Welcome to Wisdom of the Masses, wherein we tap the global intelligence of our readers on matters you won’t find covered in Lonely Planet or Tripadvisor.
You’re on the road. You’re not traveling for sex, but you certainly wouldn’t mind having a casual encounter with a fine gentleman. (You’re already out and about, gotta fill the time somehow.) We asked you for suggestions and experiences regarding places that weren’t crawling with creeps and lechers, locations where you naturally had a good time with a dude sans any sleaze factor, and you answered the call.
We’ve combed through almost 400 responses and recommendations for a gal looking to meet a decent fella while she’s abroad. There were some spirited debates regarding Scandinavia and England — plenty of naysayers but others argue that when they’re good, they’re great. Italy was also controversial: many female travelers experienced unwanted and incessant attention wherever they went, but a few noted that there’s a good time to be had if you’re comfortable and confident with aggressive players. As with everywhere on this list, it’s all a matter of what you’re looking for. Individual experiences vary.
So without further adieu, here’s the best of the best — starting with broad suggestions and then some nations of note, including both popular suggestions and the unexpected.
“It doesn’t matter where you go. Because there will be Australians there. Find the Australians.” — CancelTheCake
“I would always seek out the Australians when traveling in hostels. They’re always game for dinners, quick drinks, or finding the best night spots.” — Olivia Pope’s Wine Glass
“But remember this important piece of advice: Australians are just for the weekend.” — FemDish
“Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain are really the best for hooking up, they like all types of beauty there not the generic looks that are favoured in say France, Denmark or Germany. They also luuuuurve black women there, especially Greece. ESPECIALLY Greece.” — Surfboard2121
“Big fan of Tinderin’ all over the world while traveling solo. I’ve found it’s a great way to find someone to get a quick drink or just ask “what’s going on tonight” and get good tips from a local.” — sarahchristine
“Buenos Aires guys are pretty laid back and love wine, so you know where that can lead.” — jennyjennjenjennn
“Argentineans have some of the Italian qualities and can be quite smooth with their sense of humor.” — blablita
“Guys in Salzburg at clubs, bars, etc. were much more polite than American dudes in that they don’t casually grope or dry hump from behind whilst trying to pick you up.” — blackkat
“Gal from Barbados here. All my dude friends use Tinder a TON. If you’re ever visiting the island, jump on the ol’ Tinder machine to find a cool guy who will show you the island and potentially what’s in his pants. The only thing is you have to wade through a bunch of tourist boys looking for the same so change your tagline to something about looking for a local.” — Schmeckles (Click the link for her recommended bars and neighborhoods.)
“Gorgeous. Courteous. No regrets.” — buechelh
“Currently dating a Croatian guy. Blue eyes, soft skin, generous lover. Recommend.” — JulietNaked
“Croatian dudes are like all blue-eyed and have ridiculously square jaws. And I think the whole country has abs.” — Jeremy
“Quito! The men are beautiful, flirtatious, and love to dance. I’d encourage finding cool locals, but the Mariscal District is a good combo of tourists and locals with lots of dancing and cheap drinks!” — Dr.P
“One in four of the guys is incredibly hot and they are very sweet and friendly. Unlike the aggressive and unpleasant catcalling I have endured elsewhere, in DR they genuinely wanted to engage you in conversation and so it felt fun and funny rather than intimidating and sad.” — StillLadyRandom
“Excellent results in Marseille. Excellent. Didn’t encounter any unwanted creeps on dating apps. Very good times. Guys on the street are very eager to harass / woo the ladies, which can be undesirable, but there are good times to be had via dating apps.” — jalanjalaning
“If you like underground clubs (and dudes under 28), Paris.” — jennyjennjenjennnn
“Paris is where I had a couple of fun dates with various men who were just nice and easy to hang with.” — sarahchristine
“Paris is great for flirting.” — Distant_Horizon
