How to Vacation Alone in Other Countries


In Berlin, I booked an Airbnb outside the city, and in Vienna, I booked an Airbnb in the heart of the city. I found that the latter made exploring alone easier.

Airbnbs and neighborhoods in Germany and Austria

The author’s Airbnb and neighborhood in Germany (L) and Austria (R).

Joey Hadden/Insider

On solo trips, I think it’s really important to be intentional about where you stay. For my European adventure, I booked a combination of Airbnbs inside and outside of the city center to give me a chance to see what life is like in the surrounding areas, as well as in the heart of the city. 

I found that getting to and from Airbnbs in small villages with my partner later in the trip felt like a little adventure each time, where we could bond over what we just saw or were on our way to see. But traveling alone, these treks felt more mundane to me, like I was just wasting time and energy I could have spent exploring.

In Berlin, I booked a tiny home hotel in Neustrelitz, a small town outside of the city. I traveled to and from Berlin by train, which took about an hour and a half for each leg of the journey, as well as a 20-minute walk from the station in Neustrelitz to my Airbnb. While I was glad I got to experience Neustrelitz, where I spotted the occasional backpacker among mostly locals, it made my trip more challenging. While Berlin offered a mix of English and German signs, everything in Neustrelitz seemed to be in German, which I don’t speak.

Inside my Airbnb, all the directions and guidebooks were in German, too, so I had to use a translation app to figure out how to use the Wi-Fi. I also thought staying far from the city center made my days in Berlin shorter, since I had a long trek home each evening. 

When I got to Vienna, I stayed in an Airstream trailer outside of a hotel in the heart of the city. I thought this made it much easier to explore Vienna from the early morning into the night since I could access my Airbnb anytime to rest. While I didn’t think my trailer was as quiet as Neustrelitz, I left Vienna feeling like I had a better sense of the city than I did in Berlin. 

While staying outside the city can be an adventure, I recommend that first-time solo travelers stay in the center to make their trip easier.

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