17 Best Solo Travel Destinations To Visit in 2020
Don't keep waiting on others to explore the world.
When it comes to traveling, it's often a hassle to get others to fit into your plans. After all, it's a lot of work to organize schedules, book several tickets, and then have everyone agree on an itinerary (and expenses!). So, why not just do it alone? Solo travel gives you the time to truly explore what you want to, without stressing out about the needs and wants of other people. So if you're looking to check off a few new destinations this year on your own, we've got you covered.
Malta is not a country on many people's radars, but if you haven't considered it before, you need to now. As the capital of this Mediterranean island, Valletta is a walled city that was established in the 1500s by Roman Catholics. Today, Valletta stands as one of the most underrated, yet undeniably picturesque travel destinations for solo travelers. One of the best perks? It's a small, walkable city with limestone streets on a grid system, much like New York City. You won't get overwhelmed and might possibly be able to tackle your entire travel to-do list in one trip. Admire the brightly painted window boxes on a stroll, or take a cruise around the city. And if you're a Game of Thrones fan? Join a day trip hosted by two former show extras to visit several filming locations from season one.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is the Asian destination you need to set your sights on. Plus, it's a major airport hub, so it's easy to travel to on your own. While there, you can visit the Batu Caves, a hidden Hindu Temple with rainbow-painted steps, or the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. And with a plethora of Asian cuisines to be had, don't miss dining at the Petaling Street Market in Malaysia's own Chinatown, especially with how inexpensive the meals are!
Nestled between popular hotspots like Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Slovenia is an oft-overlooked European nation. Ljubljana is the capital, and with its large university population, it's a relatively safe place for solo travel. The Ljubljana river divides the city's historic and emerging areas, where restaurants line the waterfront, and musicians and poets gather in the main square. Don't miss the Ljubljana Castle, a medieval fortress built in the 11th century, or Metelkova Street, a former military barracks turned funky district full of colorful murals and street art.
Auckland, New Zealand
Want to venture out to New Zealand? Visit Auckland, the major city on the North Island. It's home to the impressive Sky Tower, which offers panoramic views from its Sky Deck and a rotating restaurant at the top. But if you're looking for more of a nature escape, wine and dine or zip line at Waiheke Island, or head to the Waitakere Ranges for rugged beaches and waterfalls. The most unique aspect of Aukland is the fact that it's based around a field of 50 dormant volcanoes, and you can visit the leftover lava fields and craters.
France is known for Paris's iconic Eiffel Tower or Nice's beautiful beaches. But hidden near the German border is the small storybook town of Colmar, which is full of cobblestoned streets and pastel houses that look like they came right out of a fairytale. Visit Little Venice, a small river canal that offers short boat rides by the picturesque waterfront cafes and shops. Or if you're a history lover, visit the Gothic-style St. Martin's Church or the Musée Batholdi, a museum dedicated to French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who is designed the Statue of Liberty.
Petra is an awe-inspiring archaeological wonder. The World Heritage Site in the Jordan desert dates back to 300 B.C. and is only accessible through a narrow canyon, which wasn't discovered by the modern Western world until 1812. Once inside this ancient city, you have an unmatched view of cliff-carved sandstone palaces, temples, and tombs. And while it is a pedestrian destination, there are donkeys and camels available to give you a hand on the trek.
Love animals? Nairobi is the place for you. The Kenyan capital offers a city center that hugs Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve that's home to giraffes, zebras, lions, and more. Explore Kenya's rich heritage at Nairobi National Museum, then set off on one of the country's many guided safaris. While you're there, however, don't skip the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary for orphaned elephants.
The Netherlands has a lot of popular tourist spots, but if you're looking for something more low-key, go to Utrecht, which is often called the "mini-Amsterdam." Here, you can explore medieval fortresses like the De Haar Castle or the Dom Tower, a famous Gothic bell tower. You can also spend time searching for "De Letters van Utrecht," an endless poem that is etched into the city center's stones every week. The city also has its own World Heritage Site, Rietveld Schroderhuis, a modernist house built in 1924.
