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Woman taking first trip overseas solo

Hi,

I would like to take a solo trip to London in May. Any feedback/advice on whether it's a good idea to visit London alone?
Thank you,
Vicki

Posted by
14157 posts

I've visited London several times solo. I am not much of a night owl so can't give you any info on nightlife, but I'm that way at home. The Tube (metro subway trains) is safe, lots of free museums, great walking tours and easy to get around.

Is anything in particular bothering you as a solo traveler or is it your first adventure on you own?

Posted by
8810 posts

Been there done that over a dozen times. Have stayed in a variety of neighborhoods over the years. Traveled via the tube at night after attending theatre. Did what I do in every city I'm in. Simply pay attention to what's going on around me and trust my women's intuition. What makes you leary of going solo to London? Truthfully, I'd rather be in London then downtown LA or Washington D.C. at night any day of the year.

Posted by
359 posts

You'll be fine! I love London. I will also be going to London solo, in June.

Posted by
17 posts

I have been to London several times solo.. Do not worry.. Have fun! It is so easy to get around. People are friendly. I just didn't take unnecessary risks like walking through the park at dark or cut through an alley. Just be where the people are and you will enjoy it. Act like you know where you are going even if you don't. Can't tell you how many people would ask me directions on the street on in the tube..

Posted by
3580 posts

I've been to London alone lots of times. I can't remember having any problems with safety. If you study up on what's involved and have some ideas about what you want to do there you will have a better time. The Rick Steves books are good; there is one on London. If you haven't traveled alone before, you will need to know things like how to get to the city from the airport, where to change money, etc. Go and have a great time!

Posted by
8205 posts

You'll do fine. I would suggest you research where to stay closely.

I suggest staying around Kensington Palace/Bayswater area--west of downtown. That's Prince William's neck of the woods. The Tube runs in 2 directions, and it's easy to get anywhere in town underground.

Posted by
32244 posts

Although I'm an older male who travels solo much of the time, I'd have no hesitation going to London (or anywhere else in Europe). If you plan well you shouldn't have any problems and will have a wonderful and memorable trip (but of course there are never any guarantees).

You may find it helpful to pick up a copy of the Pocket London guidebook (or the larger version) as that provides a lot of good information including hotels, transportation, sightseeing, etc.

Posted by
4986 posts

The last sentence of Claudia's post says it all. TC

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Why can't you travel solo in London, barring any serious health issues, etc.? Claudia's last line says it all...how true, if one is on foot and relying on public transportation. Another vote for London over downtown LA and Washington, DC...period.

Posted by
661 posts

If you're talking about West Central London, (Hyde Park to Tower Bridge, and Oxford Street to the Thames, where most of the good stuff is) you'll be fine, event at night. Common sense like avoiding dark alleys and parks at night is advisable, as in most places. Personally, I wouldn't be walking around North, East or South London at night, but a small venture into these areas during the day is just fine. Chances are there will be huge amounts of people everywhere, so you'll rarely be 'alone'. Hope you have a great time!

Posted by
2 posts

Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much for your replies.

Yes, it goes without saying that you need to be smart and careful(not walk through alleys in the middle of the night). I was wondering if there was anything specific I should be careful/mindful about. I will be staying in Belgravia (so excited!!!!!) for 1 week in May.
I've just ordered Rick Steve's Guidebook on London, but I am also open to recommendations for places and would love to read more experiences from solo travelers.

Thank you!
Vicki

Posted by
661 posts

Belgravia is one of the top, top, super posh areas in London. You'll have a great time. No safety worries in that area day or night really. Close to more or less everything. The Queen lives about half a mile away, say hi from me if you see her! Have fun.

Posted by
16894 posts

It's a great idea! A couple of weeks in Britain was my first solo trip to Europe, soon followed by many more trips. You'll experience a different culture and rich history without the challenge of a language barrier. People are out and about fairly late in central London, especially in theater districts. If you're out past midnight, the Tube will close, but some late-night bus routes still run, as well as affordable black cabs. See also two solo travel articles at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning.

Posted by
14157 posts

The last time I was in London for one of the days I had a theme of WWI/WWII. There were a couple of special exhibitions that I was going to see (both were temporary) and I added in a WWII London Walk. It was so good! The guide knew her stuff and pointed out things I would never have noticed. You may find one of their walks is of interest to you, either time period or an area. They are quality programs, inexpensive and a great way to help get you oriented as a newcomer to London.

http://www.walks.com/

Since you will be there for a week you might look at London Walks to take one of their tours that goes out of London as well.

Also take a look at the website for the museums such as The British Museum and the National Gallery. Sometimes they have really interesting special exhibitions. While the museums are free to enter, usually there is a charge for a special exhibition but usually well worth it if it is something that interests you.