1. Taipei, Taiwan
Situated at the northern tip of Taiwan, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River. Taipei lies in the Taipei Basin.
What You Should Do While There: Check out the amazing night markets. Just imagine hundreds of street-food carts and pop-up stores all in a 10-block stretch. Experience the food, the fashion, the culture — all for a pretty decent price. If you’re looking to escape the city buzz, Taipei has several amazing day hiking destinations right in the city. What else could you need?
Cost: There is no shortage of cash machines that accept foreign cards. Beyond that, Taipei is a very large city with things in nearly every price range, but some tourists might find it to be on the expensive side compared with mainland China. Still cheaper than Japan, it’s quite possible to get by on very little once you arrive in Taipei.
Ease Of Travel: Buses are a great intercity travel option. There are also several companies that run bus travel with more luxury and higher pricing to get from point A to point B.
Potential Safety Concerns: Petty theft. While the general crime rate in the rest of Taiwan is said to be increasing or staying the same, the crime rate in Taipei is actually decreasing. Taipei has a reputation of being very friendly and helpful to tourists of all kinds.
2. Portland, Ore.
Portland, Ore., is situated on the West Coast of the United States near the meeting of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. It’s a city known for many things, its love of nature and bike commutes among them.
What You Should Do While There: A food cart tour. Try all kinds of local favorites for little money. After you’ve eaten all you can eat, take a walk through Forest Park and breathe in all the natural beauty that Portland has to offer. And if you’re craving something sweet, stop in for a doughnut and an experience at Voodoo Donut.
Cost: Relatively cheap with the occasional fine-dining experience that can be pricey. Food trucks and ease of transportation help keep costs low. You can also look into getting an attraction pass that will let you in multiple attractions for five days for around $30.
Ease Of Travel: You can walk/bike to many places in the city and use reliable public transit for the rest. Affordable and easy.
Potential Safety Concerns: Overall, generally regarded as safe with a few neighborhoods that might be worth avoiding: Hazelwood, Old Town, Lents, and West Burnside Street. Also, if you’re biking, be careful crossing Sellwood Bridge, as there is little shoulder space.
Located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto has a rich history underneath a thriving city.
What You Should Do While There: Take a moment to escape the city life for a day and explore the Toronto islands. Easily hop a ferry and head to the collection of eight islands. They offer a welcoming green atmosphere beyond the cityscape that is Toronto. There are no cars on the island, so enjoy a nice stroll or bike. And while in the city, check out the St. Lawrence Market — possibly one of the best in the world.
Cost: Prices in Toronto are comparable to that of L.A. or NYC and while hotels can be pricey, they’re generally within walking distance to great city features.
Ease Of Travel: The public transportation system is extensive and very affordable. Otherwise, walking and biking will suffice.
Potential Safety Concerns: Downtown Toronto is considered pretty safe. But some sites recommend that travelers avoid straying too far from downtown into the outer neighborhoods.
4. Rio De Janeiro
Gorgeous mountains, pristine beaches, and a surplus of rainforests near a deep blue sea — Rio is one of the most gorgeous cities in the world. But it can also be one of the most dangerous. Take caution, but it’s worth a visit.
What You Should Do While There: Experience the landscape as much as possible. Go hiking on Sugarloaf Mountain and take in the glorious views. If you can, find a couple fellow travelers and explore the downtown area. The churches, the historic buildings, and the ample amount of museums give you a surplus of ways to occupy your time. And before you leave, relax on one of the beaches. It will be unlike anything you have ever experienced.
Cost: Rio can be pretty pricey. Hotels near beaches or city attractions tend to be on the more expensive side, as to be expected, and the costs of attractions aren’t low. But seeing the sights and hitting up the trails and beaches is free (unless you hike to the very top.)
Ease Of Travel: Rio buses are relatively cheap while also fast and frequent. They can be rather crowded, though.
