Solo Travel In Portugal – Tips & Places!

solo female travel portugal

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After living in this wonderful country and travelling extensively, I can wholeheartedly confirm that solo female travel in Portugal is a fantastic idea!

If you’re on the fence, I honestly wouldn’t give it a second thought. Portugal is one of the best places in the world for women to travel alone, and I have been to enough places to know!

travelling alone portugal
Pin this guide to solo female travel on Pinterest

I lived in Porto for several months and fell in love with this charming city that feels quite different to cosmopolitan Lisbon. Both cities are well worth visiting, and so are the beach towns. You don’t need to pick between a city break and a beach holiday: a solo trip to Portugal can include both!

PORTUGAL ESSENTIALS

Accommodation: Booking.com / Hostelworld

Getting there: flight (Skyscanner)

Activities: GetYourGuide / Viator

Getting around: train (Omio), bus (Flixbus) / car

SIM cards: Airalo e-SIM (Portugal)

Guidebook: Lonely Planet Portugal

Is Portugal good for solo travel?

Yes! With a sparkling safety record, plenty of English spoken, and well-developed tourist infrastructure including fantastic hostels and affordable public transport, Portugal is one of the best places for solo travel in Europe.

I recommend solo travel in Portugal because it’s more affordable than places like Italy, France and the UK, but it benefits from great infrastructure that I’ve found to be slightly lacking in Balkan and Eastern European countries (that’s not to say I don’t rate these places for solo female travel, they’re just more of an adventure). Portugal is the perfect middle ground.

Lamego douro valley

Is Portugal safe for solo female travellers?

Yes, there are extremely low levels of crime and it’s even been ranked the 5th safest country in Europe. And I can’t help but notice that the four countries above it are some of the most expensive places in the world, so if you’re looking to balance safety and spending, I think we have a winner!

It’s also worth noting that it’s a progressive country with positive attitudes toward women, POC, and LGBT+ travellers (although more rural places are obviously more conservative). So it’s not just a general lack of crime that makes Portugal a great solo female travel destination but also its treatment of all types of travellers.

Since Portugal has almost no violent crime, the worst thing you’re likely to experience is pickpocketing in crowded places especially during the summer months. Wear a secure cross-body bag and keep an eye on your belongings.

Read next: complete guide to solo female travel safety

Is Portugal suitable for first-time solo travellers?

Yes! I would recommend Portugal as one of the easiest places to begin solo travelling. Not only is it super safe, but it’s easy to meet other travellers.

If you haven’t navigated public transit systems before, this is an easy place to begin. While I loved travelling alone in Albania, for example, I never knew when the next bus would be coming and, when it did, it was usually hot and cramped.

In contrast, Portugal has clean and efficient trains, buses and city Metros, plus several taxi apps to choose from. Plus, everything is shown in English and Portuguese. The actual travel aspect of solo travel in Portugal is easy!

Good things about Portugal for solo travel

  • Portugal has a fantastic safety rating and I even felt safe walking at night in the cities
  • Portugal can be affordable – providing you avoid touristic neighbourhoods of Lisbon and popular Algarve towns in summer
  • There are great hostels – in Lisbon, there’s even a hostel specifically designed for solo travellers!
  • Getting around is simple with efficient and cheap public transport that’s easy to navigate.

Bad things about Portugal for solo travel

  • Seasonal – you have to be mindful of the seasons because, in the summer, places are very crowded
  • It’s not the cheapest place to travel compared to Asia, Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America, but it’s also not too expensive. To be honest, I’m clutching at straws here because, really, there are very few downsides to travelling alone in Portugal!

Best places to travel solo in Portugal

From cities to beaches, here’s where I recommend for solo female travel in Portugal!

Porto (Portugal’s ‘second city’ in the north)

porto cathedral

Ahh, where to start with Porto? Well, I’ll begin by telling you I used to live here… Hence why I have SO many blogs about it!

