Lisbon is one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. There are plenty fun things to do without spending a lot of money. Check out our 7 things to do in Lisbon to save on the pennies and soak up the Portuguese vibe.
Generally speaking, prices for food, drinks, hotels/airbnb and public transport are much lower in the Portuguese capital compared to England, France, Germany and Scandinavian countries. Just go out for dinner and you’ll be surprised by how affordable the restaurants are and how tasty the food is. From March to October, you should taste grilled sardines, one of the Portuguese specialities.
#1 Take the Ferry to Cacilhas
Take the ferry from Lisbon’s transfer station Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas, located on the south bank of the Tagus river. A return ticket sets you back only 2,60 euro. The trip by ferry takes around 10 minutes to reach the other side of Tagus river. Make sure you choose a seat at the window to get a sweeping view of the 25th of April Bridge. Cacilhas offers perfect spots to take the most amazing pictures. And above all, it’s an edgy place to hang out on a lovely sunny afternoon.
# 2 Wander Around in Santos
Lisbon has a lot more to offer than the highlights in the crowded tourist areas Bairro Alto, Baixa/Chiado and Alfama. Santos for example. This quiet area on the north bank of the Tagus river attracts creative types like artists, designers and architects. Why? If you walk in the fancy streets with countless colourful houses and coffee bars, you’ll find the answer. A nice thing to do, share your picture of Paco the Cat on Instagram (#pacothespanishcat). And if you are in the mood for a coffee and crispy croissant, go to La Boulangerie (Address: R. Olival 46).
# 3 Have a Beer at Miradouro de Santa Catarina
Located near the popular Bairro Alto district, Miradoura de Santa Catarina offers a stunning view of the old parts of Lisbon, the Tagus river and 25th of April Bridge. This is a perfect spot to take photos and soak up the laid-back Lisbon atmosphere. As you will see, locals and tourists bring their drinks and food to have a good time. So buy yourself a bottle of beer in a shop nearby and enjoy the Miradouro de Santa Catarina vibe.
#4 Indulge at Mercado Da Ribeira
As you will notice, Lisbon is one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. Prices for coffee, beer and food are much lower compared to England, Germany, France, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. From transfer station Cais do Sodre, just cross the street. There you’ll find Time Out Market, which offers local street food like octopus and codfish, great wines and a buzzing atmosphere. Enjoy an oyster for only 1,90 euro apiece. If you ask us, a great place to experience the Portuguese food and culture. Go there on Friday, you’ll get two stout beers for the price of one: Black Friday! We had a decent lunch for two for under 10 euros!
#5 Try warm roasted chestnuts
Visiting Lisbon in autumn or winter? Make sure you try the warm roasted chestnuts, which are sold on the streets in the city centre. During colder months, the smokey smell of the tasty nuts is unbeatable. One portion sets you back around 2 euros. Not bad at all! But be aware, sellers do not pose for a photo. Well, that’s our experience…
#6 Tai Chi in Sintra
On a Lisbon city trip, you’ll probably visit Sintra. This magical resort near the mountains offers glistening castles and lush gardens. Take the train from Lisbon central station Rossio to Sintra. You’ll be there within an hour. You’ll pay 4,30 for a return ticket. We’ve discovered this town in the foothills in a different way. Both of us did the Tai Chi workshop for beginners. Scattered by mountains and our enthusiastic teacher Cora, it was an experience we will never forget. Check our Sintra videos on Facebook.
#7 Organic Wine in Cafe Tati
Next to the Time out Market and Cais do Sodre station, you’ll find the small and super cosy Cafe Tati. In Tati, we had dinner and tasted some of the amazing, organic Humus wine. An absolute must!
If you’re there during daytime, take a seat in a comfy chair, order a coffee and enjoy the hustle and bustle on the street.