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5 Surprising Places to Travel in 2023 for Solo Women Over 60

By Sandra Roussy March 20, 2023 Travel

Are you searching for your next travel destination? Are you traveling solo? Traveling alone as a woman over 60 has its challenges, but definitely also has its perks.

I travel solo a lot and always make sure to research my destination of choice very carefully. Thankfully, we have access to lots of travel aides now, like travel mobile apps for example, that make it easier to plan and stay safe while traveling.

Read 20 TRAVEL APPS FOR WOMEN OVER 60.

Places to Discover in 2023 for Solo Women Travelers

You can always head to popular destinations like Amsterdam, Paris, or Barcelona, but let’s take a look at places that aren’t overly touristy and that are safe for older women to travel to.

Here are suggestions of some off-the-beaten-track destinations for solo older women to travel to in 2023.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Street in Hoi An, Vietnam
Street in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a city located in central Vietnam, known for its well-preserved ancient town that reflects a unique blend of local and foreign cultures. The city has a rich history as a major trading port, with architecture and cultural influences from Chinese, Japanese, and European traders.

Hoi An is also famous for its lanterns, which light up the town at night, and its delicious local cuisine, including signature dishes like cao lau and white rose dumplings. Additionally, the nearby beaches and scenic countryside make Hoi An a popular destination for both cultural and outdoor activities.

There are many things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam. Here are some popular activities.

Visit the Ancient Town

Explore the well-preserved streets of Hoi An’s ancient town, with its mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese architecture.

Take a Cooking Class

Learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes with fresh local ingredients, and enjoy the results!

Cycle to the Countryside

Rent a bike and take a ride through the beautiful countryside around Hoi An, with rice paddies, small villages, and scenic views.

Visit the Beaches

Hoi An has several beautiful beaches nearby, including An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach.

Shop at the Markets

Browse the local markets for unique handicrafts, souvenirs, and silk products.

Lantern-Making Workshops

Participate in a lantern-making workshop and learn how to make your own colorful lanterns to take home as souvenirs.

My Son Sanctuary

Take a day trip to My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the Cham civilization’s ancient architecture and culture.

Boat ride on the Thu Bon River

Take a relaxing boat ride on the Thu Bon River and watch the sunset while enjoying the stunning views of Hoi An’s ancient town.

Visit the Hoi An travel website for more information.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi is the capital city of Georgia, located in the southeastern part of Europe. The city is known for its unique mix of old and new, with modern architecture alongside historic buildings, churches, and fortresses. The old town, located in the heart of the city, is home to cobbled streets, colorful houses, and traditional Georgian balconies.

Tbilisi is also famous for its sulfur baths, where visitors can relax in hot mineral water pools. The city has a rich culinary scene, with traditional Georgian cuisine like khinkali (dumplings) and khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) as well as international options.

Tbilisi has several art museums, galleries, and performance venues, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can also explore the nearby wine regions, with opportunities to sample and learn about traditional Georgian wine-making techniques.

Here are some popular activities to do in Tbilisi.

Visit the Old Town

Explore the narrow streets of Tbilisi’s Old Town and admire the mix of historic and modern architecture, including the famous Peace Bridge.

Take a Dip in the Sulfur Baths

Relax in one of Tbilisi’s famous sulfur baths, located in the Abanotubani district.

Taste Traditional Georgian Food

Sample traditional Georgian dishes, such as khinkali, khachapuri, and badrijani nigvzit.

Visit the Museums and Galleries

Learn about Georgian art and culture by visiting the National Museum of Georgia, the Georgian National Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Take a Cable Car Ride

Take a scenic ride on the cable car to the top of Mount Mtatsminda, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Visit the Narikala Fortress

Visit the ancient Narikala Fortress, which overlooks the Old Town and provides beautiful views of the city.

Taste Georgian Wine

Take a wine-tasting tour in the Kakheti region, the wine-making capital of Georgia, and sample some of the country’s delicious wines.

Enjoy a concert or performance: Attend a concert or performance at the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre or the Rustaveli Theatre, both of which offer a range of cultural events throughout the year.

