Best Places to Travel Solo: Portugal

This post likely contains affiliate links. By booking through these links I may make a small commission (which I am very grateful for!) at no extra cost to you.

Portugal seems to have become an ‘it’ destination over the last years, and having been, I can see why. It’s a gorgeous country with friendly people and lots to see and do. I spent a week travelling solo in Portugal. I went from Porto to Faro; exploring cities, castles, and the wine region of Douro Valley and loved every minute of it. While I would be quick to recommend it to all travellers, it really stood out to me as a great place for solo travel. Here’s why I loved solo travel in Portugal.

Porto, Portugal

Some of the Best Social Hostels

Many solo travellers like to stay in hostels, if not for all then at least some of the trip. Hostels are often centrally located, have very social atmospheres, and of course budget prices. Of course not every hostel delivers, especially when it comes to social atmosphere, but the ones in Portugal did. During my first visit to Portugal, I stayed in three different hostels throughout my trip and each one went above and beyond the normal common room and pub crawl/ city tour offerings.

Two of the hostels I stayed in offered family style dinners every night. You just needed to sign up in the morning, pay 8-10 euro, and you got a full, three course meal with wine, beer, or even sangria. As can be expected, this was a hit with everyone which made for big, social, dinners of home cooked food. A really nice change from eating alone (especially since I visited during Canadian Thanksgiving!)

While hostel dinners weren’t an option everywhere I went, there was always some sort of nightly group activity to get everyone together. Which made it really easy to meet other travellers and make friends.

Solo travel in Portugal

Not to mention, all the hostels I stayed at were super clean, spacious, and friendly. I don’t know if I just got really lucky, but from my experience, Portugal’s hostel game was on point.

I recommend:

Porto: Porto Spot Hostel

Lisbon: Lookout Lisbon! Hostel

Faro: Hostel Casa d’Alagoa

Another Portuguese hostel that comes highly recommended is is Big Chill Hostel in Lagos 

It’s Safe

Safety is one of the most important factors to me as a solo female traveller, and I can honestly say that I felt incredibly safe walking around the streets of Porto, Lisbon, and Faro both day and night. Of course, this probably isn’t a big surprise; Portugal is often ranked as one of the safest countries in the world.

I was never harassed or cat-called by any men, I didn’t feel intimidated walking alone, and locals were quick to offer me tips or help when needed.

2 Days in Porto

Funny example: One night in Bairro Alto, the party district of Lisbon, I was approached by a man offering me drugs. I politely declined with a ‘no thank you’ and he wished me a good night and that he hoped I enjoyed stay in Portugal. How’s that for friendly?

Solo Travel in Portugal is Relatively Cheap

While it’s not on par with Thailand or Vietnam, Portugal is pretty affordable when it comes to travelling in Western Europe; even in the Azores, like the beautiful island of Sao Miguel. Meals can be found for under 10 euro at cheap/mid-range restaurants (though be careful, any bread or olives etc. put on the table in front of you also come with a charge, so don’t accept or eat them unless you’re willing to pay.)

Sintra Day Trip

Even if you choose not to stay in a hotel, you can find reasonably priced private rooms around Portugal. Especially if you are outside of the main cities and/or travel outside of the high summer season. Public transportation is cheapest if you use a rechargeable card, especially in Lisbon when the historic trams cost significantly more than the metro or other city trams.

Perhaps of most interest to many travellers, alcohol is incredibly cheap. Especially when it comes to Portuguese wine. You can buy a good bottle of wine for about 4 euros. Oh, and as for the famous pastel de nata, or Portuguese egg tarts, those will only put you back a couple of euro. Do yourself a favour and try as many as possible.

Almost Everyone Speaks English

Language is a common barrier when travelling, and can be especially daunting to deal with when travelling solo. However, I was a little bit surprised to discover that English is widely spoken across Portugal, and not only in the tourist areas. While most of the older generations don’t speak English, the young people and much of the baby boomer populations spoke it very well.

