Europe solo travel might not be on everybody’s list, but it will soon be as more travellers start to choose solo travel over group travel. We won’t discuss any reasons here, but instead, I’ll give you my best tips for Europe solo travel, as I am a European traveller myself and have been since 2014.
Make sure to read till the end to get my best tips and recommendations about the best places to travel in Europe, tips for your solo European travel and everything else you need to know about travelling in Europe.
Beware: This is not your typical solo Europe travel guide. You might actually have a plan and a better understanding of what it takes to travel to Europe after reading and taking my advice.
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Travel Budget: How much does it cost to travel in Europe?
First things first.
How much does it cost to travel to Europe? How do you calculate a budget to travel in Europe? Is it even possible to go travelling around Europe on a budget?
The answer is YES. You can travel on a budget in Europe.
As a European, I can assure you that you can travel cheap to Europe because I’ve done it already. I live in Europe and I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you when I wrote a post about how to plan a month travelling through Europe on a budget. I explained my entire strategy (which I have never seen anywhere else) and laid out all the costs.
Go and read that post, before you set any expectations about budget travelling in Europe. You can choose your budget, and you can choose your destinations based on that travel budget.
Not all countries and cities are equal when it comes to costs. What may cost you a meal in Dublin might be enough for more than one day in Romania. They’re both in Europe, and they are both part of the European Union.
That’s why I stress so much on this topic when it comes to solo travel in Europe. Travelling alone means that you won’t be able to slip any costs regarding accommodation or transport if you decide to rent a car or slip the grocery bill.
Most travel blogs talk about a list of places to go or some tips to save money while travelling, but they never teach you how to actually conceive a plan to help you travel alone to Europe.
I’m a practical girl and like to have control over all the details whenever I plan a trip.
I believe that each one of us has a different style of travelling and that I can only tell you about my travelling days, for you to use as an inspiration.
So that’s why I will help you conceive a plan to travel solo to Europe. It’s not as hard as you think. I’ve travelled alone in Europe a lot and then also travelled solo to the US. You’ve got this!
Before you decide if you can afford to travel to Europe alone, do yourself a favour, and answer these questions. Be honest!
- How much do you want to spend?
- How much time do you want to travel?
- Are there any particular places you want to see?
After you’ve done that, you have a starting point to build a realistic travel to Europe plan.
How much do you want to spend while travelling in Europe?
As with any plan, setting a budget, and knowing how much you afford to spend, will help you further down the line to prioritize. Choosing between a restaurant meal and a hostel stay might not be an easy choice, but having your travel budget in mind will help you take the right decision.
Let’s talk about costs.
On average, you should plan 150 EUR (~$164) for a day in Europe.
But that’s an average, and it’s realistic if I were to consider most countries in Europe.
And then it comes the level of comfort you’re used to.
As with anywhere else in this world, comfort comes with a price tag, and that can add some zeros to your total costs.
Also, you can plan for a more frugal solo trip to Europe, as I did some years ago when I spent less than 1000 Eur for one month (do know that times have changed since then, so it would now be around 1,500 Eur).
It’s doable, and I am living proof, but the reality is that most people will say ‘no’ to some of the budget-saving tips I have for you. And to be completely honest, I spent that little because that was all the money I had.
How much time do you want to travel?
This is easy math. Once you decide on your travel budget to Europe, you can either spend less time travelling in Western and Northern Europe or head over to Eastern European countries and possibly double or even triple your stay.
Most travellers chose a combo between these three parts of Europe, and that’s how their average daily budget gets to a reasonable amount.
Just as an example, consider that a month’s rate for a room in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is around 500 Eur. A room in Paris can be about 1500 Eur. These are in the city centre. I live in Bucharest. It’s one of the safest cities I’ve been to. But that’s not something I can say about Paris.
Check out the cheapest countries in Europe to understand what I’m talking about.
As you can see, if your priority is to spend more time travelling around Europe and you don’t have an unlimited travel budget to do so, then consider slow travelling and some stops in Eastern Europe. Just because it’s not all over social media, it doesn’t mean it’s not neat.
Check out How to plan your Europe trip on a budget for some great budget tips.
Solo Europe traveller, are there any particular places you want to see?
Of course, these must be some places you really want to see in Europe. That’s ok, and I completely understand. I’ve been to some of them, and most of the time, they live up to the expectation.
In this case, you need to plan your European trip around those places. Remember that your biggest costs and struggles will be transport and accommodation in Europe. If money is not an issue, then plan away. Otherwise, take a look at the map of Europe and plan your Euro trip around those places you really want to see.
Some of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Europe are:
- Paris, France
- London, United Kingdom
- Rome, Italy
All great but pricey. And crowded. However, that doesn’t mean you should not visit them. On the contrary, you should definitely visit those on your first trip to Europe. I included them in this 3-week Europe itinerary for first-timers.
The best place to travel solo in Europe
What are the best places to travel solo in Europe?
Arriving in Europe
First off, think about travelling to Europe first.
I recommend checking Kiwi for prices and even booking your ticket. I use it whenever I have to plan a multi-leg trip because it covers you in case you miss any connection because of one of the companies and it also sells tickets using more than one airline.
Best Places for Solo Europe Travel
To be completely honest, most online magazines and big travel blogs praise places for their cultural diversity, landscapes, the number of tourist attractions, cuisine and other stuff like that.
