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Fun Activities for Solo Travellers

As a solo female traveller, it is not uncommon to be on the receiving end of raised eyebrows and sympathetic looks when I announce yet another solo trip. There are indeed challenges for solo travellers—solo supplements, navigating bookings for one, and the ever-present concerns about safety and loneliness. For many, however, the rewards of solo travel are about embracing those challenges as part of a liberating, flexible, and empowering experience. Today's post shares some activities tailored specifically for solo travellers. From culinary adventures to cultural explorations, each of the curated activities is welcoming and accessible to solo travellers.

Author sitting on a rock looking into the Sacred valley
Ollantaytambo, Peru

 

Food Activities For Solo Travellers

An excellent way to learn about another culture is through food but solo dining can be daunting for many. Some travellers are less comfortable dining alone. Some establishments are reluctant to seat singles at prime tables. This can result in some travellers only eating street food or at fast food chain restaurants. I encourage travellers to use strategies to become more comfortable dining alone and to join a cooking class or food tour.


Cooking Classes/Food Tours

Cooking classes and food tours will not only introduce visitors to local flavours but also offer opportunities to get together with other travellers to learn how to create and share an authentic meal. Whether you learn to roll sushi in Japan, knead phyllo pastry in Greece, or grind spices in Bali, visitors will enjoy the activity and add to their home menu ideas.


Author grinding spices in mortar with pestlle
Cooking Class, Ubud, Bali

Personally, my food and cooking tours have been the highlights of my travel experiences. The recipes I've learned during these adventures have become cherished souvenirs, regularly making appearances in my home kitchen.


Treat Yourself to Dinner

If eating solo feels like a challenge, check out my previous post "Solo Traveller Eating Alone," where I delve into strategies for making solo dining a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

A plate of towering ceviche and a glass of Pisco Sour
Huacachina, Peru

Explore on Foot or by Bike

I am a big fan of simply wandering around without a specific destination or direction in mind. Where available, I might rent a bicycle or scooter. Ask a local about any areas to avoid. It is wise to have a navigation app or map handy in case you get turned around.


Walking/Cycling City Tours

I always prefer a walking or cycling tour over a coach tour. The group size tends to be smaller and the schedule tends to be more flexible. Knowledgeable local guides have honed their entertaining narration of history, architecture, and culture as groups are led along less-travelled streets. Most destinations will have free walking tours. Be aware that tourists are expected to tip guides for their time. Many of the best tours are difficult to find through internet searches. Visit local tourist information centers for all the available tours. (Bonus: tours are often less expensive when booked locally)

Author riding yellow bicycle on a wooden sidewalk in front of a beach
Gili Trawagan, Indonesia

Meandering Through a Neighborhood

Sometimes, the most rewarding experiences come from simply wandering aimlessly through a neighbourhood. Meandering off the beaten path gives solo travellers the freedom to set their own pace and agenda. Linger at a quaint café, browse through artisan shops, or strike up a conversation with locals.


A store front in a medieval town with flowers and handmade brooms on display
Assisi, Italy

One of the simple pleasures is indulging in a bit of window shopping at local markets. Step into a neighbourhood café and confidently order in the local language. People-watching adds an extra layer of enjoyment to culinary adventures. Take a seat, blend in with the crowd, and let the sights, sounds, and flavours of the neighbourhood envelop you in a sensory symphony. (Check out my favourite People-Watching Destinations here)

A fruit stand in a market
San José, Costa Rica

Trail Walks

Trail walks can be found in both urban and rural settings. When venturing solo, it's essential to prioritize safety by choosing a well-travelled route. Choose shorter loop trails or urban paths for a sense of security. Organized hiking groups or tours will ensure a social opportunity and expert guidance along the way.

A wooden trail bridge in the forest
Bere Point Trail, Malcolm Island, BC Canada

Pack a basket with your favourite snacks and find a tranquil spot to enjoy a leisurely picnic. in a sun-drenched meadow, a secluded beach, or a lush park.