Portugal is a gorgeous country with plenty to see and do, so it’s on your radar don’t let not having a travel companion get in your way. Try solo travel in Portugal, I promise you will have an amazing time.

Day Trip to Douro Valley

Final Tips for Solo Travel in Portugal

  • Like with all major cities everywhere in the world, you do need to watch for pickpockets, especially in Lisbon.
  • Lisbon also has a reputation for drug dealers, however, according to the locals, most of it is fake and is just a scam for unwitting tourists looking to try something new in a country that has decriminalized drugs.
  • If you are booking train tickets, try to do so as early as possible- you will get much cheaper tickets.
  • Some areas are hard, or even impossible, to explore by public transportation. If you don’t want to rent a car, consider doing day tours. I did this for Douro Valley and it was a fantastic day trip. Check out my experience here.


Ready to Book Your Trip?

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance here. If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend SafetyWing. For Canadian readers, take a look at SoNomad.

Book your accommodation

I love and recommend for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save. 

Book your tours

My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is GetYourGuide. They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers. 

Get connected

If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase. 

Not sure what to pack?

I have destination-specific guides for some countries but you can also check my travel essentials and camera gear if you are looking for some ideas. 

Looking for a travel buddy?

Check out my group trips!

Looking for a great place for a solo adventure? Here why Portugal is perfect for solo travellers. #SoloTravel #SoloFemaleTravel #Portugal


  1. George Zh on November 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Portugal is a beautiful country! Thank you for the interesting material and photos.

  2. Anisa on December 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I didn’t go to Portugal solo, but can definitely see why it is a good place to travel on your own. I really enjoyed my time there. I agree the prices are good and the level of English made it easy to get around.

    • Hannah Logan on December 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Definitely a beautiful place to visit solo or not. Just a few extra perks for those travelling alone! 🙂

  3. Carmelatte on December 3, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I love Portugal! <3

  4. Rui on December 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I am a portuguese guy and I loved yor descriton. It seems I was travelling with you. Sorry but you are not alone now.

    • Hannah Logan on December 5, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      aw thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂 I truly loved Portugal

  5. 15+ Best Things to Do in Lisbon Portugal on January 22, 2018 at 2:50 am

    […] I traveled to Lisbon solo and felt exceptionally safe! Although I don’t speak the language I was able to get around quite easily and make friends at my hostel! Heading to Portugal solo? Check out this guide to solo travel in Portugal. […]

  6. […] that when I visited Porto, I had to do a day trip to Douro Valley. However, when I was planning my solo trip to Portugal I kept coming across the same thing; to really experience Duoro Valley, you needed a […]

  7. […] day, a trip to nearby Sintra would definitely be in order.  You can read more great advice about traveling in Portugal […]

  8. […] it comes to types of accommodation, Porto has everything from hostels to luxury hotels. I travelled solo through Portugal so chose to stay in hostels. Portugal has some amazing ones that are clean, central, and offer […]

  9. Sophia Grace on March 30, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Portugal is best for Traveling. I agreed Portugal has become amazing destination over the past couple of years & this is the reason that we Portugal is best for traveling.

  10. […] Solo Travel in Portugal […]

  11. Molleigh on April 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    THanks for the tips! I’m hoping to visit at the end of the summer months and now I’m even more excited! Beautiful photos too!

    • Hannah Logan on April 5, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope you love it as much as I did!

  12. Eunice West on May 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I am planning a solo trip to Portugal in September (my first solo trip!). This article is very encouraging and only makes me look forward to my trip more!! Thanks for all the tips!

  13. Beverly D'Souza on June 26, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Hi there, I am planning my first ever solo trip to Portugal from end of August to early September and am doing the exact same places as you – starting in Porto, then Lisbon and then ending in Faro.

    How would you say is the best way to travel from these cities? plane or train?