There are many reasons to visit Porto but the fact that it’s more local and less touristy than Lisbon is a good start. From the intricate blue azulejos (tiles) to the lesser visited neighbourhoods like Bonfim, it has a cosy character that some say Lisbon has lost to gentrification.

Things to do in Porto for solo travellers

  • Spot tiled buildings like the Chapel of Souls, Carmo Church, Santo Ildefonso Church and Sao Bento Train Station
  • Take a free walking tour for a great intro to Porto’s history and culture
  • Sample sweet port wine in the Vila Nova de Gaia area across the river. Book on to a cellar tour with tastings, visit the World of Wine centre or simply do your own tasting at a riverside bar for as little as €1 a glass! Order one of each tawny, ruby, rosé, sweet white and dry white
  • Wander the waterfront Ribeira area and take a 6 Bridges boat cruise
  • For pano views, climb the Clérigos Tower or Porto Cathedral rooftop
  • Watch sunset from one of the miradouros like Luis I Bridge, Jardim de Morro or Miradouro da Vitória. Many of the popular Porto bars have sundowner views
  • Find the Half Rabbit Mural by Bordallo II and other Porto street art murals
  • Visit the Livraria Lello for Harry Potter history if you don’t mind massive tourist traps – I personally didn’t love this place!
  • Wander historic street, Rua das Flores, in good weather for shopping and people-watching
  • Try local food in bustling Mercado do Bolhão
  • Surf and eat seafood in Matashinos beach town just a Metro ride away and walk back to the city through Foz de Douro neighbourhood.
  • Admire modern art at Serralves Museum near Foz and cross the many bridges in the nature area.

Read next: everything to do in Porto

Douro Valley day trip

No Porto itinerary would be complete without a day trip to the Douro Valley. This rugged region is characterised by sweeping vistas and vineyards producing spectacular wine. You have the feeling the valley hasn’t changed for centuries, and you wouldn’t want it to!

Aside from tastings and tours, one of the best things to do is cruise down the Pinhão River aboard a boat trip.

Douro valley day trip
Douro Valley

How to visit the Douro Valley: this region is very safe for solo female travel in Portugal; the only issue is working out how best to visit. Hilly wine regions best explored by car aren’t a dream for those visiting alone!

I went several times, once as a multi-night trip with friends (who I met after moving to Porto alone) where we hired cars and stayed overnight in an actual vineyard, and another as part of a GetYourGuide day tour (the easiest option for solo travellers in Portugal).

You can also take the DIY option of a bus to Lamego or Vila Real town and organise a taxi ride to a winery. Alternatively, get a train to Peso de Régua or Pocinho (near the Spanish border). However, transport schedules aren’t too regular so I recommend an organised tour for ease and convenience.

Read next: 16 amazing day trips from Porto

What to eat in Porto

The food in Porto is hearty and heavy but I was a big fan! I adored pastel de natas from the start but I also became partial to port wine and ridiculously carby francesinha sandwiches stuffed with every meat imaginable and drenched in cheesy beer sauce, topped with a fried egg.

Francesinhas are regional to Porto so this is the place to try them… if you can handle it! Even vegans have no excuse because there are plenty of vegan restaurants in Porto serving meat-free francesinhas.

Check out my guide to Porto coffee shops and Porto brunch that I tirelessly researched when living there 😉

Where to stay in Porto for solo female travellers

There are more than 15 hostels with a ‘superb’ rating (over 9/10 stars) on Hostelworld, something you barely ever see! To summarise, the hostels in Porto are world-class. Beds start from €12.

For the best price-to-review ratio, you can’t beat Lost Inn Porto (beds from €17 right in the heart of the Old Town) and Pilot Design Hostel (beds from €12.50 and lots of fun activities and events going on).

How to get around Porto

It’s easy to walk most places in Porto (but prepare for some steep hills). However, you can also ride the Metro (which goes all the way out to Matashinos Beach) and city buses. Journies cost just a couple of Euros, and you can purchase an Andante card for €0.60 to make them even cheaper.

