A Guide to Solo Travel in Lisbon
Portugal has a complicated history with piropos, a very popular kind of cat-calling associated with construction workers that was perceived as fun for way too long. Some are really dumb, like “you have curves, but I don’t have breaks”, but they’re all unnecessarily invasive. Right now, it’s being discussed in the Portuguese parliament, with several parties arguing about whether piropos should become criminalised or not. This example offers a glimpse into the underlying machismo that is present in Portuguese society. Everyone has had to tell a guy that he was being too nosy with a girl and almost everyone has gotten into a fight because they were doing it while drunk.
If you plan to visit solo, especially as a woman, this will be your main concern. Portuguese men will probably try to flirt with you in a way that only their drunken minds will deem acceptable, breaking the barrier of touch at any possible opportunity. It’s a shame that this situation is still prevalent, because apart from these incidents, Lisbon is a great place to connect with like minded individuals, schedule cute days out and meet new people. Organise your trip around your main interests and you’ll likely meet genuinely lovely people.
Just keep in mind that nights at Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré tend to get extremely boozy and are prone to the kind of flirting that only Portuguese men consider normal (very wrongly so).