Lisbon City Guide
Lisbon how cute you are! With lots and lots of tapas, countless Pasteis da Nata’s, bottles of wine, cherry liqueurs and lots of special beers, we got to taste a little bit of life in Lisbon and best of all it didn’t cost a dime! Portugal ‘s capital is hip, charming, versatile, budget-friendly young and there is always something to do. What more could you want.
Its parel-colored houses, vintage streetcars, cool hotspots, countless attractions, the beach around the corner and its vibrant nightlife makes Lisbon one of Europe’s most enjoyable city break destinations
How many days do you need for Lisbon
Although the city is not very big, there really is ENORMOUSLY much to experience. In recent years we have visited the city twice for a midweek and still you run out of time. Therefore, we definitely recommend a minimum of 3 days for the city, but longer is well worth it.
In this article on Lisbon
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Lisbon
On every corner in Lisbon you can find a fine restaurant, hip coffee shop or busy café. Your days can therefore be spent strolling and terrace-hopping just fine. Or well can, it is actually a must at a minimum. Set aside 1 day for this. Old-fashioned strolling without a plan and eating yourself whole. Trust me! That’s what you want here.
Now are you still looking for a cool activity or the best sights. No Worries, we have collected the very best sights of Lisbon for you.
Read the complete article “20x things to do in Lisbon” here.
Lisbon must-do list
- Visit a Fado Cafe in Bairro Alto or Alfama and enjoy a spectacular concert in a small brown cafe while enjoying a snack and drink. Highly recommended is the café “Tasca do Chico.” Do make reservations in advance.
- Take a ride on the world-famous yellow Tram 28. A bit touristy, but of course this must do should not be missing from the list. The streetcar runs through all of Lisbon’s historic neighborhoods.
- Visit the Alfama district and stroll its charming streets
- Taste the very best Pasteis da Nata at Manteigaria
- GO SURFING! Say What? Yes real surfing is just possible here and is really a lot of fun to do. Leroy went surfing at the beach. A lesson costs about 20 euros incl. material. PLus you also see a completely different part of the city and can end your day with your feet in the sand or at a trendy beach bar.
- One shot A Ginjinha a day keeps the pain away;p. Whether the day begins or ends there you can order the traditional A Ginjinha all day long. Recommended is Ginginha do Carmo. Here you get the shot in a chocolate cup and you get to refill it once. GODDLY!
- Visit hotspot heaven LX Factory. Hipper is almost impossible! Factory was once the old factory site under the Ponte 25 de Abril, but was transformed several years ago into a creative melting pot
- Have a drink at Pink Street. and enjoy the many instashoot that take place here over drinks. Once this street was known as Lisbon’s pink neighborhood. The street got a new look and now it is one of Lisbon’s hippest spots.
- Book a FOODTOUR! And then do this right at the beginning of your trip. That way you know right away where to go and what to order.
- Explore the city by scooter! You can rent an electric scooter anywhere in the city. Ideal, since there is quite a bit of climbing in Lisbon. Besides, it’s just a hilarious way to explore the city.
- Special beer tasting! Specialty beers have reached Portugal, too, you know. Everywhere in the city you can find local brewers or specialty beer bars. Take a seat on the stairs at specialty beer café the Brewpub and try some of Lisbon’s tastiest beers.
- Visit the Feira da Ladra flea market and score the cutest items
- Visit the Time Out Market in Lisbon. This market consists of 2 halls. In 1 hall you will find the fresh market and in the other hall a food court.
- Walk to Miradouro do Graça for great views of the city
Hotspots & food in Lisbon
If there’s one thing you can do well in Lisbon, it’s EAT! In every neighborhood, you’ll find charming restaurants and cafes. Moreover, dining out in Lisbon is much more affordable than in other cities. A beer or a glass of wine costs around 2 euros, even outside of happy hours. For instance, in Pink Street, you can order a half-liter of beer in the afternoon for 1.50 euros! If you’re seeking a cozy and romantic dinner, Almalfa is the place to be. Looking for fado cafes and inexpensive cocktails? Bairro Alto is the place for you. Burgers, hotdogs, vegan food, and other trendy hotspots can be found at LX Factory. Quickly check out our favorite restaurants and cafes in Lisbon in our Lisbon Food Guide.
- Bao Bao: Hip Asian food restaurant with delicious Bao sandwiches.
- Duque Brewpub: Find the most delicious craft beers here.
- Oficina do Duque: Adjacent to the Brewpub, a beautiful place to dine (with vegetarian options) – perhaps our favorite.
- Café Buenos Aires: A lovely spot for a meal or to end the evening, conveniently located across from our apartment.
- Di Marzano Café Vermuteria: Great place for lunch or a drink. Their cheesecake is a must-try!
- Sol e Pesca: A fish restaurant on Pink Street, also great for a casual drink.
- Bookstore Bar Girl and Girl: Snacks, drinks, or perhaps a quick book find on Pink Street.
- Tasca do Chico: Fado and food. Need I say more!
- Augusto Lisboa: A super trendy lunch spot in Alfama. Delicious breakfasts!
