Solo female travel can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.
However, for many women, the idea of visiting a new city alone can also bring up safety concerns or the stress of navigating an unfamiliar destination by themselves.
If you’re wondering, is Lisbon safe for solo female travelers?
The answer is a resounding yes. With its low crime rates, friendly locals, great public transit and walkable streets, Lisbon is an ideal city for women traveling alone.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share all my tips to help you plan an amazing solo trip to Lisbon. You’ll find information on:
- Staying safe as a solo female in Lisbon
- The top things to do on your own
- Lisbon’s nightlife, costs and budgets
- Getting around the city
- Where to stay as a solo traveler
- And much more!
Let’s dive in to everything you need to know for an epic girls trip to the beautiful Portuguese capital.
Is Lisbon Considered Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
As a solo female traveler myself, safety is always my number one priority when choosing a destination.
I’m happy to report that Lisbon is an incredibly safe city, even if you’re exploring on your own.
Portugal consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in Europe. Lisbon itself has low crime rates, even for crimes like pickpocketing that often target tourists.
The city center and popular tourist areas have a strong police presence and feel secure day and night.
During the day, Lisbon feels incredibly safe to explore solo. The charming neighborhoods have a very community-like vibe, with people out shopping at local stores, sipping espresso at sidewalk cafes, and enjoying the sunny plazas.
As in any city, it’s wise to avoid isolated areas at night. But Lisbon’s most popular nightlife districts like Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré have such big crowds that there is safety in numbers.
Local women in Lisbon tend to report feeling very comfortable walking alone, even at night. With basic street smarts, you’re unlikely to run into any trouble.
Exciting Things To Do On Your Own in Lisbon
Lisbon’s colorful streets, scenic lookout points, lively nightlife and proximity to beautiful day trips make it an ideal solo destination.
You’ll never run out of exciting things to see and do on your own in Portugal’s capital city.
Wander Through Charming Neighborhoods
One of the best activities in Lisbon is simply meandering through its most iconic districts, without any fixed plans or itineraries.
Let yourself get “lost” in the pretty cobblestone lanes and soak up the local atmosphere.
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district, with winding streets stepped up the hillside leading to the medieval castle.
Walk under laundry strung between buildings and listen to the sounds of fado music wafting through the air from tiny restaurants.
The lovely pastel buildings of Baixa house buzzing plazas flanked by shops and cafes. People watch in Rossio Square or admire the architecture in Praça do Comércio.
Bohemian Bairro Alto comes alive at night with crowds pouring into fado bars and vinyl-spinning clubs open until the wee hours.
Spend your days browsing the vintage shops and sipping coffee on the plaza.
Chiado attracts both tourists and locals with its elegant shops, museums, churches and literary cafes. Sit outside with a sweet pasteis de nata custard tart and some strong Portuguese coffee.
Soak in the Views from Stunning Miradouros
Lisbon’s seven steep hills mean the city has some truly stunning lookout points known as miradouros.
Since most offer cold drinks, snacks, and even wine or beer, visiting these viewpoints is a quintessential Lisbon experience.
My favorite panoramic views include:
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – with sweeping views over downtown and the castle
- Miradouro da Senhora do Monte – the highest lookout, with scenic vistas reaching the harbor
- Miradouro da Graça – small and peaceful, overlooking the Alfama district
- Miradouro de Santa Catarina – great for sunsets, with drinks and live music some evenings
Pack a picnic or pick up some snacks and admire Lisbon from above. With so many options, you can catch the sunrise, sunset, and city lights at night.
Go Cafe Hopping and People Watch in Scenic Plazas
Spending an afternoon eating pastries, drinking espresso, and people watching is practically a national pastime in Portugal.
Lisbon’s postcard-perfect plazas are ideal spots to sit at an outdoor cafe and relax solo.
In the heart of the city, you have stately Rossio Square framed by art nouveau cafes or regal Praça do Comércio under its triumphal arch. Watch trams rattle by as locals hurry to work or meet for lunch dates.
For a more laidback neighborhood vibe, hang out in Largo de Camões in trendy Chiado or Largo de São Carlos surrounded by the shops of Baixa. Grab some snacks at a kiosk to sustain you as you wander between plazas!
