This Underrated European Tourist Spot Is The Perfect Addition To Your Solo Travel Bucket List

If you're like most people, you probably can't locate Transylvania on a map — and you might not have even realized it was a real place. But for solo travelers, this underrated spot deserves some attention (and a flight booking, stat). Transylvania is a region in central Romania named, in Latin, after the lush forests surrounding it. Tourism in the area has picked up in recent years — according to Transylvania Now, 2.5 million tourists visited during the 2018-2019 winter season, a 9.2% increase compared to the same season one year earlier — but it still fails to draw the crowds found in many other European destinations.

However, this could be a win for solo sightseers who prefer a peaceful escape. Venturing into Transylvania's otherworldly villages, with their gothic castles and quaint small-town vibe, can feel like stepping into a fairytale or childhood storybook. There's the charming city of Sibiu, with its Historic Center that looks like it was plucked straight out of the 1400s. Then there's Brasov, a city nestled in the mountains with an eclectic mix of old and new sights. And no trip to Transylvania would be complete without a visit to Bran Castle, the castle that was used as inspiration for Count Dracula's fictional home.

There's a lot more to uncover in Transylvania, and you don't need a tour group or travel companion to enjoy the region.

Why Transylvania is perfect for solo travelers

Heading off the beaten path as a solo traveler can be intimidating, which is why some people only stick to popular destinations when venturing alone. However, Romania's Transylvania offers the best of both worlds: It's friendly to tourists while still offering a unique and authentic experience.

First, Romania is a relatively safe country where you likely won't run into conflict or violence, according to the 2023 Global Peace Index. In fact, the Eastern European country ranked higher in the peace index than major tourist hubs such as Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As a solo traveler, it's always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and follow safety measures, such as adding extra security to your hotel room. In general, though, you can feel at ease traveling throughout Transylvania.

Another perk for solo travelers is Transylvania's budget-friendly prices. According to Budget Your Trip, a website that calculates travel costs based on traveler-submitted figures, Romanian hotel rooms for single occupants typically run around $30 per night, while an entire day's worth of meals for one person can add up to about $28. Even if you don't have someone to split costs with, you'll likely find the region to be relatively affordable when traveling alone.

Other solo travel destinations near Transylvania

Transylvania might seem disconnected from the rest of the world, but it's not that hard to reach, thanks to the four international airports that dot the region (look for them in Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, and Targu Mures). These hubs, along with train and bus routes, also make Transylvania the perfect choice if you want to cross off multiple destinations in one trip. You'll find several solo travel hotspots just a short journey away.

Within Romania, consider hopping over to the city of Timisoara once you're done exploring the castles and forests of Transylvania. Timisoara is steeped in history, much like the towns of Transylvania, but you'll find many of its streets and buildings to be much more vibrant and colorful. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is also easy for solo travelers to navigate with its cultural attractions and modern amenities.

Outside of Romania, you'll find some of the best solo trip destinations just a short flight or train ride away. Look to Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece for inspiration.