“Berlin is full of hot artists that want to smoke cigarettes with you in parks.” — jennyjennjenjennn
“I also had good luck in Berlin - lots of artsy types that like to sit at beer gardens with you and talk about their anti-establishment views. It’s super hot.” — MissAndry
“Cologne: Just try it.” — heartblesser
“The straight girls in my program were constantly up to their ears in mostly hot Greek dudes. The one thing they said was that Greek dudes aren’t in the habit of carrying condoms, so you might want to stock up. Cretan dudes in particular get my two thumbs up.” — Jeremy
“Depending on when you go, tourist life in the Cyclades (Ios and Mykonos in particular) is a nonstop fuckathon. ‘Much as I enjoy all this fantastic no-strings sex and semi-clad daylight hours dry humping, it would be nice to have a couple of days to explore the most majestically beautiful place I’ve ever seen’ = my actual thoughts. I’d go back just for the Assos. Greatest place in the world.” — Verrryinteresting
“The men are so attractive, very courteous and respectful, and love to party […] Icelandic dudes, in my experience, are really smart and fun and seemed to love American women. Plus, in Reykjavik there are hot baths all over the city, so talk about a fun date!” — MissAndry
“I can’t speak highly enough of Ireland. Lots of visitors, everyone is in a good mood and drinking in the afternoon is a national pastime. I’ve never been hit on or been bought so many drinks in my life. And let me be the first to point out this was not a time in my life where I was particularly well dressed or attractive or thin. It was astonishing how many men in their late 20s tried to pick up 18-year-old me in jeans and a sweatshirt…while I was hanging out with my mom. So if I can manage to make out with 4 different dudes in one in that situation, so can YOU.” — agentmacncheese
“I would recommend Dublin, and particularly O’Donoghue’s. My friends and I called it The Magic Hookup Bar. Three visits, three lovely drunken evenings with adorable men I could barely understand.” — wuuuuuurd
“I had an awesome time in Dublin on a solo trip recently. (Midlife crisis birthday trip, actually.) The locals — men and women — are easy to chat up at the pubs and I didn’t feel any creepiness factor, just good camaraderie and lots of laughs. After a few Jameson shots, I took a cute Irish lad back to my hotel room and showed him my lucky charms. Best. Birthday. Ever.” — That_Cat_Lady
“Had great success at pubs in Ireland and Scotland, especially in small towns.” — PinkChaps84
“Tel Aviv. The men are beautiful, most people are social and fun, they all speak English, and Israelis don’t tend to settle down until a bit later than Americans usually do. I met two guys through hostel stays, one on the beach, and a few more at bars. It was almost enough to make me want to move there permanently.” — Briana B
“Tel Aviv is a great city to meet people.” — Milk Shakin’ Daft Bollocks etc
“Never had as much luck anywhere and with such high quality as New Zealand. Whether it’s the Kiwi blokes themselves or the free-spirited travelers who are passing through, the pool is surprisingly deep for such a small country. My experience there ran the gamut from casual hookup to semi-serious relationships.” — Lola K
“Definitely New Zealand! I know quite a few (awesome) couples that met there, it’s absolutely stunning EVERYWHERE which makes it hard not to get all romantic.” — Wallabae
“The guys [in Krakow] seemed pretty sweet, which jibes with all the other Polish dudes I’ve met at home as well.” — KookyCoconut
“Tinder in Stockholm is mind-blowing.” — jennyjennjenjennn
“Stockholm Tinder is gaaaaaaaaaa. Better than porn.” — MoreXanaxPlease
“Tibetans [...] wherever you find them.” — wuuuuuuurd
“Dharamsala, India. Spent some time there last year with a group of other expats and many, many of us ended up with a little something something. One girl I was with claimed that Tibetan men were like the Spaniards of Asia. Implying, I guess, that they were sexy and could genuinely smooth talk you. I gotta say, getting some Buddhist philosophy encouraging me to enjoy the moment and just, you know, share myself with with other people somehow worked, whereas if I was home in Canada I would roll my eyes so hard that they’d get stuck like that.” — Unwholesome
Image via Shutterstock.
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