By DEBBIE TAN

Thinking about traveling alone? Here are top ten destinations for beautiful sights and safe travels. Solo travel is empowering and rewarding for any adventurer or anyone who wants to ‘find themselves’ abroad. Check out these destinations to get inspired for your next trip, researched by our friends at Taxi2Airport!

1. Czech Republic is a great place for solo travel. Prague is the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, with tons of hostels for solo travelers, free walking tours and stunning Gothic architecture. You can also go on day trips to nearby sights, including the UNESCO heritage site Cesky Dumlov. Prague also scored the highest in female safety – did you know that 87% of hostels in Prague have female-only rooms? You’re likely to find other female solo travellers on your journey and share handy travel tips and stories.

2. Also known as Magic City, taking the second spot is Shanghai. As China’s biggest city, there is plenty of history and culture to be explored. Though you might experience some culture shock, you don’t need to know Chinese to get by – younger people and those in the tourism industry will be able to help you out. From climbing the West Bund Climbing Wall to exploring Shanghai’s abandoned ‘Art Deco’ city, there is always something to do. Try delicious traditional cuisine such as soup dumplings (xiaolongbao) or Peking Duck. In Shanghai, 89% of hostels have female-only dorms. 82.3% of women state that they feel safe walking alone at night, making them the highest-rated destination based on community safety perception for women.

3. You’ll love the bright lights of New York City. Truly the city that never sleeps, from the famous Brooklyn Bridge to museums to Broadway shows, you’ll never get bored. With its rich culture and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder that New York was the most-tagged destination on Instagram with over 97 million posts. With 51% of hostels offering female-only dorms, there are slightly fewer options, but it’s definitely an easy place to travel around – especially with the handy subway.

4. Vienna, Austria is the 4th top destination for female solo travellers, with 81.4% of women stating they feel safe walking alone at night. You’ll find it easy to get around this world-class city. With stunning, ornate palaces and museums, Austria has a rich history. Stroll around the Ringstrasse which is Vienna’s city centre, visit the Vienna State Opera House and the Sigmund Freud Museum. With a low crime rate and high safety rate, you’ll be able to safely explore to your heart’s content.

5. The fifth most travel-friendly destination in 2020 is Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a safe place to visit for female solo travel. There are a ton of popular destinations such as Victoria Peak, rooftop bars, and Soho and Heung Wan where you’ll find street art and unique shops. Enjoy tasty Cantonese fare including dim sum – in Hong Kong, you’ll find the famous restaurant Tim Ho Wan. For accommodation, you’ll be spoiled for options, since 80% of hostels have female-only rooms. Over 85% of women feel safe walking the streets at night, so you can rest a little easier.

6. Delhi, India is a growing destination for female solo travellers. Despite its bad press, it is a relatively safe place to travel as long as you stick to the major tourist attractions. Known as India’s historic capital, you’ll find breathtaking places such as Lodi Garden, the upmarket Khan Market, and the Gandhi Memorial. Enjoy street food including parathas (stuffed flatbread) and samosas. You’ll need to select your accommodation more carefully since only 29% of hostels have female only dorms.

7. Rome is among the top countries for gender equality according to the Equal Measures 2030 report, though the percentage of female only dorms is just 20%. With a high volume of Google searches for female solo travel, you’re likely to find others who are also in the same boat. Once you find the right accommodation, you’ll love exploring Rome’s museums, the famous Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest basilica. And best of all, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious pasta, pizza and gelato too.

8. Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is one of the best places to travel for women. Whether you explore Ireland by car or bike, you’ll love exploring the lush green landscapes or the bustling city. Go on a self-guided walking tour, stop by the cafes and museums, and explore the well-known Trinity College Dublin. You’ll also be able to take day trips to Galway, the Wicklow Mountains or even go on a Game of Thrones tour. 74.3% of female travellers stated that they feel safe walking the streets alone at night, so you can travel with peace of mind.

9. London ranks as the 9th best destination for female solo travellers in 2020. With so many options, the toughest part of the trip will be deciding where to go. London features incredible places to visit and things to do, including The Tate Modern, the National Gallery, Kensington Gardens, and of course Harry Potter world. Try a classic British afternoon tea or go to a festival. The locals are friendly and it’s a safe destination. 76.9% of women feel safe walking alone at night, and they’re among the top countries for gender quality with a SDG score of 82.2.

10. A lot of women are interested in visiting Istanbul alone. Out of its 103 hostels, only 14% included female forms. Crime is generally pretty low, and it’s relatively safe if you stick to the tourist hotspots. It’s a great place to travel alone, with plenty of solo-friendly activities. You’ll love walking through bazaars, visiting mosques, and strolling through the Karaköy neighbourhood, where you’ll be able to see the Asian side of Turkey.

Thinking about your next trip already? Solo travel is exciting and freeing, while allowing you to explore in relative safety. Bon voyage!

Debbie Tan is a 16-year-old Aucklander who likes art, anime, stickers, singing, horror movies and cunning wordplay. Also passionate about youth activism.

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