Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
Embarking on a solo adventure can be exhilarating, offering a chance for self-discovery and newfound freedom. However, not all destinations are created equal when it comes to catering to lone explorers.
Thanks to the help of Reddit, we’ve put together a list of places to avoid when heading out by yourself, based on the personal experiences of those who have ventured there before.
If you ask 100 travelers to name a city where they felt unwanted or looked down on, you can be sure Paris is going to pop up a lot. Although breathtakingly beautiful, Parisians are known to be standoffish and less than welcoming to travelers. So, if you are traveling by yourself and looking to build connections with the locals, steer clear of the French capital.
Some areas of the world are simply not that safe to wander alone, especially at night. There will always be dangerous areas in every city, and it’s important to know where and when to explore. This one particular traveler took to Reddit to talk about their scary experience in Bogota.
“I would not recommend visiting Colombia alone. I visited Bogota in March and was violently robbed at knife point my first night. Fortunately I was with someone which probably gave the guy incentive to let me live…but it was bad. I definitely recommend Colombia as long as you have a travel partner and don’t walk when it’s dark out!” —u/Traveler2121
Like many European cities, Rome is trying to reduce their tourist numbers as the city has become overrun with vacationers. Typically, solo travelers are looking for more off-the-beaten-track experiences, and Rome offers very few.
“IMO, Rome is tough for solo travel. It’s very hard to find non-touristy places (it’s doable, but you have to search hard), and everything is crowded with tourists. Wherever you go, people are hassling you trying to get you to buy things or eat at their restaurant. I was there in the off-season, so I can’t imagine how unpleasant it is during the summer.” —u/greckel
Although a wonderful destination for loved-up couples, Marrakesh can feel a little less welcoming for those on a solo adventure. Unfortunately, like many other areas of the world, women traveling alone can have a difficult time in Marrakesh.
“Marrakesh still holds the record as my worst solo travel experience. I experienced lots of hasslers, threats, and unwanted stares while exploring alone in the Medina. I think Marrakesh isn’t the best place for exploring alone, and it’s better to hire a reputable local tour guide. I also found it hard to meet others while staying at a riad.” —u/Varekai79
When reading internet forums about the worst places to travel solo, Egypt appears to be the number one perpetrator. Once again, it seems that women are most likely to experience harassment and unwanted attention from some locals.
“I remember a man said I was worth five camels while other men asked me where my father was. A man screamed at me at the pyramids of Giza because I asked him to stop following me, and I was heckled so badly at the Cairo Market. I absolutely loved the food, learning about the incredible history, and seeing how different the whole Egyptian way of life is, but as an American woman I never felt safe.” —u/lsigfrid
If you and your friends are looking to party and let your hair down, then Ibiza is where to go. But, if you’re going alone, the Spanish island can be quite intimidating. Known for its busy festivals and nightclubs, you’re not likely to find many other solo explorers here.
“I went to Ibiza alone, and while the festivals and clubs were lively and fun, I still felt extremely out of place going out by myself. I also had my phone stolen. I wouldn’t go back to Ibiza myself and wouldn’t recommend it as a solo trip to others, but I think with a group, Ibiza would be one of the most fun places on the planet.” —u/c11anderson
Home to some of the most beautiful sites in the world, India seems to divide people on whether it is a good place to travel solo or not. Everyone’s experience and circumstances will be different, but one particular Redditor explained how they would rather travel India in a group than on their own.
“IMO, India is not a good place to travel alone. I felt that I was constantly being scammed, and at least in Delhi, it didn’t feel entirely safe. Plus, it is so crowded and so loud that you’ll experience a lot of confusion for the first few days. India has a ton to offer and so many beautiful sites that it’s well worth a visit, but I would suggest going with others.”—u/i_don_wan
Another country that offers outstanding natural beauty but may not feel safe for those exploring by themselves, South Africa is often enjoyed more when with someone else. Whether going with a friend, joining a group tour, or traveling with a local, you’re better off teaming up on this adventure.
“I loved South Africa, but it’s better to visit this country with company. The personal safety concerns are real and something I was constantly aware of during my time there. I felt the most comfortable when I was with a local friend.”—u/sfhkkkgftyg
Mexico City, Mexico
While home to some mesmerizing ancient ruins and one of the oldest cities in the Americas, Mexico City hasn’t exactly developed the best reputation for travelers. Although many locals are more than welcoming, and some neighborhoods are safe, there are still dangerous places to avoid.
If you’re new to solo travel or have never been to Asia before, China is probably not a place to be visiting. The language barrier and the busy nature of its cities make it a difficult country to meet others and build connections.
“I was in China for 5 weeks on an internship – so technically I wasn’t ‘alone’, but I arrived alone knowing no one so I think it should still count. Anyways, it’s overcrowded and the pollution is palpable in the air, on your skin, etc. 1/10 would recommend. Admittedly, the Great Wall is really cool and Xian wasn’t so bad, but I was based in Beijing.” —u/purplepolkapanther
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