Getting to Porto is easy because the airport, Francisco Sá Carneiro, is well connected to the city (take a bus, Metro, taxi or Uber). For intercountry travel, there’s a bus station and two train stations.

Lisbon (the capital)

LISBON Portugal solo travel for women

Lisbon is surely one of the most captivating and charming cities in the world! With fantastic viewpoints and historic neighbourhoods, this hilly city is a must for solo travel in Portugal.

Although there are big-name tourist attractions in Lisbon, it’s a city where you can wander for hours, stumbling across historic cafes open for centuries and rewarding yourself for steep climbs with sweet pastel de natas. It’s heaven!

I recommend at least 3 days in Lisbon because there’s tons to see and do. Spend five days if you like leisurely sightseeing without being rushed off your feet.

Read next: my complete Lisbon solo travel guide

Things to do in Lisbon

  • Soak up city views from the popular miradouros of São Pedro de Alcântara and Senhora do Monte (also don’t miss the National Pantheon rooftop)
  • Visit cool Bairro Alto neighbourhood for free fado shows when you buy a drink (I went to one alone) and nightlife; solo travellers are welcomed by the friendly owner of Jam Club bar
  • Visit art galleries like Chiado Museum and Museu Coleção
  • Explore historic, hilly Alfama district for the Fado Museum, Lisbon Cathedral and fantastic views
  • Walk the city walls at São Jorge Castle with 2,000 years of history
  • Wander the upscale waterfront area, Cais do Sodré for Praca do Comercio, the Instagrammable Pink Street and the delectable Time Out Market
  • Wander Baixa (the city centre) for Rossio Square and ride Santa Justa Lift to historic Carmo Convent
  • Take a half-day trip to historic Belém for Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and Pastéis de Belém (the birthplace of egg custard tarts)
  • Check out the quirky LX Factory, a repurposed warehouse on the Tagus River banks now filled with shops, restaurants, murals and a cool library called Ler Devagar.

Solo female travellers in Portugal will be relieved to know this is a very safe city; I even felt fine walking alone at night. Some fun ways to meet other people include free walking tours, food & wine tours with Taste Lisboa, and evening bar crawls.

Tile museum lisbon portugal
The Tile Museum, a Lisbon hidden gem

Where and what to eat and drink in Lisboa

Where to stay in Lisbon for solo female travellers

Lisbon has the best hostels in Portugal for solo travellers and possibly also some of the best in the world!

  • Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel – designed for solo travellers with 3 free meals a day, plus free beer and sangria! Choose between privates, 4, 6, 8 or 10-bed dorms and woman-only dorms. Check availability from €27.
  • Lost Inn Lisbon – this boutique hostel in the heart of town has a co-working room, Netflix, guitars and board games so you can chill out after busy sightseeing. Check availability from €18.
  • We Love F Tourists – this centrally located hostel is attached to La Frutaria, one of the best places for a delish brunch. The hostel offers tapas & fado nights, bar crawls and daily Sintra trips. Check availability from €33.

How to get around Lisbon

  • On foot – Lisbon is a walkable city although there are LOTS of hills (luckily there are a few escalators)
  • Metro – sadly your Andante card from Porto won’t work here so pick up a Viva Viagem card instead
  • Local bus – journies cost around €2 with a discount if you pay with a pre-loaded Viva Viagem card rather than cash
  • Tram – however riding these is more of a tourist attraction, especially the famous Tram 28!
  • Taxi – you have a choice of taxi apps like Uber and Bolt.

Getting to Lisbon: Lisbon airport, Humberto Delgado, is well connected with other European cities and easy to reach from the city centre by Metro, bus and taxi.

The main train station is Santa Apolónia (connected to the city by the blue Metro destined for Reboleira) and the main bus station is Estação do Oriente (to the city, ride the red Metro line to São Sebastião and change to the Blue line for Baixa-Chiado).

