This US City Is the World's Safest Destination for Solo Travelers

Do you agree?

USA, New York City, Brooklyn, woman sitting at the waterfront
Westend61 / Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like traveling solo. Doing only what you want to do, eating wherever (and whenever) you want, waking up or staying out as late as you please—what could be better? But choosing a destination to visit by yourself requires a few special characteristics. You want somewhere that's hospitable to tourists, easy to navigate, and feels safe enough to explore on your own. And the number one destination that ticks off those boxes? It's right here in the U.S.

According to a new survey from Vacation Renter—which asked 1,000 globetrotters across five different age brackets to rank their favorite places to travel solo—New York City is the place to be, with 53 percent of respondents putting the Big Apple at the top of their list. Meanwhile, Chicago came in second (44 percent), and Los Angeles in third (33 percent).

NYC was ranked as the world's safest solo travel destination as well, with each age group—ranging from the 18-to-24-year-old demographic to those aged 55 and up—in agreement. LGBTQ+ travelers also reported feeling safest in NYC, as compared to other U.S. cities (Denver and San Francisco ranked next). 

And it’s easy to see why. In the survey, travelers said they experienced some downsides of flying solo; 46 percent of respondents said they have gotten lost when traveling by themselves, while 43 percent have felt alone or out of place. In Manhattan, though, the city's grid system and the number of signs pointing to tourist attractions such as the Empire State Building and Central Park take the intimidation out of finding your way around. Plus, public transportation makes zipping from one spot to the next as easy as pie. (P.S. Forget about the mean big-city stereotypes: New Yorkers will be happy to give you directions on the subway.)

The survey’s entire top 10 U.S. cities for solo travel were:

  1. New York City
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Las Vegas
  6. San Francisco
  7. Denver
  8. Austin
  9. Seattle
  10. Phoenix

Meanwhile, the top countries or regions for solo travel, according to the survey, were:

  1. Canada
  2. England
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Singapore
  6. Italy
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Brazil
  9. Japan
  10. Spain

The survey also broke down where "novice" solo travelers versus "advanced" solo travelers got their info on a destination's safety. More experienced folks turn to Instagram and other social media, while everyone else reported relying on family, friends, and official tourism websites. But one thing the majority of the travelers agreed on? Traveling solo was just as much fun (if not more fun) than going with a group.