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Solo backpacking index

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Written by Max Beckett, Content Editor

Edited by Catherine Hiley, Senior Content Editor, 26 January 2022

For many people, there’s nothing more freeing than loading up a backpack, heading to the airport and exploring the world, with no strings, plans or suitcases weighing them down.
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But even the most stress-free travellers need to stay connected. Booking your next flight, arranging a place to stay, navigating your way through unfamiliar places and, perhaps most importantly of all, sharing pictures with friends and family, all require one key thing: a good internet connection, compare the best broadband deals here. 

We’ve looked at some of the most popular backpacking locations in the world and ranked them for connectivity, tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels, gyms and more to reveal the best backpacking spots on the planet.

The best places in the world to go solo backing

Image containing the best solo destinations

We’ve ranked each city on the following areas: download speed, number of activities and sightseeing opportunities, bars and pubs, public transport, places to stay, safety and average temperature.

This allowed us to compile the ultimate backpacking guide, showing you the places you need to go to get the best travelling experience. Bon voyage!

The top three cities with the best places to stay

Image of cape town

You don’t want to travel to a brand new city only to find that there is nowhere to stay. Luckily, we’ve discovered the top three cities with the best (and most) places to stay for solo backpackers.

Rome has the highest rated accommodation

If your accommodation is the most important factor in your travel plans, Rome is the destination for you. The city has both the highest number of places to stay (7,911) and the highest average rating for these places (4.43/5). So, with a bit of research, you can’t really go wrong in Rome.

Cape Town has great places to stay for backpackers

The average rating for places to stay in Cape Town is a high 4.39/5, putting it in second place according to our index when it comes to the cities with the best accommodation options. There are 2,490 places to stay in Cape Town for backpackers, so there’s no lack of choice. 

The accommodation in Paris is highly rated

Paris is the third best city when it comes to places to stay for solo backpackers. With 2,491 places to stay across the city, all receiving an average rating of 4.30/5, the options for accommodation in the City of Love are enough to persuade anyone to book a trip. 

The top three cities with the best tours and activities

Dubai from birds eye view

There are endless incredible sights to see around the world, but some cities have more activities to offer than others. If filling your itinerary with sightseeing, tours and activities is your favourite way to travel, these are the cities with the most to offer.

New Delhi has plenty to do for solo travellers 

If you want to choose your trip based on the tours and activities on offer, look no further than New Delhi. There are plenty of cultural tours to go on in this city, and the buildings there are stunning to visit - Qutub Minar and Swaminarayan Akshardham are two of the most popular attractions. If you want a more unique experience, try visiting Agrasen ki Baoli for a real hidden gem. 

Rome’s sights are definitely worth seeing

Rome is known for its deep history and incredible architecture, so it’s no surprise that it’s the second best place for tours and activities on our index. Obviously, the Colosseum, Parthenon and Trevi Fountain are must-sees, but for an undiscovered treat in the city, pay a visit to the Quartiere Coppedè to see some really unique building design.

Dubai offers loads of activities to visitors

The lavish city of Dubai has plenty to offer solo travellers. The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain are two of the most stunning man made attractions the city has to offer, and plenty of tours are offered around the city for tourists to enjoy. For a more unique travel experience, visit the Fossil Dunes in Al Wathba. It’s the perfect opportunity to see some incredible natural structures. The internet speed is fast in the city, too, so you could even video call your family and friends while you’re at it.

The top three cities for connectivity

Image of Tokyo at night

Staying connected while travelling solo is extremely important - both for safety reasons, and to stay in contact with your family and friends back home (or to make them jealous, your call). These are the cities with the best connectivity, so you can have access to fast internet speeds, whether you’re looking to video call home or share a selfie on Instagram.

Trondheim has the fastest internet

The Norwegian city of Trondheim has the fastest internet speed of any city in our index. The city has a huge amount of history - with one cathedral dating back to the 11th century - and scenery that will take your breath away. And the best part? You can use the city’s 312 mb/s upload speed to put all the great pics and vids you take on Instagram in mere seconds. 

Tokyo is great for internet-needing travellers 

The high-tech city of Tokyo is the second best city for connectivity, according to our index. With an average upload speed of 135.37 mb/s and a download speed of 107.21 mb/s, you can surf the web easily while basking in the neon lights of the city centre. Sounds like the perfect trip to us.

Madrid is a go-to for connectivity

The third best city for connectivity according to our index is Madrid. With download speeds of 106.3 mb/s and upload speeds of 101.66 mb/s, you’ll have no problem getting online here.

