Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Solo Female Travel In The Balkans – Are The Balkans Safe?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Noelle Tatum



Solo female travel has gained immense popularity in recent years, providing women with the opportunity to explore the world on their terms and build their independence. While many destinations are often discussed and recommended for solo female travelers, the Balkans region is often overlooked and underestimated. However, the Balkans offer a unique and captivating experience for women seeking adventure, culture, and history.


Contrary to popular belief, the Balkans are a safe and welcoming destination for solo female travelers. With its diverse landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality, this region has emerged as an enticing option for those looking to immerse themselves in a lesser-explored part of Europe.


In this article, we will debunk myths and misconceptions surrounding solo female travel in the Balkans. We will delve into the safety precautions and tips that will help you navigate this region with confidence. Whether you are an experienced traveler or embarking on your first solo trip, this guide will provide you with valuable insights to make the most of your journey.


So, if you have ever dreamt of exploring ancient fortresses, picturesque coastal towns, and vibrant local markets, then join us as we unravel the beauty and safety of embarking on a solo adventure through the Balkans.


Myths and Misconceptions

Before we delve into the details of solo female travel in the Balkans, let’s address some common myths and misconceptions that may discourage women from embarking on this adventure:

  1. It’s dangerous: One of the biggest misconceptions about the Balkans is that it is unsafe for solo female travelers. While no destination is completely devoid of risks, the Balkans are generally safe for visitors. Like any other place, it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Language barrier: Another myth is that there is a significant language barrier in the Balkans. While English may not be as widely spoken as in some other destinations, especially in rural areas, you’ll find that many locals speak at least basic English and are willing to help. Learning a few basic phrases in the local language can also go a long way in breaking the ice and showing respect for the local culture.
  3. Limited transportation options: Some travelers may believe that getting around the Balkans is challenging due to a lack of transportation options. On the contrary, the region boasts a well-connected network of buses, trains, and ferries that make it easy to explore different countries and cities. Public transportation is affordable and reliable, enabling you to navigate the Balkans with ease.
  4. Political instability: The Balkans have a history of political conflicts, and some people may still believe that the region is politically unstable. However, many of these conflicts are in the past, and the Balkans have experienced significant political and social developments in recent years. Today, the region is generally peaceful and focused on rebuilding and developing its tourism industry.

By dispelling these common myths, we can create a more accurate and realistic perception of solo female travel in the Balkans. With a bit of planning, research, and common sense, you can confidently explore this enchanting part of Europe and create unforgettable memories.


Solo Female Travel in the Balkans

Traveling solo as a woman in the Balkans offers a unique and empowering experience. Here are some key reasons why the Balkans is an excellent destination for solo female travelers:

  1. Warm hospitality: The people of the Balkans are known for their warm and welcoming nature. Locals are often curious and interested in meeting travelers, which can make solo female travelers feel safe and supported during their journey. The hospitality in the Balkans is often described as genuine and heartfelt, creating a welcoming environment for visitors.
  2. Diverse landscapes: The Balkans boast an extraordinary variety of landscapes, from stunning coastlines and pristine beaches to rugged mountain ranges and lush national parks. This diversity offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, kayaking, and exploring hidden gems off the beaten path. Solo travelers can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Balkans and create their own unique experiences.
  3. Cultural heritage: The Balkans are steeped in history and culture, with a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient landmarks to discover. From Ottoman architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Roman ruins in Serbia and Croatia, solo female travelers in the Balkans can delve into centuries of history and witness the fusion of cultures in this captivating region.
  4. Affordability: Traveling in the Balkans is relatively budget-friendly compared to other parts of Europe. Accommodation, food, and transportation options are often affordable, allowing solo female travelers to make the most of their budget and extend their adventures. This affordability makes the Balkans an attractive destination for long-term travelers and backpackers.
  5. Solo-friendly destinations: The Balkans offer a range of destinations that are particularly well-suited for solo female travelers. Cities like Dubrovnik, Belgrade, and Sarajevo have well-developed tourism infrastructures and a thriving backpacker scene, making it easy to meet fellow travelers and find travel companions along the way. These cities also offer a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Exploring the Balkans as a solo female traveler allows you to immerse yourself in its unique blend of nature, history, and culture. From the warm hospitality of the locals to the diverse landscapes and affordability, the Balkans offer a safe, enriching, and transformative experience for women seeking adventure and self-discovery.


