Female solo traveller reveals why she'd never go back to Athens

I’m a female solo traveller who’s visited 25 countries… and here’s why I would NEVER go back to Athens

  • Emma Maskell said she didn’t feel ‘safe’ travelling to Athens as a solo traveller
  • She shares some essential safety tips to keep in mind when travelling alone
  • READ MORE: The four main tantrum triggers for kids on planes revealed

Greece is one of the most visited places on earth – but not everyone can see the appeal.

Female solo traveller Emma Maskell has visited 25 countries and said there aren’t many places she wouldn’t return to, but that Athens tops the list.

While the Greek capital boasts serene views and landmarks steeped in history, Emma said she just didn’t feel ‘safe’ as a female traveller. 

Speaking to MailOnline Travel, she said: ‘I would never go back to Athens. I didn’t like it at all. I just didn’t feel safe.

‘When I was walking down the street, I’d be on the phone to my mum and I felt like I was getting unwanted attention from men on the street, sort of catcalling.’ 

Female solo traveller Emma Maskell has visited 25 countries and said there aren’t many places she wouldn’t return to, but that Athens  (above) tops the list 

Emma recounted her Athens trip (above) to her TikTok followers and revealed she switched hostels three times

Athens is rich in history and has various must-see landmarks but Emma Maskell said she just ‘didn’t feel safe’ visiting by herself 

The 25-year-old traveller continued: ‘I even saw people doing drugs in the street in the middle of the day.’

Emma, from Reading, who had tried to be optimistic about the trip, switched hostels three times during her stay in the city.

She told MailOnline: ‘I thought it might have been the area, but I tried to move to a different area and it was the same.’

Emma explored different areas of Athens during her stay, including the popular tourist attraction the Acropolis (left). She also tried food that ‘tasted better than it looked’ (right)


If you do decide to visit Athens, here are the top five things to do according to Lonely Planet.

Emma documents her ‘honest’ experience of Athens in a video that she posted to her TikTok account @emtravels_.

She explains at the start of the clip that she’s ‘not loving it here’, but ‘tries to turn it around’ with visits to the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, the Acropolis and the flea market.

She also tries food that she says ‘tastes better than it looks’. 

Emma, who hopes to visit 30 countries before she’s 30, said that despite her Athens experience, she’d love to return to other areas of Greece, especially the Greek island Paros. 

With its white sandy beaches and traditional villages, Emma likened Paros to the Greek island of Skopelos, made famous by Mamma Mia.  

Speaking to MailOnline about the hidden gem, she said: ‘[It’s] far less popular than Islands like Santorini and Mykonos, but as a result, is much quieter, affordable and authentic feeling.’

For women eager to explore the world on their own, the seasoned female solo traveller shared some essential safety tips.

She always has her phone’s ‘find my location’ setting activated – and she shares this information with her parents and five of her closest friends. 

In addition to this, she said: ‘As soon as I knew what my plans were, I would always let them know.’ 

Another safety tip Emma shared was opening a Google Docs with her travel itinerary on it, for her friends and family to check at any point. 

She explained: ‘Sometimes it’s really hard to update everyone at once so that’s something I found worked really well for me.’

Emma said she would soon return to other areas of Greece, especially the Greek Island Paros (above), which she likened to the Greek island of Skopelos, made famous by Mamma Mia

Emma has not let her experience of Athens put her off travelling, and hopes to visit 30 countries before she is 30

Emma shared some travel safety tips for female solo travellers to keep in mind when venturing to different countries, saying it’s important to keep ‘your wits about you’

Another clear, yet often overlooked, piece of advice Emma shared was to never tell strangers you’re visiting the country alone.

She continued: ‘I never tell anyone I’m somewhere on my own. I always say no in a taxi. If they ask if it’s my first time here I say no and if they [taxi drivers] ask if I’m here on my own I say, “No my friends are already here.”‘

And, for an extra safety measure, Emma said she booked female-only dorms in hostels, though she said she has never run into any problems in mixed dorms. 

During her solo travels, Emma said she always shares her location with her close friends and family, and never tells strangers that she’s visiting alone

As a general piece of advice for solo travellers, Emma urged everyone to bring padlocks to keep their property safe in hostels. 

She added: ‘I also bring copies of my passport and my ID photos just in case I need to get a new one.’

Yet, the traveller advised: ‘It’s not really things that you can take with you but taking steps to be safer and keeping your wits about you.’

For more from Emma visit her TikTok at www.tiktok.com/@emtravels_.

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