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Updated: 11 November 2022
In recent years, especially in light of Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa program, Lisbon has transformed into a premier destination for solo travelers around the world. And I’m not surprised by this.
Solo travel in Portugal has become increasingly popular – especially in the country’s capital city. Lisbon has many attraction qualities, after all. Prices that fit a reasonable budget. Lots of waterside views. An airport with easy and quick connections to other parts of Europe. Rich history and culture. And so much more.
Obviously, I want to do whatever I can to make your dream of traveling to Lisbon alone a reality.
Lisbon Solo Travel Guide
Solo travel in Lisbon is absolutely amazing. And I’m not the only person who thinks so. Many travel bloggers rave about Portugal’s capital city. At first, I was nervous about visiting here, unsure if my lack of Portuguese would be a problem, but turns out, Lisbon was a beautiful solo trip. Beautiful.
Since I’m a teacher, I have some pretty epic breaks built into the school calendar. So why not use my 10 free days to jet off to … dun dun dun … Portugal!!
I couldn’t have had a more incredible time! Seriously, Lisbon rocks my world. And it will rock yours too.
Solo Travel to Lisbon: My Experience
Upon landing, jet lagged and delirious after a long and anxiety-ridden flight (they all are, for me), I stumbled around cobblestone streets and ogled at Lisbon’s gritty and gorgeous architecture. Seriously, this city was a photographer’s dream come true.
Pink, purple, yellow, blue houses galore! Way different than the McMansions in my corner of the United States. It took me, uh, a long time to reach my hostel since I was so in love with Lisbon’s atmosphere.
Little did I know that my solo trip to Lisbon would not only build my confidence, but further inspire me to write all about solo travel and create this travel blog that has been my business for many years now.
Lisbon was also the perfect hub for exploring the rest of the country, including a quick solo trip to Porto in the north.
Is Lisbon Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Traveling to Lisbon alone is exciting, but might also feel scary. Safety is always the biggest concern for solo travelers, especially women.
In my experience, I felt safe when I decided to visit Lisbon alone. Most people were kind and compassionate, and I made a ton of new friends at my hostel, which helped put me at ease.
However, I do think that “normal street smarts” apply in Lisbon. Unfortunately, I did attraction some unwanted attention from men who just didn’t get the hint. On the flip side, I never felt like I was in danger, and while annoying, removing myself from the situation solved the problem.
For women traveling alone to Lisbon, I strongly suggest ditching any guilt or politeness, and not entertaining anyone who refuses to leave you alone. We’re trained to “be polite,” but honestly, if someone is pushy, then they’re being rude, not you.
Lastly, be aware of petty scams, such as people trying to “sell you oregano” and other nonsense.
I don’t want to make it sound like Lisbon is dangerous. It’s not. Actually, I think Lisbon is a million times safer than my home town. Just use normal city precautions, and I promise that you will be just fine traveling alone to Lisbon.
How Long to Stay in Lisbon Alone?
So, if you plan on visiting Portugal, don’t even dream of skipping over Lisbon even if you think you’re limited on time. I truly think any length of time is good enough, especially if you plan to return to Lisbon again in the future.
For example, you can spend anywhere from a brief weekend in Lisbon to 4 days in Lisbon to two weeks. I actually want to go back to Lisbon again, because I feel as if I didn’t see and do enough to truly appreciate the Portuguese capital.
Yes, I want to spend more money in Lisbon, haha. That’s how much I loved it.
Lisbon Solo Travel Essentials
While you can buy plenty of items in Lisbon, sometimes it’s important to pack the essentials at home. Solo travel to Lisbon means that you’re responsible for all of your own belongings, so don’t forget anything important at home!
I recommend you bring the listed items below:
- Comfortable Shoes: Lisbon is an incredibly hilly city that won’t always be kind to your poor feet. You need to be smart about your shoes. So, I recommend packing a sturdy pair of walking shoes that are broken in so you won’t have to deal with nasty blisters.
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Lisbon: Portugal’s thriving capital has so much to see and do that it’s important to stay up to date. I recommend reading Lonely Planet’s Lisbon Pocket Guide prior to embarking on your solo trip to Lisbon.
- Mirrorless Camera: While your smartphone takes great pictures, if you want to improve your photography game, then I would invest in a mirrorless camera for traveling alone in Lisbon.
- Pacsafe Crossbody Bag: While Lisbon is safe, if you want to take extra precaution against pickpockets, then I would use a crossbody bag with extra protection.
- Sunblock, Sunblock, Sunblock: Don’t end up a sunburned mess like me. Bring sunblock to Lisbon if you care about your skin at all.
- Sunglasses: You will want to protect your eyes from Lisbon’s sun too. You don’t have to be over the top about your sunglasses. A simple and affordable pair will work just fine!
- Travel Insurance: Don’t skip on travel insurance to Lisbon. Seriously, you don’t want to fall ill on your solo trip to Lisbon and have to pay tons of money out of pocket.