Safety Precautions

While the Balkans are generally safe for solo female travelers, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure a smooth and secure journey. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research your destination: Before you travel to a specific country or city in the Balkans, research the local customs, culture, and current safety situation. Stay updated on any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government or reputable travel websites.
  2. Share your itinerary: Let someone you trust know your travel itinerary, including the dates, accommodation details, and contact information. This way, someone back home will have an idea of your whereabouts and can reach you if needed.
  3. Trust your instincts: Trusting your intuition is essential when traveling solo. If a situation or person feels uncomfortable or unsafe, remove yourself from it. Your safety and well-being should always be a priority, so be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut feelings.
  4. Blend in with the locals: To avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself, try to dress modestly and respectfully, conforming to local customs and traditions. This will help you blend in with the locals and reduce the risk of becoming a target for scams or unwanted attention.
  5. Be cautious with personal belongings: Keep your valuables, such as passports, money, and electronics, secure at all times. Use a concealed money belt or a secure bag to carry your belongings, especially in crowded areas. Be cautious of pickpockets and avoid displaying signs of wealth that may attract unwanted attention.
  6. Stay connected: Ensure that you have a reliable means of communication while traveling. Purchase a local SIM card or consider using a portable Wi-Fi device to stay connected with family and friends. Having access to the internet and emergency contact information can provide an added sense of security.
  7. Use trusted transportation: When using public transportation, opt for well-known and reputable providers. If you are unsure about the safety of a particular mode of transport, it is always best to seek advice from locals or fellow travelers.

By following these safety precautions, solo female travelers can navigate the Balkans with confidence and enjoy their journey to the fullest. Remember, being cautious and aware of your surroundings is key to maintaining personal safety, but it shouldn’t discourage you from embracing the beauty and adventure that the Balkans have to offer.


Transportation in the Balkans

Getting around the Balkans as a solo female traveler is relatively easy, thanks to a well-connected transportation network. Here are the main modes of transportation you can rely on:

  1. Buses: Buses are the primary mode of transportation in the Balkans, connecting major cities and even smaller towns. Most countries in the region have reliable and affordable bus services, operated by both private and public companies. Bus tickets can be purchased at the stations or online in advance. It is advisable to arrive early for popular routes or during peak travel seasons.
  2. Trains: Train travel in the Balkans may not be as extensive as bus routes, but it can still be a convenient and scenic option for certain journeys. Trains tend to be slower than buses, but they offer a more comfortable and relaxed travel experience. Train tickets can be purchased at the stations or online, and it’s advisable to check the timetables in advance and book tickets if necessary.
  3. Ferries: If you plan to explore the coastal regions of the Balkans, ferries are a popular means of transportation. They connect various islands and coastal cities, providing an opportunity to enjoy stunning sea views along the way. Ferry services may have specific schedules, so it’s advisable to check the availability, especially during the peak tourist season.
  4. Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis are widely available in urban areas, and they can be a convenient way to get around shorter distances. It is recommended to use licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services to ensure your safety and avoid potential scams. Always confirm the price before getting into the taxi and insist on using the meter whenever possible.
  5. Renting a Car: Renting a car can offer flexibility and the freedom to explore less accessible areas of the Balkans at your own pace. However, driving conditions and road signage may vary from country to country, so it’s essential to be familiar with local driving laws and navigate with caution. Having a valid international driver’s license is often required when renting a car in the Balkans.

As a solo female traveler, it is important to prioritize your safety when using public transportation. Avoid traveling alone late at night and be mindful of your belongings. Keep your valuables close to you, especially in crowded areas and public transport. It’s also helpful to have a map or a navigation app to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.


Overall, transportation in the Balkans offers convenience, affordability, and the opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes and vibrant cities of the region. Whether you choose buses, trains, ferries, or a combination of them all, you can embark on a memorable journey through the Balkans with ease.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation in the Balkans, solo female travelers have a range of options to suit their preferences and budget. Here are some popular choices to consider:

  1. Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice among solo travelers, offering affordable rates and the opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers. The Balkans are home to numerous well-equipped and friendly hostels, especially in major cities and tourist destinations. Dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities are common, but private rooms are also available in many hostels.
  2. Guesthouses and B&Bs: For a more intimate and cozy experience, consider staying in a guesthouse or bed and breakfast. These locally-owned accommodations provide a homely atmosphere and the chance to interact with the hosts and other guests. Guesthouses and B&Bs can be found in both rural and urban areas, offering a range of amenities and services.
  3. Apartments and Vacation Rentals: If you prefer more privacy and independence during your solo trip, renting an apartment or vacation rental can be a great option. Websites and apps such as Airbnb and Booking.com offer a wide selection of apartments, studios, and houses in various locations across the Balkans. This option allows you to have your own space and often includes kitchen facilities, giving you the opportunity to cook your own meals if desired.
  4. Hotels: The Balkans offer a range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury accommodations. Whether you prefer boutique hotels or international chains, there are plenty of options to choose from in urban centers and popular tourist destinations. Hotels provide comfort, convenience, and a range of amenities such as room service, fitness centers, and swimming pools.
  5. Camping: If you enjoy the great outdoors, consider camping in the Balkans. The region is dotted with stunning national parks and campsites that offer a unique experience for nature lovers. Whether you prefer to bring your own camping gear or rent equipment on-site, camping provides an affordable and adventurous accommodation option.

