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Lisbon Solo Travel | The Ultimate Guide, 2024

Are you considering a trip to Portugal and asking yourself, is Lisbon safe for solo female travellers?

In this guide to Lisbon solo travel, I’m going to break down everything you need to know so you feel confident travelling to this vibrant city.

I travelled to Lisbon on multiple occasions and actually lived in Sagres while I volunteered in a hostel so I’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring this incredible country. I have come to know and love Portugal, it was my first stop in Europe and it was where I spent the most amount of time on my trip.

Whether you’re new to travelling or an experienced nomad, I can help make your Portugal adventure the best it can be! There are a ton of great things to do in Lisbon solo too, from exploring Rossio Square to getting lost in the Alfama district and let’s not forget about all the fabulous food.

I loved Lisbon and even though I’m not usually a city person, I’m more of a “get me to the beach ASAP” kinda person I have to admit…Lisbon is a pretty cool place (plus it also has fab beaches!). The great thing about Portugal is that it’s fairly cheap as far as European countries go which makes it the perfect destination for solo travel plus it’s a safe city for solo female travellers.

yes lisbon hostel lisbon solo travel
Image via Agoda

Don’t have time to read the whole article? The best hostel for solo female travellers in Lisbon is Yes! Lisbon Hostel

Is Lisbon safe for solo female travellers?

Okay, let’s answer the first (and most important) question that you probably have! Is Lisbon safe for solo female travellers?

The short answer is YES. Lisbon is regarded as one of the safest cities in Europe as the crime rates are very low. In saying this though, always keep your wits about you and keep your valuables hidden like you would with anywhere else.

I had absolutely no trouble at all and found everyone to be really kind. I always felt safe during my time in Lisbon but I did take care to make sure I wasn’t out alone at night by making friends with people in my hostel. One night we did a pub crawl and it was so fun to get a taste of the nightlife and stay safe at the same time.

English is spoken fairly widely in the capital which makes Lisbon solo travel a whole lot easier. Being able to communicate with the locals is important to figure out where you need to go, especially when you get off the plane and need to navigate your way to your accommodation. I got an Uber from the airport to my first hostel as I was pretty tired from flying all the way from Mexico but it was all very easy (not too expensive either!) and I got there safely.

When I first arrive in a new country I always get a little anxious but all my worries were put to rest as soon I saw how lively and colourful Lisbon was!

Lisbon solo travel, best things to do in Lisbon alone

Safety tips for solo female travellers in Lisbon

A handy tip to make the process of getting to your accommodation a whole lot easier is to have a screenshot on your phone of the address and the rough location. Having a screenshot will avoid you from getting caught out if the airport wifi is dodgy and this was something I got into the habit of doing wherever I went because I didn’t always want to buy a SIM card at the airport straight away – I find they can be more expensive.

If your flight is long haul and you’re worried your phone might die on the journey, it’s probably worth having it written down on a piece of paper too. A lot of planes do tend to have USB ports in them these days but if you’re flying with a budget airline (we are on a budget after all!) then that might not always be the case.

That way you’re not trying to find somewhere to charge your phone when you get off your flight. You can hop straight in an Uber or figure out the public transport system and start your adventure. Powerbanks are also super handy and I travelled everywhere with mine when I was on a solo trip. If you know me at all, you’ll know that my sense of direction is absolutely shocking so I rely on Google Maps a toooon.

It always made me feel safer knowing that I wouldn’t have to worry about my phone running out of battery and it meant I could stay in touch with family when I got off my flight and was figuring out of new country or city.

Some other solo travel tips include:

  • Stay Vigilant: Be aware of your surroundings and belongings, especially in crowded or touristy areas.
  • Use Reputable Transportation: Stick to licensed and reputable transportation options, whether it’s taxis, rideshares, or public transportation.
  • Avoid Risky Areas at Night: Stay away from poorly lit or deserted areas, especially after dark. If possible, plan your activities during daylight hours unless you’re going out with a group.
  • Emergency Contacts and Information: Have emergency contact numbers saved in your phone and know the location of the nearest embassy or consulate. Also make sure you know the emergency services number (112 in Europe).
  • Use Reputable Accommodations: Choose accommodations with good reviews and security measures. Make sure you lock your room or your locker if you’re staying in a hostel and use any provided safes.
  • Travel slow if you can: This isn’t so much a safety tip but more of a money saving hack, if you can travelling slow will be a lot easier on your wallet. I travelled slow as much as I could and it opened up opportunities like volunteering in hostels in exchange for free food and accommodation. That’s right! It’s a huge money saver and I could not recommend it enough because it enabled me to travel so much longer.

