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5 Reasons Solo Travelers Are Loving This Portuguese City

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Red-roofed buildings, cobblestone streets, quaint nooks, a bustling waterfront area, a friendly expat community, and dozens of traditional restaurants spread across the city, it’s no surprise that solo travelers are loving this Portuguese city.

A gateway to the rest of the country, Lisbon is a popular spot for solo travelers, digital nomads, couples, and retirees looking for a bit of rest and tranquility, and to dip their toes in the relaxed way of life in Portugal.

Woman standing in the road in portugal

The elevated coastal capital showcases its old-school trams, pastel-colored buildings, and Atlantic beaches to all who are lucky enough to visit. Of course, like any major city, it’s always important to stay vigilant, but here are some reasons Lisbon is ideal for solo travelers!

Low Crime Rates

According to a new report by Planet Cruise, Lisbon scores 70.8 on its safety index. For locals and solo travelers, it’s a very safe city to visit if you stay in the main areas.

There are certainly neighborhoods around Lisbon you probably shouldn’t visit, but for the most part, travelers rate it as one of the key places to travel to in Europe. Areas such as Alfama and Baixa are particularly charming, with plenty of locals and fellow travelers around for comfort.

If you’re visiting Lisbon, you’ll also notice a large police presence (in a good way!) The force here considers tourism and safety a priority and are there if you need them.

lisbon tram

Expat Hub

It’s true, Lisbon is full of American retirees seeking out a vibrant culture and peaceful way of life, and while you’ll definitely see a few around, there’s also a large digital nomad presence.

With its affordable prices, close proximity to the rest of Europe, and alluring climate, Lisbon draws hundreds of expats looking for a warmer way of life each year.

When I solo traveled through Portugal this summer, I was surprised and elated by how many foreigners I ran into in Lisbon. It’s nice to meet locals, but when you’ve traveled alone for more than a month, it’s definitely a treat to meet other newbies. 

lisbon city views

Looking to meet new people in the area, I decided to take an evening yoga class in the evening run by an Aussie expat —  and left with a new travel-loving friend!

If you do a simple Google search or simply visit businesses from various cultures (i.e. Irish bars or the Israeli cafe at the end of the block), you’re bound to meet people from all walks of life!

Cafe with pasteles de nata and view of famous Lisbon Commerce Square, Portugal

With Locals

If you’re in search of a fully Portuguese experience, why not download the With Locals app? 100% customizable, the handy app allows travelers to create their own itinerary- and explore their new city with someone who knows their way around more than anyone!

Sometimes, hearing stories from a local is the best way to explore. Who else will have the best stories and know all the hidden gems?

A few of the experiences you can enjoy around Lisbon are food tastings, off-the-beaten-path walking tours, discovering the city by bike, and so much more.

Aerial panoramic view of downtown of Lisbon, Portugal. Drone photo of the Lisbon old town skyline. Historical district Alfama at sunrise in capital city of Portugal

Home To Some 5 Star Hostels

Unlike the U.S., Europe is known for its hostel scene — some of which could rival a few hotels! If you’re traveling alone and want to make new friends, hostel-living really is the way to go.

While Europe has its fair share of amazing hostels in various countries, did you know Lisbon is actually home to 1 or 2 must-visit ones? Yep! If you really want a social experience with a local twist, these are definitely your places!

During my week-long stay, I opted to stay at ‘Good Morning Solo Traveler Hostel,’ famed for its family-style dinners and highly social atmosphere. If you’re not looking to chat, don’t stay here! The rooms are extremely comfortable, it’s in an excellent location right in Restauradores Square, and they host an array of activities to meet fellow travelers.

woman working on a balcony in portugal

Other Hostels With Ratings Above 9.5 (We Said There Was A Lot!) 

  • Yes! Lisbon Hostel
  • Home Lisbon Hostel
  • Lisboa Central Hostel
  • We Hate F Tourists
  • We Love F Tourists
  • Lisbon Lounge Hostel
  • LX Hostel
Cafe with pasteles de nata and view of famous Lisbon Commerce Square, Portugal

Food… Need We Say More?

Have you heard of a Pastel De Nata? A small piece of goodness filled with custard and pastry. Portugal is famed for their pastels… in more ways than one! These little treats can be found almost everywhere, and in many different flavors if you're lucky…

Situated along the ocean, Lisbon is also home to some delicious fish dishes. Venture over to Time Out Lisbon to try some local favorites all under one roof (or really any restaurant in the city).

gate of portugal

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