12 Cities for the Introverted Traveler

by Adriana Smith

Traveling isn’t a phenomenon meant only for outgoing, sociable, and extroverted individuals. If bars, or group grappling adventures, aren’t your scene, then check out the destinations below for introverted globetrotters. (Disclaimer: Not listed in order of best to worst).

Musée du Louvre, France
Musée du Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo statue.

Coastal Cities:

1. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is home to some of the world’s best beaches, and is a stunningly beautiful destination to visit. Sitting on the coast allows introverts to reflect and admire the culture and wildlife. Or, you can trek to the Sydney Opera House, one of the world’s most well-known heritage sites. Take in the attractions and city by walking or biking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These iconic landmarks are sure to dazzle and entertain for long periods of time. But these aren’t the only features of Sydney that make it a great place for introverts. Take a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens, near the Opera House, and see a plant collection of more than 7,500 species. This site is fitting for an introvert looking for a scenic view met with long walks and solitude.

2. Stockholm, Sweden

One of the bonuses of traveling to Stockholm is the ability to jump into a body of water in the middle of Norr Malarstrand. Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town, is another hotspot where introverts can venture off and explore the medieval architecture, visit the Royal Castle, and recharge at a local café. Consider riding Skyview to the top the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe. The gondola gives anyone a view of Stockholm’s fantastic town in about 30 minutes, which then is solidified with a souvenir shop, café, and restaurant nearby.

3. Cape Town, South Africa

Ranked as 2014’s best place to visit by the New York Times, Cape Town is the ultimate coastal city for introverts. A beach day is a definite gold mine because with the variety of beaches, it’s possible to visit several in the same day. Each beach has a different setting and atmosphere, which makes it easier to find one that fits an introvert’s mood and comfort. As well, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is Cape Town’s most popular attraction. There are countless things to do – shop, relax in a nearby hotel, visit a restaurant or coffee shop, and/or browse a fresh food market. If looking for an adventure, hike or take a cableway up to Table Mountain – the landmark that provides Cape Town with a mesmerizing backdrop. 

Fun Adventures:

4. Dublin, Ireland

Take a swing by Ireland’s capital and largest city and explore what it has to offer. This is a great place for introverts because there are so many places to visit that require less talking and more thinking. For example, hike Wicklow Mountains’ and use its color-coded walking trails, which signify lengths of 30 minutes to four hours. This lends time for an introvert to catch a scenic view of the Upper Lake or Glendalough Valley, explore monastic ruins, or see where Braveheart scenes were captured at Sally’s Gap. You can even get a glimpse of the city at night from an open-top bus tour and see light landmarks in the city center. If literary heritage is an interest, visit the Writers Museum and take a literary tour and discover writers, such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. To get around, rent a bike from one of Dublin’s self-service operations for €2 for a three-day ticket. 

5. Queenstown, New Zealand

Cruise through one of 75 wineries and enjoy a wine tour. The independent introvert will definitely enjoy the wine, food, and views, with some tours including a helicopter flight, sightseeing, and an underground wine cave. A relaxing afternoon can be topped off with a visit to the alpine resort in Queenstown for beauty therapies and rejuvenation. 

6. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is a city that many travelers overlook because simply it’s in Iceland. But, an introvert can fulfill the wish of being internally aware of his or her needs from a few days here. Hike to the natural hot springs, go glacier hiking, snorkel in Thingvellir National Park, or visit the Golden Circle and see the Gullfoss waterfall and geothermal active valley that contains the geysers.   

Low-Key Relaxation:

7. Bali, Indonesia

Like Iceland, introverts can seek internal awareness and spirituality by visiting one of the friendliest and most welcoming cities in the world: Bali. With over 20,000 temples on the island, an introvert can immerse in the colorful community of Balinese tradition of dance, music, cooking, and yoga. Looking for something not socially inclined, reserve a spa day, surf in Kuta, visit boutiques and cafes, or lounge on the black sand beaches in Candi Dasa. Hoping for an energizing adventure with time alone? Try a ropes course, visit Kintamani Volcano, cycle by paddy fields, and much more.

8. Ambergris Caye, Belize

An introvert will be fascinated by the Mayan ruins and temples, historical remnants for reflection and discovery. Conscious of the past, introverts can quietly seek answers by engaging in low-stimulated activities. These include: snorkeling and scuba diving the Barrier Reef, ziplining through the rainforest, hiking through the jungle, and tubing through the Mayan caves.

9. Costa Rica 

There isn’t a particular city in Costa Rica to visit, but rather it’s a country that enlivens any traveler with excitement, with a range of adventure activities to experience. The capital, San Jose, is set in the middle of the country, allowing easy day trips to other cities, such as Monteverde or Alajuela. Arenal Volcano should be particularly highlighted for its simplicity and seclusion from other tourist attractions. The Arenal Volcano National Park contains a variety of lush flora and fauna, as Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It’s possible to take a horseback ride around the volcano and revel in its beauty. An introvert can enjoy whitewater rafting or visiting the botanical gardens in Costa Rica as well.

Venue Companionship: Retail Therapy, Museums, Theater, Café’s

10. Paris, France

An introvert can experience countless opportunities just by walking through Paris. It’s a bundle of culture, luxury, and history wrapped into one. Reserve a free walking tour and you’ll start at the Plaza Concorde and end at the Eiffel tower, while viewing other well-known French developments and landmarks. There are other fun things in store while visiting Paris. Visit the Musée du Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo statue, and one of the few cities with a great collection of historical and modern artwork. Additionally, the Palace of Versailles reigns with opulence and beauty as both a palace and castle. 

11. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a small city that will allow an introvert to absorb the people, sights, and history. Visit the Anne Frank House which exhibits life during World War II, roam through latticework canals and cruise along the 60 miles, view historic homes, and check out the Van Gogh Museum to praise the famous artist’s 850 paintings and 1000 drawings and print. The plethora of cultural and historical activities can accompany introverts’ curiosity and solitary nature, which will lead to a reflection of their own abilities.

12. Barcelona, Spain

Capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is one of Spain’s top cities. Introverts love activities with smaller groups or solitude and are completely in luck when visiting Barcelona. There are tons of museums, historic buildings and monuments, and a UNESCO world heritage site, Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí’s influence can be found around Barcelona in various architectural designs. Barcelona, in addition, was named National Geographic’s Top Beach Cities for its popularity, eight white-sand beaches, and accessibility to the waterfront.