Why It’s Great to Be Solo in NYC


Many women hesitate to visit New York solo, in part because of negative stereotypes, but perspectives change once you’re actually here. You’ll get your bearings, learn quickly (because you have to!), build confidence, and discover the thrill of dominating this city on your own. If you like big cities, New York is a must, and it’s pulsating with all the energy you can imagine.

Besides the fact that it’s totally bad-ass, here are a few reasons to visit New York solo:

Going at your own pace

When you’re a couple (or a group), New York can be especially exhausting. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen two tourists at each other’s throats like hyenas, maybe screaming in front of the falafel guy outside Radio City. Instead of having a romantic weekend together, they’re tired and stressed and arguing about the quickest way to get to the Bodies exhibit at South Street Seaport. When you’re alone, whichever way you get to the Financial District is the right way and you too will be able to figure it out. Many New Yorkers are not going to notice what you’re doing much less judge you for it, but you can always reach out to ask for help.

Doing whatever you want

This is true in any city, but it counts double in New York. There are so many thousands of choices for bars, restaurants, parks, museums, concerts, and everything else, it’s surprisingly hard for two people to agree on location and price, not to mention personal taste. I recently had a family member in town, and by the time I’d ruled out all the activities that were too inconvenient, too expensive, and too un-interesting for him, the only thing left was to walk seven miles from our brunch in Carroll Gardens back to his hotel in Chelsea. So you might as well simplify things and stick to your own itinerary.

Talking to strangers

New Yorkers are lovely, gregarious people, really. They wear a gruff exterior, because they need that to ward off scammers and subway scientologists, but inside, they’re just like everyone else (sort of). And when you’re alone, you’re much more likely to strike up with a local, and more likely to be approached. I recently went to eat dumplings in Brighton Beach, and if I hadn’t been alone, I wouldn’t have ended up making friends with a Belarusian guy named Oleg, and discussing how much respect he has for American football, though he doesn’t understand why our baseball players wear “women pants.”

Finding peace and quiet

Sometimes the best moments in New York are the calmest ones, and being alone makes those moments sweeter and more contemplative. Maybe you’re sipping chai in an empty café while you watch traffic swirling around Columbus Circle, or maybe you’re lying on a quiet patch of grass in Central Park, watching the cyclists fly by. It’s in that peaceful moment that you might just fall in love with this place.

Are you traveling solo to NYC? Tell us when and what you want to see!


About Author

Sarah is the North America Editor for Go! Girl Guides and she wrote the New York City guidebook. Raised in rural Texas on mesquite barbecue and barrel racing, Sarah lived in Indiana for two years before moving to New York by herself. Some of her favorite experiences in North America include snowmachining outside of Anchorage, exploring Caladesi Island off the coast of Florida, touring a Cold War bunker in West Virginia, watching the sun set over Chicago from Lake Michigan, and taking an overnight train from Montreal to Halifax.

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