Solo female travel is one of the fastest-growing trends in travel today.
Online searches for “solo female travel” have increased by nearly 800% over the past few years and show no signs of slowing down. Over 65% of women in the U.S. have already traveled alone, and these rates are only expected to rise over the next five years.
While the world is their oyster, one popular destination stands out from the crowd for solo female travel this summer – Ireland.
Solo female travelers aren’t the only ones noticing Ireland’s unique advantages.
The fun-loving Irish capital of Dublin is the fourth most booked summer destination for U.S. travelers this year, according to the travel app Hopper.
Ireland offers a spectacular all-around travel experience that’s suited for solo female travelers by happy accident (or maybe the luck of the Irish).
A trip full of peace of mind, breathtaking landscapes, good craic, and warm welcomes? Sign us up.
Here’s why women are eyeing Ireland for their solo adventures:
Safest In The World
According to recent surveys, the number one deciding factor for solo women planning a trip is safety. It makes sense then that safety is one of the many reasons solo female travelers are flocking to Ireland.
Ireland is ranked the number one safest country in the world for solo female travelers today.
Bounce, a luggage storage travel app, compiled solo female travel safety rankings based on eight risk factors including crime, violence towards women, and gender equality indicators. Ireland took first place with a specialized safety score of 7.9 out of 10 for solo female travelers.
About 70% of women in Ireland feel safe walking alone at night (compared to less than 30% of women in America). Irish public opposition to violence against women stands at a robust 99%.
Homicide rates in Ireland are among the lowest in Europe, and crimes against tourists are rare.
But rest assured – on the Emerald Isle, safe definitely doesn’t mean boring.
Low crime, unique attractions, and a vibrant social scene mean that most solo female travelers are having exciting adventures both day and night.
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Cold Pint, Warm Welcome
Solo female travelers can expect cold pints and warm welcomes across Ireland.
The Irish have a well-earned reputation for cheerful friendliness and genuine hospitality. Nowhere is that more evident than in its social and inclusive pub culture.
According to one Irish tour provider, “New faces from out of town are always welcome whether you’re alone or part of a group. This makes Ireland a dream destination for solo travelers. Just pull up a bar stool and join in the fun.”
Best of all, pubs are great places to eat alone in company. Solo dining is totally normal here, so no need to brace for judgy looks or awkwardness.
Irish people are really open to meeting travelers, as this solo tourist confirmed during her trip:
“It was easy to start up a conversation with a stranger, even as an introvert, because the locals were always up for a chat. On many occasions, asking a simple question would turn into a half-hour discussion… Even though I was alone in Ireland for two weeks, I never once felt lonely.”
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The Art Of The Irish B&B
Some women traveling solo want to make the most of their alone time; others are eager to make friends on their trip. In many destinations, hostels are the default (or only) option for social accommodation. But not so in Ireland.
The rich tradition of Irish Bed & Breakfasts is just as vibrant today as it was decades ago. That’s right – Ireland isn’t just for backpackers.
Solo female travelers love that in Ireland, they don’t have to choose between the privacy and comfort of hotel-level amenities and the intimate social settings of shared accommodation.
Bed & Breakfasts are typically smaller and more intimate than hotels. Common spaces like living rooms, bars, and breakfast rooms are great ways to make travel buddies.
Just when you thought you’d seen all that Irish hospitality had to offer, you’ll be surprised by what a warm and personal welcome you can get in a cozy home-away-from-home.
It would be criminal not to mention the supremacy of a full Irish breakfast here. The “breakfast” part of B&B is not an afterthought in Ireland, but the main attraction.
Some B&Bs are nestled in country hillsides, while others are within walking distance from towns and city centers. Whichever travel itinerary you choose for your solo trip to Ireland, there’s a B&B tailor-made for you.
Dining isn’t the only thing the Irish are cool with doing alone.
Almost every attraction or activity you could add to an Irish itinerary is solo-friendly. Most Irish tour providers prefer to bring travelers together in groups and don’t charge single supplements.
One traveler shared why she loves Ireland’s many solo-friendly day tours:
“During a day tour, you’ll be participating in activities with like-minded people, and that’s naturally going to get the conversation flowing. Likely by the end of the day, you’ll be making plans to go out to dinner that night.
I met my best friend in Dublin on a day tour to Trim Castle, one of the best castles in Ireland. We ended up living together after that and are still in touch 15 years later.”
Easy To Navigate
There’s no other way to say it – Ireland is just easy to explore.
Ireland is a relatively small country, so it’s not like travelers are really struggling to traverse long distances.
It’s a breeze to check transport schedules online or purchase tickets from your phone with TFI Go and the Irish Rail app.
Trains can transport you safely and quickly between easy-to-navigate stations. Where rail isn’t available, the bus network is also well-developed. Bus Éireann has a 6-day unlimited travel pass that’s popular with solo female travelers on short trips.
Renting a car is another straightforward option for solo female travelers who opt for the popular Irish road trip option. (Just remember to book in advance.)
Nearly everything you could want to know about Ireland is available online. And if you get lost or confused once you’re there, chances are a local will offer to give you a hand before you even get the chance to ask for help.
One long-time solo female traveler described how easy it was to plan a solo trip to Ireland:
“Ireland is a very stress-free trip to anyone planning their first international solo journey… You don’t need to worry about getting travel vaccines, learning a new language if you’re a native English speaker, or avoiding tourist scams that happen in other European countries.”
Communication Is A Breeze
We’ve all been there before. A line of people is waiting behind you while you’re fumbling with Google Translate, feeling frustrated and a little stupid under the weight of a big language barrier.
Well, good news. You don’t need any DuoLingo for a trip to Ireland.
English-speaking solo travelers will find it incredibly easy to communicate and get around.
Signs, menus, and anything else you might need to read will be printed in both English and Gaelige (Irish) – the two official languages of Ireland.
While you might find Gaelige-only road signs in some smaller towns and west coast destinations, it’s still easy to track down an English speaker to set you on the right path.
Whether you’re knee-deep in Irish history, having a great craic in Temple Bar, or taking in the emerald hills of Killarney, solo female travelers are sure to have a spectacular time in Ireland.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com