Culture

5 Of The World’s Best Cities For Single People

Whether you’re looking to travel solo, meet new people or swipe right.

Single life completely rules – you have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You can take the time to get to know yourself and just “do you”, y’know?

This is especially true when it comes to travel, where you find yourself open to so many new experiences, people and things. If you’re unattached right now, here’s a list of five of the best cities to explore solo, meet new friends, or swipe right in.

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Gainesville, USA

You mightn’t have heard of Gainesville, Florida, but according to statistics, it’s the city with the highest rate of single people in the US (62.1 per cent as of 2014). Home to the University of Florida (which could explain the high number of singles) and the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville is a city overlooked by most travellers.

But apart from data, its drawcards for single people include gardens and parks that offer natural beauty and tranquility – perfect if you want to spend a little time with your thoughts or get away from big cities. It’s also home to a number of musicians including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Eagles, and continues to feature local bands playing at various pubs around town – a great place to meet people: (in)significant others and more. 

Photo: Curia on the Drag/Facebook

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Tokyo, Japan

Okay, so Tokyo is enjoyable no matter your relationship status, but for singles, it can be a dream. Japan’s culture of people mostly keeping to themselves and frowning upon PDA means you don’t have to stay inside to be by yourself/avoid looking at loved-up couples.

Restaurants such as Ichiran (a ramen joint where you can enter and order without speaking to anyone; you even get your own booth to eat in) value food over conversation, if you want some true quality alone time. Tokyo offers things to do that differ from anywhere else in the world. If you’re pining after your ex, there are more than enough diverse activities to take your mind off them.

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New York City, USA

Like Tokyo, New York is action-packed enough to take your mind off an old relationship (they say even locals never see everything the city has to offer). However it’s also filled with a variety of people you can meet, party alongside and get back on the proverbial horse with. From locals, to interstate Americans, to expats, to fellow travellers, you’ll meet them all in the Big Apple.

Goings-on include gigs, cooking classes, volunteering, workout lessons and anything in between. There’s something to match any interest – and plenty of opportunities to meet a potential love interest.

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Paris, France

As Paris removes its love locks and starts to lose its reputation as the “City of Love”, it has instead become a hub for solitary people. Now you’re just as likely to fall in love with the city itself as you are to find a beautiful French human to ride tandem with. About 51 per cent of people living in Paris are single – while people there for romantic reasons tend to be tourists.

But Paris is especially friendly to the solo traveller, with long afternoons sipping coffee and poring over books is not just accepted, but encouraged. Head to Shakespeare and Company to pick up a book, then enter the café for an afternoon treat; sit alone or join one of the communal tables to open yourself up to meeting a stranger. Frenchie Bar à Vins (across the road from the famous Frenchie Restaurant) places community at the centre of its dining experience – take a seat and get to know the people around you.

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Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia has one of the lowest marriage rates around the globe, at 1.7 marriages per 1,000 people. Cartagena, on the northern coast, is what you might call a tourist destination, but it hits that rare spot in between having too many tourists and none at all (or none you’d want to hang with, anyway). The locals are extremely friendly too, and even though most don’t speak English, they’re more than willing to help you out by translating or teaching you words in Spanish.

If you’d prefer to spend some time alone, explore some of the city’s gems on foot. Loaf around the old town surrounded by the inner city, or chill out on the pier while overlooking the charter boat port.

Photo: Taryn Stenvei

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