You’ll make fast friends with any one of these 8 major cities around the world.
When you solo vacay, you get to do what you want, you only have to worry about your budget and timeline, but also, there’s just an element of adventure to a solo mission you don’t get when you’re with a crew. The perks of travelling alone are many, for an independent soul! Solo travel can be more challenging, but also, more rewarding. Up for a journey into the unknown? Here are 8 cities that cater to solo travelers (solo female globetrotters, you too!) and leave nothing to be desired.
New York City
It’s said that the city that never sleeps is built on a foundation of crystals, which is why it’s so magnetic. Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated borough of the city, and certainly, the symbol of New York. The iconic bars, famous delis and diners, world-renowned shopping, galleries and museums here are something every independent soul should get to explore at least once. You won’t need a crew to get the full experience of NYC. Recreational pot isn’t legal in New York (though the city has been found to smoke the most pot in the world) but you can find your people at Village Grannies in the East Village or Higher Standards in Chelsea Market.
In Portland, the art and music scene is as thriving as it is truly one-of-a-kind – and this is something the city celebrates (Portland’s unofficial motto is keep Portland weird, after all). The home of The Dandy Warhols, Sleater Keaney, The Shins, and The Decemberists breeds underground gems. If you love discovering new music, you’ll fall in love with the scene here. Before you head to your venue of choice (there’s a show every night at Mississippi Studios or Crystal Ballroom), get grounded at the 5,000 acre Forest Park, the largest wilderness park in the States. You’ll want to stock up on (legal) weed too – recreational use has been a go here since 2015. Jayne dispensary was voted by High Times as Portland’s best. Start your adventures there.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s rich history lends itself to a varied, interesting travel experience for groups and solo travellers alike. The 46 unique districts – The Castro, one of the US’ first gay neighborhoods, The Mission, with it’s Latino roots and all the others cater to foodies, culture vultures, beatniks-at-heart, nature-lovers, activists, and cannabis lovers. Whoever you are, you’ll find a place you feel right at home here. Save your trip to SF for April and visit the world-famous 4:20 event on Hippie Hill, or get the lay of the land this September, which offers the city’s warmest temperatures. Whenever you go, you’ll want to stock up on legal pot at Barbary Coast Dispensary and Lounge downtown, or check out Purple Star in the Mission.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Home to some beautiful beaches and lush parks, this coastline capital city is the place to get high on life. You can surf, hike, kayak, climb, or you can chill in some cozy vegan cafes and watch the world go by. The pace of life is slower here, but there’s so much culture to explore – from trendy cocktail bars in Gastown to boutiques on Granville Island to the shopping on Robson St. Recreational pot is legal in this city, and retail stores are starting to pop up. Visit Muse Cannabis on Granville St. or Kiaro on Kingsway to get what you need.
A trip to the city of amour is a major excuse to romance yourself in all the dreamy ways you’ve ever imagined. Here, a glass of wine on a patio, a window shopping stroll or hanging with a book on the canal with a hunk of cheese and a baguette is a sumptuous experience. Don’t deny yourself the chance to see this stunning city all lit up against the night sky. Recreational pot isn’t legal here, but there are a couple of coffee shops – Cofyshop and E-Klop, which specialize in (vaguely not-illegal) CBD.
Obviously Amsterdam is a bucket-list must for cannabis enthusiasts, but the Netherlands’ capital has so much more to offer than just the world-famous coffee shops and space cakes. The iconic 17th century canal networks, crooked houses that dot the cityscape – and many spacious green pockets throughout make it an enjoyable one to just be in. Bike the streets and breathe in the super-clean air (Amsterdam is one of Europe’s greenest capitals) and of course, don’t miss the chance to duck into one of the many coffee shops – here are 7 local-approved ones.
When you visit Switzerland’s capital, you’ll be greeted by some of the world’s happiest people, and a seriously stunning cityscape. The city rests on the shore of the glistening Lake Zurich, and picturesque medieval architecture dots the horizon. Make this your home base and you can take a train to end up at a postcard village, waterfall or mountain where you can see the snow capped Alps nearby. Switzerland has the lowest crime rate in the world, making it a safe one for solo travellers, but THC is not legal. Switzerland is crazy for high-end CBD, though. Sold under the brand name “C-Pure,” legal, low-THC cannabis can be found in head shops across the country.
For yogis and healers, Bali is the place to be – undistracted. The beauty of Ubud is enveloping, and it’s no wonder so many come to Bali and have a spiritual experience. The province’s cultural epicentre is covered with sacred spaces like temples and shrines that cater to the Balinese Hindu population (which makes up the vast majority of the city), and the experience of nature – check out Sacred Monkey Forest – is just as humbling. If you want to get deeply centered, come to Ubud solo. Re – cannabis, a word to the wise: In Bali, it’s said that Indonesian drug laws are among the strictest in Southeast Asia and Indonesian authorities are quick to make an example of foreigners who get caught. So, maybe save Ubud for your next pot-free detox.