Sintra

sintra portugal places for solo female travel

I can’t deny Sintra is an absolute stunner but it’s also one of the busiest and most crowded places I’ve visited in my life (and I went on a weekday in May so I can’t imagine what it’s like on an August weekend!) so I have mixed feelings about the place.

This town a 45-minute train ride from Lisbon has several attractions, the main one being Pena Palace. Wandering the exterior was the highlight for me because the inside is very crowded. I also loved wandering the quiet, misty and peaceful grounds.

In Sintra, you can also visit the Moorish Castle and Quinta da Regaleira with its beautiful Initiation Well. You can easily spend a whole day in Sintra, or stay overnight to explore the attractions at your leisure. For solo female travel in Portugal, it’s a safe option but not necessarily the most social one because there aren’t any hostels.

More day (or overnight) trips from Lisbon

Cascais

The following places are also safe places for solo travel in Portugal…

Cascais: once the summer retreat of Portuguese nobility, this charming town is known for impressive villas, museums and stylish bars and restaurants. There are a couple of hostels, or you can visit as a day trip from Lisbon.

Ericeira: this is a fantastic surf destination with beautiful beaches and a pleasant town with cobbled streets and buckets of character. The modern and traditional meet here perfectly.

Obidos: this historic walled town, protected by UNESCO, is another must-see. The Moorish castle is decorated with beautiful azulejos, and the surrounding town is just as idyllic.

Browse tours combining Sintra, Cabo de Roca and Cascais.

The Algarve

Algarve portugal solo travellers

When I visited the Algarve last summer, I wondered whether it was a good idea. I knew this region was popular with holidaymakers from the UK including families and groups on party holidays. So would it still be suitable for solo female travellers in Portugal?

I’m happy to say, yes! Obviously, there are some places to avoid (like tacky Albufeira) but there are also some real gems. I based in Faro and Lagos to see the sights but there are plenty more places to visit in the Algarve like Sagres, Tavira and Portimão – you could stay for weeks!

From surfing to kayaking through fascinating cliff formations, hiking and basking on beaches, the Algarve provides the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. The towns below are very safe and pleasant with decent hostels.

Best places for solo travel in Portugal’s Algarve

Faro: if you’re still wondering whether Portugal is safe for women travelling alone, just take a look at this idyllic, peaceful town! It’s a great base for exploring Ilha Deserta, Ilha do Farol and Ilha de Cultura during a 3-island boat trip (€30).

Stay at Hostellicious, eat at La Forchetta (better Italian food than I had in Italy, I swear!), and don’t forget to see the stalks nesting in the church roof!

Lagos: for a larger town than Faro, stay in Lagos to visit beaches like Praia Dona Ana (best for swimming) and Praia do Caniçal and admire the views from Ponta da Piedade. Hiking the Fisherman’s Trail to Praia da Luz is a popular pastime, as is kayaking around the headland through caves with open tops. This was one of the highlights of my solo travels in Portugal!

Stay at Olive Hostel in Lagos and eat seafood at Don Sebastiao and My Sushi Lagos (all-you-can-eat sushi for just €15!).

Prices in the Algarve aren’t the cheapest, especially in summer, but they’re not too bad provided you avoid tourist trap restaurants in city centres. I paid €25 a night for hostels, €30 for excursions like kayaking and boat trips, and €30 for a 2-course seafood meal with wine.

April-June and September-October are the best times to visit the Algarve to avoid the crowds and peak prices.

Getting around the Algarve

Many people will tell you hiring a car is the best way to explore the Algarve and they might be right. However, for solo female travellers in Portugal, it’s not game over if you don’t want to hire a vehicle alone. As long as you manage your expectations about seeing and doing everything, you can easily get around by bus. I did!

However, if you do want to rent a car, know they start from €10 a day. I recommend Rentalcars.com for hires in Portugal and around the world.

Getting to the Algarve: Faro is the hub of entry. Fly into the airport, catch a train from Lisbon’s Santa Apolónia station or take the Flixbus from €8.

