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7 replies
Eastern Europe for solo females
AdventureKat
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Hi everyone!

I backpacked through France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany by myself this past summer, and had a great time. I’m planning on going to Europe in the summer of 2006. I don’t know where I’m going yet, but it will definitely be Central to Eastern Europe. Has anybody else been there alone? Are there any places lone females should avoid?

Thanks!

seraphim
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As far as safety is concerned, I don’t think there’s any difference between western, central and eastern Europe. I’ve travelled around Poland, Slovakia, Czech Rep., eastern Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Russia by myself and have never had any problems. In Serbia I was warned not to go to Kosovo or predominantly muslim areas on my own, but I didn’t put it to the test so the people telling me that may just have been overconcerned.

Rach
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Hi AdventureKat,

I am also in the process of planning a similar solo trip that you mentioned that you did last summer. (France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany) How long did you go for? Where did you visit? Any advice for a solo female in these locations? (I’m planning my trip in May)

It’d be great to hear about your experience.

Thanks!

Rach

AdventureKat
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Thanks for responding, seraphim! I’ve heard about very few women doing anywhere other than Western Europe alone. I’m planning on going to all the places that you’ve been to except for Russia (although I’m not sure how many of them I can fit into this one trip). I think that Russia is unsafe to go to at the moment, but we’ll see what happens in the next year. I’m also interested in going to Ukraine, but need a visa to do so.

Rach—you’ll probably have a lot of fun on your trip! I would suggest you read the articles and posts on this website and other travel pages. Some of them offer pretty good info.

I went to Munich, all over Italy, the German part of Switzerland, and Paris. If you’re not doing it already, I’d recommend that you stay in hostels everywhere. They are a great place to meet people. Also, I did a combination of Busabout and trains. Busabout was another way to meet other travelers; however, all of them are English-speaking, so if you want to meet locals, that’s not the best way to go.

Also, I didn’t drink very much at night (and when I did, it was in bars near my hostel). I’m not much into nightlife and would rather get an early start. However, I don’t think there’s much of a problem with going out as long as you go out with people that seem trustworthy.

seraphim
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quote:
I think that Russia is unsafe to go to at the moment, but we’ll see what happens in the next year.

Why? I found Russia to be very safe.

AdventureKat
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The threat of terrorism in Russia has risen greatly in the past six months. A year ago I wouldn’t have hesistated over going to Russia (because I REALLY want to go there) but now I’m not so sure. I know the chances of being involved in a terrorist attack are very slim (probably the same as in the US), but I think that it would still be better to wait to go to Russia another year.

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If that’s what you’re waiting for, I doubt Russia will be safer from terrorism attacks anytime in the foreseeable future. So it would be either go now or never.

seraphim
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There have been terrorist attacks more than 6 months ago in Russia. They’ve been going on for a couple of years afaik, so the only difference between now and a year ago would be that you’re better informed now. And there have only been a few isolated incedents in the last 6 months. In Spain otoh, there are terrorist attacks every summer, often aimed at tourists, and it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from going there. Yes, there is a chance you could be at the wrong place at the wrong time in Russia, but there is everywhere so I would absolutely not let this stop me from going to Russia.