An Introverts Look Into Why Solo Travelers Should Visit Denmark
As a self-described (and often described by others) independent and self-reliant individual, traveling solo as a woman in Europe was an experience that I knew I wanted to have. When everyone’s plans for the autumn break were not exciting enough for me, I decided that I would have my own adventures on, well, my own. While I already have a knowledge of what it was like to travel alone to-and-from places, I had never spent a long period of time exploring and experiencing a trip solo.
Disclaimer: This type of adventure is an introvert’s dream.
Because I wanted to not only be safe but feel safe I chose to plan a trip to Denmark. I had two friends that studied abroad in Copenhagen in the past, simultaneously knowing the culture of the country and how safe it is for foreigners (especially women). My parents, as supporting as they are, also asked me to choose a place that would be safer. In comparison to Budapest or Prague, I heard from fellow travelers who lived in Europe that Denmark would be very safe and friendly to solo traveling females.
Denmark is expensive because they do not rely on the euro, but retained their own currency and it has much higher worth than the euro. Budget accordingly! What I will say is that when you travel alone you make all the decisions. Where to eat, which hostel to stay in, which train ticket to buy, how many museums to see, etc. It is much easier to know how much money you will spend because your budget is your own.
I planned to spend about US$500-$600 over the course of seven days in Denmark. This included my hostel fare, transportation and food. Because I was on my own, I was able to spend less on food when I wanted to and spend an afternoon in Tivoli. However, I know travelers that would rather have a foodie experience and skip the “experience.” Traveling solo is the best example of “choose your own adventure” there is.
From experience, I can say that I felt much more comfortable choosing a higher end hostel that was near the city center than saving money and being in a less familiar area. I was also surrounded by people who felt the same, and I ended up making a few friends from my room. Because I tend to go with my gut, it takes a lot for me to trust people I have just met. I chose not to explore the bar scenes because I was on my own and I didn’t want to be put in a situation that I felt uncomfortable with. But on the third night I was able to go out with an American woman in her late twenties who I trusted and had a great time with. Denmark is a great place for American solo travelers because absolutely everyone speaks intermediate to advanced English. It definitely made me feel safer and more confident about asking questions and making mistakes (like getting lost every now and then).
Quick note: make sure that when you take photos, you have your photo taken by another traveler! The biggest mistake most solo travelers make is coming home with loads of photos but they aren’t in any of them. Make sure to have proof that you were there!
I spent three days in Copenhagen, two and a half days in Aarhus (a town about four hours from Copenhagen by train), and then another half day in Copenhagen. Getting outside of the major city was an eye-opening adventure into the culture of Denmark. Remove yourself from your comfort zone! Whether that is going on a group tour of the quirky side of the city or visiting a museum that you’re not sure about, try something new. You get to call the shots, so make sure that you would do something that you never would have done otherwise.
The reason I highly suggest Denmark as a haven for solo travelers is first because of its safety, but secondly because it is a beautiful and friendly country. I chose it originally because I had two friends who helped me plan the trip and told me that they thought I would love it. If you are blessed to have similar friends who can help you plan adventures, follow their advice! If it was not for them, I most likely would have spent my free week in the realm of my comfort zone of the United Kingdom. Take a chance and give yourself an opportunity to travel on your own and discover not only a new place but new things about yourself.