10 things to do in Lisbon alone

Lisbon is an incredible destination for solo female travellers, I absolutely loved my time here and can’t wait for the day when I get to go back. With plenty of attractions, sights, and experiences to explore, there is something for everyone. Overall Lisbon is totally worth visiting,

From the breathtaking beauty of the rolling hills and olive groves to the rich culture and history of the city, this city has something for everyone. Here’s a list of the best things to do alone in Lisbon to get you started!

You’ll want a few days to be able to get through this list, a trip out to Sintra usually takes a day or two. It’s a beautiful city, full of fairytale-esque castles and palaces, as well as breathtakingly beautiful gardens. It is also possible to explore Lisbon in one day and tick off the main sights if you’re limited on time.

1. Have a drink in Bairro Alto

Well I already mentioned a pub crawl, that is definitely on the list of must-dos while in Lisbon! Chances are, the pub crawl will have you exploring popular spots in Bairro Alto.

Bairro Alto is a popular tourist district packed with bars and is known as the top nightlight spot. If pub crawls aren’t your thing, it’s still worth paying Bairro Alto a visit as there are a ton of alfresco cafes and international restaurants.

From its lively terraces, you can take in the spectacular views of Lisbon and explore its winding streets. Beyond its famous nightlife, Bairro Alto offers incredible viewpoints like Miradouro de Santa Catarina, where you can savour breathtaking panoramas of the city’s rooftops and the Tagus River.

By day, the district reveals its bohemian spirit through eclectic shops, traditional Fado houses, and colourful street art that offers a glimpse into Lisbon’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether it’s for an evening out or a day exploring, Bairro Alto is the perfect place to add to your bucket list!

2. Visit Praca do Comercio


Known as one of the biggest squares in Europe, Praca do Comercio is probably the first place you’ll stumble across. Located in the downtown Lisbon area of Santa Maria Maior, there’s a bit to see in this stylish area. The sunny square is right next to the Tagus River and is known for its bright yellow buildings and a big arch called Arco da Rua Augusta.

The architecture is gorgeous and the arch is a popular photographed landmark. It’s an important place to visit if you want to feel the lively vibe of Lisbon and see a piece of its history. You’ll most likely walk through this square to get to other parts of the city you want to explore so it’s hard to miss. A great reason to wander around Lisbon on foot!

3. Get lost in Alfama

It’s fairly easy to get lost in the streets of Lisbon due to all the twists and turns, but getting lost in Alfama is something worth adding to your agenda. This old neighbourhood in Lisbon is a maze of narrow streets, stairways, and hidden courtyards, all echoing with the sounds of Fado music and the scent of traditional Portuguese dishes. It was my favourite part of the city and you could easily spend a whole afternoon here.

You can either walk here from downtown Lisbon or take the famous Tram 28. Be prepared for the tram to be pretty packed if you’re visiting in the summer. It’s defs a tourist hotspot. If you want to get your step count up for the day, walking is just beautiful. As you wander, you’ll stumble upon beautiful tiled houses, small squares with local cafes, and breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the city and the Tagus River.

It’s a gorgeous part of the city and the best way to see it is, you guessed it, wandering around and seeing what you stumble across. There are wonderful sights at every turn in these culturally rich streets.

It’s such a charming part of Lisbon and has quite a different feel from the main city centre, you can truly experience the soul of the city and find beauty in it’s rich history.

There’s a beautiful building with all these blue and white tiles on it. I was here in the summer and there were gorgeous pink and purple trees in bloom which made this part of the city feel even more colourful.


4. See the view from Portas do Sol

If you choose to get lost in Alfama, no doubt you’ll probably stumble across Portas do Sol. You’ll know when you’ve found it because the view is beautiful.

Think matching white houses white orange roofs and a beautiful view of the Tejo River, this spot is worth stopping by. There’s lots of space to walk around and enjoy the view.

The Portas do Sol bar is worth a visit if you want to linger here a little longer and enjoy a drink. They also serve food if you’re feeling peckish and it’s delicious.

5. Stop by Rossio Square


A great place for a stroll and for a bit of people-watching, Rossio Square is always bustling. It sits in the heart of the city so it’s a popular place with cobblestones and elegant buildings.

The Pombaline Lower Tower is located in the centre of the square, which then spreads out in wide boulevards.

