Worried about going out when you travel solo? Keep reading to find out how to enjoy nightlife as a solo traveler:
Let’s discuss one of the worst parts of solo travel:
Missing out on the nightlife.
I’m not a hardcore party girl, but I love a good night out. I love to witness cities come alive in the nighttime. When I’m in Cuba, I wanna salsa dance until 4am. When I’m in Berlin, I wanna dance at underground DJ sets till dawn. I love late nights as much as I love early mornings. A city’s nightlife can reveal as much about the culture as a museum or tour can. So when I heard everyone & their mother rave about Budapest’s night life, I knew I couldn’t miss out.
However, I was nervous about going out alone. I’ve mastered eating alone, but I’m still reluctant to show up to a club or bar all by myself. I admire anyone who can boldly waltz into a party with no-one by their side because it’s extremely intimidating. Do you head to the bar or the dance floor? Who do you talk to? How do you stay safe? How do you avoid looking like a loser as you see friends toasting their glasses while you stand in a corner alone? What do you do with your hands?
Before arriving in Budapest, I read about a famous boat party along the Danube River. It sounded like the best way to see the city by night and a good introduction to the nightlife for a solo traveler. How many people can say they’ve partied on the Danube? I refused to miss out on a really cool experience because of fear, so I signed up.
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“What if nobody talks to me?”, was just one of the doubtful thoughts filled my mind on the 10-minute walk to the boat dock. I felt like an insecure middle-schooler. After a long day of walking around the city under the blazing hot sun, I was left with a headache. Needless to say, I was exhausted. I was already hesitant about showing up to the boat party alone and this migraine wasn’t helping. I forced myself to get out of bed anyway and show up anyway. Choosing to show up anyway - sometimes that's all it takes.
Within 10 minutes on the boat, I’d met people from Chicago, New York, and Paris. We were talking, singing, and dancing as the boat drifted along the Danube. We all ‘oooo-ed’ and ‘aaaah-ed’ as we passed up the twinkling parliament building. It was incredible to see the city in completely different light than I had earlier that day. I remember staring out at the water and thinking of all I would have missed out on if I let my fear hold me back.
I spent my following days in Budapest with a French girl and American girl that I met on the boat. I had my first traditional Hungarian meal with these girls. We had a mini photoshoot together. We did a pub crawl together. We went to the House of Terror. I would have never met them if I didn’t join the Budapest boat party.
Solo travel always leaves me pleasantly surprised, one way or another. The spontaneity is a constant reminder that life has the potential to be a big adventure if I’m willing to put myself out there, with or without someone by my side.
How To Enjoy The Nightlife As A Solo Traveler:
Take a taxi(avoid long walks at night), and pull up to the bar where people are socializing
Befriend the bartender
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Research beforehand to find night events like boat parties, pub crawls, dinner shows, etc.
Go on day tours, meet people, and make plans for the nighttime
Stay in a hostel and/or Airbnb to meet other travelers who are also keen to go out
Download the couch surfing app and use the ‘hangouts’ function to see who else wants to go out in the city
Be open - you never know who you might meet!
Above all, be safe & always trust your gut
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