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The ultimate budget solo travel guide to Santorini! Santorini has been on my travel bucket list for a long time. Santorini would be an excellent destination for a girl’s trip or honeymoon. But is Santorini a good destination for a female solo traveler?
Deciding to visit Santorini in June 2021 meant quiet streets, great photo opportunities, and enjoying Santorini without massive crowds. At that time, Greece was open for travel for Europeans.
As a solo female traveler, I always look for ways to travel on a budget while still doing all the things I want to do. While Santorini has the image of being expensive (which it can be), it’s possible to travel to Santorini on a budget.
Are you thinking of traveling to Santorini alone? Follow these tips in this ultimate budget solo travel guide to Santorini!
Where to stay in Santorini for solo travelers
Fira is the capital of Santorini. Most photos you see on Instagram are taken in Oia, a smaller city not far from Fira. While Oia is great, it’s also more expensive than Fira. The hotels and resorts are pretty upscale, and even the restaurants are more expensive.
Oia is also relatively small and very crowded. Wandering around the little white streets will not be that relaxing when you have to elbow your way through the crowd. Well, at least not for me.
And when you’re staying in Oia, chances are much higher for you to be constantly surrounded by honeymooners or super-duper-in-love couples on their romantic getaway😜
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Fira is bigger and has a broader range of bars, restaurants, and budget hotels. As a solo female traveler, Fira has budget-friendly options, and the central location is perfect.
Don’t worry! Fira is just as beautiful as Oia and, in my opinion, more authentic. You’ll still be able to have that fantastic sunset view or gorgeous photos walking around white streets. I’d say it’s even better because there are more locations to take lovely photos.
Where to stay in Fira
During my stay in Santorini, I stayed in Fira in Sweet Pop Hotel. This hotel is small and located in the little white streets of Fira, very close to the main road. The hotel is cute, and the rooms are clean.
There’s a little balcony, a fridge, and a small pool. I liked the hotel tucked between the little white streets, far from the center’s noise. It’s not directly accessible by car, which makes it more authentic.
Sweet Pop has excellent reviews and a fantastic location. I would not hesitate to stay there again!
Another fantastic budget-friendly option with excellent reviews is Ptolemeos Pension. This hotel has a small pool and is located near the main street. A local couple runs this pension; by staying here, you’ll be supporting the local community.
I’m not into staying in hostels (I passed that age long ago😜). But the Bedspot Hostel is a hostel I would stay in since they also have the option to book a private room with a private bathroom! The reviews are excellent, and the photos look amazing!
You’ll get the benefits of a private room with a bathroom and the benefits of staying in a hostel to meet other travelers. That sounds like a win-win situation to me!
If these accommodation options in Santorini are not your cup of tea, check out all these other high-rated hotels in Santorini!
Is Santorini safe for solo travelers?
Santorini is super safe for solo travelers! The island is relatively small and, therefore, easily accessible. Just as with any other holiday destination, be careful when you’re out clubbing or when you’re out for drinks. Remember the same safety precautions you would take in any other city.
Visit Santorini during the week in the off-season
This tip is a given since it’s the number one tip to find cheaper travel anywhere. However, for Santorini, traveling during the week in the off-season also means fewer families with kids or couples.
I traveled to Santorini in mid-June, which was perfect. But even a little earlier, like the end of May or the end of September, would be a great time to go. Just be sure to skip the school holidays!
Take the bus to move around the island
There are buses on the island to move from city to city. These buses are incredibly cheap, and the central bus station is in Fira. Another reason why staying in Fira is better! All towns in Santorini are connected through the main bus station in Fira.
While there during the low season of 2021, traveling with those buses was easy. I took the bus to Oia and Kamari Beach a few times.
It was zero hassle, but I can imagine a bit more hassle in the high season when tourists are lining up.
Eat simple at the places near the main street
I don’t want fast food! I hear you. But I’m not talking about McDonald’s. There are a few places, especially near the main street, where you can get a quick Greek bite for a budget price.
Think pita gyros, greek salad, falafel wraps, and more. Eating at least one meal a day in those places will help you stay on your budget as a solo traveler.
I don’t have to tell you that eating out every night at one of the restaurants with a sunset view will be very rewarding but tough on your budget.