If you need a rest from all the walking you can find some shady benches to sit on while you take in the atmosphere. Otherwise Rossio Square is a good place to start your day of exploring.

6. Feira da Ladra

If you love a good market head to Feira da Ladra. It’s open on Tuesdays and Saturdays and you’ll find a bit of everything here. There’s something so fun about exploring flea markets when in a foreign country.

You get to see all the little knick-knacks that the locals make and support them if you choose to make a purchase.

7. Visit Sao Jorge Castle

Located on top of Lisbon’s highest hill, São Jorge Castle is a must-visit for its panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. This historical fortress played a significant role in Portuguese history.

You can explore the castle’s extensive grounds, admire the bronze statue of Dom Afonso Henriques, and discover ancient cannons along the outer walls. The castle also hosts a museum with archaeological finds, offering a deeper insight into Lisbon’s past​

8. Ride Tram 28


A ride on Tram 28 provides a picturesque journey through some of Lisbon’s most iconic neighbourhoods, including Alfama, Baixa, and Graça. This vintage yellow tram (with has become an iconic symbol of Lisbon) weaves through narrow streets, offering a glimpse of the city’s traditional architecture and lively street scenes.

It’s an ideal way for solo travellers to see the city from a unique perspective, hopping on and off as you please.

Tip: Plan to take the tram early in the morning and avoid rush hour if possible because it gets extremely busy!!

9. Walk the Ribeira das Naus

For a peaceful stroll, the Ribeira das Naus waterfront promenade is perfect. Running along the Tagus River, this area offers serene views of the water and is a fantastic spot for watching the sunset.

It’s a newer addition to Lisbon’s public spaces but has quickly become a favourite for travellers seeking a quiet moment in the city. The promenade is easily accessible and provides a refreshing break from the bustling city streets​

10. Explore the nearby beaches

Exploring the beaches near Lisbon offers a fun escape for every type of traveller. Even if you’re not planning on swimming or visiting in the cooler months it’s still worth visiting the coastline, especially if you’re a beach lover like me!

From the easily accessible beaches in Cascais to the wide and lively Praia de Carcavelos, there’s plenty of choice. Praia de Carcavelos is one of the largest and most popular beaches near Lisbon, so I’d recommend adding this spot to your list.

South of Lisbon, Costa da Caparica stretches for 30km, boasting vast beauty and is a favourite spot for both locals and tourists. For those seeking adventure, Praia do Guincho is a surfer’s paradise, known for its strong winds and wild scenery.

Meanwhile, Tamariz Beach in Estoril captivates with its picturesque setting and historic charm, easily reached by a short train ride. These coastal gems provide an ideal complement to Lisbon’s urban charm, offering sun, sea, and sand within easy reach.

Day trips from Lisbon


sintra day trip from lisbon

If you want to venture out a little further, definitely look at planning a day trip to Sintra! Unfortunately, I ran out of time and didn’t quite make it here but a ton of people recommended it so I thought it was worth including in this Lisbon solo travel guide.

Sintra is located just over half an hour away from Lisbon by car making it the perfect day trip destination. It is one of the major attractions so if you have a spare day to dedicate to taking in all the colourful mansions, beautiful churches and extravagant palaces be sure to pay it a visit.


day trip from lisbon to porto

If you have an extra day or two up your sleeve, another great day trip is making the journey to Porto. This beautiful Portuguese city is known for its stunning architecture, delicious food and vibrant culture. Plus Porto is perfect for solo travel too!

From exploring the majestic buildings of the historic core to marvelling at the breathtaking beauty of Douro Valley, there’s something for everyone in Porto. Start your day off by getting a feel for the city by strolling through the Ribeira neighbourhood, then spend some time wandering around its UNESCO World Heritage Centre before indulging in some of Portugal’s delicious cuisine.

End your trip with an opportunity to explore the cobblestone streets and hidden gems of Porto’s riverside area. Although it will be a long day, it’s a great way to squeeze in another city if you aren’t already planning on visiting!

Where to eat in Lisbon

If you’re a big foodie, you’re going to love exploring all the cafes and restaurants Lisbon has to offer! The city even won the National Geographic Foodie Hotspot award back in 2019.

To make the most of the Portuguese cuisine, you could book a food walking tour, or even do a cooking class.

Or if you’d rather check some places out yourself, here are a few must-dos.

Fabrica Da Nata

lisbon solo travel

Okay, one of the first things you have to eat when you get to Portugal is a Pastel De Nata. Non-negotiable.