Where to Stay on a Solo Trip to Lisbon
Lisbon has so many delightful hostels for solo travelers. Honestly, the hostels in Lisbon are so awesome that I wouldn’t even bother recommending hotels even if you’re a little older. Instead opt for a private room if the hostel has them available. I promise that you won’t regret it!
Here are a couple of my suggestions!
Hostels for Solo Travel in Lisbon
- Home Hostel Lisbon: This is where I stayed on my solo trip to Lisbon! Mama’s dinners are an absolute dream come true, and everyone here is so, so, so nice! I loved this place with all my heart. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Lisbon Destination Hostel: You won’t find a better location with this hostel — it’s located right inside Rossio Train Station! Perfect for day trippers. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- This Is Lisbon Hostel: This top quality hostel has private rooms for travelers who want their own space while still making new friends. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Why is Solo Travel in Lisbon so Great?
Ultimately Portugal’s capital is packed with Old World Charm. If you’re an avid photographer, you couldn’t have picked a better choice than Lisbon. Opportunities for that perfect Instagram shot (ha) exists on almost every street corner.
Plenty of Things to Do Alone in Lisbon
Additionally, in my humble experience, this amazing city is a traveler’s playground that has unique neighborhoods (like Graça, Alfama, Belem) and many cool areas to stay. Lisbon also has plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, delicious and addictive pastries, and friendly people. You can even enjoy lovely day trips to places like Sintra with its castles and Cascais with its beach.
Lisbon’s old quarter or Alfama is an ideal place for you to purposely get lost. I especially loved the medieval style alleys and views of the majestic Tejo river.
Also did you know Alfama’s name comes from the Arabic Al-hamma, which means “hot fountains?” Pretty cool, huh?
Solo Travel in Lisbon Is Great for Beach Lovers!
Are you a huge fan of the beach? Then you picked a good city for your solo adventure in Europe.
Another bonus is that Lisbon is one of the few European capitals that overlooks the ocean! If you take the local train, you can lounge on the beach, underneath the glorious Portuguese sun, and then still have ample time to enjoy the city’s famous nightlife. Sadly, the trains were on strike during my visit; however, I still had plenty of opportunities to appreciate the water inside the city of Lisbon itself.
I particularly loved Praca do Comercio – a massive open square near the waterfront – and spent a lot of time people watching especially at sunset.
Personally, I regret not having time to venture down to southern Portugal’s Algarve. However, Lisbon’s oceanfront location definitely made amendments in this category.
Lisbon Has Wonderful Weather
I visited Lisbon on Easter Weekend so the city was teeming with tourists, but the crowds didn’t negatively impact my stay. Despite a lack of Easter festivities, such as parades and street processionals, Lisbon’s many cathedrals were decorated beautifully for the holiday. Fresh white, yellow, and pink flowers everywhere!
At night, I enjoyed a fabulous lamb dinner at my accommodation Home Lisbon Hostel. Mmm, so delicious. And affordable too. Soup, salad, the main meal, dessert, and drinks were only about fifteen euros. Not to mention, you could devour multiple servings.
Plus Easter happened to fall in early April. As a result, the weather was SPECTACULAR. Warm, sunny, and comfortable every single day of the week!
I’m talking 70 degrees F (21~ C) comfortable. Not too hot to walk around, but at the same time, there was no need to wear a jacket. Just don’t make my stupid mistake and have sunblock with you.
Lisbon is Very Easy to Navigate
Another benefit to taking a solo trip in Lisbon is that the Portuguese capital is very easy to navigate via public transportation.
For instance, Lisbon’s metro system is connected to Portela Airport, meaning you can reach the center of the capital city without having to invest in a cab driver or taking a public bus. Granted, you need to make a few subway switches, so make sure you pack light, but the logistics aren’t tough and all announcements are made in English in addition to Portuguese.
Furthermore, Lisbon’s majestic neighborhoods are connected with an adorable tram system. Who doesn’t love to ride old fashioned trams? In particular, you want to take the scenic tram ride to the Belem District.
I know I’ll definitely return.
Need More Information? Check out these 25 tips for your first trip to Lisbon!
Solo Travel in Lisbon and Nightlife
Lisbon has a pretty awesome nightlife scene available for solo travelers to enjoy.
Now, as a solo female traveler, I completely understand that safety is a priority when going out at night. Luckily, Lisbon gives you a lot of options!
If you’re staying at a hostel, then I highly recommend joining an organized pub crawl to safely experience Lisbon’s bars and clubs. Or you can make friends and go out with them. I did both and had a great times. Never once did I feel unsafe or scared.
Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s bar district. You can enjoy your drinks in the streets themselves! Lisbon’s bars are tiny, so most of the patrons drink outside under the stars, which is an awesome and unique experience.
What European capital have you fallen deeply in love with? Have you ever visited Lisbon?