It’s that time of year again.
The emails have started to arrive from people looking for ideas on where to travel solo for the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.
As we do each year, we asked you for recommendations and, once again, we’ve updated last year’s post with more solo travel destinations for the holiday season.
The suggestions are primarily from readers who are also members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Below, in the comments, you’ll find still more recommendations from people who have holiday travel tales to tell.
The result: over 35 solo travel destinations for the holidays. Please keep in mind that none of the recommendations below are endorsements from Solo Traveler. We do hope that they help you find your perfect holiday destination. As always, please do your research carefully.
Let’s start with an enthusiastic reminiscence by one reader of her many travels over the holidays.
Linda says: “I love being away for Christmas to escape the family festivities. I can’t remember when I was home last time over the Christmas holidays. I’ve been to Namibia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, India, Taiwan, Florida, Australia, China, and so on. I’m still looking for a travel destination for this year. I might not want to go that far, so I’m thinking Europe or the Middle East….maybe a yoga holiday.”
Antarctica and Arctic Regions
Antarctica is recommended by Karina. “I’ve done Antarctica for Xmas as a solo.”
Iceland is recommended by Emily. “I did Christmas in Iceland solo a few years back. I would definitely recommend it. It was my first white Christmas – it actually snowed on Christmas Day. I was terrified before getting there but it turned out to be absolutely amazing!”
Cape Town, South Africa is recommended by Lize. “For the winelands, beaches, forest, and mountains.”
Marrakech, Morocco is recommended by Riad. “You’ll get to enjoy the wonders of the city, the monuments, the souks, the food, a camel ride, skiing in the Atlas Mountains, or a day trip to the surrounding villages. All that in one city–and it’s sunny even in December.”
See what On the Go Tours has for holiday travel…
Tokyo is recommended by T.C. “There are decorations everywhere, but everything is much more low key and uniquely Japanese.”
Hiroshima and Kyoto are recommended by Nancy. “It was wonderful. I ended up in Hiroshima on Christmas Day. The city was lit up with winter lights, and beautiful. New Year’s in Kyoto was incredible, listening to all the many temple bells ringing in the year. I travel alone very often and always have great experiences.”
Korea is recommended by Wulan. “Last Christmas and New Year, going to South Korea, alone but feeling good, I went to Bosingak to count down the new year. It is full with people, so you can’t easily move your body but it was a great experience.”
Southeast Asia is Jules suggestion. He spent “two weeks Eco Volunteering with Bamboo Young at Heart. Week one was in Surin province Thailand, working with elephants, then Siem Reap, Cambodia to work with Water Aid. Then I was on my own meandering through Cambodia and back to Thailand for 5 weeks. I’m 62, and it was my first solo backpacking experience. I didn’t want to come home!”
Vietnam is recommended by Jennifer. “I’d go just about anywhere in Vietnam solo, but specifically Hoi An & Hue are lovely.”
Quebec, Canada is recommended by Ron. “I went skiing around Quebec a few years back. It has relatively cheap skiing and it’s not very crowded. You definitely will get a white Christmas to boot!”
Galapagos, Ecuador is recommended by Jasmine. “I’m going to the Galapagos for New Year’s. I will be solo, but with like-minded adventurers on a boat.”
Antigua, Guatemala is recommended by Casey. “I loved it. I never felt alone since my hosts included me. It’s best to stay with a family here. They don’t hype up Christmas but it is a spectacular Christmas Eve.”
Guadalajara, Mexico is recommended by Jenny who “spent Christmas at a homestay where they celebrate their Christmas dinner and opening of gifts on December 24th. It was an experience to remember.”
Peru is recommended by Kay because “everyone goes to the beach for the holidays.” It’s also recommended by Jennifer: “Condor Travel in Peru is excellent at putting together custom tours.”
Disney World, Florida is recommended by Tania, “for a magical experience – hands down.”
New York City, New York is recommended by Carol. “New York City has wonderful decorations and Christmas markets. You may want to sleep off Manhattan island to get a cheaper room and commute in using mass transit. There’s nowhere to park and it’s outrageously expensive.” NYC is also recommended by Kathleen. “I live near New York, and I would think that it or any diverse city would be fun–there are always a lot of people who either don’t celebrate or are completely over the Christmas thing, so you would be free to focus your attention on other things.” Read: Affordable New York City: 32 Free and Low-Cost Tips
Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona is recommended by Micheline. “I definitely recommend the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. The botanical garden and the zoo are decorated in festive lights. The winter sky is a beautiful color. The temperature is just right, usually in the 70s. Many restaurants have outdoor patios and it’s great to watch the pretty sunsets.”
