Last year, while considering options for the perfect destination for my annual birthday holiday, I decided to do a call out on Twitter for the best spots to travel solo as a Black woman.

Frankly, I was tired of having to search online for honest answers about where I can visit without being called the N word, being assumed to be a prostitute or harassed. And as much as I love a good AfroNation festival in my hometown of Accra in Ghana, it’s not really financially feasible or fun to keep visiting there every...single...time.

I've written about my experiences traveling while Black in the past and how the unexpected racial micro (and macro!) aggressions I experienced would discourage me from visiting again. However, as we’ve entered a new, fresh decade and in the spirit of Black travel blogger Jessica Nabongo  who broke a world record in 2019 for being the first Black woman to travel to every country around the world – I want to discover more of the wonders this planet has to show me. 

Stephanie Yeboah poses in a yellow bikini next to a pool in Bali
Bali was a particular travel highlight for Stephanie Yeboah © Stephanie Yeboah / Lonely Planet

I believe that one of the biggest concerns Black travelers have when it comes to international travel is safety. Add to that the additional safety considerations women have as part of daily life and it's no wonder I feel hesitant before booking a flight. Will I be racially profiled? Will strangers come up to me asking to touch my hair? Will I have to suffer copious amounts of staring on public transport?

While no destination is a complete utopia where the Black experience exists in a vacuum, there are many places where Black travelers have felt comfortable exploring and others that are particularly exciting for travelers this year. I’ve taken a cross-section of responses to my tweet from Black female travelers and added them to my own list of personal experiences; read on for some of the best destinations to visit if you’re a Black woman. 

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The skyline of Accra, Ghana during the day.
Ghana is a personal favorite, but Stephanie wanted to see more of the world © Truba7113 / Shutterstock

Accra, Ghana

It’s been 400 years since the first slave ships departed from the shores of Ghana before arriving in the Western world. Ghanaian politicians have also long been advocates of the Pan-African movement and in 2019, Ghana started to invite people of African descent to visit with the promise of easier visa applications and a year-long calendar of culturally immersive events, dubbing it the "Year of Return." Since then, many have been traveling back to Ghana to connect with their ancestral roots, so there has never been a better time for Black women to travel there. Speaking as a person of Ghanaian descent, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed one of the safest places I’ve ever visited and lived. 

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A tram is moving down the street in Lisbon, Portugal. People on the sidewalk stroll by. A crane is visible in the background
Portugal's Lisbon has a significant African population © Starcevic / Getty Images

Lisbon, Portugal

While Portugal can sometimes be seen as a companion trip to Spain, it's a country that's more than able to stand on its own. Since it is such an incredibly diverse country in its own right, it is definitely one of the best countries for Black travelers. If you are going for the first time, I would suggest visiting Lisbon, Porto and Faro, which have huge African communities. 

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A large tree with red leaves is visible next to a road in Montreal. A skyline filled with buildings is in shot, along with some smaller trees
Montreal hosts numerous festivals celebrating Black culture © Firefighter Montreal / Shutterstock

Montreal, Canada

There’s so much to love about Toronto, especially with its thriving Caribbean culture, but Ontario’s capital can get quite busy for that very reason. That’s why you should head to Montreal instead! Montreal has a strong Afro-Caribbean culture, and is a foodie city with the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, according to Geos Montreal. Every April, Vues d’Afrique holds the Pan-Africa International Film Festival – a celebration of African and Creole culture through film. Music lovers should try to visit in June for the annual Montreal Jazz Festival featuring famous Black jazz musicians like Dianne Reeves and Buddy Guy. 

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The skyline of Bangkok, Thailand, with the King Power MahaNakhon building in shot. The sun is setting.
Thailand's capital is known for its hospitality © Maythee Voran / Shutterstock


Thailand has definitely become one of the most popular travel destinations for people of color – especially Black women. There are so many friends and influencers that I see posting pictures of their spa days, beach trips and visits to world heritage sites in Bangkok on Instagram that I’m starting to feel the itch myself! A friend of mine spent a year studying abroad in Thailand and had nothing but wonderful things to say.

Like many Southeast Asian countries, Thailand is known for its hospitality. Locals are always willing to extend a hand to travelers. In addition, the country is an excellent budget option for those of us who need it. I think that's most of us! Affordable lodging can be found in pretty much any part of the country and, if you stay out of restaurants and stick to local street food, you'll be surprised at how far your budget will stretch.

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Taxis are making their way down a busy Tokyo street at night.
Black culture is widely celebrated in Japan's capital © Jonathan Stokes / Lonely Planet

Tokyo, Japan

I’ve put Japan on the list because of their historic love of Black culture. You can go to many of the nightclubs in Tokyo and other major cities and always find hip-hop music blaring from the speakers. During my short stay in Tokyo, I heard Cardi B being played more times in one night than I ever have in my lifetime. In addition to the appreciation of our culture, you can find amazing food and extremely welcoming people. As a person who frequently travels alone, you shouldn't underestimate how important it is to have a group of locals who are willing to give recommendations and directions. 

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Waves crash to the shore on the busy Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, on a sunny day. People are swimming in the ocean.
Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro © Rodrigo S Coelho / Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil is known for having one of the highest populations of African people outside of the continent of Africa, with Nigerians topping the list. There is so much to learn from the way this place has combined both African and Portuguese cultures. In Rio, there is a rich and accessible art community that travelers can take advantage of and immerse themselves in. It should be on the bucket list for any traveler but it's especially nice to know you'll receive a warm welcome if arriving alone! Several of the major cities are known for being dangerous at night but during the day there shouldn’t be any issues as long as you stay in well-lit and populated areas; advice that all women sadly have to keep in mind no matter where they travel.

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This article was first published February 2020 and updated March 2022

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