Travelling by yourself is one of the best ways to get to know yourself. But women, especially in India, are advised against it by family and friends owing to safety concerns. And while it is fairly safe for a woman to travel solo in Europe or North America, things aren't so rosy back home. Fortunately, with stricter laws and safer environments, some cities in India have become accessible for the solo female traveller. So, if you've been planning that vacay by yourself, but have been hesitant, it's time to put those fears to rest and book your tickets.
If you want to travel by yourself, these are the safest destinations in the country for solo trips for women!So why not check off every destination off this list?
Known as the city of romance, Udaipur is considered one of the safest travel destinations for women in India. This is possibly because it is a common honeymoon spot--so there isn't a skewed ratio of men and women travellers. Plus, the tiny, charming streets of the city, beautiful lakes and majestic palaces will make you question whether you're in India or a quaint European town! So if this is your first time travelling alone, you should definitely try Udaipur!
The holy city of Varanasi is another favourite among solo women travellers, perhaps due to the large crowds of foreign tourists that visit the city. The city is always bustling with melas, pujas and spiritual activities like yoga and meditation. So if you want to get in touch with your spiritual side, Varasani is definitely a city you should visit solo.
Jaisalmer is one of the most stunning destinations in the country--and oddly, not as crowded. Since the city of sand dunes is usually thronged by foreign tourists, it is a favourable destination among solo women travellers. The beauty of the Thar desert, the architecture and welcoming locals will floor you--and you'll be coming back again and again.
Also known as the adventure capital of India, the city of Rishikesh has a reputation of being traveller-friendly, female travellers included! And here, there's something for every kind of traveller--picturesque landscapes that include the mighty Ganga and Himalayas, adventure sports like river rafting and parasailing, spiritual activities like yoga and meditation and great places to eat and shop at for those looking for a relaxing vacay.
Besides being known as the 'Scotland of the East', Shillong is an extremely safe destination to visit--making it a hot favourite with women travellers. What makes this city a major tourist attraction is the sheer amount of natural beauty--the glistening lakes, lively waterfalls, lush green meadows and forests will leave you awestruck! And did we mention the delicious Khasi food?
What do you get when you combine a cold barren desert and the majestic Himalayas? You get the gorgeous landscape of Leh, along with its monasteries, secluded lakes and snow-capped peaks. The crime rate in this beautiful town is very low, which makes it safe for solo female travellers. Don't forget to carry medicines if you're prone to altitude sickness and do your thorough research before you set off on the journey. Here's a first-hand account of things to keep in mind when visiting Leh Ladakh.
If you want to visit France but can't afford the steep flight tickets to Europe, might we suggest you take a budget-friendly trip down to India's own French Riviera, Pondicherry? The population of Pondicherry is a mix of Tamilians and Indo-French people and most people even speak French here. You'll find traditional French food being served at almost every restaurant, and you won't believe that you didn't need a passport to visit this city! Since the city is buzzing with international tourists, it is considered very safe. So rent a bicycle and explore away!
This tiny city in south-east Rajasthan may not be a popular tourist destination, but it is a great pick for solo female travellers. This is because it is missing the crowded markets, loud tour-guides, over-enthusiastic tourists and the usual pick-pockets. In this pale-blue city, the locals will greet you with a warm smile, and the city boasts of a fair selection of impressive sites, like the Taragarh Fort and the captivating step-wells. Head here if you want to spend some quiet, peaceful time by yourself.
This experimental township located in Tamil Nadu is probably one of the safest places in the country, making it perfect for solo women travellers. And it helps that you'll never run out of things to do--from meditating at the Matrimandir, water therapy at Quiet Centre or surfing at Paradise beach. Plus you can munch on practically any kind of cuisine--sushi, vegan food, traditional Tamil food, French food--you name it!
A far cry from the beaches where Indian men will throng any woman in a bathing suit, at this beach town situated in Kerela you can relax in a bikini without worrying about prying eyes. Plus it helps that you're surrounded by the gorgeous turquoise sea, friendly locals and mouth-watering coastal food. While you're here, don't forget to get an ayurvedic massage!
The North East is known for being safe, and Sikkim is known for its exotic beauty--making Gangtok the perfect solo travel destination for women. Fun fact: You can view Mount Kangchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world, from here! If that isn't enough to entice you, the stunning landscapes, peaceful monasteries and delectable food definitely will!
This tiny city nestled away in the Himalayas is home to Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and is where the Tibetan population of refugees have chosen to settle in. The city is bustling with cafes and restaurants and is thronged by young people. If you enjoy hiking, you can trek the several trails that start at Dharamshala, or if you're looking for some spiritual peace and calm, spend time volunteering at the monasteries.
Let's not sugar-coat the truth-- India does have a dubious reputation when it comes to safety, and as much as we love our country, we wouldn't mislead you telling you that the entire country is 'completely safe'. Owing to the large population, heat, dust, and noise that travellers, especially international travellers must deal with, solo women travellers also have to make sure that their safety is a top priority. So if you're planning a solo trip to India, we'd suggest you go through our list of safe destinations to travel to. And besides that, make sure that you always carry a charged phone with emergency contact numbers and a pepper spray, stay only at verified hotels, don't accept food/drinks/gifts from strangers and always be mindful of your surroundings.
The most important thing to remember as a solo woman traveller in India is to always keep your guard up--don't trust people blindly, no matter how 'nice' and 'warm' they seem. There are reserved areas for women on public transport, separate women’s queues at ticket counters, and family spaces in highway restaurants--make sure you take advantage of those. Besides that, it is advisable to always keep a fully charged phone, learn up emergency contact numbers by heart and keep a pepper spray handy for safety purposes.
While it would be unfair to call particular cities unsafe--every city has safe and unsafe areas. It would be better to avoid deserted and over-crowded areas in any town or city and contact the law enforcement authorities if you feel like your life is in danger.
So are you ready to take the plunge and go on your first adventure, all by yourself?
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