Central Portugal

Nazare portugal
Nazare

If the Algarve in summer sounds too busy and pricey for you, consider the Central Portuguese coast instead. All these places are safe for solo travel in Portugal with great infrastructure.

Nazare: put on the map for its ‘big wave surf’, this is somewhere for pro surfers only! However, for other types of surfers (including non-surfers), this gorgeous beach town is worth visiting to watch professionals tackle waves up to 15m tall!

Peninche: this is a chilled beach town for surfers of varying abilities. With wide open beaches, wonderful views from the lighthouse and lots of pleasant cafes, it’s not as busy as the Algarve and makes for a great alternative.

Although I’m mainly talking about the coast here, there are some fantastic towns and cities in Central Portugal to visit like Coimbra (a historic student city) and Obridos (a UNESCO walled town).

More challenging places to travel solo in Portugal (but don’t rule them out!)

These are the places in Portugal that I believe are truly spectacular and worth visiting but not naturally as well-suited to solo travellers as the places above. However, there are always workarounds as I’ll share…

Madeira island

Nun's valley madeira island

Okay, is Madeira one of the most staggeringly beautiful places I’ve ever been? YES! But is it the best place for solo travel in Portugal? Not really!

This is because the attractions are spread across the island with little public transport. Car hires are expensive and you have to be a confident driver because of all the hills. As a result, Madeira has more of a reputation with families and couples than backpackers and solo travellers, although it is becoming popular with remote workers (I worked there remotely for 6 weeks and there’s even a digital nomad village!).

Reasons to visit include the varied landscape from moon-like plains to lush river walks, black sand beaches, and lofty viewing decks. It’s truly spectacular!

Things to do in Madeira

  • Walk the pretty streets of Zona Vieja (old town) in Funchal
  • Go whale and dolphin watching in the main harbour
  • Take the famous Monte Toboggan basket ride down Funchal Hill
  • Hike the Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo trail between the island’s two tallest peaks
  • Try other hikes like the São Lourenço trail along the coast (pictured below left) and the shady levada walks beside running water
  • Swim in Porto Moniz natural pools buffered from the sea by volcanic rocks
  • Drive through the famous Anjos Waterfall and get a free car wash!
  • Spot traditional Santana houses and other attractions on the lesser-visited northern coast
  • Soak up scenic views from Funchal Cable Car, Cabo Girão glass-bottom viewpoint and, if you can get there, the majestic Nun’s Valley
  • Eat regional Madeira foods like bolo de caco (some might call it elevated garlic bread), espetada hanging meat, scabbardfish with passionfruit or banana, and sweet Madeira wine!

Read next: things to do in Madeira

I enjoyed Madeira because I was there with friends and we could share the burden and costs of driving. I often reflected that if I had visited solo (my usual travel style), it would have been challenging… But not impossible! Here’s what I’d recommend if you do choose to visit solo:

  • Stay in Funchal – the main city is the best base for budget accommodation
  • Work out which attractions can be reached by public transport – there are a few buses departing Funchal to the main attractions
  • Visit the other places as small group tours – I took a few of these, for example the peak-to-peak hike with GetYourGuide. As well as providing transport, they double up as a good way to meet other solo travellers in Portugal.

The Azores islands

Azores

To be transparent, I haven’t yet been to the Azores but they look stunning. Myself and the friends I made when I first moved to Portugal decided to go and work remotely on a Portuguese island and we picked Madeira, so the Azores (the other island cluster further west) remain on my bucket list.

Like the Madeiran islands, the 9 Azores islands are known for their stunning volcanic scenery and outdoor activities like hiking and soaking in thermal baths.

The Azores have no crime and the locals are very friendly. I still remember a story I heard about a solo woman who arrived in the Azores and asked a cafe worker how to get to her accommodation across the island. He replied, oh just borrow my car outside and I’ll collect it tomorrow!