Pro tip: Most cafes charge more to sit facing the plaza – opt for the cheap seats in the back for the same views!
Treat Yourself to a Spa Day for Solo Pampering
What better way to unwind on a girls trip than a relaxing spa day? Lisbon has no shortage of affordable spas where you can indulge in some solo pampering.
Get a massage in a converted train carriage at Spa. Relax your body in a rooftop pool, infrared sauna or sensory showers at The Lumia. Enjoy a Turkish bath experience at Águas Férreas.
Many hotels like Hotel Avenida Palace also have luxurious spas that welcome outside guests.
After a day of saunas, massages, and relaxation, your mind and body will feel recharged for more Lisbon adventuring.
Explore the City’s Serene Parks and Gardens
Lisbon’s many green spaces provide the perfect opportunity to spend time among the trees and flowers.
Have a picnic on the lawn of Eduardo VII Park, with panoramas overlooking the city’s landmarks. Wander through the tropical Botanical Garden, featuring Portuguese explorers’ discoveries from Asia and South America.
Immerse yourself in the peaceful Estrela Botanical Garden, home to exotic plants, fish ponds, a woodland trail and a duck-filled canal. Relax under the shady trees of Jardim do Príncipe Real or explore theRose Garden’s Jardim Botânico.
Lisbon’s parks and gardens make ideal spots for reading, writing, picnicking, or just some therapeutic time spent alone in nature.
Take Exciting Day Trips to Nearby Sintra or Cascais
Since Lisbon makes such a great solo travel destination, consider extending your trip to also explore nearby towns like Sintra and Cascais. Both are easily accessible by short train rides from Lisbon.
The fairytale village of Sintra looks straight out of a storybook, with pastel-colored manors and estates nestled on lush green hills. Wander through the whimsical 19th-century Quinta da Regaleira, admire the Pena Palace, or climb to Castelo Dos Mouros.
Or head to the lovely coastal town of Cascais to stroll seaside paths, enjoy fresh seafood, and relax on beautiful beaches. Visit Boca do Inferno, wander through the Citadela fortress, and take in panoramic ocean views.
With so many day trip options, you’ll get to experience even more of Portugal beyond Lisbon. Both Sintra and Cascais are very safe for solo female travelers.
Is Lisbon an Expensive City for Budget Solo Travel?
Compared to other European capitals, Lisbon remains quite affordable for thrifty travelers. With its wealth of free attractions, budget-friendly restaurants, and inexpensive transport, you can explore Lisbon on a solo trip without breaking the bank.
Here’s a breakdown of typical costs for solo female travelers:
Accommodation – Hostel dorm beds cost around €15-25 per night. Private hostel rooms start from €40. Budget hotel rooms average €60-80 but watch for deals under €50.
Food – Sit-down meals at inexpensive restaurants generally cost €10-15. Grab fresh pastries for just €1-2 at any cafe. Grocery shop at low-cost markets for under €30/week.
Activities – Many top attractions like cathedrals, churches, and museums have free entry. Join free walking tours of the major neighborhoods. Ride trams for just €3 with a reloadable Viva Viagem card.
Transport – The metro costs €1.50 per ride with a reloadable card. Taxis and Uber/Bolt average €10-15 for shorter city trips.
Daily Total: Expect to budget around €40-60 per day as a solo female traveler, excluding accommodation.
You can trim costs by cooking basic meals at hostel kitchens, walking instead of taking taxis, and pre-gaming at hostels instead of paying for drinks at bars. With budgeting, you can comfortably visit Lisbon for under €100 day.
The Fun Nightlife and Meeting People as a Solo Female
Lisbon has a reputation for being one of Europe’s top party cities. But as a solo female traveler, you can easily have fun and make new friends at bars and clubs – while still staying safe.
Lisbon’s Buzzing Nightlife Districts
The city’s most vibrant nightlife centers around just a few key neighborhoods, making it easy to walk between different venues.
Bairro Alto attracts a mixed crowd, with thumping fado bars and nightclubs pumping dance music into the early morning hours. Rua Nova do Carvalho, known as “Pink Street,” is particularly lively.
