Going to Lisbon and trying to keep costs down? Although visiting Lisbon, Portugal may not be as cheap as it once was, there are still plenty of low-cost and even free activities to do. Many of the top things to do in Lisbon don't cost a dime, and that's just the way it works out. As a service to future tourists, we have compiled a list of must-in do's Lisbon that won't break the bank for economical travelers.
Lisbon is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, but visitors may still find reasonably priced lodging and entertainment options. When compared to other big European cities like London, Berlin, and Paris, it pales in comparison. Visitors can use our Vox City tours and Vox City app to uncover the best things to do in Lisbon while keeping travel expenses to a minimum.
Lisbon is comprised of numerous districts, each with its own character and personality (as well as seven hills!). Located in the heart of Lisbon are the historic districts of Alfama, Baixta, Bairro Alto, and Chiado. Some of Lisbon's most enjoyable activities cost nothing, such as exploring the city on foot.
Experience Lisbon's rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine on one of our unforgettable Vox City walking tours! With so many different aspects to the city, Lisbon is never done revealing its secrets. Not only do we explore each of Lisbon's neighborhoods on our guided walks through the city, but we also learn where to locate the greatest Portuguese custard tarts. Even though the Alfama trip takes you to all of Lisbon's most well-known historical sites, our Downtown tour will show you all of the city's hippest spots, and our Barrio Alto tour will show you the best of Lisbon after dark. Find more about Lisbon's past, its earthquake in 1755, its architecture, and culture, and pick up some additional money-saving pointers in the meantime.
In the sweltering summer heat, walking across Lisbon's seven undulating hills can be a daunting prospect. But those hills also provide Lisbon with some breathtaking vantage points, known as Miradouros. Tree-lined lookout points and elevated walkways let you take in Lisbon's vibrant hues from afar. It's a must-do if you're in Lisbon, and the greatest part is that you can get amazing views of the city without spending a dime.
You can save a few euros by taking an affordable elevator, such the Santa Justa Elevator, to one of the vantage points, but it's also possible to walk there.
You can find modest cafes at several of the lookouts, and while the drinks are cheap, it's not your greatest budget option. Instead, pick up a few beers or a bottle of wine at a grocery shop or local market and enjoy one of the finest fun handouts to do in Lisbon in the early evening. Cafe menu prices won't even come close to what you'll pay here. Sit back and relax on a bench or patch of grass at the miradouro—you'll have a breathtaking panorama of Lisbon to enjoy with your drinks.
The historic neighborhood of Belem, which is only four miles from the heart of Lisbon, is home to two magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can use Vox City's self-guided trip to Belem and also can use the free Vox City app (included in your ticket) to discover more of Lisbon and its incredible history with curated self-guided tours through the main quarters!
In the 15th century, Belem served as a departure point for ships travelling the seas in pursuit of new lands and riches. Wonderful examples of Manueline style architecture, popular during the Age of Exploration, can be seen all across town. Belem is not only rich in history, but also in Portuguese landmarks and museums (plus outstanding scenic viewpoints). Pasteis de Belem, the original location of the world-famous Portuguese custard pastry, is a must-visit for each visitor to Belem, regardless of their budget.
As a free day excursion from Lisbon, Belem ranks among the city's top attractions. Skipping the main sights entering (Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Monument to the Discoveries, and Museu Colecao Berardo) will allow you to soak up more of the city's vibes for free.
The Thieves Market in Lisbon, also known as Feira da Ladra, is a great spot to get a taste of local culture. One of the best things to do in Lisbon, yet it won't cost you a dime. East of the Pantheon, among the Alfama alleys, this century-old flea market is a sprawling area. Often times, the ‘stalls' are nothing more than blankets spread out on the ground where the vendors set up their wares for sale. Books, priceless antiquities, worn power tools, ancient cell phones, and even toilet paper are not just few of the items available.
We found the booths selling random assortments of goods the most entertaining, if only because we couldn't help but wonder how all those disparate objects had ended up under the same roof. What could possibly be the best combination of a hair straightener, a bike helmet, some old shoes, a sewing machine, an old drill, and a nice collection of hand lotions? In fact, that is indeed what makes Feira da Ladra so special!
In the heart of Lisbon, you'll find a staggering number of churches, many of which feature elaborate interior decoration. Visiting at least a handful of Lisbon's churches is a must if you want to take in the city's rich history and beautiful artwork. Although some of Lisbon's churches have become popular tourist destinations, visiting them will not cost you a dime. We strongly suggest entering any church in Lisbon whose doors are not locked.
While there is typically no cost to enter the churches themselves, some of the associated museums may charge a nominal fee. Yet, the church building itself is what strikes us as most stunning.