‘Unbelievably easy to explore’: Travellers recommend the best places for a first-time solo trip

‘Unbelievably easy to explore’: Travellers recommend the best places for a first-time solo trip

Keen to try solo travel but anxious about what to expect? From communicating to getting around, there are lots of unknowns that you’ll have to navigate on your own.

Choosing the right destination for your first trip alone can make or break your experience.

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With good transport connections, friendly locals and minimal language barriers, here are the best places for first-time solo travellers, according to users of Reddit’s r/travel forum.

Take the train from historic towns to diverse natural sites in Spain’s Andalusia

The autonomous community of Andalusia on Spain’s southern coast is packed with historic old towns, affordable cities and stunning nature — all well connected by public transport.

This is great for solo travellers who want to navigate on their own without the stress and cost of driving abroad.

One Reddit user says “a trip around Malaga, Ronda, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada… is very easy by public transport”. Another recommends taking the train down to Andalucia from Madrid to Toledo, Cordoba — “don’t miss this one” — and Seville. “Always give a recommendation to Cordoba. Truly a unique place,” agrees another.

Córdoba is especially popular for its blend of Roman and Moorish history. To explore the latter, book a ticket to the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. Now a World Heritage site, it has been wowing visitors with its colourful arches and sheer size since the Middle Ages.

Prefer to be outdoors? Andalusia has you covered on that front, too.

“There’s some pretty great places to hike in Andalusia as well if you want to be in nature,” says one Reddit user.

From the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada to the ancient woodland of Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, the sub-tropical beaches of Granada to the wild beauty of the Almería desert, there’s something to suit every type of solo adventurer.

Start in Portugal then take the train to Lisbon.Canva

Go from city to beach without breaking the bank in Portugal

Portugal ranks highly as a top destination for first-time solo travellers.

Reddit users recommend starting in Porto, the home of port wine. It’s “walkable and the locals are great”, says one Reddit user.

From here, take the train to Lisbon for “excellent” and “inexpensive” food, with plenty of English-speakers to help you on your journey.

For more money-saving, get the Lisboa Card — a pass that covers transportation, discounts and entry to over 50 museums and monuments — recommends one Reddit user.

“It’s discounted/free admission to a bunch of local landmarks, plus unlimited metro/bus rides, plus free rides on the commuter trains out to Sintra (definitely worth visiting, especially Pena Palace — but go early in the morning) and Cascais,” they say.

Once you’ve had enough of city life, continue south to the Algarve’s Atlantic beaches — reachable in three hours by train.

English is one of Malta’s official languages.Canva

Explore ancient temples and golden beaches in this English-speaking archipelago

Malta comes highly recommended for English speakers worried about communication — it’s one of the country’s official languages alongside Maltese.

The compact island is easily navigable by bus or taxi, making “great, modern party towns, gorgeous historic cities… lovely beaches and countryside all accessible within an hour or so from your hotel,” says one Reddit user.

Don’t let the country’s small size fool you though — with three islands to explore, you won’t get bored. Don’t miss the ancient Ggantija temple complex on Gozo, whose megalithic structures are over a thousand years older than the pyramids of Giza.

Drawing on cultures from across the Mediterranean, the country’s seasonal, rustic food draws on Italian and North African influences.

“It’s a wonderful place to start working all this stuff out for yourself,” says one Reddit user. “One of my favourite destinations that I’ve ever travelled to. I can’t think of a better stepping stone to solo travel in Europe,” adds another. “Locals are friendly, food is superb, and it’s unbelievably easy to explore.”


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