Solo travellers are daring. We like the unconventional, the unusual and seek out the unknown. We pursue challenges, opportunities for growth and leaving our comfort zones. Now imagine women who travel solo.
Female solo travellers are bolder. Picture all the challenges one goes through when travelling to foreign countries. Now multiply that by 10. Not only do women face day-to-day systemic discrimination, but we are constantly worried about our own safety. Travelling alone can therefore be pretty risky—especially when you’re in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar customs. It’s pretty badass, if you ask me, that some women still dare to explore other continents entirely alone. But why shouldn’t you?
The problem becomes twofold when you consider how we’re expected to accept that the world is dangerous to women. We’re dissuaded from travelling—which only perpetuates the issue rather than solve it. And worse, in some cases, when something bad does happen while travelling, the general response is, “what did she expect, she was travelling alone?” What can this victim-blaming extend to?
Cultural experiences are clearly more available to men than to women. And this calls for change—to reshape people’s views on female solo travel and to make travel safer for women. Would listening to others be a ‘smart’ thing to do? Or would that only allow the threat to continue to exist? I believe that women shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to discover the world around them. After all, it’s fundamental to our education. Travel makes us more autonomous. It equips us with the necessary life skills to get by. Staying at home is a double threat.
Despite what my friends and family have said, I always chose to go. I didn’t want to look back and think, “what if?” Or allow someone else to determine my choices. I’d rather be responsible for the decisions I make, and so far, I've only expanded my horizons, learnt different languages and met amazing people from around the world. I’ve gifted myself the opportunity for growth and possibility. So, what I’m saying is, as long as you do your research and take precautions— you are usually safe. Why deny yourself the unique experience of travel?
And for your next adventure (or maybe even first), visit Berlin—a safe, female-friendly city with an amazing culture and history to learn about. This blog will tell you more about the city, what to do, and where to go!
Reasons Why Female Solo Travellers Should Go to Berlin.
Berlin is a great destination for solo travellers, especially women. Female autonomy is celebrated here, making this city a fun and safe place to be. There are hundreds of things to do (especially in the summer) which bring like-minded people together. Additionally, being a female solo traveller was advantageous for me. Since I was alone, I was forced to branch out, which made my trip more adventurous and extraordinary. As a solo traveller, you dive even deeper and do things you wouldn't expect yourself to do. Once you make one thing happen, the rest will explode around you like stars. You’ll find yourself in new and exciting circumstances, and one trip will turn into another.
1. Berlin is one of the safest cities in Europe for females travelling alone
Like anywhere in the world, no place is 100% safe, so it’s never wrong to be cautious. Nevertheless, Berlin is considered one of the safest places in Europe. On my first night, I went alone to Sisyphus—a popular club among the locals. I got there at around 3 am; the streets were busy, transport was still running, and no one bothered me. While in the club, I met some nice people, danced for hours (thanks to my feet bandages) and had a power nap on a sofa. I left around 10 am on Sunday; it was daylight, and I got a taxi home, all safe and sound (apart from the fact my hips were aching for days). It was unquestionably one of the best nights out I’ve had, and it was quite an empowering experience as a female solo traveller. I was in control, safe, and free. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for people to go clubbing alone in Berlin. In fact, it's encouraged! What better way to meet new faces and enjoy some heavy techno?
BTW: Don’t forget there’s still a risk when clubbing alone. Don’t drink too much, and be aware of your surroundings. Let people know where you are and plan your way home!
2. Berlin is feminist!
Berlin is very cosmopolitan, a city where locals and visitors alike generally hold the same progressive values. My friends from Berlin all share the same feminist views of equality and respect, and we all had each other’s backs. Another thing I appreciated in Berlin was that men didn't bother me, and as a female travelling alone you are sometimes seen as a target (this is my experience, however, so keep an open mind). I also found that women were supportive of each other. Some girls would compliment my outfit or smile at me from across the street which was really refreshing. Overall, Berlin during the summer seems like a very happy and open place.
3. It’s a multicultural city
Berlin is a multicultural city, so there’s a beautiful mix of art and culture. I particularly enjoyed hearing different languages being spoken, conversations about where someone is from and why they are here, and what they enjoy most about Berlin. I feel more connected to the world around me, and it brings about a lot of creativity and experimentation. Whether you like painting, photography, languages or literature, there's something out there for everyone. This is especially great for female solo travellers looking to settle in and make friends. Research what's available to you, i.e. classes or societies you can join to tap into the culture and city life.
4. It’s easy to get by
While it’s encouraged to learn a bit of German (after all, you’re in Germany!), English is widely spoken. So for those of you who know English or come from English-speaking countries— you’ll get by just fine. However, I recommend always trying to learn the basics of a language when heading to a country for a while, especially as a female traveller. That way, you can communicate your needs and locals will be more receptive. Additionally, getting around is pretty simple in Berlin. Transport systems are plentiful, and it's hard to get lost (there's nothing worse than getting lost in an unfamiliar country with only 10% battery).
So, there you have it: reasons why you female solo travellers should pack your bags and head to Berlin! But just before you book your flights, here are some tips to prepare for your trip.
Preparing For Your Trip to Berlin
Where to stay and the best neighbourhoods in Berlin
You’re in Berlin, so staying in the best neighbourhoods is essential—not to mention, you also want to be located in a safe area, close to the city's best attractions!
Friedrichshain was Berlin’s centre of counter-culture activity, especially during the fall of the Berlin Wall, where riots took place. This neighbourhood is still known for its alternative side, a district focused as much on the deconstruction of norms as it is on creativity. It’s Berlin’s hub of innovation and known for its nightlife, with places like the world-famous techno club Berghain and the RAW complex—a place for industrial art spaces and music venues. Boxhagener Platz also hosts street food stalls and flea markets on the weekends, where Berliners come together, eat some savoury hangover food and shop! So when considering accommodation, look for places nearby or in Friedrichshain. Alternative neighbourhoods are always a go-to for females travelling alone. Residents tend to be more open and friendly.
