By Briana Seftel
Traveling alone can be an incredibly rewarding experience if you know where to go. Whether your interests are in art, history, adventure or food, these nine cities were made to explore solo. Leave the taboo behind and book a flight for one – it’s never too late to explore on your own!
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If show stopping architecture and world-renowned cuisine are on the top of your travel bucket list, there’s really no other city quite like Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia buzzes with activity year round and is more laidback than other major cities in Spain. Whether it’s taking in the views from Park Guell or catching a Flamenco show near Las Ramblas, you won’t be bored for a minute in Barcelona.
Looking to make every day of your vacation packed with adventure? Get thee to Costa Rica. Boasting beaches, rainforest, countryside and volcanoes, this Central American country delivers on all accounts. Base yourself out of Monteverde, home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest and a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. Hiking, biking, and ziplining are just a few activities you can partake in while you’re there.
The Irish are a notoriously friendly bunch, which means a trip to Ireland will be met with a warm greeting - as long as you don’t insult their beloved Guinness. Base yourself out of the capital of Dublin, the epicenter of all that is exciting and new in Ireland. Take your pick from the countless museums, parks, and lively shopping streets and post up with a pint in pub. In Dublin, you’re bound to make a friend or two.
Iceland may be famous for icy glaciers and snow-topped mountains, but it is one hot destination. The capital of Reykjavik isn’t just a stopover to bigger and better things – its Nordic flavor, charming historic district and creative flare will make you want to stay awhile. As one of the happiest countries in the world, you can’t help but succumb to Iceland’s many pleasures.
Take a cue from the bestselling book “Eat, Pray, Love” and head to Bali, Indonesia’s island province. Ubud is considered the heart of Bali and is the perfect town to serve as a base for your Balinese adventures. Spend a day strolling through rice terraces, getting a deep tissue massage at a spa, or meeting friendly macaque monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest!
Known as the “Mother City,” Cape Town will wrap you in a warm embrace with its jaw-dropping scenery and friendly inhabitants. Table Mountain, the buzzing V&A Waterfront and the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood are just a few highlights in Cape Town. Venture a little outside the city and you will find pristine coastline and world-class vineyards producing some of the best wine in the world.
No longer seen as a stopover for Machu Picchu, Cusco has blossomed into one of the most beautiful and welcoming cities in the world. You’ll be stunned by the amazing Spanish colonial architecture at every corner and fascinated by the Inca influence that bleeds into every part of the city. From Cusco, you can take easy day trips to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
Don’t let traveling alone hold you back from going on a safari in Africa. One of the best places to see the Big Five is Masai Mara, a game reserve in Kenya covering over 500 square miles of African bush. Book an escorted tour and you’ll be guided every step of the way across this incredible landscape. Aside from lions and giraffes, the Masai people are known for being some of the friendliest on the planet.
Thailand is known as “the Land of Smiles,” and what better place to be greeted with a Thai smile than Chiang Mai? Second in terms of population to Bangkok, the northern city of Chiang Mai is the laidback counterpoint to the busy capital. The former seat of the Lanna kingdom bursts with fabulous food and ancient architecture, and just outside the city you will find remarkable countryside.