From diverse cities to beautiful beaches, these are the 7 best destinations in Europe for black solo female travelers, no matter what your interests are.
What’s to Love: Diverse, cosmopolitan city with something for everyone
New to solo travel? Make your trip less stressful by eliminating the language barrier. London is one of the best destinations in Europe for black solo female travelers. It’s a short flight from the east coast of the United States and one of the most visited cities in the world.
From free museums and world-class theater to colorful street art and historic monuments, there is something for everyone in London. It’s one of the world’s most ethnically and racially diverse cities and that diversity is on full display. From the Indian restaurants lining Brick Lane to West African restaurants peppered throughout the city, black and brown immigrants’ influence on the city is evident.
Must See: London Skyline from the Thames
Head to the Thames River and take in the iconic view of London. With Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye all nearby, it makes for a great photo. Sometimes tourist attractions are indeed worth the visit.
What’s to Love: A vibrant, hip creative scene
What place has the hipness of Brooklyn and grittiness of East London with none of the pretension? Berlin. Germany’s capital is often called the coolest city in Europe and it has certainly earned the title.
This diverse city is home to a vibrant, cutting edge creative scene. You can enjoy art and artifacts from the past in its storied museums, as well as discover up and coming stars of the art world in galleries. As a major figure in World World II and the Cold War, there’s history around every corner, from the remnants of the Berlin Wall to the moving Holocaust Memorial.
The city is best enjoyed by relaxing in one of its many parks. Head to Tempelhofer Feld, a former airstrip, for a picnic and people watching.
Must Taste: döner kebab
A testament to the multicultural nature of Berlin, döner kebab stands can be found on almost every street. This rotisserie meat sandwich was popularized in the 70s thanks to Turkish immigrants. It’s now a staple of the city’s cuisine and the perfect lunch or post-club meal.
What’s to Love: Picturesque architecture and tasty seafood
Santorini is a picture perfect travel destination in Europe for black solo female travelers. Like many millennials, I first learned of the island thanks to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and it certainly lives up to the hype. Located off the coast of mainland Greece, it feels a world away from Athens. White-washed stone homes and blue and white domed churches are carved into cliffs facing a volcanic crater (a.k.a. caldera). Locals are friendly and laid-back, adding to the island’s small town feel.
Hop on the bus to travel around the island cheaply. From black sand beaches in Perissa and bars in Fira to fresh fish and sunsets in Oia, there’s plenty to see and do in Santorini’s towns.
Must Taste: Skala in Oia
Take in the stunning night view of the caldera at Skala, a traditional Greek restaurant in Oia. Cap off your meal with the most divine baklava. (I’m still dreaming about this dessert years later.)
What’s to Love: Historic city with a romantic atmosphere
Paris often garners mixed reviews, but the city’s beauty and romance cannot be denied. Almost every corner is chic and charming, from the colorful flower stands to the tiny baguette shops. A stroll along the Seine, stopping into quaint cafes and bookstores, gives you the chance to truly soak up the city’s atmosphere.
There’s an array of things to do in each arrondissement, from major attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre to sampling French cuisine and the local take on soul food.
Must Do: Black History Tour
The impact of the African Diaspora on Paris is undeniable. Learn about the city’s black history on one of the many black Paris tours on offer. Dig deeper into the lives of famous African American artists and intellectuals from years past with Le Paris Noir, or experience the vibrant African immigrant community of today with Little Africa Tours.
What’s to Love: Renaissance art in a small city
Another one of the best destinations in Europe for black solo female travelers is Florence, thanks to its size. Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and its city center is ideal for walking. Get lost in the maze of narrow cobblestone streets and peach-hued buildings as you encounter art at every corner. A short stroll will take you from Florence’s cathedral, the Duomo, to the Uffizi, where countless pieces of priceless Renaissance artwork are housed.
As one of Italy’s most visited cities and home to a number of international students (I studied abroad here myself), black women who are traveling solo will find it easy to navigate as many locals speak English.
Must See: Michelangelo’s David
While the Duomo, Florence’s cathedral, may be the city’s most iconic building, Michelangelo’s David is the true star of the show. The original piece is housed inside the Galleria dell’Accademia, a small museum located a few blocks away from the city center.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
What’s to Love: Beautiful canals and laid-back vibe
With its tree-lined canals and endless rows of bicycles, Amsterdam is a photogenic city with a cozy feel, despite its reputation. There’s much more to this place than the Red Light District and cannabis-selling coffee shops.
The major museums are expensive, but there’s plenty to do without breaking the bank. Visit the funky Museum of Fluorescent Art and admire tulips, The Netherlands’ national flower, in Vondelpark. Take a free walking tour to learn more about the city’s history and meet other travelers.
Must See: Anne Frank House
If you’re a history buff like me, a visit to the Anne Frank House is an absolute must. Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, and her family hid in an attic for two years in an attempt to avoid capture by the Nazis during the Holocaust. After World War II ended, her father published her diary, bringing her story to the world. This is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam; avoid an all day wait on line by buying your ticket in advance.
What’s to Love: Perfect blend of city and beach
Barcelona offers the best of both worlds: a historic European city and a beautiful coastline, filled with beaches. Barceloneta beach even has its own metro stop, making it easy to start your morning in the city center and end it beside the ocean.
While this city is a part of Spain, the Catalan capital has its own language and unique flair. Famous architect Antoni Gaudí is one of the main reasons for this. His striking buildings combine unique shapes and an array of colors. Avoid the hefty price tag for entering them and get a taste of his work at Park Güell, for free.
If non-stop nightlife is more your speed, stay in a hostel located in the Gothic quarter and find a crew to experience Barcelona’s famous clubs with.
Must Do: FC Barcelona Soccer Game
Take in a game at Camp Nou, Europe’s largest stadium. Home to Barcelona’s beloved soccer team, some of the best players in the world are in the starting lineup. Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, the fans’ energy is sure to be infectious.