By Noreen Duffy
Lisbon isn’t just a place to relax or to party, it’s a place full of history and wonderful people that let you delve into what it is truly like to be a ‘Lisboetas’. This city has completely encapsulated me from the people and their lifestyle to the food and gorgeous architecture. Lisbon is filled with many viewing points from which you can see the city in its own natural beauty.
Lisbon for solo travellers
Lisbon has just as much to offer for solo travellers as it does for anyone who loves culture, food, inspiring architecture and visiting a sustainable city. Not only this but right now Lisbon is the top place for Millennials. As a solo.traveller, the fact that the locals are so friendly and not only do they speak Portuguese, but most of them speak pretty good English. Apart from the locals, I found it so easy to meet lots of other fun solo travellers from all over Europe, when in Lisbon.
Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões
How to get around Lisbon
There are many forms of transport in Lisbon; Trams, buses, scooters, tuc-tucs, uber, and many more. Lisbon is built on seven hills so walking might not always be an option for some people. Buses around Lisbon are cheap and cheerful for those not looking to spend a lot of money and they are normally under €2.
Another way of getting around the city is by joining a tour group, that way you get to hear about the different landmarks and get the opportunity to walk around the city. On arrival at the airport, I took the metro, which only cost €1.50 to where I was staying. Outside my hostel was a scooter drop off point, you can use these scooters by simply downloading an app onto your phone. You can travel throughout the city with these scooters and leave them anywhere. They tend to be quite costly so I wouldn’t recommend using them for too long. I would safely say the best way to get around Lisbon is by walking.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Lisbon has many great places to stay. For a solo traveller, I would 100% recommend staying in a hostel. Whilst in a hostel you get to meet other people who may also be travelling solo and there is also the opportunity of discounts on local food and walking tours.
I stayed in Sunset Destination Hostel on the coast of Lisbon. With its ideal location, comfortable bedrooms and rooftop bar, what more could you want? I got the opportunity to meet loads of new people from around Europe. We all took part in a food/pub crawl which the hostel had organised, this meant I got to meet more amazing people! This hostel is also located right beside the train station, this is ideal for people who may not want to travel to far into the city.
Where to grab a bite to eat in Lisbon
Time Out Market: this is a foodie’s dream place. You can find all different types of cuisine from around the world being offered here. Once you have ordered your food you are given a buzzer to then go collect it when it is ready. It is located 5 minutes from Sunset destination hostel in Cais Do Sodré.
Pizzeria Lisboa: This Italian style restaurants main selling point is its pizzas along-side other authentic Italian dishes like pasta and salads. The food is quick and is not expensive.
Food Tour: Whilst in Lisbon I would recommend taking part in a food tour, this way you get to try authentic food and hear about why it is a food of Lisbon. This tour is also a great way to get to meet new people and have a bit of fun.
The Square of Commerce: This stunning square will take your breath away with its beautiful architecture and historical significance to Lisbon. An earthquake once struck here and the square was then redesigned and rebuilt by the people of Lisbon. There is a great history to discover here and I would recommend having a tour guide of this area as they will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Pink Street: This was Lisbon’s Red-Light District. They started painting the street pink in 2011 and it took two years to finish. The people of Lisbon wanted the old brothels and bad reputation of the area to go away and it did. Pink Street is now known for its nightlife with great bars and one of Lisbon’s greatest nightclubs, Music Box. I travelled here whilst in Lisbon, as it is 5 minutes from my hostel, and enjoyed the night thoroughly, meeting new people and enjoying the local beverages of Portugal.
Castelo de S. Jorge: This national monument is a place to be enjoyed by all. This castle sits at the top of one of the eight hills of Lisbon and displays spectacular views of the whole city. There are different activities, guided tours and heritage to be found within the castle walls.
Lisbon culture and people
Between the fine cuisine and the welcoming people, Lisbon definitely is a place filled with culture. One of the local delicacies I got to enjoy was the Portuguese custard tarts. These small pastries filled with custard and a hard crème Brulee like top are a must-try when in Lisbon!
The people of Lisbon are an attribute to themselves! I felt right at home when talking to the locals around the town. They are very helpful and full of chat. All in all, Lisbon is a city where any type of traveller, whether it be solo, family or a couples holiday, will be able to experience magical views, meet fantastic people and have a fulfilling trip. This is why I loved it! Until next time Lisbon!