Headed to Lisbon alone? Check out our top tips for solo travel in Lisbon, from accommodation and activities to culture and cuisine.
It’s safe to say that solo travel is in style. More and more people of all ages and interests are taking the leap to travel alone—and discovering all its advantages along the way. These days, Lisbon is a particularly popular destination for solo travelers and digital nomads. It’s got everything: an impressive historical legacy, beautiful views, spectacular beaches, cultural attractions and, of course, incredible cuisine.
If you’re ready to join the ranks of solo travelers in Lisbon, this guide is for you. Read on to get our best advice on everything from the coolest hostels to the tastiest petiscos!
The Best Accommodation for Solo Travelers in Lisbon
First things first: solo travel is best when you’re surrounded by other people who are doing it too. If you want to meet like-minded travelers, the best place to stay is one of Lisbon’s amazing hostels. The competition here is tough, which means each place goes above and beyond to create an exceptional experience.
One of our favorite options is Yes! Lisbon Hostel, where you’ll truly be treated like part of the family. It’s the perfect place to connect with other solo travelers and share your experiences! We also love Sant Jordi Hostels Lisbon, set in a beautiful old building, and Lookout Lisbon Hostel, which is ideal if you’re enjoying Lisbon on a budget.
Lisbon Hostels With a Little Something Extra
Maybe you’re looking for something a bit fancier, but don’t want to miss out on all the perks of hostel life. In that case, we recommend booking a private room at Home Lisbon Hostel. They offer all the quality of a hotel, plus an unbeatable social atmosphere.
A World-Class Destination for Solo Female Travelers
According to a recent ranking by Hostelworld, Lisbon is home to three of the top 10 hostels for solo female travelers in the world! These places offer perks like group dinners and free activities, in addition to top-notch security and female-only dorms. Check out the winners: Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel, Lost Inn Lisbon and We Love F Tourists.
What to Do on a Solo Trip to Lisbon
The simplest activity for solo travel in Lisbon is also one of our favorites: walk! It may seem obvious, but the best way to get to know this city is to explore it on foot. It’s small enough to cover several different neighborhoods in one day, and there’s nothing like getting lost among the winding alleyways, steep hills and colorful buildings that make Lisbon so unique.
Of course, if you’re short on time (or energy), Lisbon’s public transportation is also a great option. This is the best way to reach Belém, where you can try the original version of Lisbon’s legendary custard tarts. We recommend that you check out some of the city’s best museums, or spend a few hours exploring the artsy LX Factory. The best part about traveling alone? You can do all of this or none of it, depending on your interests!
Spend Some Time Outside on Your Own
One of the best parts of visiting Lisbon is that no matter the time of year, you’ll probably be blessed with beautiful weather and balmy temperatures. It’s the perfect place to spend some peaceful time outdoors, whether in one of Lisbon’s prettiest parks or the beautiful mountains nearby.
In the summer months, Lisbon can get incredibly hot. That means it’s time to head to the beach—and luckily, you don’t have to go far. Thanks to its coastal location, the center of Lisbon is conveniently close to several spectacular beaches where you can swim, surf or sunbathe. Grab a good book and some picnic supplies, and get ready to relax!
The Solo Diner’s Guide to Portuguese Cuisine
If you’re anything like us, what you’re really looking forward to is sampling all of Lisbon’s local dishes. Don’t let your solo status deter you from enjoying all the food this city has to offer. Instead, take the opportunity to indulge your own cravings and eat whenever, wherever and whatever you want.
Need a good place to start? Pop into a traditional tasca to sample some classic petiscos (small snacks). If you’ve worked up an appetite from all that walking around, stay for lunch. Trust us, there’s no need to feel awkward about sitting down to a three-course midday meal on your own. That said, you might not be alone for long; when a place gets busy, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to make room at your table for a stranger. It’s all part of the experience!
If you’d rather stay on the move, make it a point to sample Lisbon’s best street food as you explore. Quick and simple dishes like the bifana, prego and pão com chouriço are best enjoyed on the go—and don’t forget to grab a pastel de nata for dessert. Complete your makeshift meal with a shot of ginjinha. Slow down to sip and savor this sweet, sour and entirely irresistible liqueur.
How to Optimize Your Solo Eating Experience
When you’ve only got a few days to eat as much as possible, a city like Lisbon can seem overwhelming. How can you possibly sample everything in such a short amount of time? We’ve got a few ideas.
First, head to one of Lisbon’s best markets. The famous Mercado da Ribeira is a good place to start. Half of it maintains the traditional style of local markets, while the other half has been transformed into the Time Out Market, a modern culinary mecca. It brings all kinds of cuisine together under one roof, so you can taste a bit of everything.
Second, consider signing up for a cooking class in Lisbon. This is a great way to meet other travelers through an authentic, hands-on experience. Food always tastes better when you make it yourself—and this way, you can keep enjoying Portuguese cuisine at home. If you ask us, insider culinary knowledge is better than any souvenir!
Finally, sign up for one of our Lisbon food tours. You’ll get to explore the city with a group of other food lovers, led by an expert guide who knows all the local secrets. It’s the perfect way to pack all of the most delicious highlights into just a few hours!
Melissa first moved to Madrid to explore her interests in linguistics and communication, and quickly fell in love with the city’s culture and cuisine. She’s particularly passionate about Spanish vermouth and canned seafood, and makes it a point to drench absolutely everything in olive oil.