Solo travel has risen in popularity in the last two years, and that trend is set to continue. In fact, one survey of 27,000 travelers has revealed that 54 percent of women are planning on taking a solo trip this year.
There’s also increased interest in travelers looking for suitable destinations. Pinterest Predicts highlights that there has been a 145 percent increase in searches for solo travel.
With these statistics in mind and for the third year running, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip has ranked the best places to visit as a solo female traveler.
Eight European cities are featured in the top 10 while Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Chiang Mai, Thailand are the only cities outside of Europe to feature.
This year, Munich, Germany scored the top spot in the study, with an overall score of 7.4/10. This is four positions higher than its 2023 ranking. Munich received top scores for ‘gender equality’ and ‘absence of legal discrimination’. The Global Gender Gap Report highlights that Germany has a gender gap that is 81.5 percent closed, one of the highest scores in the world.
Munich also received high scores for ‘quality of things to do’ and ‘safety walking alone at night’. The city is most popularly known for its annual beer festival, Oktoberfest. The city also supports the Safer Oktoberfest campaign, which ensures women have a safe space at the event.
Munich boasts incredible architecture, world-class museums, and a host of vibrant markets and neighborhoods to explore. While Munich boasts many wonderful attractions, it is one of the more expensive cities in the study to visit. The daily travel cost in Munich is $164 which is $145 more expensive than the cheapest destination in the study, Jaipur.
The Spanish capital Madrid is in the second spot for the most favorable destination to visit as a female traveler for the second year in a row. The city scored 7.2 overall.
It scored highly for ‘absence of legal discrimination’, quality of things to do’, ‘gender equality’ and ‘safety walking alone at night’. Over the past three years, there has been a consistent decrease in crime in Madrid.
However, it missed out on the top spot in part due to its low TikTok popularity, with 144 million views compared to Munich’s five billion views.
London is the third best city to visit as a female solo traveler, scoring 7/10 overall. It jumped up 14 places since last year’s study – scoring highly because of its ‘quality of things to do’, ‘gender equality’ and ‘absence of legal discrimination’ (8.4). In 2020, the Safer Street Fund was created to prevent violence against women and girls in public.
Unfortunately, London’s daily travel cost is among the highest in the study at $238 a day. In fact, it’s considered one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world, making it more inaccessible for travelers on a budget.
Lisbon, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain complete the top five best cities for female solo travel.
Three Malaysian cities are featured in the 10 least favorable destinations for female solo travel. This includes Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and Penang Island.
Kuala Lumpur received the lowest score in the study. This is a slight decrease from last year when it was ranked the second least favorable city for solo female travelers.
It receives the worst score in the ‘absence of legal discrimination’ category and poor scores for its ‘safety when walking alone at night’, ‘attacks based on gender’ and ‘gender equality’. However, new statistics reveal that there has been some improvement in the Malaysia Gender Gap Index.
Johor Bahru is the second least favorable city for solo female travelers to visit. It ranks poorly due to low scores for ‘safety walking alone at night’ and ‘gender equality’. While the city scores highly for its ‘quality of things to do’, tourists are urged to be cautious of pickpockets in tourist hotspots, such as the Century Garden Night Market.
Delhi, India is ranked the third least favourable city for solo female travellers. Its low score comes from ‘attacks based on gender’ and ‘gender equality’. One report found that Delhi is the most unsafe metropolitan city for women in India.
Only one U.S. city is included in the 10 least favorable cities for women to visit – Las Vegas. It has an overall score of 4.9. While it scores highly for its ‘quality of things to do’, its low overall score is due to its high ‘daily cost’ of $310, ‘safety walking alone at night’, and ‘TikTok popularity’. Despite its low score, Las Vegas improved by four positions compared to last year’s study.
Surprisingly, three other U.S. cities that were among the 10 least favorable for women to visit in last year’s study have all improved scores. In the study of 65 cities, Los Angeles was ranked 58th, while San Francisco and Orlando were ranked 60th and 63rd respectively.
However, Las Angeles is now ranked 49th while San Francisco and Orlando rank 50th and 51st respectively, showing a marked improvement in their suitability for solo female travelers.
Sarah Webber, Director of Marketing at InsureMyTrip. who carried out the research, commented: “Women traveling alone have a lot to think about – and planning a solo trip can be stressful. We hope this study makes choosing a destination that is safe but fun a little easier, because everyone deserves to feel at ease when traveling!”