Potential Safety Concerns: As mentioned earlier, safety is a major concern. Crime rates are high in Rio. It would be ideal to find other people to accompany you out in the city.
The town that was settled by Vikings has become one of the most amazing destinations in Europe. Dublin is situated in the province of Leinster near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and the centre of the Dublin Region.
What You Should Do While There: Expand your mind in one of the several museums that Dublin has to offer. The surplus of rich culture and history may surprise you. And you, of course, have to check out the Guinness Storehouse. It’s like Disneyland for beer lovers. And the FOOD. Make sure you visit Dublin on an empty stomach.
Cost: Fairly pricey. Hotel bargains can be found and there’s plenty of hostels to choose from with good locations, but your location might cost you. Some of the more famous attractions are on the more expensive side, but there’s plenty to see in Dublin that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Food won’t be as cheap as some cities, but it WILL be delicious.
Ease Of Travel: Easy. You can jump on the coastal train (DART) to explore just outside of Dublin or use the extensive public buses to get all around the city. If you prefer, you can also bike or walk as everything is fairly close.
Potential Safety Concerns: Just as safe as any European city. Take the usual necessary precautions.
This city referred to as the Venice of the east possesses so much energy, chaos, and beauty. Bangkok is definitely a must-see for ANY traveler.
What You Should Do While There: Immerse yourself in the Buddhist culture. Spend time in one of the many temples and take time to appreciate the culture and everything it has to offer. Explore the waterways by boat, and eat local. The cuisine offered in Bangkok is superb. If nothing else, relax. Bangkok is a great place to slow down and remember who you are.
Cost: Cheap. There are many bargains to be found in Bangkok. Decent hotels can be secured for low prices and the food is famously cheap AND wonderful. Spending a week or so in Bangkok will be a nice change for your budget.
Ease Of Travel: Bangkok’s excellent and modern public transport systems make it surprisingly easy to navigate your way around. Taxis are cheap and never too far off, and tuk-tuks are worth the experience at least once.
Potential Safety Concerns: Bangkok is not inherently dangerous. Crimes most prevalent against tourists are “stealth” crimes such as pickpocketing, scams with credit cards, or confidence tricks with fake goods or gemstones. Recent protests have raised some concerns this year, but it was recently deemed safe again.
7. San Francisco
San Francisco, the leading financial and cultural area in northern California. This city on a bay has a manageable size and a generally happy population.
What You Should Do While There: First and foremost, get brunch. There’s a multitude of cafes and restaurants to choose from. From there, head over to the Haight-Ashbury district to experience where the hippie movement was born. If nothing else, make sure you check out the Golden Gate Park. It’s breathtaking.
Cost: Can be considered a little pricey, but doable. Bring comfortable walking shoes and use public transportation to get places. Avoid expensive brunch spots by checking them out on Yelp first.
Ease Of Travel: When walking gets to be too much, SF has an extensive bus, streetcar, cable car, and subway network to get you to your destination.
Potential Safety Concerns: The Mission District, while perfectly safe during the day, can be an intimidating location at night, particularly around 16th Street and east of Valencia.
A city famous for its spectacular canals, colored houses, coffee shops, and rich culture is a solo traveler’s dream.
What You Should Do While There: Go to the beach! Despite the fact that Amsterdam actually is not located by the sea, the city created Blijburg. This beach is situated on the artificial island of IJburg and there is swimming, sunbathing, and beach parties galore. If you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere, check out Vondelpark. This park is right in the heart of the city but offers a slower pace.
Cost: Amsterdam is a great bargain as far as European cities go, but hotel and hostel pricing can make it a bit pricey. With that being said, they offer breakfast! You can easily find cheap options for your meals, and you might not even need transportation, so that helps keep costs low.
Ease Of Travel: You can essentially walk and bike anywhere in the city. Super easy.
Potential Safety Concerns: Known as an exceptionally safe city. But, as with any city, there can be dangers of robbery, etc. Avoid talking to street peddlers.