Visit the Tbilisi travel website.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Chedi Luang temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Chedi Luang temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is a city located in northern Thailand, known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful temples, and stunning natural surroundings. The city has a long history, dating back to the 13th century when it was a major center of the Lanna Kingdom. Today, Chiang Mai is a popular destination for travelers seeking a mix of culture, adventure, and relaxation.

The city is home to several important Buddhist temples, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang, as well as numerous markets, shops, and galleries where visitors can shop for handicrafts and other local products.

Chiang Mai is also famous for its delicious cuisine, with signature dishes like khao soi and nam prik noom. The surrounding countryside is full of opportunities for outdoor activities, including trekking and mountain biking. Chiang Mai is also a popular location for yoga and meditation retreats, offering a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere for visitors seeking relaxation and wellness.

Here are some popular things to do in Chiang Mai.

Visit the Temples

Explore the city’s many beautiful temples, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh.

Shop at the Markets

Visit the famous Night Bazaar, Warorot Market, or the Sunday Walking Street Market for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and delicious street food.

Experience the Local Cuisine

Try Chiang Mai’s signature dishes, such as khao soi, nam prik noom, and sai oua (northern Thai sausage).

Go Trekking or Hiking

Explore the beautiful surrounding countryside on a trek or hike, with opportunities to see waterfalls, rice paddies, and hill tribe villages.

Learn About Thai Culture

Take a traditional Thai cooking class, visit a local village to learn about the hill tribe culture, or watch a traditional Thai dance performance.

Relax with a Massage

Get a traditional Thai massage or visit one of the city’s many spas and wellness centers for a relaxing treatment.

Take a Yoga or Meditation Class

Chiang Mai is a popular location for yoga and meditation retreats, with many studios and centers offering classes and workshops for all levels.

Visit the Chiang Mai tourism website.

Thailand

Luang Prabang, Laos

Templo Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Templo Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is a city located in northern Laos, where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet. The city is known for its well-preserved architecture, Buddhist temples, and beautiful natural surroundings.

Luang Prabang has a long history, dating back to the 7th century when it was a center of the Khmer Empire. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its charming colonial-era buildings and stunning temples attracting visitors from around the world.

Luang Prabang is also a center of Buddhist learning and practice, with numerous monasteries and temples where visitors can observe and participate in traditional rituals.

The city is surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking. Luang Prabang is also famous for its traditional handicrafts, such as textiles, pottery, and paper-making.

The city is a peaceful and relaxing destination, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature and experience the local culture.

Things to do while in Luang Prabang:

Visit the Temples

Explore the city’s many beautiful temples, including Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Mai, and Wat Visounnarath, and participate in the traditional alms-giving ceremony to the monks.

Witness the Kuang Si Waterfall

Marvel at the beauty of the Kuang Si Waterfall and enjoy swimming in its clear turquoise pools.

Explore the Night Market

Stroll through the colorful night market to buy unique local handicrafts, silk textiles, jewelry, and other souvenirs.

Experience the Local Culture

Watch a traditional Lao dance performance, or participate in a Baci ceremony, a traditional Lao blessing ceremony.

Take a Boat Ride

Take a boat trip on the Mekong River to see the city from a different perspective, or visit the Pak Ou Caves, a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

Visit Local Villages

Visit the nearby ethnic Hmong and Khmu villages to learn about their way of life, see traditional handicrafts, and sample local food.

Explore the Countryside

Rent a bicycle or take a hike to explore the lush countryside and visit the nearby rice paddies and waterfalls.

Read more about Luang Prabang.

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos
Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos

Mérida, Mexico

Colorful street in Mérida, Mexico
Colorful street in Mérida, Mexico

Mérida is the capital city of the Yucatán state in Mexico, located in the southeastern part of the country. It is a historic city known for its charming colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and rich Mayan heritage. The city was founded in 1542 by Spanish conquistadors on the ruins of a Mayan city, and it has been an important cultural and economic center ever since.

Mérida’s historic center is characterized by beautiful colonial-era buildings, many of which have been restored and converted into shops, restaurants, and museums. The city is also known for its lively music and arts scene, with frequent concerts, exhibitions, and festivals taking place throughout the year.

