Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is known for its stunning architecture, delicious food, and rich history. It’s a city that has something to offer everyone, including solo travellers. For those who want to explore the city on their own, Lisbon is a great destination that is easy to navigate and has plenty of activities to keep you busy.
One of the best things about travelling solo in Lisbon is the city’s vibrant and friendly atmosphere. From the locals who are always willing to help, to the other travellers you’ll meet along the way, you’ll never feel alone in Lisbon. The city is also very safe, making it a great destination for those who are travelling alone for the first time.
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to have an amazing solo trip to Lisbon. From the best places to stay to the top attractions to visit, and the best restaurants to try, we’ve got you covered. So pack your bags and get ready to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful cities on your own.
Why Visit Lisbon
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a city that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. It is a popular destination for solo travellers who want to explore the rich history and culture of the city.
Lisbon is a city with a rich history that dates back to the Roman Empire. The city has been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries, including the Moors, who ruled the city for over 400 years. This mix of cultures is reflected in the city’s architecture, which includes Gothic, Baroque, and Moorish styles.
Lisbon is a city with stunning scenery. The city is built on seven hills, which offer breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River. The city’s many parks and gardens provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lisbon is a food lover’s paradise. The city is known for its fresh seafood, pastries, and wine. The city’s many restaurants and cafes offer a wide range of cuisine, from traditional Portuguese dishes to international cuisine.
Lisbon is a city with a vibrant nightlife. The city’s many bars and clubs offer a variety of entertainment options, from live music to DJ sets. The city is also known for its street parties, which take place throughout the year.
Lisbon is a city with friendly people. The locals are known for their hospitality and are always happy to help visitors. Solo travellers will feel welcome and safe in the city.
In conclusion, Lisbon is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. Solo travellers will find plenty to see and do in the city, from exploring the city’s rich history to enjoying its vibrant nightlife.
Planning Your Trip
Best Time to Visit
Lisbon is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is from March to May or from September to November when the weather is mild, and the crowds are thinner. During these months, you can enjoy the city’s outdoor attractions without the sweltering heat of summer or the crowds of tourists that come during peak season.
If you’re looking for a beach vacation, the summer months from June to August are the best time to visit. However, be prepared for large crowds and higher prices during this time.
If you’re a citizen of the United States, Canada, Australia, or any European Union country, you don’t need a visa to visit Portugal for up to 90 days. However, if you’re from a country outside of these regions, you may need a visa. Check with the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country for more information.
Lisbon is an affordable destination, but it’s still important to budget accordingly. Accommodation prices vary depending on the time of year, but you can find budget-friendly options in hostels or guesthouses. Food and drink prices are also reasonable, and you can find delicious local cuisine at a reasonable price.
To save money, consider purchasing a Lisboa Card, which provides free or discounted admission to many of the city’s attractions and public transportation. Additionally, walking is a great way to explore Lisbon’s historic neighbourhoods and attractions without spending a lot of money on transportation.
Overall, with a little planning, Lisbon can be an affordable destination for solo travellers.
Getting Around Lisbon
Lisbon is a beautiful city that is best explored on foot. However, there are other modes of transportation that you can use to get around the city. Here are some of the options:
Lisbon has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and metro. The metro system is the fastest and most efficient way to get around the city. The metro network consists of four lines that cover most of the city’s major attractions.
The buses and trams are also a good option, especially if you want to explore the city’s historic neighbourhoods. You can purchase a rechargeable Viva Viagem card that can be used on all modes of public transportation.
Walking is the best way to explore Lisbon’s narrow streets and alleys. The city is relatively small, and most of the major attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking also gives you a chance to discover hidden gems that you might miss if you were on public transportation. However, be prepared for some steep hills and cobblestone streets.
Bike rentals are a popular option for exploring Lisbon. The city has a growing network of bike lanes, and several bike rental companies offer affordable rates. Biking is a great way to explore the city’s waterfront and parks. However, be cautious when biking on the city’s steep hills and narrow streets.
In summary, Lisbon has a variety of transportation options that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you choose to use public transportation, walk, or bike, you’re sure to have a memorable experience exploring this beautiful city.
When it comes to accommodation options, Lisbon has something to offer for every budget. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, there is no shortage of places to stay in the city.
For budget-conscious travellers, Lisbon has plenty of affordable accommodation options. Hostels are a popular choice, with many located in the city centre and offering dormitory-style rooms. Some recommended budget options include:
- Lisbon Destination Hostel: This hostel is located in the trendy neighbourhood of Cais do Sodré and offers both dormitory and private rooms. It has a rooftop terrace with views of the city and a bar that serves drinks and snacks.
