After nearly three years or more of COVID stressful time, travel has picked up very rapidly. If you want to travel solo in 2023 and visit safe destinations with a short-term schedule, while spontaneously choosing what to do without the pressure of sticking to long-term plans, here are my top suggestions for safe cities to travel solo in 2023.
By visualising a place, we allow our minds to wander, spark our wanderlust, and shape our travel adventures in our imagination. Anticipation has been the best incubator of all my solo travel at 50 plus. And probably travel wouldn’t be fun without it. It’s more about our mindset to select our destinations that lend the feelings, pleasure and colours to a place rather than the destination itself. Our mindset creates anticipation, which we nurture with our energy and positive emotions.
As this definition of anticipation from Alan De Botton says:
“The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.” from The Art of Travel Book.
I have picked seven universal cities for their flair, for their rich heritage, for their beauty. Some of them have undergone horrendous attacks in the past years. They have been hurt in their dignity with the loss of many lives from terrorist attacks to severe impact during the COVID pandemic.
While it’s natural to feel apprehensive, we must not dwell on the past and move our attention to the memories that distinguish these places for what they are. Wonderful places that have rewarded travellers and residents alike with great emotions and will never disappoint.
I could not start from Venice as a top solo place for women over 50. Although it’s right in my backyard, Venice is a place I am very fond of and always rewards me emotionally and mentally. After hundreds of visits – from a local perspective – I feel like I am on holiday every time I take the train and arrive at the most incredible city in the world. Besides being in my “home country” and close to where I live in Italy, Venice is one of those unique places that never tire and disappoint. Venice’s atmosphere is always uplifting and there is something new to discover and cherish every time you visit Indeed an extraordinary place we all shall treasure.
With nearly 30 million visitors per year, Venice is one of those top cities that suffered the impact of travel restrictions during COVID the most. So while I encourage you to travel to Venice when the pandemic is over, I’ll also ask you to be very mindful when you visit the city and respect the local rules and its fragile environment.
The best busy, busy time to visit Venice is spring and autumn, trying to avoid peak season and public holidays like Christmas, Easter, Carnival (Feb) and the Redeemer’s Festival (July). I have found June-August less visited than other months due to the hot months, so if you don’t mind touring in summer, I’d probably plan a June-July visit to Venice. In this post, I take you to the best places to explore Venice off the beaten track.
Where to stay in Venice For Solo Travellers. Below our recommendation about places to stay in Venice
Best Places to Stay Solo In Venice:
Hotel Ca’ D’oro
B&B P 1779
Ca Nigra Lagoon Resort
Related Post: all less-visited places in North-East Italy
Paris’ beautiful contrasts make it a unique capital city of Europe. There is nothing better than walking across Paris’ fantastic street cafe, its hidden corners and welcoming squares. The southern European vibe is well mixed with the grand buildings typical of Northern Europe. Paris and France are safe places to travel solo at 50+.
I visited in 2014 on the occasion of my 50th birthday and loved it. I highly recommend visiting Paris in the summer, if you can make it in June, la fète de la music is a fantastic event not to miss out on.
I have been back to Berlin twice in the past two years. With ongoing development projects, Berlin is the no. 1 capital city in Europe for its distinctive multicultural flair that you can breathe in everywhere. It’s a hub for cultural events, from film festivals to concerts and art exhibitions. It’s not my favourite German city, but I love the excellent vibe, and Berliners are friendly and open-minded. If you love festivals, you must check out this page with all Berlin Festivals.
Prague is probably the most beautiful and affordable city in Europe from the architectural perspective, with a very scenic landscape and another fast cosmopolitan-growing city in Eastern Europe. I visited Prague for the first time in 2019 with my niece after her exam from High School. We spent 3 days there, and I loved it. Check out this post for quirky things to see in Prague.
I visited Singapore in 2016 for the first time. It’s an amazingly safe city for solo travellers with a good combination of European vibe and Asian culture. Good food, a spectacular marina, and the bay’s gardens are the jewel on Singapore’s crown. I would recommend it if you plan to travel solo this year, and want to head down under, it’s a top destination for 1-2 day stopover or a long layover flight to Australia or New Zealand.
Bali had never been on my list. I had to plan it because my travel visa in Australia was about to expire, I had to leave the country for a few days. So it just fit into my 5-month travel in 2015. I left Perth in July 2015 I finally managed to visit Bali off the beaten track. July and August are hectic months for a trip. After first disorientation, I liked my stay, and despite the roosters’ madness and the thousands of motorbikes on the streets, I found those good places where to hide from the crowds—a great place to treat yourself to a remise-en-form at the best price ever. UBUD is definitely a great place for women travelling alone in South East Asia.
I spent 3 days in Bangkok in 2019 and loved my first solo trip to Thailand. While find Bangkok quite tiring to get around the vast distances in the city, once you get familiar with it, you’ll start enjoying its relaxed flair. If you are into food the stunning Bangkok markets will delight you. Thai Food is extraordinary and inexpensive, and you can eat top food everywhere. No need to go to fancy restaurants. When you land in Thailand’s capital city, you may want to plan more time and visit its surroundings like going on a short sidetrip to Kanchanaburi.
This list would not be complete without an Australian City. Albany in Western Australia s a place that stole my heart. I recently discovered it on a solo road trip and loved it. I only had three days to spend, which is way too short to do justice to this place. If you plan a trip to Perth, I recommend checking it out, although it is difficult to design a spontaneous trip unless you live in Perth. Lucky enough, in 2019, I could travel to Albany again and spent 6 days hiking and exploring the National Parks around Albany. To explore South West Australia by car and see it all, I’d recommend at least one week or 10 days to see the dramatic landscapes and experience amazing Albany and its surrounds properly.
These are eight smart and safe cities for women travelling alone in 2023, that will not disappoint.
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Solo Travel Over 50
What To Do In Europe At 50+
Explore Italy With Me
How to Travel Alone as a Woman
First published in 2021, last updated in March 2023
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