Mérida is a great starting point for exploring the Yucatán region, with nearby attractions including the famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Dzibilchaltun, as well as beautiful beaches and natural reserves. The city is also known for its delicious food, with local specialties including cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) and papadzules (a traditional Yucatecan dish made with egg, pumpkin seed, and tomato sauce).

Overall, Mérida is a beautiful and vibrant city that offers visitors a unique cultural experience in Mexico.

Things to do in Merida:

Visit the Historic Center

Stroll through the charming streets of Mérida’s historic center, and admire its beautiful colonial architecture, including the famous Paseo de Montejo.

Explore the Mayan Ruins

Take a day trip to visit the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, or Dzibilchaltún, and learn about the fascinating history and culture of the ancient Mayan civilization.

Visit Museums and Galleries

Discover the city’s cultural heritage by visiting museums such as the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya or the Museum of Contemporary Art, or check out local galleries showcasing the works of Yucatecan artists.

Watch a Traditional Dance Performance

Experience the local culture by watching a traditional Yucatecan dance performance, such as Jarana or Danzón, and join in the fun by learning some steps yourself.

Relax in the Parks and Plazas

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting one of Mérida’s many beautiful parks and plazas, such as Parque de Santa Lucía or Plaza Grande, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or some ice cream while people-watching.

Explore the Cenotes

Take a day trip to visit one of the many stunning cenotes (natural swimming holes) in the surrounding region, such as the Cenote Ik Kil or the Cenote X’kekén, and cool off in the crystal-clear waters.

Visit the Merida tourism website for more information.

Colorful street in Mérida, Mexico

Stay Safe While Solo Traveling

These destinations offer unique experiences and opportunities for solo travelers to explore new cultures and landscapes. It’s important to research the safety and cultural norms of a destination before traveling, especially for solo women travelers.

Read SOLO TRAVEL OFF THE BEATEN PATH AFTER 60 – 6 ESSENTIAL THINGS TO KNOW

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you traveled to any of these destinations? Will you travel this year? If so, where will you go? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Lys

Is there a “meet up” or zoom to join and discuss outsold travels?

Daniel

“Taste the local ‘cuisine'”? Made from dogs tortured to death? And Mexico is far from “safe”

Terry

Say it ain’t so they eat dogs?

Sandra Roussy

Hi Daniel,

I’m not sure what city you are referring to regarding the dogs. Nowhere in the article does it say “Taste the local cuisine.” Please kindly educate me.

I live in Mexico and have been for several years. I feel safe and I am safe. Certain areas of Mexico are definitely less safe than others. Tourist destinations like Cancun and Acapulco, for example, have high cartel activity due to the tourist traffic (think Spring Break), and areas with cartel presence tend to be less safe. That being said, I have been to Merida (and many other regions of Mexico) and it is safe for solo women travelers.

Zanne

Like cows or pigs that are tortured and murdered is any better???

Denise Karter

I have travelled to Merida solo and I am retirement age. It was safe and Yuacatecos are very friendly and respectful people.

Patricia

Older than 70 I traveled twice to the Lake Chapala region of Mexico, once with my little old blind and deaf dog. Staying present and alert, safeguarding belongings, and being friendly to the locals kept me safe.
Last Fall I took an 85 day solo adventure to Italy, Prague, and Budapest. Absolutely magical!

Sandra Roussy

Great comment, Patricia! Those are excellent traveling advice tips. :)

Sandra Roussy

Completely agree, Denise! I love Merida and feel safe there as well.

Kathleen

I am a 73 year old woman who has travelled safely throughout 12 states in Mexico

Jeannie Mills

I’ve been to Luang Prabang, Hoi An and Chiang Mai, though not solo, and agree they’d be perfect for women travelling alone.

PatriciaT

Chang Mai is an incredible place. Night market, artisan crafts, pavilion performances. Good hotels are reasonable. People in the north are wonderful. Safe, reasonable prices, sites to see. Must go north to the elephant sanctuary.

Jane Coombs

Great post. This is a keeper.

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website: www.sandraroussy.com

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