Despite the friendliness of the locals, for solo female travel in Portugal, the problem is the same as in Maderia: no public transport and not many hostels.

Best season to visit Portugal

Although I didn’t find it quite as seasonal as my solo travels in Croatia, I can’t deny that Portugal requires some planning. I personally found Lisbon heaving in May so wouldn’t have wanted to visit in August! Likewise, the Algarve beach towns struggle with overtourism in the summer.

Summer (July-August): this is the most popular time to visit Portugal with the highest temperatures. Daily averages are around 28°C (82°F) but in recent years with a changing climate, it can get much hotter (the highest recorded temperature during the 2022 heatwave was 47°C). Expect to pay higher prices on accommodation and flights.

Spring (March-June):
shoulder season is a great time to visit with lower temperatures and fewer crowds. Be prepared that it can still rain, especially up north. Average temperatures are around 23°C in Lisbon and 17°C in Porto.

Autumn (September-November):
like spring, this could be the ideal time for a solo trip to Portugal. I was wearing a t-shirt well into October in Porto, and the south will be even warmer.

Winter (November-Februry): winter in Portugal is mild. Temperatures are usually between 10°C (50°F) and 17°C (62°F). The Algarve is mild and dry, however it’s not beach weather.

Lisbon is the best city for a winter break because Porto in the north is notoriously rainy. I visited Lisbon in December when it was sunny and only chilly in the early mornings and evenings. It was ideal because I got a great deal on accommodation in the Bairro Alto area which I couldn’t have afforded in summer.

Douro valley solo travel portugal women
Portugal’s Douro Valley in winter

Cost of Portugal solo travel

Portugal is somewhere in the middle of Western European prices (it’s certainly cheaper than the cost of travel in the UK, Germany and Italy and FAR cheaper than the Nordic countries) and the cheaper Balkan countries like Albania and Serbia where I was spending €10 a night on accommodation!

The pricier places are Lisbon and the Algarve, especially in the city centres. After 3 months in Porto, I found my local joints where wine was €2 and a 2-course meal was under €10! Oh, how I miss living there!

Average Portugal prices:

  • Bed in a hostel dorm – €12-30 (with higher prices in Lisbon and the Algarve)
  • Private room in a budget hotel – from €25
  • City Metro and bus rides – €1.50-2.50
  • Flixbus rides – €10 can get you across the whole country!
  • Train rides – €5-30 depending on distance
  • Meal in a restaurant – €5-15 (in Porto, I found lots of local joints on the lower end of these prices!)
  • Glass of wine – €2+ (in Porto, I found riverfront cafes serving 5 glasses of port for €5+).
  • Local beer – from €1!

Getting to Portugal

The best-connected airports are Lisbon, Porto and Faro (for the Algarve). I use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights, searching by ‘whole month’ when I’m flexible for the best rates. From these airports, you can easily and cheaply reach towns and cities using public transport.

Look out for flights with TAP Air which is Portugal’s main operator. These are often the cheapest.

Getting around Portugal

This is a very easy country to navigate. Your options during solo travel in Portugal are:

Train: there’s an efficient train network. I took several Porto day trips by train (to Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães and more) from the two main stations, São Bento and Campanhã. In Lisbon, the main station is Santa Apolónia and it connects places such as the Algarve; use Omio to book seats.

Bus: I used the Flixbus to travel all over Portugal. My journey from Porto to Lisbon only cost €5.99 and my journey from Lisbon to Faro was €7.99!

Car hire: these start from €10 a day and give you maximum flexibility when travelling around the Algarve. But it’s not always worth it for one traveller. Use Rentalcars.com to book.

Pro tip #1 – I recommend downloading offline maps, either using Google Maps or Maps.me. This way you can get around without internet (but note that Google Maps directions won’t work offline, just the map view).

Pro tip #2 – use the Rome2Rio website to research how to get between any two places. It works all around the world.

