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A jaw-dropping view in Antigua, Guatemala
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The best places for solo female travel in 2024

Women everywhere are jetting off to explore new cultures, and these are the easiest, safest, and coolest places to do so

India-Jayne Trainor
Written by
India-Jayne Trainor

Solo female travel is having a moment – according to a recent survey, over half of Gen Z women would consider travelling abroad alone. That means more women than ever are heading off to far-flung destinations in search of new friends, different cultures and memorable experiences. But where should they go, and what should they know? 

A few countries are known to be relatively safe and easy to navigate for women looking for an adventure, with well-trodden backpacker routes, friendly locals and the chance to meet new people – or spend some good quality alone time. Here are nine of the best destinations for solo female travellers and good-to-know advice on how to stay safe.

India-Jayne Trainor is a British-Australian travel writer based in London. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines and check out our latest travel guides written by local experts.

✨ The best places in the world to travel alone
🏡 The most beautiful small towns in the world
🌃 The best cities in the world

The best destinations for solo female travel

1. Sri Lanka

The tiny teardrop island of Sri Lanka is like India in miniature but with its own unique charm, making it the perfect first stop for female travellers wanting to dip into South Asia. It’s popular with backpackers and perfectly sized for a week or a month spent exploring the ancient Unesco-listed sites like Dambulla and Sigiriya or visiting tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya. And for some blissful downtime, the golden beaches of Arugam Bay, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa promise beachfront hostels, surfing and delicious local food.

2. Portugal

Portugal has made a name for itself as the perfect solo travel destination thanks to a growing number of digital nomads moving there. Amongst the Baroque castles and palaces, hiking trails and sweeping beaches, you can also find trendy backpacker hangouts and an increasing number of co-working spots and cute cafes for snacking on pastel de nata. The Douro Valley is home to rolling vineyards, Lisbon’s cobbled streets are packed with history, and in the southern Algarve, whale-watching and watersports await. Plus, it’s simple to navigate by car, train and bus. 


3. Czechia

The food is tasty, the drinks are cheap, and the cities are breathtakingly beautiful – what more could a solo female traveller want? In Czechia’s capital of Prague, visitors can wander the narrow streets, visiting the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and the Old Town Square. For those who aren’t used to solo travel, walking and cycling tours of the city make it easy to meet people too. There’s low crime, major sights are walkable, and loads of dreamy day trips – have you seen the picturesque town of Český Krumlov?

4. Japan

Japan is one of the safest destinations in the world, not just for solo travellers but for anyone who visits, thanks to its respectful culture, etiquette and traditions. Cities like Tokyo can seem overwhelming, but Japan has everything from female-only train carriages to women’s hotels to make you feel secure. Simple and efficient transport, like the superfast bullet train, can take you from volcanic hot springs and snow-capped mountains to white sand beaches and cascading rice terraces in one trip. Best of all, dining alone in Japan is considered completely normal! 


5. Guatemala

Central America is slowly catching up to an influx of independent travellers, and Guatemala has never been more popular with solo female travellers due to hostels and tour routes popping up everywhere, great infrastructure and affordable food and attractions. Meeting new friends is a breeze, as most people follow the same trail, visiting the stunning Lake Atitlán, the ancient pyramids at Tikal and sparkling blue falls at Semuc Champey. The colourful streets of Antigua are also the perfect base for attempting Guatemala’s famous hike up Acatenango to watch Volcano Fuego erupt at sunrise. 

6. Vietnam

When it comes to the safest destinations for women backpacking in Southeast Asia, Thailand and Vietnam still vie for the top spot – but Vietnam is a good place to start. With a well-trodden tourist route, stretching from the capital of Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh in the south, the country encompasses mountains, beaches, islands and ancient villages like Hoi An and Hue, plus some of the region’s best cuisine. Whether you make the journey by train, sleeper bus or scooter, thousands of other solo travellers will be making the same trip.


7. Australia

Australia holds a major draw for independent travellers, thanks to the scenic tourist route along the East Coast and simple visa process, making it safe and uncomplicated to plan, particularly if it’s your first time down under. Sydney’s buzzing beaches, food scene and postcard-perfect landmarks, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, are a dazzling introduction to the country, while further north, the Great Barrier Reef offers snorkelling cruises and jeep tours on Fraser Island. All of this comes with almost guaranteed sunshine, friendly Aussies and cute wildlife – just don’t think too much about the other critters.

8. Greece

A solo trip to Greece is a real-life Mamma Mia movie waiting to happen. The country is a good beginner destination for those looking for sun, sand and a dose of history on their own. Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, brimming with ancient wonders like the Acropolis, Parthenon and Panathenaic Stadium. Modern hotels and hostels mean you’ll travel in comfort and can dine out on Mediterranean cooking at affordable prices, plus the popular islands of Corfu, Kefalonia and Kos have the blue waters, beaches and pretty towns you’ve seen in the movies and are simple to reach by boat.


9. New Zealand

Whether you choose the North or South Island or combine them both, New Zealand is one of the safest countries for solo female travel. You can self-drive or join tours while in the country, exploring fjords, mountains, glaciers and beaches. The wild landscapes are perfect for adventure and road trips, starting in Auckland, Queenstown or Christchurch, where hostels and hotels are concentrated. It’s an epic outdoor destination, so nature lovers are well set up for hiking, swimming and kayaking, while the slightly higher costs mean there are always other solo female travellers keen to buddy up.

How to stay safe as a solo female traveller

Before you go

Pack smart

Packing smart isn’t about what to wear; however, dressing to respect local cultures is important. Make copies of your passport, driving licence and visas to keep to hand, along with money and a phone charger or power bank, so you’re never without a connection. Consider using a money belt or backpack with anti-theft security and use locks on luggage where possible.

Download useful apps

If you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, download apps such as, so you have directions available even when you’re offline. If you want to meet other travellers, download Tourlina, which is exclusively for women, or Backpackr to meet people of all genders (or you can always change the settings on dating apps to connect with people as friends). Consider using safety apps like BSafe, which live-tracks your journey to a chosen contact. 

On the road

You can still be spontaneous as a solo female traveller, but researching before you go away ensures you know important information, like your general route, essential local contact numbers and any common scams.

Read reviews of tours, guides and hotels, and always have travel insurance. Finally, stay open-minded, try to meet new people and don’t forget it’s your trip – if you need a break, want a five-star stay or want to join a group again, there’s no one to stop you.

Read our full guide on how to stay safe as a solo female traveller

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