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of these sweet treats everyone was obsessed with, you will quickly learn, and you will find them everywhere. Be sure to swing by Fabrica Da Nata, they are famous for their Pastel De Nata’s and I can confirm they were delicious.

What is a Pastel De Nata?

It’s a creamy custard tart with a thick outer layer of flaky pastry dough, sounds delicious right?!

Address: Praça dos Restauradores 62-68, 1250-110 Lisboa, Portugal

Time Out Market

The awesome thing about Time Out Market is it’s the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tested and tasted by a panel of city experts!

There are more than 40 stalls of leading representatives in all the food categories so you’ll be sure to find something to your liking. There are vegetarian and vegan options too, with several stalls offering delightful plant-based options. It’s a place not just for enjoying meals but also for immersing yourself in Lisbon’s food culture, making it a must-visit for anyone wanting to eat like a local.

If you feel like wandering around further after grabbing a bite to eat, there is also a shop that sells Portuguese products, a bar, a cooking academy and even a club. You’ll be entertained for hours!

The market is located in the vibrant Cais do Sodré area, easily accessible by public transport. It’s open daily, with extended hours on weekends.

Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal

Ground Burger

If burgers are your thing you’ll want to head to Ground Burger because they are known for having the best burgers in Lisbon.

Their ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ brioche buns are baked in-house twice a day and are to die for and everything is made with quality fresh ingredients. As far as drinks go, treat yourself to a milkshake or sip on a craft beer.

Address: Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 148 A R/C, 1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal

Product page photo Portugal itinerary copy

Best hostels in Lisbon for solo travellers

I’d 110% recommend that for your solo trip to Lisbon you stay in a hostel. In fact, whenever I’m travelling solo hostels are always my top choice. Reason being, it is soo much easier to meet like-minded people.

For your first solo trip or if you’re a bit unsure, I’d recommend booking a female dorm. It has always been something that makes me feel more comfortable but if you’re happy with a mixed dorm then go for it gal!

When it comes to picking the dorm size, my theory always was “the bigger the room the more chance to meet people”. 9 times out of 10, the people who I ended up making friends with were people from my dorm room.

So the more the better!

However, I tend to draw the line at 8, maybe 10… Anything bigger than that gets a little crazy and chaotic.

During my time in Lisbon I stayed at the Urban Garden Hostel. I really enjoyed my stay here, there was an awesome social environment which meant I met people straight away. There are plenty of other great hostels in Lisbon too.

The night I was there the hostel was hosting a pub crawl which I decided to take part in, along with the friends I met including a couple from New Zealand. Small world, haha.

It was a ton of fun and a great way to get to know some of the popular bars in Lisbon.

Urban Garden Hostel also has a great location. A ton of things were within walking distance and it’s located just a 5-minute walk from the metro in the centre of Lisbon.

Another thing that I love about this hostel is they have a strong focus on sustainability and are Lisbon’s first Eco-Hostel! It isn’t too pricey either so a great all-rounder.

Safe places to stay in Lisbon for solo travellers

  • Baixa and Chiado: Central districts with bustling streets and easy access to public transportation. Well-lit and vibrant, offering a mix of historic sites and modern amenities.
  • Bairro Alto: Known for its nightlife, but also has charming streets and cultural attractions.
  • Alfama: Historic district with narrow streets and a relaxed atmosphere. Safe during the day, but it’s advisable to be cautious in less populated areas at night.

Some top-rated hostels in Lisbon

Tips for choosing a good hostel when travelling solo

Choosing the right hostel can significantly impact your solo travel experience, so taking the time to research and select one that fits your preferences is crucial. When choosing a hostel, consider the following tips:

  • Look for a hostel with a lively atmosphere and good common areas. These hostels always tend to be more social and therefore make it easier to meet people. A bonus if they arrange organised group activities – I’ve always found participating in these the easiest way to make friends.
  • ALWAYS check the reviews, and make sure the most recent reviews are good ones. Pay attention to comments about the atmosphere, cleanliness, and staff friendliness. If in doubt, keep looking.
  • Go for a hostel that offers free breakfast! A must in my books, even if it’s basic it gives you a chance to fuel up for the day while saving you $$.
  • Pick something in a central location, no need to spend more money than you need to on transport.
  • Look for hostels with good security measures, such as 24-hour reception, lockers for valuables, and secure entry.
  • Ensure the hostel has the facilities you need, such as free Wi-Fi, a kitchen, laundry services, and sufficient bathrooms. TMI but I always need to pee in the middle of the night so I much prefer a room with a bathroom in it.
  • While cheaper hostels are tempting, sometimes paying a bit more ensures a better stay. Balance cost with amenities and location.
  • Solo travel plans can change. Look for hostels with flexible cancellation policies.

