Solo travel is an incredible experience, because you get to see the world at your own pace and focus on your own interests – the earth is waiting for you to explore it! It’s annoying for us solo backpackers that some destinations are typically considered to be for couples – the most romantic destinations in the world shouldn’t be missed out on because you don’t have that special someone to go with. Tag along on the singleton’s train and we’ll show you how to enjoy these cities your own way. It’s time to eat, pray and self-love. Here are the 13 best romantic destinations for solo travellers!
1. Paris, France
What would this list be without Paris? Despite what everyone tells you, this is an unmissable and romantic destination for solo travellers. The city of love screams all things romance, like a picnic by the Eiffel Tower, gazing at famous paintings and indulging on delicious desserts. The good news – you can do this all without someone by your side!
Whether it’s reading a book in stunning parks, wandering the halls of some of the world’s best museums, or exploring the grand Haussmann Boulevard, you’ll feel the love in this charmer. Browse the walls of the famous bookstore Shakespeare and Company, walk along the Left Bank and the Seine, then stuff your face with macarons. You’ll wonder what anyone needs a partner for anyway!
When it comes to museums, you can’t go wrong with the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. But for quieter and more eclectic collections, check out Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Decorative Arts Museum), Musée de l’Orangerie, or an exhibition at the Grand Palais. Museums are an ideal place to spend the day as a solo traveller, as you can really absorb the culture and history flowing from their walls without anyone moaning at you to hurry up! The Paris Flea Market is the perfect spot to meander alone without a time limit. You never know what vintage and antique finds you might score.
Honestly, you could plan a whole itinerary of attractions to see as a solo traveller, but people-watching from a Parisienne café seems like a great way to spend the day.
Where to stay: When in Paris, it’s time to live the high life. There are so many luxurious hostels in Paris that are perfect for solo travellers and Les Piaules is a standout. Chic? check. Social? check. Cheap? Triple check! This hostel has a comfy common room with a book exchange to casually wind down your busy day. If you’re feeling more social, there’s an on-site café, bar, restaurant and games room that are the perfect spaces to mingle with other solo travellers! The hostel is located in the edgy district of Belleville, which has an emerging modern art scene and cool restaurants.
2. Rome, Italy
Ah, Roma! What’s more romantic than you and a massive plate of pasta? Frankly nothing is. Wander around this charming ancient city, taking in all the stunning Roman ruins. Make a stop at the Roman Forum, which is extra magical once the sun has gone down.
Make sure to enjoy the iconic act of throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish for good fortune. Eat some gelato on the Spanish Steps – because what’s life without ice cream? – and then take your time walking around the spectacular Colosseum. For art and history lovers, it’s worth making a day trip to explore the Vatican and the stunning Sistine Chapel.
One question: who needs a partner when you have pizza? Rome is jam-packed with the most delicious food anywhere in existence. Try some street pizza from literally any take-away joint to top off the day.
So start packing, because it’s time for your solo Roman Holiday, in one of the most romantic destinations for solo travellers!
Where to stay: Rome hostels are some of the most stylish out there and will elevate your trip to even greater heights. YellowSquare Rome is where solo travellers and party animals assemble for fun till the early hours. Here you can party it up at their hostel bar or just head downstairs to their nightclub! During the day, take part in activities like rooftop yoga and cooking classes to make some friends while sober. When you’re ready to explore, it only takes 8 minutes by metro to reach the famous Colosseum.
3. Santorini, Greece
Live up that single life by posting a bunch of happy beach pics in this blue and white paradise. Everyone thinks that Santorini is a romantic destination for couples, but why would you want someone there who could block your sunshine? Santorini is actually a solo explorer’s dream, with many ancient ruins waiting for you to discover. Matched with clear blue waters and an endless horizon, it’s a spiritual place to reconnect with yourself.
Head to the neighbourhood of Fira for some local boutique shopping, then find your inner Indiana Jones by visiting the archaeological site of Akrotiri – “the Greek Pompeii” – where ash and rock has preserved this 1450BC town. Take some shots of the Caldera towns that flood everyone’s social media and head off on a wine tour to taste some of Greece’s finest wines.
If you want to learn more about the local history, check out the Archaeological Museum of Thera, which has local artefacts from the Bronze age.
But even after all this, don’t feel the need to make plans, just grab a good book and head for the beach. It’s time to #liveyourbestlife.