Near the river, Cais do Sodré also has many buzzing bars and clubs, frequented by young locals and backpackers. Don’t miss the Mercado da Ribeira, a night market with cheap drinks and live music.
For a more upscale night out, head to the waterfront warehouse clubs on Docas de Santo Amaro, or bar-hop in style in the Chiado and Bica districts.
Wherever you go, don’t forget to try a refreshing Portugal port or red sangria cocktail!
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers
To make sure you enjoy Lisbon’s nightlife safely:
- Stick to crowded, well-lit streets when bar-hopping between venues
- Ask your hostel to recommend reputable party hostels or pub crawls to meet fellow travelers
- Don’t leave drinks unattended to avoid any risk of spiking
- Avoid deserted areas along the waterfront at night
- Only take registered taxis or Uber/Bolt, never unlicensed taxis
- Stay aware of your surroundings and don’t go off alone with strangers
- Drink responsibly so you stay in control of the situation
With basic precautions, you can party safely in Lisbon’s lively nightlife districts. The crowds also make city centre areas feel secure at night.
Meeting New People in Lisbon’s Social Scene
As a solo traveler, it’s easy to meet new friends in Lisbon’s sociable bar scene. The city attracts lots of fellow solo travelers looking to connect.
Joining organized pub crawls and walking tours is one of the best ways to meet people, both locals and other travelers. Many hostels arrange fun themed parties, bar nights and activities as well.
Striking up conversations at bars or in hostel common rooms comes naturally too, since Portugal has such a warm, welcoming culture. Phrases like “saúde!” (cheers) help break the ice.
Putting yourself out there at bars and tours makes meeting new travel buddies easy. You’ll quickly have a fun group to explore the Lisbon nightlife with.
Navigating Lisbon’s Easy Public Transportation
Lisbon is extremely walkable, but the city also offers convenient and budget-friendly public transportation:
Metro – The metro system has four color-coded lines that cover the major tourist sights. Buy a reloadable Viva Viagem card to pay only €1.50 per ride. Beware of pickpockets.
Trams – Historic trams trundle through major districts. Tram 28 winds through Alfama and other scenic neighborhoods. Rides cost €3 with a card.
Ferry – Cross the river on ferries from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas or Porto Brandão. Great city views for just €1.25!
Taxis – Local taxis are affordable, charging around €10-15 between city centre destinations. All official taxis are cream colored and metered.
Uber/Bolt – Very popular in Lisbon, with low rates. Feel free to use late at night instead of public transit.
Biking – Bike lanes make cycling doable. Many hostels rent or have bikes available.
Scooters – Easy to zip around on e-scooters (€15-20/day). Wear a helmet and avoid cobblestones!
With excellent public transportation and walkable areas, getting around Lisbon is stress-free. The metro, taxis and Uber keep you mobile at all hours.
Best Hostels for Solo Female Travelers in Lisbon
Lisbon has a fantastic variety of social yet safe hostels ideal for solo lady travelers. Look for these features:
- Female-only dorms with lockers included
- Private bathrooms – shared bathrooms can feel risky
- Social atmosphere with activities, walking tours, parties
- Central location – safety in well-lit, populated areas
- Affordable prices – dorms from €15-25 per night
Check reviews for female-traveler safety and cleanliness. Hostelworld, Booking.com and Hostelz.com are helpful booking sites.
Private Airbnbs are another alternative, but I prefer hostels to meet people. Solo female travelers tend to feel very comfortable and welcome at Lisbon hostels.
Enjoy the Adventure of Solo Travel in Lisbon!
Traveling alone allows you to fully immerse yourself in Lisbon’s captivating culture and charming neighborhoods. As a solo female, you can set your own schedule, do exactly as you please, and see where the city takes you.
With its sunshine, vibrant nightlife, friendly locals and wealth of things to do, Lisbon is an amazing destination for women traveling on their own.
I hope this comprehensive guide gives you the confidence and tips to safely explore magical Lisbon.
From backpacker bars to upscale nightclubs, picturesque tram rides to hilltop castles, Lisbon will exceed your expectations for an epic girl’s getaway.
Where will your own solo adventures take you in this incredible city? Have an amazing trip! Let me know if you have any other Lisbon questions as you plan your travels.