I am a 69 year old woman who loves to travel. I was part of a Rick Steves Tour in 2012, traveling to Venice, Florence and Rome. Besides Italy, my sister and I have been to Paris, Brugge and Amsterdam. I will have no travel partner for this coming trip that I hope to take in 2014. I'll be a solo traveler and would appreciate suggetions / ideas for where to go etc.
Unfortunately, your question is just way too broad to even attempt to answer without a lot of clarification. We have absolutely no idea about your interests, budget, the time you have available, the time of the year you would like to travel, your physical state, or just about anything else. All you are likely to get is a list of places, but that won't really help you. Where would you be interested in going - what's on your "list"? Have you looked at any guidebooks? Do you like to see a lot of places in a short time, or take your time and really explore one or two? Please give us something to go on, and we will be better able to help you sort it out.
First of all, since you love to travel (I'm one of those too), I would suggest doing a second visit to Paris. It's one place one never gets tired of seeing, just being there. As for your trip in 2014, I assume it's planned for the summer? How long will it be? How about going to Austria, Germany, France and Poland? All are very doable using a combination of discount airlines, if you're not adverse to flying within Europe and the train both local and long distance. One of the keys to solo traveling is pacing yourself.
SPAIN! La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, La Alhambra in Granada, and Sevilla are must sees.
I typed out an entire reply and somehow lost it. So, I sent you a private message. I am of similar age and planning a similar trip, so maybe we can share our planning thoughts.
How about the Rick Steves England in 14 Days Tour, adding some days by yourself in London before and after the tour? You will meet new friends on the tour, and London is an easy place to spend time alone in museums, historic sights and shops.
Have you thought about doing a river cruise? There are a number of choices for destinations and Vantage has some where they have cut the single supplement way down. It gives the advantage of only unpacking once.
Your age and solo traveler status should not stop you from going almost anywhere in Europe, so that doesn't help narrow it down. Everyone will suggest their own favorites (and try to steer you away from their less favorites), but that doesn't help much either.
So, in your position, I'd start by reading travel books (Rick's and others) and looking at videos (Rick's are on Hulu and YouTube).
And, if you can be more specific about what you want out of the trip, it would let everyone here give more useful recommendations. Do you speak a foreign language? Do you have a yearning to see mountains, modern art museums, Art Nouveau architecture, or opera performances? Is there a part of your heritage you want to connect with? Is there a particular period of European history that fascinates you? How long would you like to go for? Etc, etc. Help us help you!
And is budget an issue? Not only are some countries more expensive, but some are more expensive to reach as well. Of course, this depends on where you're flying from and the deals going on at that particular time. Several on this Helpline have noted that for various reasons, flights to Istanbul can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than those to other cities in Europe (even though it's a longer distance). I would never go to a place just because it's cheap, but it can be a good tie-breaker. On the other hand, if Switzerland or Norway calls to you, and you can afford it, that's where you should go.
Hi Sue and welcome to the single travelers club. The world in now your oyster. The only considerations should be your personal preferences, style, and budget. I haven't found a place yet where an older single woman would be "out of place" or encounter any difficulties just because she was alone.
Most of Europe is easily accessible by train. Trains are fast, comfortable and dependable. If you buy non-refundable tickets 90-120 days in advance, they are pretty inexpensive.
Some parts of Europe are better visited at certain times of the year than at others. If you are limited in your choices, take that into account.
I've been to places just because my route from A to B took me through X. And sometimes I liked X as much or more than either A or B. If you love to travel, you won't make a bad choice. And as you chat with people you meet along the way, you will begin a list (if you don't already have one) of where you want to go next time. My list seems to get longer with each new trip.