This Historic And Stunning UK City Makes For A Captivating Solo Adventure

Everyone can benefit from the wonders of solo travel. From perusing a museum at your own pace to the serenity of dining out with a favorite book, it's amazing how uplifting — and empowering — solo travel can be. That said, location can play a big part in the success of any solo trip, especially for women traveling alone. With this in mind, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh should be next on your list.

Edinburgh is renowned for being a very welcoming city. Sociable and good-humored, the Scots know how to enjoy themselves — and in the capital, they have a reputation for being particularly friendly. In fact, according to a recent survey by Parkdean Resorts, Edinburgh has the strongest sense of community in the U.K. Notably, the study pointed out that the city reported less crime than other U.K. destinations, making it a safer bet for solo travelers.

Then there are the logistical advantages of visiting Edinburgh. As a capital city, tourist infrastructure is well set up, with a vibrant visitor center, plenty of organized tours, and excellent public transport — all of which can make a big difference when traveling alone. Plus, there are many hostels, offering a great way to meet others and stay within budget.

What to see and do on a visit to Edinburgh

What should you be planning for your solo trip to Edinburgh? Aside from its famed festivals (which we'll get to in a bit), a great way to start is with a stroll on foot — Edinburgh is known for being a very compact and walkable city. For anyone worried about finding their way alone, there are some excellent apps available to help. For instance, GPSmyCity offers 14 themed routes. The app even works offline, so no worries about using your data.

A city of lofty summits, fairy-tale architecture, and rich culture, Edinburgh features two distinct historical areas: the medieval Old Town, a joyous jumble of ancient streets, and the contrasting refinement of the Georgian New Town. Together, they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it's worth taking the time to explore. A stroll down the Royal Mile, the historic thoroughfare through Old Town, is a must — as is the climb up Calton Hill for a panoramic view of the city.

At the heart of the city is the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Home to the country's crown jewels, among other treasures, the castle itself offers commanding views of the city. There's also a handy audio guide available — perfect for keeping you company as you discover the fascinating history of this ancient site. Within the castle grounds is another must-see: St. Margaret's Chapel, the city's oldest building, dating from the 12th century.

A warm welcome at any time of year

There are all sorts of attractions suited to the individual traveler. Fancy meandering through a museum without having to worry about anyone else? How about the Museum of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland, or the Writers' Museum? Maybe you'll be inspired to pick up a pen yourself! What better time than on a solo travel trip?

For those who fancy finding their clan over shared interests, how about an organized tour? From bicycle trails and photography sessions to whisky tasting, there's sure to be something that appeals to anyone. On the subject of whiskey, you can't beat one of the city's pubs for a friendly atmosphere (unless you're wearing the wrong football gear, as there's a fierce rivalry between the "Hearts" and the "Hibs"). 

If you like higher energy and crowds, what could be more fitting than a visit to Edinburgh during its famed festival season? Running every August, the International and Fringe Festivals, along with a host of other events, offer arts and culture galore — and the chance to make new friends.

Whenever you choose to visit, the welcome is always warm, even when the weather is cold — making it an ideal choice for your next solo adventure.