Where to stay: Caveland is what Insta dreams are made of. Their to-die-for location is only made better by the stunning interiors. Throw on your sunnies, find a comfy spot and take in those once-in-a-lifetime views. There’s nothing better than a bit of chill out time. When you’re in the social mood, the hostel offers activities like weekly dinners, movie nights and yoga classes. It’s the best of both worlds!
4. The Hamptons, New York, USA
Feelin’ like a widowed 50-year-old with a terrible secret? Me too. Embrace your theatrical side in the luxurious Hamptons with the chicest of society and some dramatic coastlines to match. This mysterious beach town has romance written all over it, with moody beaches and cute cafes. While people think that it’s only for the rich and famous, there’s actually a lot to do as a backpacker. You can wander through the never-ending, sandy beaches, which are what draw in visitors from all over the country.
The area is also well-known for its wine and there are many wineries and wine tours that you can experience solo – getting classy drunk isn’t just for couples you know! Some more affordable places to visit are Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, Corey Creek Vineyard and Duckwalk Vineyard.
When the sun starts setting, head to Dockers Waterside where you’ll find cheap cocktails and live music by the beach. The social atmosphere means you won’t be dancing alone!
Where to stay: From New York City there are heaps of coaches to the Hamptons you can take for an affordable price, like Hampton Jitney. NYC hostels are where it’s at. Take a big break in New York so you can really get around and explore. American Dream Hostel is centrally located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, so you can easily get around to many different neighbourhoods. There’s a games room that’s great for making friends and cosy common areas with board games – I know it’s hard, but try and keep your cool in Monopoly! If you’re feeling a little exhausted from NYC’s exciting nightlife scene, spend the morning in, with free breakfast.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona? More like Barc–alone -a! This city is full of street performers, stunning architecture and dreamy dishes – it’s the ultimate solo traveller playground!
You could spend your whole visit just exploring the architecture. Attractions like La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló are some must-see sites. Embark on a tour around the Gothic Quarter where you can sample some local delicacies like paella and churros. Plus, the architecture here is something else! Don’t forget to sip on sangria while walking along the beach and soaking up some sun.
Sangria is this town’s magic juice, and Casa Lolea is said to have some of the best classic sangria in Barcelona. Take a sip and watch the world go by…
Where to stay: Barcelona’s hostels are another reason why it’s such an amazing destination for solo travellers! Bed & Bike Barcelona is perfect for those who want their own time to explore (on a bike of course), but also want that famous social hostel experience. The hostel offers free dinners (did someone say pizza?), free sightseeing tours and plenty of activities so you can make new friends. When you’re in need of some chilled time, the common rooms have comfy sofas, TVs and books.
6. Venice, Italy
This wistful dreamscape has long been considered one of the world’s most romantic destinations thanks to its cute bridges, gondolas and mysterious masks. As a solo traveller, there’s nothing better than fully immersing yourself in an unusual place, and Venice’s wacky layout will have you captivated and entranced. Even as a solo traveller, you’ll never feel alone as this city has a personality of its own. Venice is where you’ll find the impressive Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which has a courtyard where you can sit and overlook the water. The city itself is a piece of art, with architecture that has stood the test of time. The Rialto Bridge is an important place to stop, and also a good place to shop! While St Mark’s Square will provide the ultimate backdrop for all your Insta pics.
If you’ve got some extra time, take the Vaporetto (water taxi) to Burano Island, where houses of every colour line the streets. Lido Island is also another great bet, which is where the Venice Film Festival is hosted annually. This town has a rich film and literary history that’s worth the time to learn about.
Go on and explore this romantic city and world of its own!
Where to stay: The hostels in Venice provide a restful getaway from the busy crowds that Venice attracts. Anda Venice’s ‘industrial chic’ design is not only stylish, but also encourages solo travellers to socialise in their common areas. For digital nomads, there are lots of spaces that are perfect for working the day away. When it’s time for fun, the hostel has a bar and café, plus regular hostel parties with live DJs! The hostel is in the Venice Mestre district, which is around a 15-minute train ride into the centre of Venice.
7. La Côte d’Azur, France
Live it up like Leo on the French Riviera, where magical beaches, year-round perfect weather and extravagant landscapes await. Historically a popular romantic getaway for the world’s elite, it now welcomes many visitors – including backpackers! This southern region of France is the ultimate test for even the most stone-hearted of people. Here it’s not about falling in love with whoever you’re with, it’s about falling in love with the spectacular scenery!