Mitte may be a tourist hotspot, but it has a lot to offer—probably why it’s so popular! Once the heart of East Berlin, the area now boasts some of the city’s most renowned art galleries and cultural institutions like Auguststrasse and Museum Island. For those interested in history or art, Mitte is the perfect destination—plus, it’s within walking distance of the historic Reichstag. If you love a bit of history, Mitte is the perfect place to dive in and explore. And again, is it safe for females travelling alone? Yes! Mitte is the centre and always busy, transport is readily available, and people are always happy to help.
Kreuzberg is another one of Berlin’s top neighbourhoods. It used to be the centre of West Berlin Punk and is now the hipster scene. Historic squats like Kopi and SO36 club still stand today, and although Kreuzberg still embraces its non-conformist past, it’s been modernised over the years. You’ll find tonnes of cafes, bars and international restaurants around the area, all busy every day of the week. Oranienstrasse is a local’s favourite, with street art, markets, cool bars and hang-out spots. Admiralbrucke is also a cool Kreuzberg standby, where locals gather along the river and drink beer from the nearby späti! I went here a lot during my time in Berlin. It’s especially lively during the summer and a nice way of meeting people over a few beers.
During my last weekend, I met two female solo travellers at the späti, one from Colombia and another from Barcelona. Their experiences in Berlin were also very positive, and we spent the whole weekend partying together. This reminded me of how special these experiences are. While travel gives you meaningful connections, it’s also cool to know that wherever you decide to go next, you’ll have a friend you can visit. Their favourite part about Berlin was living in Kreuzberg, but beware: since everyone wants to be in this area, finding accommodation can be pretty tough!
This neighbourhood is considered one of Berlin's LGBTQ+ neighbourhoods. Here you’ll find an endless variety of international bars, restaurants and cafes. This district is also big during Pride week, with people flocking in from all over the world to experience Berlin at its best. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience, Schöneburg offers a unique variety of things to do—away from the crowds of tourists. Berlin’s Westside Urban Gallery, for example, has an ever-changing display of street art on Bülowstraße, part of Urban Nation. So while East Side Gallery is a must-see, don’t forget there are hidden gems all around the city to discover.
I’ve stayed in Schöneberg many times before, and I’d say it's a friendly, local area, safe for female travellers and has a young community. While Schöneberg isn’t a highly touristic area, it’s still very lively.
Finding Accommodation in Berlin
Once you’ve chosen your neighbourhood, the second part is finding accommodation in Berlin! Reliable agencies include Airbnb, Booking.com, Trivago and so on. However, since you’re a female traveller, finding accommodation that's in the centre but also safe is necessary. And, while you want something cheap, you also want a place that’s comfortable, clean and functional.
numa offers decent accommodation in Berlin’s top neighbourhoods like Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Schöneberg etc. Their apartments are run digitally, which means you can check in online and access the building and apartment using a PIN code. It’s pretty smooth running and secure—especially if losing your keys is a regular mishap. Since I’m a digital nomad, having good WIFI is essential, and numa basically covers that—you’ve got cool workspaces and laptop-friendly apartments.
I stayed at Sketch and Nook during my time in Berlin. Sketch was right in the middle of Schöneberg and directly in front of the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations—reassuring for a female travelling alone. I didn’t have to worry about walking home late at night, and all the cool stuff happening around was right outside my doorstep! I’d definitely recommend Sketch if you’re fed up with hostels and would like your own space! And yes, Berlin can be a bit heavy after a while, so sometimes you really need a night in with some good ol’ home cooking. numa apartments usually have kitchens and dining rooms, so you can crash on the sofa and enjoy some Thai food. As for Nook, it's located right in Mitte, only a few minutes away from Museum Island!
Transport in Berlin
U-Bahn and S-Bahn:
Berlin’s super well-connected with its underground and subway system. Download the BVG app for routes, train times, and ticket purchases and always keep your ticket on you as random checks on the train are common. If you have a paper ticket, make sure to stamp it before getting on the train.
There are loads of tram lines around Berlin’s central neighbourhoods, but they’re not as fast or efficient as the trains. Ticket prices are the same as the train, but they’re always useful if you’re tired of walking around!
There are also over one hundred bus lines around Berlin that get you anywhere you need to go, especially on weeknights after the trains shut down. Ticket prices are the same as the trains and trams.
Taxis are not cheap here, but you’ll rarely need to use one. I would use the Freenow and Uber App when getting a taxi.
Tips for Staying Safe as a Solo Female Traveller in Berlin
While Berlin is a pretty safe place for most people, you should always take precautions and always put yourself first!
Things to consider when in Berlin:
- If you’re out, don’t walk home alone late at night (get a taxi, even if it is a bit pricey—this doesn’t count as going over your budget).
- Keep an eye on your drinks when out clubbing or in bars (you can even an anti-spiking cover for peace of mind).
- Get travel insurance! That'll cover you for theft, injuries etc.
- Avoid Kotbusser Tor, Görlitzer Park, and Volkspark Hasenheide after dark.
- The area around Warschauer Straße station is a hotspot for pickpocketing and sometimes even assault.
- Make sure to have cash on you (since cash is mainly used in Germany), a fully charged mobile, or a portable charger, and let friends know your whereabouts.
- Don’t share personal info with new people, like where you’re staying and whether you're here alone.
Oh, and one more thing: don’t let these tips put you off! Remember, travelling solo is a unique experience, so go for it and make the most of it!
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