Best time to visit Lisbon

Lisbon has a pretty mild climate meaning there are lots of opportunities to travel here. The best time to visit Lisbon would be shoulder season which is March to May or September to October. This means you miss the busy summer months when lots of tourists will be around but the weather is pleasantly warm, with temperatures comfortable for exploring the city’s winding streets and beautiful landscapes.

In saying that, I was here in June and July and didn’t find it overly busy, perhaps because it was towards the start of summer. Yes Lisbon is a city but there are four beautiful coastlines nearby so if the beach is your jam, I would recommend visiting in summer. The water was beautiful, a tad on the chilly side I must admit but throughout the 6 weeks I spent in Portugal I went swimming multiple times a week.

So when you’re deciding what time of the year you want to visit, have a think about what activities you want to do as that may influence your choice a bit.


What to wear in Lisbon

Now this obviously depends on what time of year you are planning on visiting. For the month of June, I found myself in dresses or shorts and T-shirt most of the time. When the suns out it’s lovely and warm but there is a bit of a chill to the evening so make sure you bring a pair of jeans or a sweatshirt or both!

Even in June I was wearing jeans in the evenings when it got a bit chilly so it’s good to be prepared.

In shoulder season it’ll be a little colder compared to when I was there so you’ll want to be prepared for that. A few long-sleeved tops, jumpers and a couple of pairs of pants/jeans should do it.

Does anyone else absolutely HATE wearing jeans…or is that just me? I hate them so much that I almost left them out of my suitcase altogether until my best friends convinced me I had to pack them. It’s safe to say they were right.

Another thing to be aware of about Lisbon is the streets aren’t flatly paved, they are cobblestone so a good pair of walking shoes is a must! I tend to try wear jandals to as many places as possible but Lisbon was defs a sneaker situation. The cobblestones can also be a bit slippery so just watch your step when you’re walking down a steep hill.

What to pack:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Lightweight clothing
  • A sweater or light jacket
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Compact umbrella or raincoat (seasonal)
  • Portable charger
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Adapter plug for Europe
  • Daypack or crossbody bag
  • Swimwear
  • One or two nice outfits
  • Copies of important documents
  • A small first-aid kit (not a must but I always find having basics like plasters and panadol on hand when I’m travelling super helpful)

How to get around Lisbon

one day in lisbon

While in Lisbon, I walked most places which was great! Provided you book some central accommodation you’ll find it easy to get around on foot. You can take a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets of Alfama, explore the various bookshops and galleries in trendy Bairro Alto or spend an afternoon at scenic Belém Tower.

Lisbon streets are very steep however so you’ll want a good pair of walking shoes. If you’re travelling during the summer months it can also get pretty hot so make sure you stay hydrated. Otherwise, for an affordable way to get around it’s worth looking into Lisbon Card.

It’s a discount card that allows you to ride the metro, buses, trams (including the famous Tram 28), and CP trains to Cascais and Sintra. How it works is you either buy a 24-hour, 48-hour or 72-hour card then all your public transport costs are included. To sweeten the deal even further you get free entry to 25 popular museums and attractions.

Getting around Lisbon is quite straightforward, thanks to its extensive public transportation network. The city offers a range of options, including metros, trams, buses, and trains, which are efficient and affordable ways to explore both the heart of Lisbon and its surrounding areas.

For longer distances, the metro is a quick and reliable choice, with four lines covering the city. Buses and trains provide good connections to areas not served by the metro, including nearby towns and beaches. Whenever I had to travel a bit further I always took the bus and it was pretty easy to navigate.

Conclusion: Lisbon Solo Travel

In summary, Lisbon is safe for solo female travellers AND there are a ton of cool things to do, which makes it the perfect destination. A solo trip to Lisbon or a solo trip to Portugal in general, is definitely worth looking into, even if it’s your first time travelling solo. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never travelled solo before.

Another great thing about Lisbon is that it’s known for solo travel, which means you’re highly likely to meet other solo travellers here too! Staying in hostels is a fantastic way to meet people plus they are a super fun environment.

If you’re planning to stay a bit longer, why not offer to volunteer? Staying for over a month usually means you can get accommodation, food and even some activities for free, you can read more about my volunteering experience.

Overall, as a first-time solo female travel destination, Lisbon is pretty up there. I’d fully recommend adding it to your travel bucket list!

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