Throughout time, the beauty of the French Rivera has been immortalised in literature, music and film because of the one-of-a-kind feeling it evokes. Personally, I think you have to visit it alone to really understand it, and its stunning beachfronts are worth the journey alone.
Along the Riviera are some fantastic museums like Musée Matisse in Nice, Musée Picasso in Antibes, Palais Lascaris in Nice and the Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild (Île-de-France) in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Tender is the night in the South of France, and backpackers must visit Wayne’s Bar in Nice that will guarantee a hell of a night out!
Where to stay: Match the luxurious scenery with a luxurious stay. Nice has the most hostels in the area, so it’s a good place to base yourself. Hostel Meyerbeer Beach is great for solo travellers (it’s one of the top-rated in the city), as they have free walking tours and free bar crawls. It’s also only a short walk to the beach so you can have a dip with your new hostel friends or wander through the famous Promenade des Anglais on your own. It’s close to Nice-Ville, the main train station, which can take you all around the Côte d’Azur.
8. Maui, Hawaii, USA
Aloha Surf Hostel, Maui 📸:@daziraptor
Don’t catch feelings, catch waves! Hawaii is a magnet for new couples, but it’s also a super fun and romantic destination for solo travellers. Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii and offers exotic landscapes that are great for adrenaline junkies.
Haleakalā National Park gives mountain views for days and is a rewarding treat for any traveller who explores it. It’s a great place to watch the captivating Hawaiian sunrise and sunset (which you’ll need to make a reservation for). The park also offers guided walks and tours which can give that added sense of safety for solo trekkers.
Where to stay: You must have a go at surfing – it’s a staple in Hawaii! Aloha Surf Hostel is right next to some awesome surfing beaches. If you feel like staying in, you can chill (or more like toast) in their hot tub with your new hostel mates or compete in a game of pool. The hostel’s tranquil and friendly vibes will make you want to settle down in Hawaii for life!
9. Nassau, Bahamas
Sure, there’ll be a lot of honeymooners in this island paradise, but who said that solo travellers can’t have a little self-love? This is the tropical island destination that couples rave about, but that doesn’t mean that singletons should miss out. Nassau is the capital city and provides heaps of activities for solo adventure seekers.
Diving, snorkelling and swimming are popular activities here, and will keep any solo traveller busy! For water park lovers, there’s isn’t much that beats Atlantis’s Aquaventure Waterpark, which has a terrifyingly steep water slide and many exhilarating rides!
Where to stay: Our top-rated hostel in the Bahamas perfectly reflects the country’s relaxed nature. Bahasea Backpackers fuels your ideal island dreams, with a large balcony complete with hammocks that overlook the crystal blue waters – AND you can swim with beach pigs! It’s easy to think this island stay could break the bank with what’s on offer, but it really is that cheap.
10. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
It’s hard to go to Ha Long Bay and not be swept away by its beauty. In this Vietnamese natural wonder, you’ll find massive natural pillars that stick out from the ocean looking like a setting out of Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a very popular spot for cruise ships and sea kayakers, so you won’t be seeing just couples around.
You don’t need a partner to kayak through this natural spectacle. There are lots of groups and tours you can join – check your hostel when in Hanoi to see if they offer one. You can also explore the area on land and walk around for some breathtaking views.
It’s important to be careful about your environmental impact. This is a very populated place and it’s important to do your research with ethical activity companies. Make sure you look after the area you’re visiting and take any rubbish away with you.
Where to stay: Orestay Halong shifts from tranquil daytime vibes to a party atmosphere at night. A beautiful pond and charming garden sit outside the hostel, that are so peaceful time basically stands still. But when the sun goes down, there’s an outdoor bar and restaurant where you can try the delicious local cuisine and socialise with other hostel guests. If you need some more inspo, check out the other top-notch hostels in Ha Long.
11. Marrakech, Morocco
Doesn’t a North African escape sound so dreamy? The city of Marrakech has a romantic old-world charm about it that can sweep any solo traveller off their feet. It’s one of the most romantic destinations for solo travellers in the world because of its unique architecture, sensuous food and dreamy weather – you can really take some time out from everyday troubles. Explore the beautiful Moroccan landmarks and museums like Jardin Majorelle – a stunning deep blue, art deco house, Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace.
