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Safest Cities for Young Solo Female

Travel Forums Europe Safest Cities for Young Solo Female

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1. Posted by BoomBoomWo (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

I am planning a solo trip to Europe next year. As an 18 year old female, which of the following cities are the safest and why:

Zurich
Berlin
Vienna
Venice
Rome
Amsterdam

As well, how many cities would you recommend visiting during a trip approximately 10 days in length?

2. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 7y

None of these cities are particularly dangerous for a solo female traveller, providing you don't wander around random bits of the city, or areas you're not particularly familiar with after dark, and take usual safe travel precautions.

Personally, I would say 10 days is enough for 3 cities.

3. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

The cities you mention are far apart: I'd stick to only 2 if all you have is 10 days. Re safety, I'd say that Rome and Vienna have slightly more risky spots than the others (esp. around their train stations), but the difference is negligible. They're all pretty safe.

A last piece of unsollicited advice: in case you were looking into buying a EUrail pass, better don't in this case. Given what little you will move around, it won't be worth the investment.

4. Posted by OHannemari (Budding Member 44 posts) 7y

Hi BoomBoomWo

I second Magykal1 on both points. Most west European cities are really save as long as you use your common sens. Especially at night avoid the small alleys.

To get the feel of a certain city you should stay there at least 3 days and you have to take travel time in your mind. From your list I would recommend you to visit Amsterdam, Vienna or Berlin and Rome if you want to get 3 really different cities.

In Amsterdam there are not many specific sights to go to but I love the vibe there. You can visit the Anne Frank and ´Rijksmuseum´ , walk through the streets of the areas ´Jordaan´ and ´de Pijp´ which are the old folk neighbourhoods. Visit the Vondelpark if the weather is nice to just sit down and look at the big variety of people walking by. The markets ´Albert Cuyp´ and ´Waterlooplein´ are perfect for a stroll and to buy (second hand) cloths and antiques.

Rome is, of course, the perfect place for ancient culture. Visit the Colloseum and Forum Romanum. Climb into the tower of St. Peter church. You can visit the vatican museum but remember that this is very big and so will take up most of your day. There are plenty of churches and other buildings all over the city. Piazza Navona is perfect to go to in the evening for a bite to eat and to check out the fountains. Go to the Spanish stairs in the evening although they are not anymore what they used to be (occupied with young, often drunk, people). If you want to see something special go to the Santa Maria della Concezione. Underneath this church you will find an area decorated with the bones of the monks who died there. some of the skeletons are still intact or even wearing there robes other are taken apart and used to make wall decoration or lampshades etc. There is too much to see in this city to name it all.

For a more modern touch you can go to Berlin. The city might seem a bit ´grey´ at first but it has a great vibe. When you are at Brandenburger Tor don´t forget to walk behind it to the left and visit the monument for jews who died in the WW II, it is amazing. You can do tours that show you important spots in the city during Hitlers regime and Berlin Wall area. If you want to go to an underground party go to Ostbahnhof, I loved the reggae club in that area even though reggae is not my favourite music, just the vibe was perfect.

OHannemarie
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5. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 7y

I met the most solo 18 females in Vienna. Safest of the lot and plenty of art. You will need 5 days there - currently in Lithuania, was in Latvia this morning :P

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

The cities you mention are far apart: I'd stick to only 2 if all you have is 10 days. Re safety, I'd say that Rome and Vienna have slightly more risky spots than the others (esp. around their train stations), but the difference is negligible. They're all pretty safe.

Oh, Amsterdam and Berlin have some really rough spots too. Blocks of social welfare housing from the 70's or 60's are usually a bad sign.

There are certain areas in Berlin were I would think twice about wandering alone after dark. Since Berlin is so spread out coming from a museum at 10 pm and wandering aimlessly around, looking for the next U or S-Bahn stop or going to a restaurant that is highly recommended in your guidebook you could well end up in such a place.

The inner city in Amsterdam is very safe even at midnight (that includes the Red Light District), but the outskirts were the social welfare housing projects are are far less safe. I made the mistake to take a ferry to Het IJ because I wanted to see Amsterdam from the water - and got surrounded by a bunch of migrant kids, most of them no older than 10 or 12, the youngest maybe 6. I don't know what they were thinking, but one of them hit me with a stick hard against my right ankle and lower leg. This was during plain daylight. The ankle was swollen because I had broken that leg the previous year. It hurt like you wouldn't believe. They were yelling at me in a language I did not understand (it was not Dutch). I did not get the impression that they wanted money, but it pretty much ruined my trip to Amsterdam because I couldn't walk afterwards due to the pain.

In general, if you use your common sense you'll be safe.

7. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

It is impossible to say which of your chosen destinations is the safest. Crime exists in all of them, just as it does in my home town, yours as well - no doubt.
Amsterdam can be a little dodgy after dark if you're solo (either m or f). There are hard drugs pushers on many of the bridges and they do tend to hassle solo travellers. Apart from that, I'd say you've picked a good choice of cities.
On another angle of the word 'Safe'.... Venice has extremely unclean water and is highly polluted. The nastiest of bugs are rife throughout the city in hot weather.
Be safe!!

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2009, at 11:52 by Redpaddy ]

8. Posted by BoomBoomWo (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

Thank you everyone for your input! I've removed Amsterdam from the list as it has been consistently mentioned.

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Quoting BoomBoomWo

Thank you everyone for your input! I've removed Amsterdam from the list as it has been consistently mentioned.

That is a total shame. Despite my one bad experience I really loved the city.

To add to what Redpaddy wrote, Amsterdam must have the most friendly drug dealers in all of Europe. They approach you, but all they want is to sell you drugs. Just tell them no if you don't want to. The drug pushers target travellers because drugs are the reason many come to Amsterdam. So if you got a backpack you are a potential customer, ergo they are a bit persistent - just like a hostel tout.

10. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

It's a real shame. Cos after what I said to you earlier - I have to also add, as a regular visitor to Amsterdam (I've been going once or twice a year for such a long time), it is a really wonderful place. But, you asked a very responsible question - and from me and others, you've got experienced answers from experienced travellers who know the place so very well.
Very best of luck with planning - and the trip itself.