great city to meet people and enjoy the historic sites around the city.
Best for: Lively nightlife, charm, friendly locals
Cost: $588-$218 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$8 for a local budget lunch
While certainly not a budget destination by any means, London remains one of the greatest cities to travel solo thanks to the endless amount of activities on offer. Once you’ve worked your way through Central London (Big Ben, Westminster, St Paul’s, etc.) be sure to check out other neighbourhoods with more grungy, old school appeal. Shoreditch is a great starting point!
Best for: Activities, sightseeing, nightlife
Cost: $54-$323 for a 3 star hotel // $7-$12 for a budget local lunch
This list would certainly not be complete without mention of my old stomping grounds: Berlin. This city is brimming with fabulous nightlife, cheap eats, and plenty of expats from all corners of the globe.
Best for: Expats, Central location
Cost: $25-$155 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$10 for a local budget lunch
Almost any list containing the best cities in Europe no matter what the classification, would be incomplete without mention of Paris! Although an expensive city to visit in terms of accommodation, Paris is relatively affordable if you’re in the know. Be sure to check out the Latin Quarter for cheap eats, don’t be afraid of the language barrier and remember the best way to see this city is free (on foot!)
Best for: Culture, Sightseeing, Charm
Cost: $70-$372 for a 3 star hotel // $6-$10 for a local budget lunch
When you think of Spain you’ll be forgiven for thinking straight to Barcelona – one of Europe’s most trending cities for young travellers, especially if you’re riding solo! You will be thrilled by the generosity, kindness and hospitality of residents here and believe me when I say this is a difficult city not to enjoy!
Best for: Lively nightlife, Expats, Food
Cost: $38-$323 for a 3 star hotel // $5-$9 for a local budget lunch
Although much more discovered today than it was five or six years ago, Lisbon still retains a lot of hidden charm to be discovered. Visiting this solo is great due to the low cost, charm and colour of the city that has a way of bringing a smile to your face.
Best for: Charm, Low cost
Cost: $27-$151 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$8 for a local budget lunch
As one of the prettiest cities in Italy and absolutely full of history and art culture, there is no way that any solo traveller would not enjoy Florence. With plenty of expat students studying in the city you won’t have any trouble meeting people, which is also a great way to explore the city with someone in the know!
Best for: History, Art, Culture
Cost: $41-$209 for a 3 star hotel // $5-$10 for a local budget lunch
Ahhh Rome… the eternal city! If you happen to be a solo traveller that needs to keep busy, you’ll be sure to find endless options of things to see and do in Rome. This is a bucket list city that every traveller should be able to experience at least once in their life, so be sure to allow yourself a decent amount of time to explore it.
Best for: History (lots of it!)
Cost: $30-$317 for a 3 star hotel // $5-$10 for a local budget lunch
Another great city to find yourself in in Italy is Naples – even if it is only for the pizza!!! Naples is of course where pizza began, but it is also the gateway to the Amalfi coast – my absolute favourite area to explore in Italy (though in all honesty there are many!)
Best for: Gateway to the Amalfi, Pizza
Cost: $23-$126 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$7 for a local budget lunch
Although Belgium is not often a first choice in Europe, I can promise you from first hand experience it is a destination you will not regret visiting. Belgium is full of charming towns and cities, none that surprised me more than Antwerp – a fashion forward city full of young people, great coffee and a great downtown area to explore solo.
Best for: Nightlife, coffee scene, city explorations
Cost: $43-$177 for a 3 star hotel // $6-$10 for a local budget lunch
Another city I adored travelling solo through is Gent, just a short train ride from the better known nearby city of Brugges (which is of course gorgeous too!) Gent is a great choice for solo travellers as it has a huge student population, making it a fun city to go out in of a night time and meet the local crowds.
Best for: Student nightlife, charm
Cost: $52-$168 for a 3 star hotel // $5-$8 for a local budget lunch
The capital of Poland, Warsaw, was a city I managed to overlook on my first visit to Poland but on my second visit I am so glad I made the decision to visit the capital. Warsaw is a paradox at every turn, with various architecture styles taking you through various points in history.
Best for: Modern world history, Low cost
Cost: $28-$95 for a 3 star hotel // $2-$4 for a local budget lunch
Another city I thoroughly enjoyed visiting in Poland is Krakow, located in the South of Poland and also with a lot of history to discover. If you’re a history buff like me you will already have this city on your must visit list, especially if interested in modern world history in the region. Krakow also has a huge student population, giving it a great nightlife and plenty of friendly locals to meet!
Best for: Modern world history, student nightlife, charm
Cost: $27-$108 for a 3 star hotel // $2-$5 for a local budget lunch
One destination that has truly flung itself on to solo travellers in the past few years is Croatia and in particular, Dubrovnik. This coastal town is anything but sleepy, attracting young travellers from all over the globe by the droves. This is a great place to meet fellow travellers or begin a new adventure, sailing the coast in a Northerly direction towards Split.
Best for: Scenery, Charm, Coastal town
Cost: $33-$250 for a 3 star hotel // $4-$8 for a local budget lunch
Although less talked about, Riga is one of Europe’s most underrated capital cities. Full of charm and not nearly as full of tourists as other capital cities, Riga is a true gem to stopover for a couple of days exploring. If you plan to venture even further away from the crowds, you will find Latvia a great place to do so beyond the capital.
Best for: Meeting locals, Charm
Cost: $19-$72 for a 3 star hotel // $3-$6 for a local budget lunch
Last but not least – Tallinn! This gorgeous little capital took my heart in just a day as it often does for many visitors who make their way here on a ferry day trip from nearby Helsinki. I adored this city for its old world charm, friendly locals and al fresco dining culture in the summer.
Best for: Meeting locals, Charm
Cost: $38-$102 for a 3 star hotel // $3-$8 for a local budget lunch