The Ultimate Portugal Solo Travel Itinerary for a Memorable Experience

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With rugged coastlines, beautiful architecture and more than 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s no wonder people are flocking to Portugal.

If you’re traveling alone then you’ll want to ensure you don’t run out of things to do.

Here comes a sample itinerary of some of the must see places in this European haven. 

Is Portugal Safe For Solo Travelers?

Portugal is a popular travel destination for Europeans seeking sun, scenery and old world culture.

Portugal is one of the safest European countries
Portugal is safe for solo travelers

With up to 30 millions visitors every year, one has to ask whether Portugal is a safe destination for the solo traveler.

The good news is that Portugal is one of the safest European countries for any traveler.

Its crime rates are incredibly low, particularly violent crimes and, unlike many other European countries, problems with pickpocketing are comparably lower. 

Of course, when traveling, it’s always important to keep your wits about you and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.

All of the usual common sense tips still apply but as a lone traveler, you’re much less likely to be a target of crime compared to other places. 

  • Keep your belongings in a zippered bag that’s close to your body.
  • Don’t walk alone in poorly lit areas after dark.
  • Never venture into areas that you aren’t familiar with alone.
  • Do not leave items unattended in your car.
  • Ensure your accommodation doors and windows are securely locked at night.
  • Buy your own drinks and always keep them with you.

Places To Visit In Portugal As A Solo Traveller – Your Itinerary

The great thing about Portugal is that it isn’t a massive country.

So, if you want to see as much of it as possible during your trip, it’s relatively easy.

A lot of people choose to either visit the capital city of Lisbon or book a beach break but there’s a lot more to this stunning country. 


With an international airport located just 7 km from the center of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is a great place to begin your trip.

  • Easy access from the airport
  • Close to the coast
  • Affordable accommodation
  • Excellent seafood
  • Great nightlife

In actual fact, Lisbon has fast become one of the most popular solo tourist locations in Europe and it has a lot to offer. 

Visit Lisbon, Portugal cost
Lisbon, Portugal

With quaint cobbled streets and rustic architecture, one could be forgiven for thinking that they were not in a capital city at all.

But it isn’t just history and culture you’ll find here, Lisbon is also well loved for its nightlife and some one of the best bar scenes in Western Europe. 

If you’re looking for a blend of coast and city then Lisbon is a must visit spot.

Here is what to expect:

  • It sits around 15 miles from the coast so it’s really easy to take a day trip to the beach and be back in the city by evening for cocktails and seafood.
  • There’s a fantastic atmosphere in Lisbon and it’s an incredibly welcoming city.
  • Staying here doesn’t cost the earth and I found there to be plenty of pleasant hostels for soloists.

One of the best is the Lisbon Lounge and what I love about this place is that it hosts dinners for its guests every night so I had a chance to get to know a whole host of people from different walks of life. 


Most people think of Lisbon as the best city in Portugal and I won’t argue with that. However, Porto often gets pushed into its shadow when this is one of the most happening places in the country. 

For starters it’s home to many UNESCO sites and boasts some absolutely breathtaking buildings.

Porto at night
Porto, Portugal
  • Ideal for history lovers with plenty of UNESCO sites
  • Quirky locations ideal for photos
  • Great alternative to Lisbon
  • Local vineyards within easy reach

What’s more, this is a city that sits on the river and is well known for its delicious cuisine. If you’re a wine fan then you’ll also be in close proximity to plenty of vineyards in Douro.

A hip and modern city, Porto is great for solo travelers because of the ample accommodation.

If you want to be in with the coolest kids then head to the Passenger Hostel which is housed within an old train station. It’ll certainly offer some Instagrammable shots. 


I am a huge fan of staying in the city but from time to time I want a little more peace and tranquility.

Peniche is where I found it in Portugal. It’s a fishing village that’s well known for its fresh seafood and beautiful beaches. 

For those that love to surf, Peniche is an excellent location because of the waves here.

Peniche Portugal solo travel
Peniche streets
  • Perfect location for surf lovers
  • Quieter than other parts of Portugal
  • Great place to talk to locals
  • Lots of nature
  • Amazing sea food

Since there are lots of beaches facing in various directions, there’s always amazing surfing opportunities.

For this reason, the area is home to several surf schools so even if you’re totally new to the sport, you can take some tuition from the experts. 

There’s even the annual Rip Curl Pro tournament held here every spring.

If you’re traveling around March then I’d seriously recommend finding out the dates and planning your trip around this as it’s not to be missed. 

For those that aren’t into the surf, there are the Berlingas which is a small group of islands located just 10 km off the coastline of Perniche. It’s old world charm will draw you in and this is a fantastic opportunity to get chatting to the locals.

While the area does remain comparably quiet, it gets a little busier in the summer.

Peniche is also well loved for its nature opportunities so whether you want to take some stunning nature shots, catch a sunset or simply wander around and enjoy the scenery, there’s plenty of opportunity for this. 


When most people head to Portugal, they tend to stay around the coast. I can’t say I blame them; this country has some breathtaking coastlines.

But inland, there is still a lot to see and do.

  • Perfect if you want a break from the coast
  • Plenty of opportunities to speak to locals
  • Great for history and architecture lovers
  • Affordable

If you get the chance, then I’d recommend taking a trip to Coimbra where you can spend a couple of days getting familiar with local life in Portugal. 

Coimbra Portugal solo travel itinerary

It’s ideally situated for a stop as you travel between Lisbon and Porto so it’s definitely not out of the way.

And if you’re a fan of history then I don’t think there is any better place then Coimbra as it’s bursting with medieval buildings, statues and monuments.

On top of this, you’ll find Roman architecture and even some Baroque styled buildings and some of the spots are UNESCO listed. 

