Best trips for female solo travel


Alice Tate

Photography by John Seaton Callahan / Getty Images

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March 2017

To celebrate International Women’s Day, influential Instagram blogger Alice Tate asks seven jet-setting women to recommend the surprising destinations they most enjoy as a solo traveller.

Shanghai

Says Doina Ciobanu, blogger at The Golden Diamonds

In many parts of China you can feel very much like a foreigner. However, in Shanghai, the impact of the old colonial area – with its mix of well-travelled locals – makes the city feel much more accessible. When I was there, people were very warm and welcoming, and I made so many friends in just a few days. The city is so huge and there’s so much to explore, you’ll never be bored.

In Shanghai, the impact of the old colonial area – with its mix of well-travelled locals – makes the city feel much more accessible.

Where to eat

Discover the local street food, especially in the old quarter. If you’re looking for something fancier, try Kathleen’s 5. It has a ridiculously gorgeous view of the Bund.

  • Making Modernism at the Heide Museum of Modern Art © Jeremy Weihrauch

    Modern twist

    Just 20 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD is the Heide Museum of Modern Art – a cultural hub showcasing sculpture, painting, history, set in a contemporary angular building amid a stunning landscape.

    Explore Melborne
  • La Fiorentina, Seville © Claire Wilson

    Try it for yourself...

    Orange Blossom ice cream is on the menu at La Fiorentina – it’s one of the many flavours that you can find only in Seville – check out the sweet torrijas and pestiños flavour too, made from sweets found during Semana Santa at Easter. Fly from London to Seville from:£39 each-way

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  • The Siam hotel, Bangkok

    Check in

    The Siam hotel in Bangkok is ideally situated on the banks on the Chao Phraya river to take a trip along Bankgok’s waterways studded with bobbing floating markets.

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Where to stay

The Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai has some of the best staff I’ve ever experienced – they’ll do everything to make you feel comfortable during your stay. The hotel also has the most sublime view of the new part of the city.

What to do

This might be a bit bizarre, but make sure you use the underground! Like so many other Chinese cities, Shanghai’s train system is very efficient and worth seeing first-hand. It’s also a great way to see very different people and feel like you’re a part of that community.

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Melbourne

Says Tona Stell, Fashion Director at Suitcase Magazine

You’d expect such a big metropolitan city to be overwhelming, but Australian people are so welcoming and approachable. I found myself talking to every shop assistant, bartender and waiter, and they all gave me recommendations for what to see and do during my trip.

Where to eat

I probably had my favourite meal at Tipo 00. It's a very intimate Italian restaurant. There’s a high table running along the front window so it's the perfect spot to eat solo, as you can watch the bustling Little Bourke Street outside. The food is incredibly fresh and the menu changes regularly, I’d recommend getting a few small dishes to try as much as possible.

Where to stay

Hotel Lindrum. It’s in a great location in the centre of the city and is perfect for solo travellers because the bed is far too comfortable to share!

What to do

You get a sense of Melbourne as a creative hub when you walk around the suburbs of Fitzroy and Carlton. Drop into a concept store like No Order Market and Somewhere Store – even if it's just to window shop. If you have time, take a trip out of the city to see the latest exhibitions at the Heide Museum of Modern Art. And I’d definitely recommend a visit to Phillip Island Nature Park to see the penguins.

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Seville

Says Claire Wilson, Senior Travel Specialist at Smith24

It has a reputation for being romantic, but there’s still plenty for a solo traveller to enjoy – the history and culture are so rich.

Where to eat

Tapas restaurants are perfect for solo diners. Most places are pretty casual, with tables dotted on the streets. Watch the world go by accompanied by some sangria and jamón. My favourite spot was Petit Comite, which serves authentic gazpacho and delicious croquettes.

Then, inspired by one of Rick Stein’s TV programmes, I went in search of a place called La Fiorentina – an ice-cream shop renowned for its Seville orange-blossom flavour. It’s hidden down one of the back streets, but it’s well worth a visit.

Where to stay

Corral del Rey is a 300-year-old casa tucked away on one of the labyrinthine narrow streets in Seville’s old quarter. I slept in a junior suite and loved the whitewashed walls, vaulted ceilings and extra-long bathtub. The hotel also has a beautiful rooftop pool with jaw-dropping views across the whole city. You’re perfectly happy by yourself there!


What to do

The Alcázar Palace and gardens are a must-visit – it’s the oldest active royal palace in Europe. Students from the Tourism School of Seville offer tours every morning, or you can opt to take in the architecture at your own pace. The Plaza de España is a lovely, big, open space located in the Parque de María Luisa – it’s a great place to sit and read while catching a bit of sun.

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Stockholm

Says Laetitia Wajnapel, blogger and photographer at Mademoiselle Robot

I always considered Stockholm to be a place for groups until I went back by myself. I discovered a more contemplative side to the city.

Where to eat

Louie Louie in Södermalm It’s very chilled out and unpretentious, and the staff are all super friendly, so you feel very comfortable on your own.

Where to stay

Hotel Skeppsholmen located on Museum Island, it’s a treasure trove of Swedish design. Plus, the island itself is very safe and removed enough from the city centre to feel like you’re on a creative retreat.

  • Not to be missed: iconic buildings of Stortorget, Gamla stan © Marco Bottigelli / Getty

    Island hopping

    Spread over 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges, Stockholm is a unique city to explore – and a picturesque one too with it’s colour-popping houses in the historic square of Stortorget. Book flights from London to Stockholm, plus a three-night hotel stay from:£179 pp

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What to do

Stockholm is the perfect size to discover on foot. I saw lots of photography exhibitions, sat in cafés to write, in parks to read, took my time to see every little detail of the city, and really explored it in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with another person by my side.

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Thailand

Says Emma Hoareau, blogger and photographer at Lolita Says So

I thought Thailand would be an intimidating place as a young, single woman, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although Bangkok is very busy, once I was on the islands I’ve never felt more at ease. Particularly on Koh Phi Phi, everyone was so friendly. Within two days I had a whole new group of fellow tourist friends to hang out with.

Where to eat

Su Chilli on Koh Tao. Thailand has an abundance of incredible street food, but this particular place struck a chord with me. The staff are really friendly and the food’s great.

Where to stay

As a solo traveller I like to rely on word of mouth, to make sure I’m going somewhere safe. The chic Siam@Siam Design Hotel in Bangkok has an Instagrammable rooftop bar and infinity pool.

What to do

Snorkelling round the islands is a must. Take a boat trip – being thrown into a small space with complete strangers is a great way to meet others.

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