Day Trips and Excursions

I think of Hop On-Hop Off (HOHO) tours as a city sampler. I get an overview of the destination and the locations of the tourist sites I want to visit. My HOHO strategy is to ride the entire circuit once and begin hopping on and off on the second circuit, leaving major attractions for a later visit.


"Experience" Tours

Experience tours can offer unique opportunities with locals from wood-carving in Indonesia or foraging for truffles in France to bird-watching in Peru. AirBnB and local tourist offices have plenty of unique opportunities


Local Events and Performances/Games

Look for lively street festivals, engaging theatrical productions, local events and sports that attract locals. Look for local Facebook or MeetUp groups with event listings.

Dancers in traditional clothing in a parade
Aguas Calientes, Peru

Museums/Galleries

Museums and galleries that exhibit masterpieces, ancient artifacts, and contemporary artworks are perfect for solos. I've learnt over the years that I enjoy shorter and more focused visits. I tend to choose one exhibit, such as the Impressionists at Musee d'Orsay, rather than spending a full day exploring the entire museum.

The ornate clock  agaanst the former train station windows
Museé d'Orsay, Paris France

Classes in Wellness, Language, or Local Crafts

Recent travel trends include learning new skills and wellness retreats. More travellers are seeking to master the art of meditation, brush up on conversational skills, or learn traditional handicrafts.


Travel can be tiring with the combination of activities, jet lag, and being out of our comfort zone. I find it essential to include some form of indulgence in every trip to re-energize and pamper myself. From soothing massages to invigorating facials, spa days are the epitome of self-indulgence.


Author in outdoor flower bath
Karsa Spa - Ubud, Bali

Final Thoughts


Solo travel may come with its challenges—solo supplements, safety concerns, and moments of solitude—but it's also a liberating and transformative experience. It's about embracing the freedom to set your path, the flexibility to follow your whims, and the empowerment to navigate the world on your terms.


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9 Comments


Guest
Mar 25

Agree with Pamela here, festivals cane be a cool experience for solo travellers, too. There will be like-minded people and you'll get adopted in no time. Saying that I feel many experiences that I do at home, I will also do on my travels, e.g. going to the cinema, dining out, following my interest. It is mostly about feeling content with yourself as unfortunately in my age group there are sooo many couples and still a huge stigma and judgemental attitude towards people like me who are out in the world solo.


Carolin | <a href="https://solotravelstory.com/">Solo Travel Story</a>

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Replying to

Unfortunately, that stigma never disappears, no matter the age group. I agree that the key to enjoying solo travel is to be true to ourselves and the things we enjoy.

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All great tips! I love going to local festivals - it's a great way to support the community and engage with the locals. I've learned so much and met a ton of people through these events.

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I agree! I've been to some great ones -- candy festivals, poutine festivals, dragon boats, hot air balloons... and have had a thoroughly good time at all! I try to hit any and all in an area, if possible.

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I think you just listed all of my favorite things. Cooking classes? Adore them. Walking tours? The best. I have the same philosophy with HOHO tours too. Great way to get to know a city, first day do a loop without getting off. I do love solo travel but it's nice to have a bit of interaction along the way, and many of these are just the right amount for me

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Guest
Mar 09

I travel either solo or with my travel partner. I tend to gravitate to the joys of aimlessly walking and go around poking each neighborhood in my time when I travel solo. People these days easily pass on judgment about solo travelers since some of them are probably not able to bring themselves to travel solo I think. They don't know what they are missing ;-) #flyingbaguette


Jan - https://flyingbaguette.com/

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Guest
Mar 08

As a solo traveler, I can relate to what is described here. Although I don't think there are any activities that are more suitable for solo travelers, I know that there are some that are more appealing and that will be well received by everyone.

Without a doubt, the thing that annoys me the most is having to pay supplements as a solo traveler. Angela | Blonde Around The World Travel -

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