After two years of travel restrictions, we are more than ready to get out there and explore the world. And with a growing number of people booking solo trips, it seems many don’t want to wait for others to explore the countries on their to-do list.
According to travel specialists Explore, around 60% of bookings in 2022 so far are for solo travelers, up 27% from before the pandemic. The number of people taking part in small group trips has risen sharply over the past two years.
But if you’re looking to go abroad on your own, there’s more to consider. To help guide those looking for the perfect destination, price comparison website Uswitch looked at a host of factors to determine which were the best cities for solo travelers.
From the most exciting activities you can participate in, to LGBTQ+ friendliness and even crime ratings, the business classified places around the world to find out which one came out on top for solo backpackers.
The best cities for solo tourists
7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With an average temperature of 28°C, Dubai enjoys year-round sunshine and is the hottest destination on the list. This is worth considering if you are looking to get away from the cold and wet winters of Europe.
There’s also a whole host of things to do in this bustling city with 2,579 different activities to occupy your time while traveling alone. From gorgeous beaches and futuristic skyscrapers to shopping malls and giant aquariums, it has enough attractions to keep you busy whether you’re staying for a few days or a few weeks.
If you’re planning a visit, it’s worth checking out a Dubai Explorer Pass. This will allow you prepaid access to 48 of the city’s attractions.
6. Athens, Greece
Athens is a good choice if you’re looking for a solo hiking destination a bit closer to home. Keeping in touch with friends and family while you’re away is easy here with average fast internet speeds.
But, with thousands of attractions ranging from the famous Acropolis to the ancient district of Plaka, you might be too busy to catch up on the news from back home. Athens has over 1,800 different activities to choose from when looking for things to occupy your time in the city.
Average temperatures in the city are around 14°C, but if you want to escape the summer heat and have a peak cultural experience, Easter is the best time to visit. Celebrations are often bigger than Christmas – with candlelight services, food and processions all over the city.
5. Jaipur, India
Jaipur has the cheapest public transport on the list, which costs as little as 24 cents. Perfect if you are traveling on a budget. There are also plenty of street food options and low-cost eateries, so you don’t have to worry about food on a solo trip.
It is also quite hot in this Indian city. Average temperatures of 25°C allow you to explore the city’s impressive architecture without getting cold.
Painted to impress Prince Albert during his tour of India in 1876, Jaipur is known as the “pink city”. Today, 140 years later, there is still a law against changing the shade of its buildings. With hundreds of historic sites ranging from palaces and forts to lavish gardens, there’s no shortage of things to do as a solo traveler.
4. Istanbul, Turkey
There are tons of places to choose from when looking for accommodation in Istanbul. Uswitch’s index found 5,611 options for solo travelers. The Sultanahmet area is a great place for first-time visitors with plenty of hostels.
This massive city hub at the crossroads of Europe and Asia is also cheap to get around. Transportation costs can be as low as 25 cents, making it easy to plan an itinerary around the nearly 2,000 attractions.
Full of cultural and historical experiences, one of the most iconic places to visit in Istanbul is probably the Hagia Sophia. Built in the 6th century, the monument reflects its changing religious history with minarets and Islamic inscriptions alongside Christian mosaics.
3. Bangkok, Thailand
The capital of Thailand occupies third place in the ranking. Known for its street life and cultural landmarks, it’s perhaps no surprise that Bangkok is a top destination for solo travelers.
With over 4,000 accommodation options, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to rest. The city’s Banglamphu area is particularly aimed at backpackers traveling on a tight budget, but if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, head to Silom.
Getting around town won’t break the bank either. Transport can cost as little as €1 with the business district well served by a metro and skytrain network, a rapid transit system that rises above the streets. Other parts of Bangkok are covered by an extensive bus network and the famous tuk-tuks are available almost everywhere.
2. New Delhi, India
Transportation in New Delhi costs just 50 cents, making it the perfect place to explore on your own.
There are an impressive 5,269 sightseeing tours and opportunities and 5,830 activities for tourists in the city. Highlights include the two square kilometer Red Fort, or Lal Qila, built in 1648. It’s a stunning architectural gem with crescent-shaped red sandstone walls surrounded by a moat.
If you’re traveling light, don’t worry about a jacket. The average temperature in the city is a balmy 27C.
Rome has become the best place to visit for solo backpackers. With the most places to stay and the most activities to choose from, you’re unlikely to be bored in the Italian capital.
On top of that, accommodation in this city had some of the highest ratings of any destination on the index. With an average hostel costing around €20 a night, it’s also reasonably priced.
Rome is a huge city full of history, culture and gastronomy, so there is a lot to discover. To reduce travel costs, consider purchasing a transit pass to get around this metropolitan center.