Top three cities for nightlife

Image of Seoul strip at sunset

Nightlife is often an important factor for younger travellers when deciding which city to venture to next. Our index has revealed the cities with the most bars and pubs within their vicinity, helping you narrow down your destination options if good nightlife is a deal breaker.

Tokyo has the most bars and pubs

The city that has the most bars and pubs by far is Tokyo. In total, there are 4,753 establishments where you can go to fill your nights with fun, leaving no solo traveller bored on their trip. With this much choice, you’re bound to find more backpackers along the way to keep you company.

Seoul’s nightlife will keep travellers busy

The second best city for nightlife in our index is Seoul. The city has 637 bars and pubs in its vicinity, so as a solo traveller you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to go after the sun has set on your busy day of exploring. 

When in Rome, experience the nightlife

Rome’s history isn’t the only thing worth seeing in the city - the nightlife is a great draw as well. There are 448 bars and pubs in the city, meaning any solo traveller will be able to find some exciting nightlife no matter where they’re staying.

Top three cities for transport

Image of Jaipur palace

Using public transport in a new city may seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t speak the language, but it is a surefire way to cut costs if you’re travelling on a budget. So, on your next trip, opt for a much cheaper option than a taxi - especially if you’re in one of the following cities.

Jaipur has cheap public transport

If saving money on transport is your main priority, look no further than the city of Jaipur for your next backpacking trip. A one-way travel ticket here is only 20p, and a monthly travel pass will only set you back £5.96.

Istanbul and Mexico City have equally affordable transport

In both Istanbul and Mexico City, a one-way ticket on public transport will only cost the equivalent of 21p. So, for short trips and journeys, both have extremely affordable options for getting around. Monthly passes, however, are much cheaper in Mexico City than in Istanbul. In the former, it will cost you £9.24, whereas in the latter you’d be looking at a more hefty £14.59. 

New Delhi has good deals for long-term tourists

For longer trips, the New Delhi public transport monthly pass is very affordable. It will only cost you the equivalent of £9.93 for a month’s worth of travel. The one-way tickets are also pretty fairly priced, at 35p each. Great for any solo travellers on a budget.

The top three cities for solo female travel

Image of a solo female backpacker

As a solo female traveller, it’s important to pick a destination that you feel comfortable in to make the most of your trip. CEO World have narrowed down the best cities for women to travel solo, ranked by various factors including the area’s gender equality, sense of security for women, income equality, female empowerment and women’s inclusion in society.

Amsterdam is perfect for a solo female backpacker

Image of Amsterdam Canal

Travelling as a solo female can be daunting, but for a welcoming and safe trip, Amsterdam is a great place to test the waters. For female travellers, the city scores the highest overall in our index, so it’s likely any female travellers there will feel secure and comfortable throughout their trip.

Trondheim makes a great destination for female travellers

Another great destination for solo female travellers is Trondheim in Norway. A notoriously friendly country, there’s plenty to do and see for tourists. So, female travellers in this city will not only be welcomed with open arms, but they’ll also never be bored.

Copenhagen is one of the best places for solo female travel

Another Scandinavian city in the top three, Copenhagen scores very highly for solo female travel according to our index. Copenhagen has so much to offer travellers, with very low crime rates and great connectivity, so you’ll feel safe and secure while enjoying all the sites the city has to offer.

The best solo backing destinations for women

RankCitySolo Female Travel Index Score
1Amsterdam, Netherlands40
2Trodheim, Norway39
3Copenhagen, Denmark38
4Toronto, Canada37
5Paris, France36
6Berlin, Germany35
7Vienna, Austria34
8Rome, Italy31
9Florence, Italy31
10Milan, Italy31

Source: CEO World

What our broadband expert has to say

Catherine Hiley, our broadband expert here at Uswitch, had this to say about staying connected while travelling solo:

“Travelling solo is an incredibly rewarding experience. It gives individuals the flexibility and independence to do and see whatever they want to, anywhere in the world. Because of this, staying online - especially when venturing alone to a brand new city - is extremely important, both for safety and for staying connected to your loved ones.

Finding the right data and roaming package is a must for anyone looking to travel solo anytime soon. Luckily, there are plenty of options for solo travellers who want the best internet access possible, from mobile dongles to MiFi mobile broadband. Before setting off on your adventure, be sure to research everything available to you so you’re never caught short in an emergency - or unable to update your friends and family on the incredible experiences you’re having.”

Methodology & sources

Creative Commons
Creative Commons