Traveling Lisbon as a Solo Female (+Photos)

From the day I stepped foot in Lisbon, I knew that it would become a favorite travel destination. It was my first time visiting Portugal, and I was on a whirlwind month-long solo trip across Europe.

Whenever I visit a new place, I like to prepare by saving a whole bunch of recommended locations on my Google Maps – and by this, I mean restaurants, shops, parks, historical landmarks, iconic buildings – you name it.

I’ll then start by picking a neighborhood that interests me and exploring on foot. I always feel there is so much to see when walking that you don’t notice when using public transport.

In this article, I’ve shared a few tips and tricks to help you get going on a solo trip to Lisbon, followed by a few suggestions and places that I recommend as must-sees. If you’re anything like me, a fan of culture, history, food, and epic views, it won’t take you too long to fall in love with Lisbon, either.

Is it Safe to Travel Solo in Lisbon?


As an avid female traveler who has spent her fair share of trips alone, I understand the initial concerns about safety in any new city. However, within one day of exploring this vibrant and colorful capital city, my mind was put at ease.

The simple answer is that Lisbon is super safe as long as you exercise common sense along the way. What do I mean by this? Well, as secure as it might be, there will always be opportunists in a city, whether they be pickpockets or scammers. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is simply to be aware of your surroundings, hold onto your possessions in busy areas, and walk with confidence.


While I felt pretty safe walking around at night, I was never totally alone on the streets. I think it helps to blend in with locals and walk along well-lit roads that are somewhat busy. Another tip: Dress modestly and don’t wear flashy jewelry. And I don’t mean you shouldn’t wear that new little black dress on a night out, but when you do, err on the side of caution and be extra aware of your surroundings.

Areas to Avoid and Common Scams

narrow streets of Lisbon

Any bustling city warrants a bit of extra caution. Lisbon is no exception. While most neighborhoods are totally safe, there are a few secluded alleyways and badly lit streets that you’ll want to stay clear of.


Some of the more common scams include overcharging taxis and fake petitions or donations. If you feel threatened at any time, don’t hesitate to call the Portuguese national emergency line, which is 112.

And on that note, I highly recommend downloading a Portuguese e-Sim for your stay. e-Sims on Airalo, for example, offer weekly and monthly packages for as low as $4.50 for 1GB. This way, you’ll always have your phone to contact your hostel, cabs, online maps, and, in the worst-case scenario, an emergency hotline.

Getting Around Lisbon

Tram 22

If there’s one thing that can make a city solo-travel friendly, it’s a good public transport system. Safe to say, Lisbon has one! The Metro extends across most of the city and likely every area you intend to visit as a tourist. The metro is the fastest way to get around, with frequent trains connecting key parts of the city. A one-way trip costs €1.50, or you can purchase a 24-hour unlimited ticket for €6.40 – well worth it to avoid some steep hills.

Tram Line

Trams are one of the most popular forms of public transport for tourists in the historic center, yet they are less practical, busier, and don’t cover as much area as the Metro does. That said, you absolutely should take a ride up the iconic Tram 28, which passes a few iconic landmarks, including Alfama and Sao Jorge Castle, for just €3 per trip.

Taxis and Uber are also available, although they are much more expensive than public transport. I’m a huge fan of Uber over taxis, mainly because of the accountability the app provides. If you do take a cab, make sure you choose one that is registered and insist that the driver use the meter.

A Night in a Hostel

A Night in a Hostel

One of the biggest problems I come across when traveling alone is that I have no one to share the cost of a hotel room with. But luckily for me and all solo adventurers, the humble hostel offers the perfect solution.

I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels in my time and the YES! Hostel Lisbon tops the list. I booked myself in using the Hostelworld app and shared a clean and spacious dorm with six other girls.

The hostel is ideally located in the historic district, just behind the Praca do Comercio. It felt super safe as a solo female traveler and cost €32 per night for a shared dorm.

One thing I always recommend is finding a hostel with a female-only dorm option. This all depends on the traveler, but I’ve always felt more at ease in these rooms.

Exploring Praca do Comercio

Praca do Comercio

Now that we’ve covered the basics of solo travel, let’s focus on the fun stuff. Once I had dropped off my bags, showered, changed into a fresh outfit, and met a couple of my roommates, I headed out into the Praca do Comercio.

The Praca do Comercio is pretty much Lisbon’s historic center. This massive square flanked by stunning yellow buildings is hard to miss. It’s right on the banks of the Tagus River and sits on the route of most major central city transport lines.

Rua Augusta

After admitting the Arco da Rua Augusta, take a stroll up Rua Augusta for some retail therapy, and then settle at one of the charming cafes lining the street. There’s a lot to look at here, where talented buskers play tunes and dance along the sidewalk. It might be a tourist hot spot, but it really is an epic opener for anyone new to the city.

Rooftop Drinks with a View

Rooftop Drinks

No visit to Lisbon is complete without drinks on a rooftop terrace. And there are plenty of options to choose from. On my first (second, third, and fourth) night, I spent the sunset hours gazing across the city from a different rooftop bar. My favorites were Park, overlooking the Tagus, The V Rooftop Bar at a boutique hotel, and Lumi, with panoramic city views. A cocktail at Park costs between €12 and €18.

As the sun dips beneath the hilly city, the twinkling lights of Lisbon start to turn on like an ocean of stars. While you might walk into the bar on your first-night solo, you can rest assured you won’t struggle to meet some lovely friends along the way.

A Day Trip to Sintra

Pena Palace

Now, I know this isn’t technically in Lisbon, but if you have a good week or two in the city, I recommend taking a day trip to explore another part of the Lisbon region. One of my top choices is to spend a beach day in the charming seaside town of Cascais (just over half an hour away by train). The other is to visit the iconic castle-studded town of Sintra.

There are no less than five castles and fortresses and plenty of other historic attractions in this small picturesque town nestled in the green hills.

I hopped on a train from Rossio Station in Lisbon and traveled through the stunning surrounding countryside of Lisbon to Sintra in under 45 minutes. The train, labeled Sintra, comes every half hour and costs €2.50 in each direction.

Moorish CastleMoorish Castle
Sintra National PalaceSintra National Palace

I started with the crumbling Moorish Castle, then moved on to the Sintra National Palace, and finished off with the colorful masterpiece that is the Pena Palace. A ticket to the Moorish Castle costs €12, €13 for the National Palace, and €20 for the Pena Palace. The palaces are typically open between 9:30 am and 6 pm.

After an awesome day walking through a dramatic timeline of Portuguese history, I was back at the hostel before dark, and rearing to go for another sunset at the rooftop bar.

Lisbon Culinary Surprises

Pastel de Nata from Pasteis de Belem

If there is one thing Lisbon is known for, it’s food. There are so many incredible restaurants, cafes, and bars to savor the city’s culinary delights.

Tasca da Esquina, in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood, was one of the best places I ate at. With a cozy interior and friendly service, they served the most delicious grilled sardines (Portuguese style) I have ever tasted.

Although I have never visited this one, I have heard rave reviews about Alma, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Chiado neighborhood with a unique tasting menu featuring seasonal ingredients.

Topping my list was the Time Out Market. With a few locations around the world, Lisbon’s branch of the famous market is hands-down the best I’ve visited. With plenty of cuisine options ranging from affordable to, well, not, there is something for everyone here.

As a huge seafood fan, I headed straight for O Surf and Turf to get their famous roasted octopus.

And you can’t forget the famous pastel de nata tarts. Head to Pasteis de Belem for a single tart costing €1.40 or a box of six for €8.40.

Email Signup

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *