Travelling solo certainly has its benefits, namely being able to do whatever you like, whenever you like, without having to answer to anybody else. No negotiating over where to go for dinner, how to spend your last day or whether you blow your hard-earned dollars on that extra unnecessary (yet oh-so-necessary) souvenir.
Some destinations lend themselves to solo travel, so whether you’re into history and culture, exhilarating adventures or some good old shopping, we’ve rounded up the best destinations out there.
Lose yourself in these historic cities. See the sights, browse the museums at your leisure and treat yourself to gourmet dining and fine wine. Because why not?
Home to incredible gilt-lined churches hidden down the most unassuming of streets, priceless works of art by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, and world-renowned buildings that have stood for thousands of years, Rome is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to history, art and culture. From the Pantheon to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain to the Vatican, work your way round the icons of the city, stopping off for an authentic gelato or Italian coffee along the way, not to mention authentic pasta and pizza – just make sure you’ve got plenty of space on your camera.
It may renowned as the City of Romance but it’s also a city of world-class museums you can lose yourself in for hours, seemingly endless shopping, fine food and wine, and incredible architecture. From the Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower to the meandering backstreets lined with boulangeries and boutiques, this irresistible city has something special to offer every kind of traveller. Live like a Parisian and head down to a local weekend flea market before stopping for a flaky croissant with a side of rich coffee.
An adventure holiday is a great way to meet fellow-minded travellers, with group activities such as cycling rapidly gaining popularity.
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
Bit of a thrill-seeker? Look no further than New Zealand’s capital of adventure. Nestled on the shore of Lake Wakatipu on the South Island, Queenstown attracts travellers from all the world who come to go bungee jumping, skiing, jet-boating, kayaking, sailing, heli-rafting… you name it. It’s also the perfect launchpad for exploring Milford Sound, a breathtaking fiord which is home to fur seals, dolphins and penguins.
GRAND CANYON, USA
There are some locations that lend themselves to deep reflection and simply take your breath away, and the Grand Canyon is one of them. Don your walking boots and prepare to tick this natural marvel off your bucket list, but be sure to plan ahead so you get the most out of your trip. While the South Rim with its famous vistas is the most visited area of the Grand Canyon National Park, don’t discount the West where you can stroll the Skywalk over the Hualapai Tribal lands, the Horseshoe Bend of the East and the sensational views of the more remote North Rim (open seasonally) near the Utah border. White water rafting, helicopter tours and mule rides offer unique ways to soak up the sights.
Shopping is a sport best undertaken alone if there’s some serious spending to be done – and you won’t find much better than these shopping meccas.
NEW YORK, USA
Grab your most comfortable shoes and your credit card to shop ‘til you drop at one of the world’s most sought-after shopping destinations. Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdof Goodman, Tiffany and Co, Victoria’s Secret… there’s more than enough to exhaust even the most dedicated shopper – although of course, you can always nurse a cocktail between stores to regain your strength. The festive season is an especially brilliant time to visit, with department stores festooned with world-class window displays that stop tourists in their tracks, not to mention the Rockerfeller Tree and ice skating in Central Park.
From the glossy luxury boutiques of Old Bond Street to the vintage rails at Brick Lane market, this city is a veritable treasure trove of shopping, whether you’re looking to splash the cash or source one-off pieces that won’t blow the budget. One of the world’s edgiest fashion capitals, inspiration is abound on the streets, from students trawling the streets of Soho to the impeccably groomed-clientele of Selfridges. A captivating mish-mash of travellers and residents of all nationalities and walks of life, you’ll feel instantly at home in this dynamic capital, which would taken even a local years to discover in its entirety.
Travelling alone for some self-reflection, Eat, Pray, Love-style? Reinvigorate your body and mind with a holistic yoga retreat.
India is the spiritual home of yoga and the Himalayas offers one of the most spectacular backdrops imaginable for a retreat. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills is the Ananda destination spa resort, named by Conde Nast Traveler as the Number One Destination Spa in India in its 2017 awards. Utilising yoga, meditation, spa treatments, nutrition and gourmet cuisine, its programmes are designed to set guests on the path to sustaining a healthier lifestyle.
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