9 interesting And Affordable Things To Do in Lisbon, Portugal

Updated: Apr 20

Portugal is a vibrant country that lies on the Iberian Peninsula bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Here are a few suggestions for your upcoming trip to make your stay most interesting as well as affordable. I also talk about public transit vs renting a car in Lisbon as well as some awesome and affordable Airbnb options in the city. Bem vindo a lisboa!

Check out the oldest market in Lisbon

The direct translation to Feira da Ladra is "Thief Fair" and it is full of odd customary items, much like a flea market. Most of the objects are second hand and you can find furniture, junkyard, books, magazines, clothing, vinyl records, old black and white pictures, old cameras, tiles, antiques, knick knacks etc. Be sure to haggle them on those prices, don't be shy! It's all about bargain shopping here. The Feira da Ladra operates on Tuesdays and Saturdays 6am-5pm if the weather permitting.

Appreciate the arts from Picasso to Warhol

Located in Belém, Lisbon, the Museum Colecão Berardo of Modern and Contemporary is the most visited museum in Lisbon. Open everyday with Free admission all day on Saturdays. The museum presents the most significant artistic movements from the twentieth century to present day. Witness the beautiful works of Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Max Ernst, Francis Bacon and Andrew Warhol just to name a few. Pablo Picasso pictured.

Go underground at the Núcleo Arqueológico

You can join a free 30 minute guided tour that takes place daily at various hours depending on the language it's conducted in. First of all the tour sounds so interesting. The museum lies hidden under a modern bank in the heart of Lisbon. Go underground as the guide reveals Roman fish preserving tanks, ancient burial sites and the wooden pillars that keep central Lisbon from sinking. A unique and historical site 2,500 years of Lisbon history. Check to verify the hours are still current via phone or website!

The first Sunday of the month

The city’s top attractions can be pricey, but most also have one morning a week when it’s free to enter. On the first Sunday of each month, you can catch the big sights for nothing, including the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Museu Nacional do Azulejo, tile museum, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém, the Torre de Belém and the unmissable art collection of the Museu Gulbenkian.

Admire the city from a locals viewpoint

Do as the city’s elderly do and find a perch at one of Lisbon’s many viewpoints. The city straddles a series of hills and most of them have at least one viewpoint area, often with a small café. The best of these are the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, with dazzling views over the Alfama; the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, overlooking the Baixa.

Discover the city with a free walking tour

The tour leaves from Praça do Comércio starting at 10am in English and Spanish. Look out for the guides in red SANDEMANs NEW Europe T-shirts, or a guide with a giant red umbrella  with the words “free walking tour” on. The three hour tour includes sights such as Bairro Alto, The Great Earthquake of 1755 and The São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, to name but a few.

Hike & Explore The Castle Of The Moors, Sintra, Portugal

These amazing castles are located only one hour outside of Lisbon by train and you will fall in LOVE FAST with Sintra's cute little town feel and the loads of history behind the city. The walk up to the castle is fairly strenuous so be sure to bring good hiking shoes, water, and free moving clothes. Once you get to the top you are rewarded with an amazing view - great day to spend hiking and site seeing. You can see the whole town from up here. Expect to pay 8 Euro per person.

Have Fun In Cascais, Portugal:

Cascais is the perfect location for lounging days on the beach and nights out on the town. Just a thirty-minute train road from central Lisbon, the beaches in Cascais and the surrounding area are among the best in Portugal. Long stretches of golden sand, rocky outcrops and secluded coves characterize the shoreline offering a wide variety of ways to spend your time in the sun.

Explore The Quinta Da Regaleira

Throughout this beautiful garden you can find secret tunnels, spontaneous art shows, fountains and labyrinths. If you like trekking, nature and history this must be the place to visit. My suggestion is to go there in the afternoon and explore until sunset. The garden is quite unusual and well-maintained with many 'secret' corners, underground caves, grottoes, beautiful views, monuments, buildings, arches and spots for taking photos - there's even a waterfall and lake! It's like the adult version of a fun house.

Public Transportation Vs Renting a Car

Public transportation in both Lisbon and Porto are excellent and both cities are pedestrian-friendly compared with others throughout Europe. If you get lost, there are plenty of friendly, English-speaking people to offer directions. The Lisbon metro runs more frequently than any similar metro or subway in the U.S., and the stations and trains are great places to find out about fun events for both locals and visitors. From one voyager to another, I would NOT recommend renting a car during your stay in Lisbon. Save the money for some awesome food and souvenir's at the Feira da Ladra. On that side note, I absolutely LOVE finding normal household items that I know I will use from other countries - also, handmade ornaments and antique necklaces are sort of my thing! Oh, another awesome thing about taking the metro are the new touchscreen kiosks that have been installed in many metro stations to help you find concerts, museum exhibits, festivals, and more - SCORE. If you do decide to rent a car - I would highly recommend reading this article here.

Fancy Airbnb Options:

1. Studio Tram with Courtyard Terrace

2. Chiado Loft 3 Fantastic New Place

3. Bright and Cozy Flat Overlooking the Tagus River

Do you have any other recommendations to add to this list? Let me know and comment below 😊

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