The Best Cities in the World for Female Travellers, No Matter Your Age
If you've collected more than a handful of passport stamps, then you know that not every trip is created equal. And while it's easy to amass travel experiences when we're young, the older we get, the more it can feel like every vacation is geared toward those with a significant other. But in our minds, you shouldn't have to wait for a bachelorette party or honeymoon to go out and see the world.
Here, we've gone in search of seven excuses to book a trip, be it a milestone birthday, a breakup, or a need for mother-daughter bonding time. Consider this the perfect opportunity to reconnect with that college pal you haven't seen in a while or make some new memories with your closest girlfriends. And if they can't make it, go solo; these cities are safe, fun, and perfect for female travellers, no matter your age. Ready to start planning already? Look no further than these seven picturesque cities.
The Birthday Trip
A milestone birthday calls for a trip that's one of a kind. You'll find yourself in awe of every cobblestone street you walk down in Vienna, which is known for its old-world charm as well as its rich artistic and intellectual beginnings. There's so much more to this historic city—once home to both Sigmund Freud and Beethoven—than meets the eye. If you can only skip out of town for a long weekend, not to worry: That's more than enough time to see the famous Prater amusement park and the baroque Schönbrunn Palace, among other must-sees.
Celebrating a milestone birthday? Kick off the next decade of your life with a luxury experience. Consider booking your stay at The Park Hyatt Vienna in the center of the city. Here, you'll want to treat yourself to a treatment at the hotel's renowned spa, and make sure to ask the concierge to book a reservation at some of the best restaurants in town, like Restaurant Steirereck or Fabios. And hey, drop a hint to your pal to order a cake to your room, as the Park Hyatt offers year-round selections that are inspired by Viennese history.
The Detox Trip
No matter how successful, organised, or #blessed we are, we all have periods where we feel less than stellar. Maybe you and your best friends grew apart over the past year, or perhaps you and your partner had to make some tough choices. It's important to disconnect from your everyday life, but if you're less interested in a yoga retreat than, say, exploring a new city, consider venturing to Budapest. Here, not only will your breath be taken away by Buda Palace, but you can also soak away your anxieties at thermal baths and spas, all before heading to Szimpla Kert, a "ruin pub" in the city's old Jewish Quarter.
Add wellness to your experience by staying at the Aria Hotel Budapest, a five-star hotel that focuses on mind and body. Here, an on-site spa offers a slew of luxe treatments and yoga opportunities. From private sessions with a professional yoga instructor to a rooftop class that offers views of St. Stephen's Basilica, there are ample opportunities to stretch out your body and center your mind. For a sweet nightcap, grab your friend and head to the High Note SkyBar, where you not only match your cocktail to your bar bites, but the resident music sommelier will put together a music playlist for you, too.
The Girls' Trip
As much as you love your friends (obviously), you can also get a little fatigued when your entire summer is filled with back-to-back bridal showers, weddings, engagement dinners, and bachelorette parties. What happened to traveling together just because, and not because someone is getting hitched? Next time you have a break in celebrations, grab your friends and book a trip to Campeche, Mexico. Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, the city offers gourmet dining, expensive accommodations and the opportunity to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, too.
Campeche is known for its safety and for being relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists, so you can let loose and explore sans crowds. Make sure to make time for the Mayan archaeological sites, including Edzná, Becán, and Xpuhil, as well as other tourist (but not too touristy) adventures like Xmuch'haltun Botanical Garden and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. After all that exploring, it's time for a little R&R. For a place to soak up as much girlfriend time as you can, stay at the Hacienda Uayamon. No matter where you end up on the Belle Époque–style property, each of the 12 suites offer views and access to private gardens and plunge pools complete with hammocks.
The Besties Trip
San Francisco, USA
For a fun adventure that doesn't centre around unlimited cocktails by the pool, consider staying stateside and heading to San Francisco. The friendly city offers everything from sea lion–spotting at Fisherman's Wharf to a jaw-dropping view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Land's End. And hey, if she's been your gal pal for decades, she’ll agree when you add the Full House house to your sightseeing agenda.
Not sure where to stay while you're there? Go classic at the luxurious Fairmont, a gorgeous hilltop hotel that boasts sweeping views of the city. Try to book a room that overlooks the bay, and ask the concierge to reserve cocktails at the world-famous tiki-themed Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, where you'll not only get hurricanes (obviously) but a live show complete with an impromptu rainstorm, too. For a different view, consider the centrally located boutique Hotel Griffon, which sits on the waterfront along the Embarcadero.
The Solo Trip
Even if you've been on countless business trips all over the world, it's worth experiencing the different vibe that a solo vacation offers. Less about running from meeting to meeting and more about allowing yourself to dictate where you eat, where you stay, and what you do, solo travelling is trendy for a reason: It's a completely immersive way to explore a new place.
As one of the safest countries in the world and the one of the most tourist-friendly places to visit in Southeast Asia, Singapore—a city-state off southern Malaysia—should be rank high on your list of possible solo travel destinations. Though it might be considered more of a marketplace hub than a getaway hot spot, this small region offers everything from hikes to fine dining.
During your stay, explore the rare flowers and plants at the Gardens by the Bay, and trek up the 115-foot-tall mountain, Cloud Forest, home of the world's tallest indoor waterfall. After working up an appetite, visit the nearby Satay by the Bay, which has 19 stalls that offer a variety of local street food (and, of course, beverages to help you take a load off).
Book your room for one at the InterContinental, which is close to Marina Bay and the Central Business District, and offers plenty of restaurants that won't make you feel awkward about sitting by yourself. From Man Fu Yuan to Ash & Elm, there's something for every palate.
The Post-Breakup Trip
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Breaking up is hard to do, no matter how old you get or how much you loved your former partner. Not only taxing on your day-to-day routine but possibly disruptive to your home life if you lived together, a difficult split calls for an emotional—and physical—escape. And whether you go by yourself or a trusted friend comes along for the journey, you want to pick a destination that allows you to unwind and reconnect with the things that make you happy.
Fajardo, a hidden gem in eastern Puerto Rico, is a small city that's worth your attention. While it might not cure heartbreak, the stunning views, privacy, and tours of the nearby bioluminescent lagoon will get your mind off of stressful emotions. You've just been through the ringer, so splurge and stay at the five-star El Conquistador Resort. From the time you walk through the doors, you'll feel calmer and more at peace, especially when you take in the view from your room. Since this resort sprawls across a clifftop overlooking the ocean, every angle is Instagram-worthy, and thanks to its award-winning spa, you can indulge in self-care, too.
The Mother-Daughter Trip
Sante Fe, New Mexico
Remember those road trips your parents planned when you were growing up? Head west for a mother-daughter trip, but make it a little less campy and a tad more glam. Our pick? Santa Fe, New Mexico, is nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, you can take in stunning views, appreciate the pueblo-style architecture, and shop some locally made goods and souvenirs your mom will swoon over.
Just an hour or so away is the state's wine country, where you can sit back and chat over a bottle (or two). As for your choice of lodging, surprise your mum with a luxury experience at the Four Seasons Rancho Encanto. Here, you can enjoy a fully restorative experience after a day of adventuring: Indulge in the national healing traditions of the area at the on-site spa.
Have you ever travelled solo? Tell us which cities you'd recommend.