Solo trips don't have to involve magical European destinations. Just outside of Colorado's San Juan National Forest, Telluride is a small, former mining town snuggled into the Rocky Mountains. It's located at the base of a popular ski resort, but its claim to fame is the picturesque alpine view in the center of town. When you're not on the slopes, swing by the Telluride Historical Museum or hike the Jud Wiebe Trail, which offers a stunning overlook of the Bridal Veil waterfalls and the aspen tree groves.
As the second largest city in Croatia, Split lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is one of the most affordable European destinations for any solo traveler. Diocletian's Palace offers some of the world's most impressive ancient Roman ruins, including the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was built in 305 A.D. And don't forget to take pictures of the 3,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx next to the cathedral.
While Sydney or Melbourne are the obvious Australian destinations, Brisbane is best for those on their own. The free hop-on, hop-off ferry serves as a great way to see the city and explore places like Street Beach, a man-made lagoon in the middle of the metropolis. For the best sunset views, head to the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park or climb Brisbane's most iconic structure, the Story Bridge. And you absolutely can't leave Brisbane before hugging a koala bear at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary.
The mountaintop town of Ronda is a hidden gem in southern Spain—as long as you're not afraid of heights, that is! The town is set dramatically above the deep El Tajo gorge. Walk the Puente Nuevo, a spectacular bridge that connects the city over the large canyon, or visit the Museo Lara, a quirky museum that houses a unique collection of historic weapons, clocks, and scientific instruments, alongside a basement dedicated to witchcraft. And when you're looking for a breath of fresh air, go to the Cuenca Gardens on the ledges of the Tajo.
Sapporo is a serene city set on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. In 1972 it hosted the Olympic Winter Games, which can still be seen throughout abandoned sites in the town, like the Okurayama Ski Jump. Spend one of your days sipping drafts at the Sapporo Beer Museum, tasting chocolate at the Shiroi Koibito Park chocolate factory and museum, or trekking to the summit of Mount Moiwa. But don't forget to spend time at the bars, restaurants, and karaoke shops within the Susukino entertainment district. Ramen Yokocho is a particularly popular lane to tuck into Sapporo's famous noodle soup.
Trade Canadian hotspots like Toronto and Montréal for the smaller riverside city of Ottawa. Not only is it extremely walkable, but it also has an easy public transit system. Parliament Hill is the crown jewel and center of Canada's federal government (take a minute to admire its gorgeous Gothic revival architecture). Then, cruise down Rideau Canal, before browsing Byward Market's cafés, galleries, and boutiques. And don't forget to try BeaverTails, a local pastry made from flat fried dough, or enjoy a nightcap in one of the many watering holes on York Street.
Cotswolds has all the trappings of a quintessential English escape. Lined with picturesque cottages, this rural region is truly the perfect, safe place for any solo traveler. Spend a posh evening at The Wild Rabbit, an inn that houses an upscale pub with an equally fancy menu. Or take a trip to the Cotswolds Distillery for a cozy gin and whisky tour and tasting. But don't miss Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town that is home to St. Edwards Church, a medieval church with large stained glass windows and an entrance eerily hidden between two trees.
Skopje, North Macedonia
Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia, a nation that borders Greece, Albania, and Bulgaria. Its skyline is dominated by the 6th-century Fortress Kale and the Millennium Cross, one of the tallest crosses in the world. (Pro tip: You can get here easily by riding the cable car to the top of Vodno Mountain.) If you're looking for nature, check out Matka Canyon, a gorge that's home to several monasteries, hiking paths, climbing routes, and caves. You can even rent a boat to take you to see the caves! Before you leave Skopje, however, pay homage to the most famous person born in this city: Mother Teresa. The Mother Teresa Memorial House contains photos and memorabilia celebrating her life and religious work.
This boho beach town is set on the southeast coast of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. It is known for its spectacular scuba diving opportunities in the Red Sea, as well as the famous Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole. While in Dahab, you can also join a camel safari or rent a quad bike to take in the desert landscape. To truly go remote, stay at one of the 17 Most Exotic Off-the-Grid Hotels in the World.