Staying in Coimbra is a great choice for solo travelers thanks to how affordable it is. With a local university, this is something of a student haven so everything is much cheaper.


After checking out everything that Lisbon has to offer, I’d suggest moving on to Cascais which is around half an hour’s train journey from the capital and has some amazing beaches. 

  • One of the best spots for solo travelers with lots to do
  • A more manageable climate
  • Pretty coastlines
  • Close to Lisbon

It’s often referred to as the Portuguese Riviera and the coastline is dotted with cute villas and pretty hotels.

Cascais, Portugal

It’s a perfect location if you want to explore the city but fancy staying out of the hustle and bustle, plus, you get that beautiful ocean breeze so the climate is much more pleasant here. 

If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay then I’d recommend The Salty Pelican.

This is a hostel located on the beach that has lots of activities on allowing solo tourists to meet up with like minded people. From social BBQs to yoga classes and much more, you certainly won’t run out of things to do.


My first experience of Faro was the very first time I boarded a plane when I was around 10 years old.

We weren’t headed here but the plane had to make an emergency stop so all I got to see was the airport.

Fast forward several years and I headed back here to see what the Algarve capital had to offer and I was disappointed. 

Faro , Portugal
Faro streets

One of the best things about Faro are its beaches. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the main tourist attraction.

  • Perfect for beach lovers
  • Great for families
  • Very social and welcoming vibe

However, because of this, the area does get very busy during the summer and is a popular family holiday spot. 

However, it’s not just beaches that make Faro a top destination. The pretty cobbled streets and plethora of hostels offering various social events make it a wonderful place to stay and explore.

I’ll admit, it’s a very touristy destination but there’s a vibe to the city that just cannot be replicated and it would be criminal not to stay here for a couple of days during your Portugal trip.


Earlier, I talked about Peniche being one of the top surfing spots in Portugal.

If you want something slightly closer to Lisbon then why not check out Ericeira which has just as prominent a surfing culture? 

Ericeira, Portugal
  • Vibrant and lively vibe
  • Great surfing location
  • Good for families

This is also a great choice if you’re looking for something a little more lively. While Peniche is stunning, it remains relatively quiet all year whereas Ericeira becomes quite lively during the summer months. 

It’s also a popular spot for Lisbon locals to get away for the weekend and I found there were lots of friendly Portuguese here willing to chat over a coffee or a beer. 

For surfing, there are some excellent options both for accommodation and lessons. With lots of surf lodges you can combine the two  and have lessons in with your stay. 


When I look at the best places to visit in Portugal online, Sintra is a spot that always comes up.

  • Great for day excursions
  • Close to Lisbon
  • Brilliant architecture and history
  • Great for walking
  • Quieter than other parts of Portugal

It’s really no wonder when you take a look at the Pena Palace with its bright colors and mind blowing architecture. 

For many people, Sinta is nothing more than a day trip from the capital but I would recommend spending at least a night here when planning your itinerary.

Pena isn’t the only palace; there is a much wider selection of magical palaces that are well worth checking out. 

Sintra Portugal solo travel

What’s more, there are lots of green spaces here not to mention the beautiful, rugged beaches.

In terms of exploring nature, Sintra is a great spot and it doesn’t usually get very busy around the beaches and parks so it’s great if you want to get away from the crowds. 


Not to be confused with the city in Nigeria, Lagos in Portugal offers some of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever seen.

Rugged cliffs and rocky coasts meet pretty golden sands making for a once in a lifetime photo opportunity. 

Lagos Portugal solo travel
  • Beautiful geography
  • Stunning beaches
  • Perfect for those looking to get Instagram shots
  • Brilliant nightlife
  • Historical sites

Once you’re done exploring the stunning coast, Lagos is home to a very exciting nightlife scene that will keep you partying until the small hours.

This is also a great way to meet other people and for all intents and purposes, the area is pretty safe. 

If you’ve got any energy left on day two of your stay in Lagos then I’d recommend checking out some of the buildings in the Old Town.

Here you’ll be immersed in history and discover quaint churches and a generally relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. 

Tips For Traveling To Portugal Alone

As I have mentioned, traveling to Portugal is a very safe and enjoyable experience for most people.

traveling Portugal alone advice
Tips for traveling to Portugal alone

However, it doesn’t hurt to gather some local information and knowledge to ensure you make the most out of your trip. 

  • In Portugal the fees for using ATMs can be astronomical. Look out for the Euronet ATMs, some of which charge up to 20% on withdrawals and I’ve seen quite a high number of these in Lisbon but they are all over the country. Where possible, use your credit card or take out cash before your travel. 
  • Crime in Portugal is relatively low, especially compared to some of the neighboring countries. However, there are incidents so I’d still recommend protecting your valuables and also taking out suitable travel insurance.
  • While there aren’t as many pickpocketing incidents in Portugal, Tram 28 in Lisbon is notorious for this type of crime so be sure to stay vigilant.  
  • One of the most common crimes in Portugal is car break ins. So, if you decide to rent a car to explore, make sure you do not leave anything valuable inside while you’re off adventuring. 
  • In Lisbon, there are lots of meetups for solo tourists such as the Couchsurfing meetup. Before you travel, it’s worth checking out what events are on if you’re interested in getting chatting with other travelers. 
  • Another great way to meet people when in Portugal is to take part in one of the many walking tours. These are centered around various things such as food stops, pubs, history and much more. They tend to attract solo tourists so you’ll find a lot of like minded people. 

Final Thoughts

Portugal has so many beautiful towns and cities to see and being quite a small country, it’s very easy to spend a couple of weeks here and see almost everything.

From soaring coastlines to wild nightlife, historical architecture to amazing food and everything in between, Portugal a must see on your tour of Europe.

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