You can eat breakfast at one of the little bakeries that sell loads of good pastries and sandwiches. I’m not a breakfast person, so usually, around the end of the morning, I’ll grab a pastry or a simple omelet and a coffee at a bakery or a small café.
Stick to five days or less on Santorini
Santorini is a small island. If you’re doing a Greek island tour or a Europe trip, three days are enough to do the absolute highlights and take some fantastic shots for the gram.
But if you want to relax a bit more, plan some beach days, and still have your budget in mind, five days would be the perfect number of days for Santorini. You can visit Oia, enjoy Fira, and plan a beach day in Kamari without too much stress about time management.
I highly recommend staying for five days if your budget allows it!
Cool things to do in Santorini
Santorini is drawing in loads of tourists, taking fantastic photos for social media! And we can’t blame them. The beautiful blue and white streets, the fantastic sunsets, and the white buildings are screaming instagrammable photos.
When you’re traveling alone, it can be challenging to get that perfect shot. So why not book a photo shoot overlooking the caldera? Some activities are worth the splurge, and this is one of them!
Have a Santorini photoshoot
This Walking Photo Session with a private photographer is a great way to explore the streets of Oia with a local who knows the best spots! They will take some fantastic shots for you to take home as a great memory.
If you’re serious about a photo shoot and ready to splurge, I highly recommend checking out the Santorini Flying Dress Photo Shoot. You must have seen these photos when researching your Santorini trip. I know the price is quite the splurge, but you’ll get a proper photo shoot like you’re in a Vogue fashion shoot.
How does being a fashion model for the day sound to you?🤩 This splurge does belong in the ultimate budget solo travel guide to Santorini! It’s an experience of a lifetime!
Take a day trip to the Santorini highlights
Sometimes, it’s just nice to have everything arranged for you! This Santorini Highlights Tour takes you to all the highlights of Santorini. You’ll be traveling comfortably by minibus while visiting some of the best spots on the island. This tour also includes wine tasting and watching the sunset in Oia.
If you’re unsure yet what you want to do in Santorini, check out all these great activities!
Stick to local beer and wine
I’m all for having a glass of wine or an ice-cold beer! That’s what our holidays are for, right? While prices are not as high as in Mykonos, getting a good cocktail at a restaurant overlooking the caldera will cost you some.
Sometimes it’s just the way it is! Calculate a drink at sunset in your budget. It’s worth it, as you can tell by the photo above!😊
Most bars and restaurants closer to the main street in Fira tend to have some happy hours. If not, stick to local beer like Mythos or any local wines. Don’t worry! They have plenty, and they taste amazing!
You must try Greek foods
If it’s your first time in Greece, you must indulge in Greek cuisine! I have been to Greece many times to tell you about Greek food. Greek food is fantastic, and good cooking will make your solo travel to Santorini unique and delicious.
The Greek kitchen is excellent for everyone, whether you’re a meat lover, fish lover, or vegetarian. There are tons of grilled meats, fish, and delicious dishes for vegetarians, like saganaki or eggplant and zucchini dishes.
You must try moussaka, gyros, saganaki, stifado, and pikilia (a mix of little starters).
How do you meet other solo travelers?
To my surprise, Santorini had more solo travelers than I expected.
Whenever I travel, I use my favorite solo female travelers network group on Facebook to find other women traveling. For this trip, I did precisely the same.
I had a few cool encounters while eating alone in a restaurant. One of these times, I met a girl from the US who was traveling by herself, too, and we met up a day later for lunch.
I also had a pleasant conversation about Santorini with the neighbor from the hotel. If you’re open to it, meeting others during your trip is easy.
Going to Santorini alone in 2021 was the best decision! I’ve seen Santorini when it was not overcrowded with tourists. I will never be able to experience that again. The Covid pandemic was awful for us travelers. Still, one of the good things was seeing important tourist landmarks without massive crowds.
I hope this ultimate budget solo travel guide to Santorini will help you plan a fantastic trip! Tell me in the comments below how it was!
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For accommodation, I highly recommend the one and only Booking.com. To make your plans flexible, consider accommodation with a free cancellation policy. Their prices are unbeatable, and the higher your Genius Level, the bigger the discount!
For tours, I recommend Get Your Guide. You can check reviews for their tours, and they come with an excellent cancellation policy, transfers, and the possibility to skip the queues.