Skip the bustling cities of Barcelona and Madrid, and head to Seville for your next solo trip. This beautiful Spanish city has something for everyone, whether you want to visit botanical gardens or stunning architecture, eat your way around the many tapas restaurants, or book a flamenco dancing lesson. Plaza de Espana is a good place to start, though tourists should make a beeline for the famous Jewish neighbourhood of Santa Cruz for some hidden gems. There, you can get lost in the photogenic alleyways lined with tropical trees and gift shops, and try some traditional tapas at one of the many bars in town – Las Teresas is one of the best. For history buffs, Royal Alcázar Palace, a UNESCO heritage site, and Seville Cathedral, further into the centre, are also not to be missed. In terms of food, conTenedor, one of the cities liveliest restaurants (and a great place to mingle with locals), serves locally sourced Spanish dishes with an extensive selection of Andalucian wines, while Mamarracha, just a four-minute walk from the Cathedral, specialises in charcoal-cooked seafood and meat.
Where To Stay:
Located in the old quarter of Barrio Alfalfa just five minutes from Seville Cathedral, Corral del Ray is a luxury boutique hotel set in a stylishly renovated 17th century building. With a mix of ancient and modern styles, the bedrooms include original features such as wooden shutters, stucco walls, and oak beams. If you’re going solo, book a Deluxe Double Room complete with a stylish en-suite marble bathroom and beautiful views of the hotel gardens. Head to the hotel’s roof terrace to see the Cathedral at night and dine at the on-site restaurant to sample some delicious Sevillian dishes.
Rooms from £276 per night.
Hungary’s capital is one of the best European cities for solo travel. A lovely weekend or minibreak can be spent exploring the city’s rich history, unique architecture, healing thermal waters, and diverse food scene. Budapest is easy to navigate, particularly the centre, which is best explored on foot, while a well-connected tramline and metro system will take you to some of the best sights. For a culture-filled trip, head to the historic buildings and art galleries dotted around Budapest – Fisherman’s Bastion, St Stephen’s Basilica and Buda Castle are the must-see buildings, while an afternoon can be spent in the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery. Take a boat trip along the Danube, Europe’s second longest river, and go to one of the thermal bathhouses – Széchenyi is the most famous, but if you want a relaxing soak away from the crowds, head to the Lukács Baths where you can swim in one of the many indoor pools and sunbathe on the roof terrace in the summer. For solo dining, Hungarikum Bisztro in the city centre is a popular spot thanks to its cosy interiors and traditional menu, while Café Gerbeaud is the ideal afternoon pitstop for a coffee and slice of cake.
Where To Stay:
The centrally located Brody House is a great option if you’re travelling alone. Set in a beautiful building dating back to the 1850s, this boutique hotel has ten simple, yet stylish, rooms, each filled with original artwork from artists who lived in the house during the 19th century. The rooms also come with freestanding roll-top baths, or a walk-in rain shower, and original property features to add to the cosy ambience. After a busy day of exploring, head to the on-site bar for Hungarian wine, craft beer, and a selection of signature Brody House cocktails – the perfect place to relax or mingle (safely) with fellow travellers.
Rooms from £53 per night.
As the famous setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Verona is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. For a solo trip, a weekend is enough time to stroll around the cobbled streets, try some delicious food, and explore the historic architecture, though Venice, Bologna and Modena are all easily reached by train – it’s a great base to explore other Italian cities if you want a longer holiday, too. In the centre of town, visit the famous Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre, where you can take a guided tour during the day and watch an opera at night, and walk over the historic Castelvecchio Bridge – one of the most scenic routes in the city. Lovers of the arts should also head to Casa di Giulietta, the house of Juliet Capulet, where you can visit the famous balcony and even stroke the breast of Juliet’s statue which is supposed to be lucky. Verona has a range of excellent restaurants and cafés, but for some delicious pasta and an Aperitivo, be sure to book a table on the outdoor terrace at Teodorico Re which has beautiful views of the city. For a special treat, head to Vecio Macello for traditional Venetian-inspired seafood.
Where To Stay:
Located in the heart of the city, Corte Realdi has a selection of luxury, boutique rooms set in a beautiful Renaissance building. If you’re travelling solo, ask for a room with a terrace view of the medieval courtyard where you can enjoy breakfast or a glass of prosecco on the balcony. Each room is lavishly decorated, with frescoed ceilings and a generous living area complete with antique furniture. The hotel is located next to Corso Porta Borsari, one of the best shopping areas in the city, and is also just a short walk from several charming cafés and restaurants.
Rooms from £89 per night.
Berlin is one of the most solo-traveller friendly cities in Europe, thanks to its bustling food and arts scene and rich history. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll need longer than a weekend to take in all the sights, so bookmark it for a longer holiday. Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, Alexanderplatz, and the Holocaust Memorial are just a few of the most famous sights, but if you want an in-depth tour of the city, head on a free walking tour, led by a historical expert. Free Tours by Foot offer four-hour tours where you’ll see the most famous landmarks and learn about the rich history of Berlin. Don’t miss the Großer Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest park, or the many museums and galleries – Museumsinsel and the Neues Museum being two of the best. Kreuzberg neighbourhood, just south of the city centre, has some of the best casual dining spots for solo diners, including Knoffi, a popular Middle Eastern cafe, and Jolesch, a stylish Austrian restaurant that serves traditional schnitzel and delicious stuffed ravioli.
