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The Solo Traveler Blog

Solo Travel Destination: Lisbon, Portugal

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Sue, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Sue is from the United States, and submitted the following report about Lisbon. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Portugese, English

photo, image, ponte 25 de abril, lisbon, bridge

Ponte 25 de Abril

Reasons to go:  I quickly fell in love with Lisboa. The people are truly proud of their country and no matter what I asked, I always received much more kindness and information than I had expected. While English is not the native language, most people are able to speak it, which was a huge help to me.

As a solo woman I loved getting lost in Alfama, a neighborhood of narrow alleyways. Even without a map, I was able to find my way around.

Lisbon is a big city that has a small town feel. I loved the pastries, especially the pasteis de nata, which are egg tarts that taste almost like crème brûlée and melt in your mouth.

It is a very walkable city which also features many trams, buses, and trains. I recommend exploring the neighborhoods: Barrio Alto, Alfama, Belem, etc. Talking to the people was a treat in itself.

Portugal has much milder winters than most of Europe. It also has breathtaking views. There are many markets that bring you back to the times of the Moors.

My favorite sights and experiences included Praca do Comercio, a huge plaza; 25 de Abril bridge; Jeronimos Monastery, where Vasco da Gama is buried; soulful fado music; the Church of Santa Engracia, now the National Pantheon; and the Feira da Ladra flea market.

There are also many day trips available to take from Lisboa: you can set off for Sintra, land of the princess castles of fairy tales, or Cascais, a beautiful beach retreat.

Don’t forget to try ginja, a cherry liqueur served in a chocolate shell. Let yourself relax and become one with the city.

As a 31-year-old female solo traveler, I felt completely safe. The best part is that Portugal, unlike many other areas of Europe, has not been overwhelmed with tourists, especially during their off-season. Take advantage of this treasure while you can! It is still reasonably-priced and it is easy to feel like a local. You can discover this area in 4-6 days.

The entire city had a “San Francisco meets Europe” vibe which I enjoyed.

photo, image, custard tart

Pasteis de nata, the delicious custard tarts.

photo, image, Lisbon street

Lisbon street view.

photo, image, lisbon, houses

A view over the city of Lisbon.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety - 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language - 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)


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  • Janice Waugh

    So glad it is of help. Have fun!

  • Lucy Oliver

    Thank you very much for this post. I am going to Lisbon and Sintra for six days in February – this was very helpful!

  • PSV

    awesome coverage Sue! Thanks!

    Portugal has been a hidden gem but it’s starting to get noticed by virtue of multiple awards that start to ad up in the last couple years. All these awards are a testament to the quality of the attractions in Portugal.

    For the folks visiting Portugal, I recommend using services like which let’s you design several travel packages with Portuguese agents, select your favorite, they will book everything and provide customer support while you’re in Portugal. Since they are local agents, they know the ins-and-outs of everything and you get to experience the country as a local!

  • anne

    On my list , but not as a Solo traveller , I am not that brave yet.

  • Steve

    Just came across your site. As one looking to embark on solo travel I really like the rating system you use.

About Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt

I'm an author, blogger, speaker and traveler. I became a widow and empty-nester at about the same time. And then, I became Solo Traveler... Here's the full story. >>

Tracey Nesbitt I’m a writer, editor, food and wine fanatic, and traveler. On my very first trip abroad I learned that solo travel was for me. Here's the full story. >>

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