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Solo Female Traveller - One Week European Itinerary

Solo Female Traveller - One Week European Itinerary

Nov 6th, 2019, 05:26 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 765
If you're going someplace to do/see something you likely won't be lonely. Think about why you've chosen a location. Do the reasons interest you?
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Nov 6th, 2019, 06:15 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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For someone younger like you, I'm thinking Eastern Europe or the Baltic states are going to be a bit more up your street. How about Budapest? - impressive architecture, cold war history (soviet occupation), nice cafe culture, spas, markets etc, but quirky stuff too, like Memento Park and the Pinball Museum.
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Nov 6th, 2019, 06:16 AM
  #23  
 
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PS Pick a city, not the countryside, if you are worried about loneliness. I have a few TRs to various European cities, including Budapest as suggested above, if you click my ID....
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Nov 6th, 2019, 06:44 AM
  #24  
mms
 
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I am not a solo traveler, but when we were in Nice my husband was working so I was on my own for most of our days. I loved it!!! I did trips to Eze and Antibes, and if I had more time would have done more. It is a great area to go by yourself, and on those day trips being by myself opened amp a lot of doors that otherwise would not have happened. My husband was so envious, lol.
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Nov 6th, 2019, 07:16 AM
  #25  
 
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I am an introvert who has done a great deal of solo travel. Now that wifi is everywhere it is easy to keep in touch with people. Staying in hostels or small B&Bs gives you opportunities to meet other travelers, as do day tours or walking tours. Besides, we're only talking about a week - I have spent months traveling on my own. I have also posted TRs here while traveling and enjoyed the feedback.

In terms of where to go, I'm afraid that by early June it will already be getting too hot for me in southern Europe. If your company is covering your long distance flights maybe it would be a good time to splurge on somewhere expensive like Scandinavia (Stockholm and Oslo), or Switzerland. I prefer Krakow to Warsaw and Budapest to Vienna and hated the crowds in Prague, but they are all fine choices. I am hard pressed to think of anywhere in Europe that you are likely to visit where, with normal precautions, you should worry about anything other than pickpocketing.
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Nov 6th, 2019, 08:38 AM
  #26  
 
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Unless you rent a car, staying for a week in the countryside could be very limiting.

A few other suggestions: the Netherlands is a very easy destination starting from the UK. A few months ago, we visited Rotterdam, where I lived for a while years ago. It's a great city, vibrant and youthful. It's a modern city, because it was mostly destroyed in the early days of WWII. There's some very interesting modern architecture, but if you're looking for historical architecture, there are lots of charming small historical cities just a short distance away, starting with Delft. Public transportation is wonderful in the Netherlands. You can also rent a bike and enjoy the fantastic network of dedicated bike lanes.

I think the best way to meet people is to stay in a youth hostel or some sort of student lodgings. In Rotterdam, we stayed in the Student Hotel, which is a hotel, not a hostel, but full of young people. There are also numerous hostels in the city. Nearly everyone in the Netherlands under the age of 60 speaks excellent English, which makes it easy to strike up conversations.

Another possibile destination is Copenhagen, which is a beautiful city. You can easily make a day trip to Lund, a very charming Swedish city with a very old university.

Finally, I would consider Ireland. Both Dublin and Belfast are fascinating, with vibrant youth scenes.

​​​​​​All of these cities have excellent restaurants. If you want to consider Italy again, I highly recommend Bologna, which has some of Italyís best cuisine.
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Nov 6th, 2019, 10:39 AM
  #27  
 
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Amsterdam...and as PP suggested some day trips even to Belgium might be an option.

I have traveled solo often...the days are usually busy but I never liked being alone in the evening .
I prefer places that are lively at night....outdoor restaurants and cafes, perhaps concerts or theatre,
crowed d streets or plazas at night ...that sort of thing.
A good size city with options for day trips ( perhaps with a tour group for company ) might make it less lonely.
I would stick to Western Europe
June may be hot in some places in Europe but when I was your age, it was the last of my concerns.
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Nov 6th, 2019, 12:25 PM
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post
Thank you as well for the overwhelming response. Even though Iíve been to France before, Iím leaning towards doing a home stay or something similar in the South where I can stay with a host family. Nice and Lyons look beautiful and very easy access to wineries and bordering villages. They have the laid back culture Iím looking for as well as beautiful scenery and food.
I think this sounds like an excellent idea! I actually did a homestay with a family in Aix-en-Provence, and it was such a great way to throw yourself into the culture and the language - and to make great friends!!As for your other question about staving off loneliness if you don't do a homestay, I've found that it's not so hard to strike up conversations with folks in cafes, bars, gardens - you do just have to try a little harder than you might be used to at home, but can often end up having great conversations and new travel buddies! If that's not your style though, I also like to sometimes try to attend local meetups (there are great ones in Paris) where I can meet other travelers or locals. Another great solution: sign up for a class in the location where you're going, whether it be a language class, a cooking or food tour, wine class, etc - awesome way to meet other travelers and locals at the school!
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Nov 6th, 2019, 07:17 PM
  #29  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post
For those who have travelled solo before, how have you combated loneliness? Even being an introvert Iím sure Iíll get the pang of wanting to share an experience with someone or missing company. Any suggestions?
Actually, I feel loneliness with exceeding rarity when traveling, and I normally travel for a month at a time. I find email sufficient fto keep in touch with family and friends, and I think that by traveling alone, I may end up in more conversations, and possibly more meaningful conversations, with both local people and other travelers than I would if traveling with someone. That's true when taking local transportation or visiting a site or even when dining --whether at a very casual place or at a Michelin-starred restaurant, it is not uncommon for others to speak to me; actually, I am often the one to terminate the conversation. As others have noted, you would likely increase your chances of meeting others by staying at a hostel or B&B (or, as you later suggest, a home stay), joining group walking tours or food tours, taking a cooking class, etc. I do feel the desire to share some of my experiences with others, and spend some time thinking about how I will do that once I return.