Tram lisbon portugal solo female travel
Use Trams, buses and the Metro to get around cities

Best hostels in Portugal

  • LISBON: Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel – (privates, 4, 6, 8 or 10-bed and woman-only dorms, plus 3 free meals a day) from €28
  • PORTO: Lost Inn Porto (beds from €17) – right in the heart of the Old Town
  • PORTO: Pilot Design Hostel (beds from €12.50) – known for fun activities and events.
  • FARO: Hostellicious (beds from €30) – a clean, social hostel where it’s easy to make friends
  • LAGOS: Olive Hostel (beds from €25 inc. 4 bed female dorms) plus a cute house cat!

Best activities for solo travellers in Portugal

  • Wine tours in Porto – either group day tours to the Douro Valley or port-tasting tours in Vila Nova de Gaia
  • Food tours – I loved the tour I took in Porto with Taste Porto and in Lisbon with Taste of Lisbon
  • Surfing tours in the Algarve – I didn’t do this after many chaotic and unsuccessful surfing attempts around the world! However, you can try anything from lessons to multi-week surf camps
  • Free walking tours – I’ve done these in Porto and Lisbon, as well as many other cities around the world. They’re fab!
  • Kayaking trips in the Algarve – I met a bunch of other women travellers while doing this.

Insurance for solo female travel in Portugal

Although Portugal is a safe place for solo female travellers, I always recommend getting travel insurance. Although you’re unlikely to be victim to a violent crime, it’s possible that you could be pickpocketed in Portugal, and you could fall sick and need emergency treatment anywhere.

I use True Traveller: it costs £30 (€40) per month for world coverage for a year. When I’ve claimed, they’ve had the money in my account within days. They cover pre-existing health conditions and will cover you if you’re already travelling and/or don’t yet have your flight home booked. Click to get a quote.

True Traveller is just for European residents (including UK) so, for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.

FAQs about solo Portugal travel

How can you stay connected with phone plans? If you have a plan from any EU country, it will work as normal in Portugal. If you’re coming from the UK, it depends on your provider so be sure to check. From other countries, I recommend getting an E-SIM in advance with Airalo. They have Portugal packages from €4 and Eurolink SIMs covering 39 countries from €5!

Can you drink tap water in Portugal? Yes, I always did and had no problems.

How can you meet other solo travellers in Portugal? I recommend staying in hostels and joining their activities. If they don’t have any, take free walking tours and sign up for excursions like cooking classes, boat trips, bar crawls and the like. I recommend GetYourGuide and Viator for these.

I also recommend tapping into online communities for in-person meet-ups. Girls Love Travel and Gone Girl International are active Facebook communities or, if you’re staying longer, look up digital nomad groups.

Making friends travelling solo in portugal
I made tons of friends in Porto

What is the best month to go to Portugal? I would say May or September when crowds and prices are not at their peak but the weather is still glorious.

How common is English in Portugal? Very common! Given the history with Spain, the locals don’t love it when tourists just speak Spanish to them, but they don’t seem to mind English. But learn a few words to be polite like obrigado/a (thank you) and good day (bom dia!).

How long to spend in Portugal? If you want to do just the cities, I suggest at least 1 week for Lisbon and Porto combined. To include some beach time in your solo Portugal trip, make it two 2 weeks.

Is Portugal good for vegetarians? Although Portuguese food is traditionally meaty and fishy, things are improving for vegetarians. There are lots of vegan restaurants in Porto and Lisbon now serving traditional local dishes as well as international food.

vegan food
Vegan food in Porto at my favourite cat cafe (O Porto dos Gatos)!

Do you need to tip in Portugal? No, there isn’t a big tipping culture. But you can leave around 10% if you enjoy your meal; Portuguese wages are low so it’s a good way to support the locals.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you have a better idea of where to travel alone in Portugal and tips & tricks for your solo trip. You’ll love it, I’m sure!

More solo travel guides…

Guides to solo travel in Europe:

Solo travel in the Americas:

Guides to solo female travel in Southeast Asia:

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