    • Hannah Logan on June 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      I did train and it was super easy! If you book in advance you can get a better deal on tickets as well. Enjoy Portugal- I LOVED it!

  14. coni on July 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Awesome Post!

    Where you at Portugal at the begining of October? How was the weather?

    I’m planing to got from sept 30 to oct 6 and not sure if it’ll be warm enough.


    • Hannah Logan on July 24, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      I was there in early October and it was HOT. I didn’t pack accordingly and basically wore the same 3 things all week. They did have a random hot spell too so I’m not sure how normal that is. I definitely suggest layers though so you can work with hot and cooler temperatures.

  15. […] and friendly locals made it a fast favourite. Not to mention I felt completely welcome and safe travelling solo in Portugal. However, while I enjoyed the whole trip it was Porto that I liked the most. Something about the […]

  16. Dona on August 30, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    How much should I expect for hostel stays? Do they have dorm type rooms, space for two, or large bunk rooms? Did you use local transportation in the towns? Did you rent a car?

    • Hannah Logan on September 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Dona,
      If you read through some more of my Portugal content you’ll find a lot of answers to your questions based on my experience. Hostels vary on room types and I used local transport the whole time. It was very easy to get around that way expect for the Algarve

  17. C. Randen on October 24, 2018 at 12:10 am

    I keep hearing amazing things about Portugal. I guess I am going to have to plan a trip there in the near future! Great article and information!

  18. Agness on January 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    This is a good destination Hannah. Its a great place to have an adventure.

  19. Kelle Salle on March 12, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Great review – thank you for sharing your experiences – I’m thinking about going to Portugal but I’m undecided between Lisbon or Faro.

    I wanted to go in late April but I’m concerned about rainfall.

    When would you say is the best time to go?

    • Hannah Logan on March 12, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      Lisbon for sure over Faro. I’ve only been in October and it was beautiful and not too crowded. I imagine April would probably be good for that as well but I’m not sure about the rainfall.

  20. Nancy Young on July 8, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Hi! I came across your site while searching for information about Portugal travel. I anticipate going there in the next year. I am used to solo travel and have no worries about that. However, I am curious about the hostels you listed. I have stayed in hostels before, but it has been about 10 years. I am 66 years old so I am curious if these were all young people or a variety of ages.

    Thank you for your insight.

    • Hannah Logan on July 9, 2019 at 12:43 am

      Hey Nancy!
      When I went it was mostly 20s and 30s in the ones I stayed at. That being said I don’t think (double check) that any of the ones I mentioned were youth specific. I’ve stayed in several hostels with older travellers before and I’ve never seen it being an issue. I always find the older travellers have the bet stories!
      The Portugal hostels I stayed at weren’t party hostels either so that might make them extra worth looking at 🙂

  21. […] wouldn’t say Malta is my top-rated destination for solo travellers (Ireland and Portugal still top my list for those spots), however, it’s definitely a good spot. Being a solo female […]

  22. Laurie on November 21, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Great article Hannah! Glad you enjoyed your stay. I went there in 2019 with my partner who’s Portuguese. We had a great time and can’t wait to go back. The food & wine are very reasonable. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Hannah Logan on November 27, 2020 at 8:05 am

      Must have been nice to visit with someone from the country and have a local perspective!

  23. HP on August 27, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Hello! What are the names of the hostels that did the family dinners? Also, do most hostels have lockers where you can put your passports? Thanks!

    • Hannah Logan on August 28, 2021 at 3:47 pm

      The ones I recommend here did had the family dinners when I visited. TBH I’m not sure if its still the same now with COVID. As for lockers, most hostels have big ones for your luggage but some are under the bed and not solid. Like metal cages if that makes sense. So if your passport was in a bag then its fine, but its not always a small totally sealed locker like you find in hotel rooms

Leave a Comment

Dreaming of Adventure?

Sign up to the Eat Sleep Breathe Travel mail list and stay up to date with all the latest travel tips and stories.