Take Moroccan luxe to new heights at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, which celebrates the life and legacy of the French fashion designer and the universal brand. The museum is housed inside a breathtaking contemporary piece of architecture that’s essential to capture for your Insta.
Spice up your life by journeying to one of the many souks in the city. Savour all the colours and smells of spices, rugs and carpets, pots, glassware, leather bags, clothing and more. The most popular souks are Souk Semmarine and Jemaa el-Fnaa, and when you’re ready to spend some cash, make sure you haggle the price, it’s expected! Find a comfy seat in your hostel courtyard, add shisha and sunsets, and it’s the perfect end to a perfect day.
Where to stay: The hostels in Marrakech are welcoming and social, with many having rooftop terraces, pool access and activities. The Madrassa hostel is filled with romantic interiors, stylish and social common areas, a swimming pool and a bar. Plus, it’s a great spot to get to know other guests over free breakfast on the rooftop terrace. It’s great value for money considering it’s only a short walk to the Jewish Quarter, Badi Palaces and Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
12. Bali, Indonesia
Grab your best threads because you have a date with paradise to prep for. While Bali sees its fair share of couples, it’s definitely one of the most romantic destinations for solo travellers. Picture beautiful beaches, endless palm trees and a 24/7 party culture. No one expects you to do anything other than relax and rejuvenate by the hostel pool, but there are so many activities on offer that are perfect for us single wanderers.
In Ubud, stop by the ancient temple Goa Gajah (or Elephant Cave) to see the intricate and slightly spooky cave carvings, because you enter through the mouth of a demon! Try to head there early to avoid the crowds. If you’re the surfing kind, head out to Seminyak or Canggu beach for surfing lessons and to ride some of Bali’s best waves.
Where to stay: The hostels in Bali offer a lot of activities for solo travellers at a cheap price. Capsule Hotel Bali in New Seminyak is a modern party hostel that welcomes all guests to enjoy the lively vibe. They have a massive swimming pool, a rooftop terrace and cheap drinks throughout the day and night. If you need a calmer but still friendly vibe, look for hostels that offer daytime activities. Arya Monkey Forest hostel in Ubud offers free yoga classes, day trips, cooking classes and BBQ nights. There’s also a swimming pool which is a great place to relax by that will provide ultimate #wanderlust goals for your Insta.
13. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This ultra-modern Arabian city feels like a glimpse into the future! If you’ve heard about Dubai, you probably know that it’s an exotic wonderland for the rich and famous. But fear not! It can be enjoyed on a backpacker’s budget.
In this space-age dreamscape, massive skyscrapers line the desert for miles, and everywhere you turn there’s wacky architecture and shopping malls. As a solo traveller, there is no greater feeling than putting yourself in another world, and for this there’s no better place than Dubai. Time to put yourself out there by visiting this city turned futuristic world!
An attraction in itself, the Dubai Mall is the largest shopping centre in the world, and Mall of the Emirates is the second largest (and also has its own indoor ski park!) If you fancy a more traditional shop, head to the gold or spice souks to experience the old Dubai.
No visit to Dubai is complete without seeing the Burj Khalifa, AKA the tallest building in the world. From the top of the tower you can even see Iran!
It’s worth seeing the unusual but cool Palm Islands, which were artificially made in 2001. Nearby you’ll find the famous Burj Al Arab 7-star hotel, a skyscraper that’s in the shape of a ship sail. The building even has a helipad and rooftop tennis court! We’ll still take a hostel any day of the week 😉. If you can get up high enough in one of Dubai’s many skyscrapers, you’ll be able to see The World Islands, a series of artificial islands made to resemble the countries of the world. While a lot of them are uninhabited, some have luxury resorts and private houses on them.
Where to stay: The hostels in Dubai are affordable, but don’t waver on quality and incredible 360 views. At the Top Hostel is located on the 66th floor of a skyscraper and has been praised by solo travellers for its welcoming and social atmosphere. They offer a free walking tour, and activities like safari tours, Abu Dhabi tours and even helicopter tours! Located in the Marina neighbourhood, it’s a stunning area to walk around and take in those one-of-a-kind beach views.
It’s time for solo travellers to embrace the romance of these cities and explore like never before! With culturally rich museums, fascinating art and architecture and non-stop activities, there’s absolutely no reason why couples should have all the fun.
Have you been to any of these destinations as a solo traveller? Do you have any tips for fellow independent explorers? Tell us in the comments!
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