Explore Lisbon for Less

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Traveling does not always have to be expensive. No matter how large or small your budget, there is always a way to enjoy the beauty of the place you are visiting for little money. For the travelers among you who would like to visit Lisbon, we have come up with a list of things to do for free in Portugal’s capital.

Lisbon on foot

Even though the impression gained from looking at a map may be otherwise, Lisbon can be easily explored on foot as the distances between the sights are not very great. Throughout your stay, you may notice that walking is indeed the cheapest option and also a manageable one. A stroll down the Ribeira das Naus and the nearby Cais do Sodre along the Tagus River may be a good starting point to enjoy the cool breeze coming off the water on a sunny day. It is also a nice place to have a break while watching the waves of the river and listening to the tunes of the street musicians’ guitars.

Museums

While tickets to prominent museums are typically not very expensive (the prices range from €2 to €5), there are interesting museums you can visit for free on a daily basis or during certain times of the day. Free museums include the Belém Cultural Centre, the Film Museum, The Orient Museum (free entry on Fridays from 18.00-22.00), the Chiado Museum – National Museum of Contemporary Art (free entry on Sundays and public holidays) and others.

Colégio dos Meninos Órfãos


The stairwell of this old former school for orphans houses a beautiful collection of blue tiles from the first half of the 18th century.

Churches

If there is one thing that can immediately be associated with Lisbon, then it’s tiles. Not only can you observe these little ceramic pieces of art on the outer walls of residential buildings but also inside some of Lisbon’s churches, whose altars and interior decoration create a calm, spiritual atmosphere for tourists and believers alike.

Retratos do Fado

Retratos do Fado is a photography project by Camilla Watson, and it can be admired while walking down the streets of the Mouraria district. The project features photo portraits of famous Fado singers exhibited on the walls of the neighborhood’s buildings. 

Jardim do Príncipe Real


Due to the high elevation of some parts of the city, Lisbon has many picturesque viewpoints that guarantee a great setting for a photograph. The Jardim do Príncipe Real is one of the places where you can enjoy a beautiful view in a leafy setting while watching the locals go about their daily lives.

Snack Bars vs. Restaurants

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If you would like to save money on your daily meals, the best thing to do is to visit one of the numerous snack bars in town. There you can get pretty much anything from the traditional Bifana sandwich to soup to paella but usually for a lower price than in a restaurant. If you do eat at a restaurant, be aware that if you are served anything other than bread before your meal, like cheese or olives, you will have to pay for it if you eat it. Keep that in mind since the waiters won’t tell you if that cheese you were just served is free or not.

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