Famous landmarks and spectacular views, amazing architecture and magnificent palaces – there’s so much to see and do in Europe’s fabulous cities. Each destination offers a single traveller a unique experience and, as Joanna Lumley shares the World’s Greatest Cities in her new TV series, we look at some of the places that are proving popular with those looking for a tour with like-minded solo travellers.
1. Athens – Greece
Travel to Athens on a singles holiday and you'll uncover a unique blend of ancient and modern. Europe’s oldest city is packed full of must-see sights, including the iconic Acropolis. This Rocky Outcrop towers above the city and is crowned by an ancient citadel, where the remnants of many historic monuments stand. Walk along the winding paths to discover the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the magnificent Parthenon, with its imposing and unmistakable columns.
2. Vienna – Austria
A solo tour to Austria's Vienna, will showcase a city simply bursting with charm. There’s so much to explore amongst its wealth of Baroque buildings, and the impressive Schonbrunn Palace is not to be missed. This was once the summer residence of Empress Sisi and contains more than 1,400 rooms – with around 40 open to the public, during some free time, why not enjoy a self-guided tour. Within the gardens, tropical and sub topical plants grow in the glass-panelled Palm House and when it’s time to take the weight off your feet, head to the café in the Gloriette, a splendid 18th century monument which offers beautiful views over Vienna
3. Valletta – Malta
The historic and elegant city of Valletta lies on a hilly peninsula between two harbours. It was built in the 16th century by the Knights of St John and the impressive St John’s Co-Cathedral is where they came to worship. Covering just one square kilometre, Malta’s capital is also a great place to head for a spot of shopping, and there are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat. Travel on a singles tour to Malta with like-minded and you'll enjoy a range of experiences to share with new-found friends.
4. Dubrovnik – Croatia
The beautiful city of Dubrovnik conjures up images of terracotta-tiled roofs stretching towards the sea. One of the best ways to appreciate this incredible sight is to walk along the city’s spectacular walls. Dating back hundreds of years, they surround the entire Old Town and are up to 25 metres high in some places. Visit this city on a solo tour to Dubrovnik and you’ll be in for a treat.
5. Prague – Czech Republic
Head to the Czech Republic and chances are you’ll spend most of your time in its glorious capital Prague. The iconic Charles bridge is perhaps the city’s most famous landmark, it was built in the 14th century and is adorned with statues and monuments. The Astronomical Clock located in the Old Town square, was first installed in 1410 and is still operational today. Make sure you are around ‘on the hour’ with your fellow solo travellers to see the clock ‘come to life’.
6. Budapest - Hungary
Sitting across the River Danube, the districts of Buda and Pest are connected by its 19th century chain bridge. Travel solo to Budapest and you’re sure to be awe-struck - perhaps one of the most iconic sites of the city is the Parliament Building built in a gothic revival style and overlooking the river. On the opposite bank, located near the castle, you’ll find Fisherman’s Bastion offering a wonderful view over the city.
7. Florence – Italy
Known the world over as the ‘Art City’ and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Florence is a wonderful destination for solo travellers. Home to some of the world’s most revered artists you’ll find the works of many housed here – including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. This compact city is perfect to explore on foot – stroll through it’s Renaissance streets, take a walk across the Ponte Vecchio, admire the magnificent architecture of the Duomo.
8. Lisbon - Portugal
Solo travel in Lisbon is a delight – the old city is home to pastel-coloured buildings, ornate architecture and wonderful food. Take time to enjoy a walking tour of the city and its historic centre, take a ride on one of the city trams and of course you’ve got to enjoy a stop to savour a delicious ‘Pasteis de Belem’ – the original Pastel de Nata.
9. Reykjavik – Iceland
Take a flight to Iceland and enjoy a solo city break in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world, . There are some incredible sights around the city including the Hallgrimskirkja, climb to the top of the church’s spire for wonderful views across the city and the bay and the Harpa Reykjavik – the concert and conference centre with a colourful glass façade, visit it at night to see the venue in all its glory. There are plenty of place to enjoy the local cuisine and indulge in some shopping too. Get out of the city to explore Iceland’s Golden Circle, or spend an afternoon relaxing at the Blue Lagoon – a world-famous geothermal spa.
10. Istanbul - Turkey
Straddling two continents, enjoy a singles group tour to Istanbul with like-minded travellers and spend time in an incredibly vibrant destination with influences from the east and the west. With more than 3000 shops, a visit to the Grand Bazaar is an experience with a whole range of products available to buy from traditional textiles to jewellery, spices and so much more. You should also visit the Hagia Sophia, a building that appears to defy the laws of engineering with is huge dome. This wonderful example of Byzantine architecture was once a church, then a mosque and now a museum.
Have you been inspired to plan your next adventure around one of these magnificent cities?