Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
- Maya Angelou 
 

PARIS, FRANCE

Yes, Paris is the city for lovers but for solo travelers this city is also ideal. It is not very large, and it is easy to navigate, with great public transportation so you can get places quickly and safely. It’s not hard to find a decent hotel where you can base yourself and there are restaurants and cafés on every corner.

Start your day at the corner café with a “café crème” and a croissant, while you look though “Le Parisienne.” (French is surprisingly easy to read – many of English words are based upon French.)

Then begin your day of sightseeing. You could choose to visit any of the amazing museums (my favorite is the Musée du Louvre) or to wander through one of the lovely neighborhoods, like the Left Bank or the Marais.

At lunch, find a little bistro, and order something off the menu on the wall. Continue your day by spending some time in one of the gorgeous parks, such as the Tuileries or Luxembourg Gardens, and take in the beauty around you.

And you can always stop in a café, order a coffee (it’s very inexpensive) and people watch. In fact, they are set up for exactly this, with chairs facing the street. Unlike the German “grab and go” culture, the French take the time to sit and enjoy their coffee – which is a perfect way for the solo traveler to relax and observe the culture.

 

​I was once there to celebrating New Year's Eve. 

Official Firework shows have been all but absent in Paris on the 31st in recent years, so you unfortunately shouldn't get your hopes up for seeing any on the skyline for New Year's eve. You'll probably see a few small ones launched by private groups, however. 

 

Paris is safe in most areas.

English speakers easy to find

Easy to navigate by transit or car

Similar Culture to North America or Western Europe

ROME, ITALY

The Vatican City is a destination in itself!  I spent four hours there with a lovely tour guide in a small group of just myself and another couple.  Our guide allowed us to skip the long line and with his Master’s in Ancient History, I felt as though I could point at anything and he would explain.  Statues, tapestries, paintings – I walked around with my mouth hanging open in awe for nearly three hours.

The Colosseum is a sight in itself, but walking around the Roman forum allows you to almost picture the scenes that went down.  I didn’t take a tour, but merely walked around picturing the emperors and ministry that stood at that very spot.  It’s hard to turn a corner without falling into another ancient ruin.  Amazing to wander, grab a gelato from a nearby stand and sit for a while and daydream!

Great shopping!  Despite several warnings, most of the shops are open on Sunday except for a siesta period from 13:00 – 14:00.  Luckily, I opted for a late lunch and sat by the lovely Trevi fountain while I waited for the shops to re-open. A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Coins are purportedly meant to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder.

Being a lady in Italy…well, it’s a different experience in itself.  “Ciao bella!” can often be heard following you as you wander through the street.  Smile graciously and enjoy the compliments!

BALI, INDONESIA

There is a legend told of an island east of Java. It was a beautiful island, but its fertile plains and palm fringed shores rocked and were unsteady. The gods conferred. Thery decided the answer lay in placing a mountain upon the island, to balance, calm and soothe it. And so they did. Happiness then reigned on the island and all was at peace.

A magical island full of legends and mystical tales set amid the thousands of islands that are INDONESIA. 
Bali is one of the 17,508 islands which make up of the archipelagic Republic of Indonesia. It is easily one of Indonesia's most popular tourist destinations known throughout the world as a paradise isle set in the southern seas with its story-book setting of sun-drenched beahes, rooling surf, rustic villages, fertile plains and sculptured rice terraces. Bali is also graced by colourful temple festivals accompanied by spritely music and dance watched by the local populace, tourists, and the unseen gods from their dwelling places perched on majestic mountains. Located near the eastern-most tip of Java island across the narrow Straits of Bali, this 'Isle of the Gods' is peopled by the friendly Balinese who are more exposed to international tourists than many people in other parts of Indonesia.

 

 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

The Czechs regard their locally produced beers as a national treasure. 'If Czech beer is the best in the world,' ask many visitors to Prague, ‘what’s the best beer in the Czech Republic? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might hope or expect. The most popular beer here is Gambrinus. However, it’s not universally recognised as the best. Kozel’s Medium, a pale lager, won the prize for the best Czech beer at the Research Institute of Brewing & Malting awards in 2008. Many locals, meanwhile, claim that Pilsner Urquell is the best of the bunch, with Czechs from Pilsen insisting that the water quality in their home city means that their pilsner is superior to those produced anywhere else in the country.

 

Touching the Saint John of Nepomuk' statue on Charles Bridge is a Prague ritual. It is supposed to bring good luck and to ensure that you return to Prague soon.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Moscow is beautiful, but you'd better prepare to learn their language before you go there. At least, learn how to read their alphabeths, because in Moscow, its rarely to find text in English or even English speakers.  I was in trouble looking the Hotel's adresse, luckily, there was a young man drove me to the Hotel. Their Metro is the world's third most heavily used rapid transit system after Tokyo subway and Seoul Metropolitan Subway, but u'll get use to it after one day. The Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects, with stations constructed as luxurious “palaces for the people”.

The most important building in Moscow is Kremlin. Extremely varied, even eclectic in style - from ancient Russian to classical and even pseudo-gothic - the palaces and buildings of the Kremlin nonetheless form an organic whole. This unique combination of styles and eras lends the Kremlin's architectural ensemble a quite incomparable charm. Each historical era has left its immortal traces on the facades and interior appointments of the palaces and chambers of the Kremlin.

 

PISA, ITALY

Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy. Although Pisa is known for its leaning tower. Pisa is a one-hour drive from Florence. You can also get a train directly to Florence from a Central rail station in Pisa (Pisa Centrale). Local buses connect the city of Pisa with all the neighboring cities. 

The half hour walk from the Campo dei Miracoli to the train station runs through a pedestrian street with many interesting sights, shops, and restaurants. The best way to visit Pisa is walking the streets, as the city center is very small, and enjoy the sight and the atmosphere.

Pisa would not be Pisa without the University. The city is animated by the students, who organize parties, shows, and cultural events, and fill the central street of the city at night. You'll notice the student flair in the the city once you leave the touristy campo dei miracoli.

Pisa is a safe city, you do not need to worry about your safety (except for some zone at night, such as the area surrounding the station). However you should take the obvious precautions (like, if you stay in a very cheap hotel, take your valuables with you) and watch out for pickpockets in the touristy areas.

BERLIN, GERMANY

I love Berlin. The people is quirky and its a multicultural city. This city is never sleep and you can see a lot of historical buildings as I love history about WWII. Beside Bradenburg Gate you can find the Holocaust Memorial and Reichstag Building. Around Postdam Square you can get a "souvenir" stamp on your passport. A souvenir passport stamp is a "fake" stamp that you pay for and they will stamp it in your passport. It is really popular to get the Checkpoint Charlie stamp, it was a replica of the stamp they used to use from passing between East and West Berlin. Its also nice to celebrating New Year's Eve in Berlin, because that is the only time you can play with fireworks in Germany.

LONDON, ENGLAND

I love Beatles. That's the reason i go to London. Because The Beatles lived and worked in London.  Abbey Road Studios is where they recorded many of their songs, including All You Need Is Love and Love Me Do. The famous pelican crossing where the group posed for the cover of Abbey Road is just up the road.

ICELAND

I am a movie buff fascinated by the magical nature in the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. That reason brings me to a land of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, of Viking heritage and the most modern design imaginable, of magical folklore and friendly people – Iceland sits at the top of Europe with an abundance of history, metropolitan atmosphere, sublime dining and plenty of charming experiences for you to enjoy.

© 2013 by IRINE STEPHANIE. All Rights Reserved 

© 2013 by IRINE STEPHANIE. All Rights Reserved