Nashville TN has been on my list of places to visit in the USA since i can remember. But it wasn’t until the appearance of a certain popular TV show that my dreams were really kicked into action. Read on to learn more about travelling solo in Music City.
Why Nashville tn for travelling solo?
Well if you’re even a vague fan of country music, it’s a given. But you don’t have to worry if you’re not. As a city, Nashville is easy to navigate and importantly feels safe if you’re travelling alone. And especially if you’re a female travelling alone.
The downtown area is quite small compared to other cities which is actually a bit of a bonus. And i spent a happy night there until quite late into the morning, without having any concerns about my surroundings or the people around me. Sure, like every city you visit, you need to stay sensible. But if you’re feeling nervous about travelling by yourself, Nashville TN is a great place to try.
So on that theme, it was really the people who stood out as a particular reason that makes Nashville such a great place to travel solo. If you’re used to the busy and impersonal larger cities on the East or West coast. Then Nashville may feel like a breath of fresh air. Certainly not the only place in the USA where the locals are genuinely enamoured with their city. But it was tough to find anyone who wasn’t ready to welcome an outsider with open arms.
Getting to and around NAshville TN
Nashville airport (BNA) is classed as an international airport and serves non-stop flights to over 50 destinations. I say classed as an international airport because the cities served outside the USA are limited to Mexico and Canada. Good news for British travellers though. From May 2018 British Airways will also start a non-stop service directly from London to Nashville. You can of course still arrive in Nashville by plane from nearly any origin city but obviously you will need to take connecting flights.
Uber and Lyft are both in operation in the city and generally offer an affordable way to get from A to B. Especially instead of a regular cab if you’re coming in from the airport. Or when you want to move around the city easily. Of course, you can always rent a car if you prefer to have full flexibility. Though if you’re travelling solo, this might not be your preferred choice.
As a fan of getting around by train, i was disappointed to learn that Nashville doesn’t have an Amtrak stop. But it does have links to Greyhound buses so you can still get around by other public transport if you prefer.
And once you’re there, try to walk around as much as you can. This is the best way to get acclimatised to a new city! Some of the best places can be found travelling when you literally stumble across them by accident.
Where to stay in Nashville TN
Hotels in Downtown Nashville can be incredibly expensive if you’re travelling by yourself. Mostly because they’re fairly limited in numbers. There are still some really nice hotels to check out though so it’s worth doing your research if you’d prefer the security of a front desk.
Check out the hotel options on the map below:
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But if you’re happy to stay more independently. Or you’re on a strict budget. Then a rental is the way to go.
Airbnb has a booming trade going on in Nashville TN with lots of homeowners renting out their accommodation. This is certainly helping to attract more people to the city which is great in terms of making it thrive. Unfortunately, property developers have also realised that there’s money to be made. So there are a fair number of new builds going up, specifically to rent out to vacationers.
I say unfortunately – that’s great for you, the traveller, because it keeps rental prices competitive. But undoubtedly, there is some local concern that if it continues at such a rate it will start to have a detrimental effect on the city. And no one wants that.
Make east nashville your home away from home
While there’s nothing wrong with staying in the Downtown area, consider staying in one of the many residential areas surrounding it. As you research, you’ll hear a lot about East Nashville. And with good reason. Quiet streets, quaint local cafes and restaurants, quirky places and people to see and a buzzing central hub of its own in the Five Points area. East Nashville is the perfect place to set up base as a solo traveller. Uber downtown will cost around $25 depending on the time of day but you won’t regret making the decision to stay outside!
There are so many things to see and do in Nashville, you’ll probably want to stay a minimum of 3 days if you can. Naturally, the music theme makes up quite a few of those places and things. The Grand Ole Opry is a must-see – whether you like country music or not, you cannot beat the atmosphere. You’ll also find a fairly sizeable mall, Opry Mills, opposite the actual venue. Plenty of eating and shopping to be done here. If you really want, you can choose to stay up there. But like downtown, you’ll find this quite expensive if you’re on your own and it’s a little way out from the central city.
If you want to try somewhere with a more low-key music feel then you can try and get tickets to the Bluebird cafe. Again, if you’re familiar with the TV show, you’ll know all about it! Though they use additional set pieces to dress it up or shoot particular scenes. The cafe itself has also been used in filming. The Bluebird is a chance to discover new music talent and often to catch established artists who return for special performances. It only seats around 50 and is ticket-only entrance so you do need to try and book fairly well in advance.