Where To Stay:
Book a room at Sir Savigny hotel, located in the stylish literary quarter of the city, Charlottenburg. With distinctive eclectic style, the hotel has 44 rooms that are uniquely decorated with artistic wallpaper, vintage rugs and luxury soft furnishings. Choose a Sir Deluxe room with a courtyard view for a comfortable stay and make use of the rain shower and ultra-plush bathrobe. The hotel also has a guest lounge, library, and The Butcher, an in-house kitchen which serves delicious meaty options, including a tasty Aberdeen Angus beef burger.
Rooms from £94 a night.
As one of the safest European countries for solo travellers, those looking for a minibreak should head to the southwestern city of Stavanger. The coastal city comes alive in the summer with its seaport events, but visitors can appreciate its beautiful fjords and mile-long white beaches year-round. Stavanger has the best of both worlds – if you’re after beautiful landscapes, head to Lysefjord Sola Beach, and the famous Preikestolen cliff which was once named ‘the world’s most breath-taking platform’, then head to the city centre where you can walk to most of the attractions, including several museums and art galleries. In July, Gladmatfestivalen food and drink festival takes over the whole city where you’ll find a huge range of traditional Norwegian treats and locally sourced produce. Stavanger also has some excellent places to eat including the Michelin-starred sushi restaurant Sabi Omakase – an SL favourite.
Where To Stay:
For a stylish seaside retreat, head to the luxury boutique hotel, Eilert Smith. The hotel has 12 bedrooms, all of which have been decorated with signature Scandinavian style with natural wood, soft fabrics and locally made furniture. A Deluxe Double Room comes with a kitchenette and queen size double bed where solo travellers can enjoy breakfast in bed and take in the stunning views of the city. The hotel is also home to a cosy bar, and the award-wining two-Michelin-starred RE-NAA restaurant which serves elegant seafood alongside modern Norwegian dishes.
Rooms from £290 per night.
If you’re thinking about travelling alone, Copenhagen is one of the most stylish Scandinavian cities to visit. From chic Danish designed architecture, and a rich cultural history, to picturesque streets and a world-class food scene, the city is a playground for tourists. Tivoli Gardens, the 17th century Rosenburg Castle, and The Little Mermaid Statue are the must-see attractions in the city centre, but you’ll get a real feel for the Scandi way of life in Nyhavn and the Royal Quarter. There, sit at a café overlooking the famous Nyhavn canal, take a stroll down the waterfront to see the iconic colourful buildings, and visit the museums aboard the ships. The city is also home to 15 Michelin-starred restaurants – Geranium in Nørrebro being one of the best – as well a host of casual dining spots suited to solo travellers. Book a table at Maple on Vesterbrogade for simple yet elegant Norwegian food, including Danish blue mussels, local salmon filet and a delicious wild mushroom risotto.
Where To Stay:
Located in central Copenhagen, Hotel Danmark is a luxury four-star boutique hotel with 89 rooms and suites. If you’re alone, book a Junior Suite for extra room and be sure to have a drink at the rooftop bar during ‘wine hour’. Another top choice in the city is Villa Copenhagen. This SL favourite has a range of stunning bedrooms with distinctive Scandinavian flair – a Superior Room is a top choice for solo travellers thanks to large open interiors and chic marble bathrooms. Hotel guests can also use the outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre, and enjoy delicious food from around the world at the hotel’s stylish Kontrast brasserie.
Rooms from £150 per night.
Voted one of the safest cities in the world for female travellers, Stockholm is one of the top city break destinations on this list. Thanks to its world-class restaurant scene, cultural attractions, and chic Scandinavian architecture, a long weekend is best spent soaking up as much of the culture as possible. There are several must-see sights spread across the 14-island city, but for some of the best, head to Skeppsholmen island. There, you’ll find the Museum of Modern Art, and the ABBA Museum. For relaxed dining, go to Hjerta in Skeppsholmen for some classic Swedish dishes and great cocktails, or try Torpedverkstan which has an extensive lunch menu with something for everyone. Stockholm on a Friday night, especially the last of each month, also has a buzzing bar scene – head to one of the many bars in town to live like a local – Bar-Agrikultur on Skånegatan has some of the best gin cocktails in the city.
Where To Stay:
When in Stockholm, staying at Miss Clara Hotel is always a good idea. Located in the centre of the city, this hotel is just two minutes’ walk from the famous Drottninggatan shopping street and is also a short distance from Stockholm Central Station. Inside, solo travellers can make the most of the simple, yet chic Scandinavian-style bedrooms and enjoy Byredo toiletries that come in each bathroom. Miss Clara also has an excellent restaurant and bar on site which serves delicious Italian food with a Scandinavian twist. For a treat, ask for a Superior Room which overlook the beautiful Sveavägen gardens.
Rooms from £148 per night.
*DISCLAIMER: At the time of writing, some countries mentioned were not exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel, though travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book. Please ensure you are aware of the social distancing guidelines in place as well as rules on meeting up in groups larger than six.
INSPIRATION CREDITS: Beatrice Graalhelm
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