Planning a solo trip to Lagos, Portugal? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- A small town located in the Barlavento region of the Algarve in Southern Portugal, with around 32,000 inhabitants.
- Despite its tiny population, Lagos is one of the most visited cities in Portugal due to its vibrant summer nightlife and stunning beaches.
- Nickname: The Jewel of the Algarve.
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Spoken languages: Portuguese.
- Best time to visit: from June to September.
- Arriving via airport: the closest airport to Lagos is Faro. A taxi ride from Faro airport into Faro city centre costs 10 EUR, while buses to Lagos run seven times per day and cost 5.35 EUR. Trains from Faro to Lagos run 9 times a day and cost 6.40 EUR. Private car hire from Faro airport directly to Lagos starts at 65 EUR.
WHERE TO STAY
- Best hostel for solo travelers: Olive Hostel Lagos. A cozy, welcoming place in the centre – very clean, great facilities. Above all, friendly owners that will make you feel right at home. Great place to meet others (only capacity for 20 or so at a time). Book ahead!
- Due to the size of Lagos, your accommodation will not be far from the action! Even the outer lying camping grounds are still within a short walk (10-15 minutes) from the heart of the city.
- Prices tend to be higher the closer you stay to the centre, so if budget accommodation is a high priority, choose something a little further away from the bars!
- Walking is the best mode of transport in Lagos!
- You can also hire a motorbike or scooter. Prices start from 50 EUR for three days.
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 2 AM (clubs stay open until 4 AM).
- The beautiful beaches are certainly a draw card for visitors to Lagos, but it is the vibrant nightlife that swells the population in summer. Wander, then stumble down the main street trying each bar’s signature drink which includes everything from a fish bowl of cocktails to a funnel of beer.
- Great bars for solo travelers: The Tavern, Eddie’s, Sinners, Mellow Loco, and McCabe’s.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- Forte Ponta da Bandeira: this fortress that was built in the 17th Century to defend Lagos. Today it is used to celebrate festivals, notably Bath 29, a festival held on August 29th where Portuguese people bathe in the sea at midnight.
- Ponta da Piedade: check out the unique limestone formations along the coast. These are easily accessed: you can explore on foot, or view from a boat/kayak. Don’t forget to explore a few caves (la gruta dos Amores is a particularly good one).
- Three beautiful beaches to visit: Meia Praia (a surfer’s favorite), Praia Dona Ana (very picturesque), and Praia do Batata (closest to the city center).
- Praia do Camilo: walk down the wooden steps onto the golden sand and take in the stunning cliffs, turquoise waters and magnificent rock formations that surround this little beach. (This beach takes 40 minutes to walk to).
- A word of warning when it comes to swimming – the water is chilly!
- Start at the Infante Dom Henrique square and take a long walk around old town. Make sure you pass by the Governor’s castle and medieval ramparts. A perfect way to end up at the waterfront.
- Head inland and experience some of the Algarve’s natural greenery that serves as a stunning contrast to the blue of the coastline.
- Walk through the Lagos market (open Monday to Saturday) and sample delicious local snacks, including fruits and cheeses. A great place to buy a souvenir to bring back home. (Tip: there’s a restaurant on the top floor with great views of the city).
- Tired of cocktails? Whilst in Lagos, sample a nip of aguardente de medronho, a strong fruit brandy made in the Algarve using fruit from a strawberry tree.
- Great restaurants to try in Lagos: Ol’ Bastard’s (fish and chips), Arribale (local staples), Mullen’s, PIE Lagos, A Petisquiera, and Reis.
- Where to find good cheap eats: look for smaller restaurants in town (you can find a meal for as low as 5 EUR). Specific recommendations: Beats & Burritos, Jukebox Tapas, Empanadas & Co., Casinha do Petisco.
- Dangerous areas: as the number of tourists visiting Lagos increases, this attracts more pickpockets. Keep your valuables locked up in your hotel room or close to your body!
The Best Lagos Guide Books:
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days