Red Mountain Resort, Utah is recommended by Martha. “I have only been in the fall, and it’s not for anyone looking to save money, but it’s fabulous. They even have a communal dining table if you’ve a mind to socialize.”
San Juan, Puerto Rico is recommended by Suzanne. “I flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico a few days after Christmas. I stayed in the old city. I loved all the decorations that were up for Christmas! There was lots of activity going on and I always felt safe. I took a tour with Spoon Food Tours and loved it! After a few days in San Juan, I did a one week cruise (also solo) on Celebrity’s Summit — also fabulous!”
San Diego, California is recommended by John. “Last year, I did a quick trip to San Diego for a few days between Christmas & New Year’s. I stayed in a boutique hotel in Little Italy. I used the trolley the whole time I was there. I took the Coaster up to Oceanside for the day to see the Surf Museum. The weather was phenomenal! There are very good restaurants on India Street in Little Italy and the Old Town area. I highly recommended this city.”
Sedona, Arizona Trina says, “Christmas in Sedona: it’s a lovely time of year to visit, not too cold, and you’re still able to go hiking!”
Tucson, AZ Miraval Resort & Spa in the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson is recommended by René. “You can be as active or as chill as you want at this resort. The location is beautiful, and the food is fantastic!”
Washington, DC is recommended by Micheline. It’s “wonderful at the holidays. The city is beautifully decorated, and the White House is gorgeous during Christmas. It’s become a great restaurant town, too, and there are lots of holiday dishes on menus. Don’t worry about cold weather, it’s a temperate place.”
A Northern Tour is recommended by Cheri. “Last year, I did Germany (Triberg-the black forest, Frankfurt, and Hamburg for the Christmas markets). I had a lot of fun, and enjoyed good food and decor. I also went to Denmark, Copenhagen area at Christmas and enjoyed the food and markets there also. I took the train to “Hamlet’s castle” and took the ferry to have lunch in Sweden. I finished up my trip in Holland, seeing the festival of lights from the canals, a country tour of windmills, and enjoying cheese and biscuits. I had a great time. The prices were lower than in the summer, the decorations were great, and there where fewer people–except maybe in Amsterdam.”
Budapest, Hungary is recommended by Sereina “for a winter Christmas, and New Zealand for a summer one. Both are beautiful and have lots to offer at a good price.”
Budapest is also recommended by Arlene. “I went to Budapest last year. It was fabulous. I got one of the last tickets for the Nutcracker ballet at the Opera House on Christmas Day. I recommend it for a solo trip.”
It’s also recommended by Alison, along with Prague and Brussels. “I went to Prague, Budapest, and Brussels last year. It was beautiful. It was nice to spend the holiday time being productive and exploring rather than sitting around in a food coma.”
London, England is recommended by Bella. “I spent Christmas in London last year and loved it! If you go, take a night tour of London and see it all lit up, especially the lovely tree at Buckingham Palace.”
Cologne, Ulm, and Berlin are Cathy’s recommendations from her 2016 trip. “But I will never forget Brussels at the Grand Palace Square 2105! Breathtakingly spectacular!!!”
Christmas Markets in Germany are recommended by Karla. “I go every year to the Christmas Markets. I absolutely love them–and I’m never lonely.”
Nuremberg, Germany is recommended by Shannon. “The traditional Christmas market is an amazing experience.”
I used this book for my 10-month, European adventure. Here it is updated for 2017. Highly recommended.
I used Europe Through the Back Door for my 10-month European adventure. Here it is updated for 2017. Highly recommended.
Paris, France is recommended by Micheline. “Paris is festive at Christmas. Try to arrive a day or two ahead, so you can get your bearings and figure out your plan for the holiday. Before Christmas, you can see the fascinating Buche de Noel displays in bakery windows. While many restaurants close for Christmas itself, hotel restaurants serve dinner and Paris has some wonderful ones. Be sure to take a stroll or a cab ride to see the lights.”
It’s also recommended by Sonja. “I loved it. I spent the 24th in Versailles and the Louvre and had a lovely dinner. The 25th was for walking only. It’s a bank holiday in Paris as well so everything was closed. But the Christmas service in Notre Dame was breathtaking. I left on the 26th so I don’t know how it would have been over New Year’s, but it’s probably great.”
Prague, Czech Republic is recommended by Shweta who says “Prague is possibly the best city to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s!”
Tracey also wrote about her time there in this post, Christmas Carp: Solo in Prague.
Norway is recommended by Annabel. “I flew to Norway to board the Hurtigruten coastal ferry (MS Lofoten) for a cruise up and down the west coast of Norway. Things didn’t go according to plan due to high seas, but departure delays, cancelled excursions, etc. were not holiday dampers. I went to see the Northern Lights and I saw them and had an incredible experience and met some really amazing people.”