Hope that helps!
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Nov 6th, 2019, 07:56 PM
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post
For those who have travelled solo before, how have you combated loneliness? Even being an introvert Iím sure Iíll get the pang of wanting to share an experience with someone or missing company. Any suggestions?
i seem to meet people wherever I travel. I just returned from a 7 week solo trip to western France and wasn't lonely at all.

Usually, while I'm dining, people around me strike up a conversation with me. And, because of loyalty programs, I have access to the Exec Lounges in any hotels where I stay. So, there are always other folks there to talk to there.

And, as kja mentions, I keep in contact with my family and friends via email.

On this last trip, I met a couple of guys from California in the grocery store, of all places! Ran into them later that day again walking down the street near Mont St. MIchel. I've had people invite me to join them over drinks in the hotel lounge/bar often. People love talking about their trip and travel plans!
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Nov 7th, 2019, 10:31 AM
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post

For those who have travelled solo before, how have you combated loneliness? Even being an introvert Iím sure Iíll get the pang of wanting to share an experience with someone or missing company. Any suggestions?
I've taken two solo trips and the first one was when I started using Instagram stories. I found that posting photos and videos of my trip and seeing friends' comments was a great way to experience the trip "with" other people. It's definitely not the same as traveling with someone, but it did give me an outlet to share what I was experiencing.

I also usually do a group walking tour when I arrive in a new city. Some have been the free walking tours where you then tip the guide and others I've booked and paid for ahead of time. Those are a good way to get some interaction with other travelers.

I'm also an introvert and can be quite happy on my own for long periods of time, but I have found that I'm actually more open to talking to new people in my solo travels. I've been seated at the bar of a restaurant and ended up chatting with other people, I've had conversations with restaurant servers who are curious about me traveling on my own, etc. I'm also naturally suspicious and probably overly cautious so I'm not as open to joining up with others as some people might be, but when I feel safe I do enjoy getting to know new people.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 11:07 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I recommend Prague and Budapest. I loved them both and visited as a solo woman. I felt very safe and really enjoyed the architecture and ambiance in each.

Vienna I did during the same trip as Prague. While it's an amazing city with lots to see, it left me cold.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 07:07 PM
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by aggiegirl View Post
I recommend Prague and Budapest. I loved them both and visited as a solo woman. I felt very safe and really enjoyed the architecture and ambiance in each.

Vienna I did during the same trip as Prague. While it's an amazing city with lots to see, it left me cold.
So interesting that you felt that way! I felt exactly the same way! It's such a beautiful city and I felt like I *should* have loved it, but the word I use to describe it is "austere" and sort of untouchable - and the way you describe it as leaving you feeling cold totally sums it up. First person I've come across who felt the same way as me!I also love Prague and Budapest.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 11:16 AM
  #34  
 
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I feel exactly the same way about Vienna, even after three tries at visiting. OTOH, Budapest depressed me no end. It's been years since I've been to Prague, so can't really say.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 06:12 PM
  #35  
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Interesting perspectives on the Eastern European cities. I can see (through friendís photos and similar experiences) how this cities may come off as colder, less welcoming than those in the west. Maybe has to do with remnants of the Soviet occupation still lingering. This input leaves me with the following question just for my amusement:

If you had a week to spend anywhere in Europe, where would you go and why? (I am not talking city hopping, youíre stuck where you are )
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Nov 8th, 2019, 06:30 PM
  #36  
 
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London, or Paris, or Venice, or Edinburgh, or Barcelona, or Lyon, or Haarlem (or Amsterdam if I didn't want to commute into the city), or 50 other places. Not being snarky -- but honestly I could fill a week in just about any nice city in Europe.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 06:48 PM
  #37  
 
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Pretty much anywhere. London. Lisbon. Budapest. Venice. Stockholm. Moscow. Riga. Trapani. Lauterbrunnen. Innsbruck. Tbilisi. York. Nice. Etc., etc., etc....
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Nov 8th, 2019, 06:53 PM
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post

If you had a week to spend anywhere in Europe, where would you go and why?
This April, Paris and Amsterdam. Last April, Paris and London.
If it were only one city, Paris.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 08:28 PM
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post


If you had a week to spend anywhere in Europe, where would you go and why? (I am not talking city hopping, youíre stuck where you are )
For me this is starting with the wrong question. The first thing I decide on is what sort of trip is this supposed to be?

It's equally valid to decide you want to spend a week in museums or to spend the week on a beach. Or waking up early and photographing the city before it awakens. Or catching an event . Or you fill in the blank.

Tell us what you want to do and the choice of cities narrows. Or at least usually.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 08:52 PM
  #40  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by cait_mags View Post
If you had a week to spend anywhere in Europe, where would you go and why? (I am not talking city hopping, youíre stuck where you are )
For me: Assuming there are multiple places "tied" for that first-place choice (and for me, there always are), I'd pick the one place highest on my priority list that (a) works for the time of year I would be able to go, (b) offers the best mix of the things I most want to do once there (whether that's visit museums or visit wineries or spend time in natural settings easily reached from there or whatever), (c) best fits into my time frame (in your hypothetical scenario, 1 week), (d) is most likely to allow me to rely on public transportation rather than a rental car (I like to prioritize the environment), and (e) if I expect to be able to travel in the future, the location that I think will be better now rather than later (whether because it will require physical capacities that I might lose or because of increasing pollution or whatever). I also try to choose (f) places that are maximally different than the places I've visited most recently, but that's just me.
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