Regardless of the accommodation option you choose, it’s essential to prioritize safety and consider factors such as location, reviews, and security measures. Research the accommodation in advance, read reviews from previous guests, and book through reputable websites or directly with the property.


Remember, solo female travelers should always trust their instincts and prioritize personal safety. If you’re not comfortable with a particular accommodation or location, look for alternatives that better meet your needs and preferences. With a wide range of accommodation options available, you can find the perfect place to stay and make your solo journey through the Balkans even more enjoyable and memorable.


Popular Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

The Balkans offer a plethora of enticing destinations for solo female travelers. Here are a few must-visit places to include in your itinerary:

  1. Dubrovnik, Croatia: Dubrovnik’s stunning medieval architecture, picturesque old town, and breathtaking coastal views make it a top destination for solo female travelers. Explore the city walls, visit the ancient fortresses, and enjoy the vibrant cafe culture.
  2. Belgrade, Serbia: Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, offers a blend of history, culture, and vibrant nightlife. Discover historical sites like Belgrade Fortress, wander through the Bohemian quarter of Skadarlija, and experience the city’s vibrant music scene.
  3. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo is a city rich in history and cultural diversity. Visit the famous Baščaršija, the city’s old bazaar, and sample delicious Bosnian cuisine. Explore the poignant history of the Siege of Sarajevo, and soak in the city’s welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.
  4. Ohrid, North Macedonia: Ohrid is a hidden gem nestled on the shores of Lake Ohrid. This UNESCO-listed city offers a mix of history, natural beauty, and relaxation. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, visit ancient churches, and indulge in the crystal-clear waters of the lake.
  5. Kotor, Montenegro: Kotor is a charming coastal town surrounded by breathtaking mountains and a stunning bay. Explore the well-preserved medieval old town, hike up to the fortress for panoramic views, and take a boat ride to explore the nearby islands.

These are just a few examples of the many captivating destinations in the Balkans. Each country and city in the region offers its own unique charm, history, and experiences that solo female travelers can embrace. Whether you’re seeking historical landmarks, natural beauty, or vibrant nightlife, the Balkans have it all.


Local Culture and Customs

Exploring the local culture and customs in the Balkans is an integral part of any solo female traveler’s journey. Here are some key aspects to be aware of:

  1. Respect for traditions: The Balkans have a rich cultural heritage, and locals take pride in their traditions. Show respect by observing and appreciating local customs, such as dressing modestly when visiting religious sites or participating in cultural events and festivals.
  2. Hospitality and friendliness: The people of the Balkans are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature. Don’t be surprised if locals strike up a conversation or offer assistance. Embrace these interactions, as they can lead to meaningful connections and enrich your travel experience.
  3. Greetings and manners: When meeting locals, it is customary to exchange greetings with a handshake. Be polite and use polite words and phrases to show respect. Simple pleasantries like “hello,” “thank you,” and “please” can go a long way in establishing positive interactions.
  4. Etiquette in dining: When dining out, it is common to wait for a host or staff member to show you to a table. It is also customary to greet others at the table before starting the meal. When invited to someone’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift or offer to help with meal preparations.
  5. Public displays of affection: While public displays of affection are becoming more common, it is still more conservative in certain regions. It is advisable to be mindful of local customs and avoid excessive displays of affection in public.
  6. Tipping: Tipping practices vary across the Balkans. In some countries, rounding up the bill or leaving a small percentage as a tip is appreciated, while in others, tipping may not be expected. Research the tipping customs of each specific country to ensure you follow the local practice.
  7. Religious sites: The Balkans are home to various religious sites, including mosques, churches, and monasteries. When visiting these sites, dress modestly and respectfully, covering your shoulders and knees. Follow any specific rules or regulations that may be in place.

By being respectful, open-minded, and observant of local customs and traditions, you will not only show appreciation for the local culture but also foster positive interactions and deeper connections with the people you meet during your solo journey through the Balkans.