- Lisboa Tu e Eu: A tiny and cozy eatery right in the heart of Alfama.
- The Food Temple: Vegan food in Alfama.
- Duque da Rua: Tapas bar.
- SO Coffee Roasters: For a great cup of coffee.
- Cantina LX: A nice spot at LX Factory for drinks and snacks.
- Enjoy a beer at Boqueirão Sabor a Brasil at LX Factory.
- Park Bar: One of the few rooftop bars in Lisbon.
Transportation in Lisbon
You can explore Lisbon very well on foot and a must to discover the nicest streets. But after a few days of strolling through this hilly city, your legs are really worn out. Fortunately, transportation options are top notch in the city! If you get a little tired of walking, you can easily arrange an uber for a few euros. Another cab app what is widely used in Portugal is Freenow.
A second option, and one we like immensely, is to rent an electric scooter. All over the step you will find steps from Bird, Dot and Bolt, among others (if I miss one sorry). You can easily download the apps, attach credit card or paypal to them and away you go. The steps are really top notch! In the center it is a little bumpy ride, but if you want to get from Bairro Alto to LX Factory, for example, the scooter is really the ideal way to get around.
If you want to travel completely budget-friendly, you can also always take the train, subway or streetcar. All over the city you can find old vintage streetcars that are still used daily as public transportation. Oh and a tuktuk is also another option 🙂
Which budget do i need in Lisbon?
Lisbon is an ideal city to visit on a small budget. After all, you can make it as crazy as you want. If you eat at local Portuguese eateries, you can easily have a complete dinner for less than 20 euros incl. drinks with the two of us. If you take a seat at a trendy hot spot, you will pay about the same price as in the Netherlands. A night out in Bairro Alto is often spot on due to the many happy hours and competitively priced beers. Staying in Lisbon can be as little as 25 euros for 2 people in a hostel. In the nearby villages you have several campsites where you can spend the night for about 20 euros per night.
- Hostel: 20 euros per night
- Hotel Budget: 40 euros per night (2 persons)
- Hotel Luxe: 80 euros per night
- Apartment: 100 euros per night
- Beer: +/- € 2.00 (during happy hour sometimes only 1.50 for a half liter)
- Soft drinks: €1.50
- Main course: between €7 and €15.
- Lunch: between €4 and €8.
- Cab: € 2,- small distances
- Step rental: €5 for half an hour
- Streetcar: about €1.
Budget per day in Lisbon for 2 people
- Budget (picnic, hostel, Portuguese dinner): 60 to 80 euros
- Mid (hotel, 2x dinner out and drinks): 75 to 150 euros
- Luxury (luxury hotel or apartment, 3x dining out, activity, etc.): 100 to 200 euros
Practical information about Lisbon
- Bring good shoes. Lisbon is mega hilly and you really do walk an accident. Therefore, leave your heels at home for the most part.
- Download UBER! Uber really is your friend in Lisbon when you really don’t feel like walking anymore.
- Making reservations for dinner is very common in Portugal. Many popular eateries are often full on weekends.
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which does not charge additional fees. We are very happy with it + you now receive €50 gift when you use Knab’s Switch Service!
- Withdrawing money abroad often costs extra. Always check with your bank first and try as much as possible to pay directly with your debit card instead of withdrawing money. A Credit Cardisalways handy to have. Bunq and Knab are banks where you pay no or low transaction fees.
- If you are RVing, you can save a lot of money in the off-season with an ACSI discount card.
- If you want to camp near Lisbon, Caiscais is a good option. From CaisCais there is a train to Lisbon several times an hour. It takes about an hour.
- Looking for a free overnight stay? Through TrustedHousesitters, you can watch other people’s homes and pets for free
What are nice places to stay in Lisbon?
If you really want to discover Lisbon, we recommend booking a hotel or apartment in or near Bairro Alto. This is the heart of the city and you really find everything within walking distance. We found a very nice apartment in the middle of town within walking distance of EVERYTHING!
Stay & Co Lisbon: stylish stays in the heart of Lisbon
To really explore Lisbon properly, we stayed a couple of nights in one of Stay & Co.’s hip apartments, and role-mop Buddha was also welcome.
From the window, I catch glimpses of Lisbon’s vibrant city life. I want to go, explore and enjoy. Quickly we walk downstairs, out the door and there we are right in the heart of Lisbon. Our favorite craft beer pub around the corner, the most charming sidewalk cafes within easy reach and best of all we can crawl home from the pub. Of course, it doesn’t get much better than this. To see more of the apartment, quickly check out the article “Stay & CO Lisbon” or visit Stay & Co’s site to book your apartment directly.
How to get to Lisbon?
If you fly to Lisbon, you can travel to the city on the red subway line. If you want to go to the historic center, you have to change to the blue or green line. Public transportation is very well marked and spotty. You can get your own tickets at a counter or vending machine. You can also buy a day ticket for about 6 euros. You can use a day pass for anything, including Tram 28. Downtown, you can catch several streetcars. There are also cabs and ubers you can catch.