But I ask you this: What do YOU want to do and see? Based on that answer, you will find the best place to travel solo in Europe for YOU!
I wouldn’t say I like this herd mentality, in which we all get to see the same places, eat the same, talk the same, and ultimately think the same. It’s called brainwashing, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid when you decide to go travelling.
I can list some random places to visit in Europe based on my own set of values and beliefs, and then you can get there and realise it’s not worth it for you.
We’re all different, and we have different needs. That’s why it’s so hard to pinpoint a life path to make all of us happy. We need different experiences to fulfil us, and different places will do that for us.
Do you still want my list of the best places for solo Europe to travel? In random order, here you go.
- Riga, Latvia – Because you have a lot of history and you can easily make a day trip to Tallinn or Vilnius. And it’s right next to the Baltic Sea.
- Kyiv, Ukraine – One of the most overlooked destinations in Europe. Affordable and so full of stories.
- Vienna, Austria – I might be biased on this one since I lived in Austria and have been to Vienna countless times. A lot of Eastern Europe’s culture was inspired by there.
- Bucharest, Romania – My hometown. It’s affordable, and you will have many cultural shocks if you’re not from around.
- Greek Islands – No need to explain this.
- Slovenia – Cheaper than Italy and Croatia, but with the same level of beauty.
- North of Italy – Just don’t get ripped off by staying in the city centres.
- Berlin, Germany – The most culturally diverse city I’ve been to in Europe.
- Sankt Petersburg, Russia – A must-see to understand how rich some countries are.
- Copenhagen, Denmark – A heaven for bike lovers.
Most of the time, I use Booking.com to find accommodation. And I’ve found that they have sweet last-minute deals if you book right before arriving there.
There are probably more beautiful places I would add to the list if I spent more time thinking about it, but there are also big cities in Europe that I personally dislike and don’t recommend.
You can always email me if you have any questions. However, if you do, please ask on-point questions about your plans. If you need help with creating a personalized Europe itinerary, I can offer that service at a cost. Here’s my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Europe Solo Travel tips for your first adventure
Travelling will open a new world for you and will help you further develop your personality. You will acquire new soft skills and learn a lot about yourself, establish personal principles and develop wants and needs.
I have an entire blog post about travelling solo for the first time, so check it out if you want to know what it will feel like.
Most of the time, we don’t listen to what others have to say and rely on our intuition. That’s good. Do use your intuition, and don’t get yourself in trouble.
But to give you some suggestions for your first solo Europe trip, here are some tips I wish I had known before going on some of my European adventures:
- Don’t overpack. The longer your trip is, the more you’ll have to repack and carry your stuff around, and it can cost you more. And if you really need something, you can always buy it.
- Be kind to strangers. You never know when you need someone to be kind to you, and these things have a way of coming back to you.
- Say ‘YES’ to spontaneous adventures. That’s when you’ll have the best time and get the best stories.
- Have a daily budget in mind. Try not to spend more than that.
- Book flights one month in advance. That’s when you get the best prices.
- Book trains one week in advance.
- Last-minute accommodation can get you better prices if you’re not picky. But not in overly touristic places.
- Try hostels and Couchsurfing to save money.
- Check out the free stuff first. All big cities have free walking tours.
- Book touristic activities AFTER you’ve reached your destination.
- Be flexible in planning your schedule.
- Get travel insurance.
- Always have some cash on you.
- Ask people who have a camera on them to take photos of you. They will probably take better pics anyway.
I’ve learnt some of these tips the hard way, and it makes no point to get into details. The fact that I survived being trapped on a mountain with no cash is proof that you can too travel solo to Europe and have a great time.
Oh, I almost forgot!
Please don’t stress yourself too much! There will be a lot you want to do during your trip to Europe, but there’s only so much you can do. Here’re 11 things to keep in mind when planning your trip to Europe.
Safety measures for travellers in Europe
Safety should always be on your mind when planning a new trip, especially when you want to visit a new country or even a continent, like, let’s say, Europe.
While Europe is pretty safe for the most part, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even more, considering travelling to Europe after a worldwide pandemic shook the entire travel industry.
Check out these travel precautions you need to take during a pandemic.
I also recommend using Colibra, where you can register your boarding pass before your flight, and you will get money in case your flight gets delayed or cancelled.
In addition to all safety and health measures you know from back home, I would like to point out a few extra safety measures to keep in mind.
- Always tell someone from back home where you are when you’re boarding a plane or train. Tell them where you’re staying.
- Watch your stuff. While Europe is a rather safe place, the crowded and touristic spots are full of pickpockets.
- Be wary of anyone offering something for free. It might be legit, but it can also be a scam. Use your better judgement. Scammers always target foreigners.
- Use common sense when engaging with a stranger. If something seems off, it probably is. Tell them you’re waiting for your partner to get off the hook.
- Don’t stay in large crowds for longer than necessary.
- Keep your money and passport safe at all times.
- Always do your research and try not to end up in a notoriously bad neighbourhood.
There are other specific situations we can talk about for hours when it comes to Europe solo travel, but I think this travel post covers the basics and will give you a good start to help you plan your Europe solo trip.
If I missed anything, please leave a comment or send an email, and I’ll gladly reply and update my post. Till then, stay safe and go out there and see the world. You will not regret taking this solo Europe travel.