Advantages of Solo Female Travel in the Balkans

Solo female travel in the Balkans offers numerous advantages that make it an appealing choice for women adventurers. Here are some key advantages to consider:

  1. Empowerment and personal growth: Traveling solo in the Balkans allows women to step out of their comfort zone, build resilience, and gain a sense of empowerment. It provides an opportunity to navigate new environments, make independent decisions, and embrace freedom as you explore the region at your own pace.
  2. Connect with fellow solo travelers: The Balkans attract a diverse range of solo travelers from all over the world. By embarking on this journey, you open yourself up to meeting like-minded individuals, forming friendships, and sharing unique experiences. Solo female travel in the Balkans can be a gateway to lifelong connections and new perspectives.
  3. Flexibility and spontaneity: Traveling alone provides the freedom to create your own itinerary and make spontaneous decisions along the way. Whether you want to get off the beaten path, spend extra time in a destination, or change your plans last minute, solo travel in the Balkans allows you to be flexible and embrace unexpected opportunities.
  4. Enhanced cultural immersion: When traveling solo, you are more likely to engage with the local culture and connect with people on a deeper level. The Balkans offer a rich tapestry of traditions, history, and diverse communities. By immersing yourself in the local culture, trying traditional cuisine, and participating in cultural activities, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the region and its people.
  5. Personal safety and security: While it’s always essential to prioritize safety, the Balkans are generally considered safe for solo female travelers. With its warm hospitality and friendly locals, you’ll often find a supportive and welcoming environment. Taking necessary precautions and trusting your instincts can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey through the Balkans.

Solo female travel in the Balkans offers a unique opportunity for personal growth, cultural immersion, and the freedom to create your own adventure. It allows women to embrace their independence, build confidence, and create lasting memories while exploring the diverse landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant cultures of this captivating region.


Challenges and Tips

While solo female travel in the Balkans can be an incredible experience, it’s important to be aware of potential challenges and equip yourself with helpful tips to overcome them. Here are some common challenges and practical tips to consider:

  1. Language barriers: Although English is spoken in popular tourist areas, communication can be more challenging in rural or less-touristed regions. Consider learning a few basic words and phrases in the local language, carry a pocket dictionary or use translation apps to help you navigate and communicate more effectively.
  2. Transportation logistics: While transportation in the Balkans is generally reliable, schedules and routes can sometimes be unpredictable. Be sure to check timetables in advance, allow extra time for delays, and be flexible with your plans. It’s also a good idea to ask locals or fellow travelers for advice when navigating public transportation networks.
  3. Loneliness and socializing: Solo travel can occasionally be lonely, but the Balkans offer plenty of opportunities to socialize and meet other travelers. Stay in hostels, join organized tours or activities, attend community events, or participate in walking tours to connect with fellow adventurers and create memorable experiences together.
  4. Scams and safety concerns: While the Balkans are generally safe, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Be cautious of common tourist scams, avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night, and keep valuable belongings secure. Trust your instincts and seek guidance from locals or fellow travelers if you’re unsure about a situation or location.
  5. Cultural differences: The Balkan countries have distinct cultural nuances, so it’s important to understand and respect local customs. Research the etiquette, traditions, and dress codes of each specific country you plan to visit. Showing sensitivity and adapting to local norms will help you cultivate positive interactions and foster a deeper appreciation for the local culture.

Remember, every challenge can be seen as an opportunity for growth and learning during your solo journey through the Balkans. Embrace the unknown, stay adaptable, and approach each experience with an open mind. With preparation, resilience, and a positive attitude, you’ll navigate any challenges that come your way and make the most of your solo travel adventure in the Balkans.



Solo female travel in the Balkans offers a rich and rewarding experience for adventurous women looking to explore this captivating region. Despite the misconceptions and challenges, the Balkans prove to be a safe, welcoming, and enchanting destination for solo female travelers.


By dispelling myths and understanding the local culture, solo female travelers can embark on a journey filled with personal growth, cultural immersion, and unforgettable experiences. The Balkans offer a diverse range of landscapes, from pristine coastlines to rugged mountains, as well as a fusion of history, traditions, and warm hospitality.


While it’s important to take precautions and be aware of potential challenges, solo female travelers in the Balkans can navigate with confidence and peace of mind. Embrace the advantages of solo travel, such as empowerment, flexibility, and the opportunity to connect with fellow adventurers.


Remember to engage in respectful interactions, adapt to local customs, and prioritize your safety. By doing so, you’ll forge lasting memories, build self-confidence, and gain a deeper understanding of the Balkan region.


Whether you choose to explore historic cities, relax on stunning coastlines, or venture into the untouched natural landscapes, solo female travel in the Balkans opens doors to new perspectives, personal growth, and unforgettable moments that will shape your travel journey.


So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on an extraordinary solo trip through the Balkans. The warmth of the people, the beauty of the landscapes, and the rich cultural heritage await you. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!