- Hub New Lisbon Hostel: Located in the heart of Lisbon, this hostel offers dormitory rooms with free Wi-Fi and a shared kitchen. It also has a lounge area with a TV and a pool table.
For those looking for a bit more comfort and privacy, Lisbon has a range of mid-range accommodation options. These include hotels and apartments that offer more amenities and services than budget options. Some recommended mid-range options include:
- Lisbon Arsenal Suites: This hotel is located in the historic neighbourhood of Alfama and offers spacious suites with kitchenettes and living areas. It also has a rooftop terrace with views of the city and a bar that serves breakfast and drinks.
- Lisbon Serviced Apartments: These apartments are located in various neighbourhoods throughout the city and offer fully equipped kitchens and living areas. They also have a 24-hour reception and concierge service.
For those looking for a more luxurious stay, Lisbon has a range of high-end hotels and resorts. These offer top-of-the-line amenities and services, such as spas, fine dining restaurants, and private balconies with views of the city. Some recommended luxury options include:
- Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon: This hotel is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Avenida da Liberdade and offers spacious rooms with marble bathrooms and city views. It also has a spa, fitness centre, and two restaurants.
- Pestana Palace Lisbon: This hotel is located in a restored 19th-century palace and offers luxurious rooms with antique furnishings and garden or city views. It also has a spa, outdoor pool, and fine dining restaurant.
Overall, travellers to Lisbon have a range of accommodation options to choose from, depending on their budget and preferences.
Cuisine and Dining
Lisbon’s cuisine is heavily influenced by the sea and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Seafood is a staple in the city, and you will find a variety of dishes that feature fresh fish and shellfish. One of the most popular seafood dishes is grilled sardines, which are often served with roasted peppers and boiled potatoes. Other seafood dishes to try include octopus salad, codfish cakes, and shrimp in garlic sauce.
In addition to seafood, Lisbon is also known for its pastries. The most famous pastry is the Pastel de Nata, a small custard tart that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. You can find this pastry in almost every bakery in Lisbon, but the most famous place to try it is at Pasteis de Belem.
Lisbon has a wide range of restaurants, from casual cafes to Michelin-starred establishments. For a taste of traditional Portuguese cuisine, head to A Casa do Bacalhau, which specializes in codfish dishes. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, try Belcanto, which has two Michelin stars and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine.
For a more casual dining experience, check out Mercado da Ribeira, a food hall that features stalls from some of Lisbon’s best chefs. The food hall is open for lunch and dinner and offers a variety of cuisines, including Portuguese, Italian, and Japanese.
If you have dietary restrictions, you will still be able to enjoy Lisbon’s cuisine. Many restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options, and you can also find gluten-free and dairy-free dishes. For vegan and vegetarian food, try Ao 26 Vegan Food Project, which serves plant-based versions of traditional Portuguese dishes. For gluten-free options, head to Zuka, which offers a variety of gluten-free dishes, including pizzas and pasta.
Lisbon is a city filled with history, culture, and stunning architecture. Solo travellers will have an amazing time exploring all that this city has to offer. Here are some must-visit attractions that should be on every solo traveller’s itinerary.
Belem Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon. This tower was built in the early 16th century and was used as a fortress to protect the city from invaders. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon. Solo travellers can climb to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city and the Tagus River.
Jeronimos Monastery is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that should be on every solo traveller’s itinerary. This monastery was built in the 16th century and is one of the most stunning examples of Manueline architecture in the world. Solo travellers can explore the monastery’s cloisters, chapel, and tombs of famous Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama.
Alfama is the oldest district in Lisbon and is filled with narrow streets, colourful houses, and stunning views of the city. Solo travellers can spend hours wandering through the district’s winding streets and discovering hidden gems like local restaurants, shops, and cafes.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge is a medieval castle that sits atop a hill overlooking Lisbon. This castle was built in the 11th century and was used as a royal palace until the 16th century. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and offers amazing views of the city. Solo travellers can explore the castle’s battlements, towers, and archaeological sites.
Rossio Square is the heart of Lisbon’s historic centre and is a great place to people-watch and soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. This square is surrounded by stunning architecture and is home to some of the city’s best cafes, restaurants, and shops. Solo travellers can spend hours exploring the square and the surrounding streets.
In conclusion, Lisbon offers a unique and vibrant experience for solo travellers. From its rich history and culture to its stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, this city has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re wandering through the narrow streets of the Alfama district or taking in the breathtaking views from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Lisbon is sure to leave a lasting impression. If you have any additional tips or recommendations for solo travellers visiting Lisbon, please feel free to comment below.