Jul 16, 7 years ago

Lisbon, Portugal on the Cheap

http://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2202184670_864a83f4ae.jpghttp://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2202184670_864a83f4ae.jpgLisbon, Portugal on the Cheap

Sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Spain, Portugal shares its only border with Spain on the East and has abundant coastline to the West. Due to Portugal’s North-South orientation, one can see wooded mountains in the North by morning and near-desert landscape and world-class beaches in the South by evening. Additionally, Lisbon is one of the most reasonable cities in Western Europe, but to make your Euros stretch further here are a few tips and suggestions.

Get the Lisboa Card

Even with free Sundays at many of the monuments and museums, its worth looking into the Lisboa Card, which includes free transportation on city busses, trams, and metro, as well as free admission to all major tourist attractions. For all other attractions that don’t offer free admission, the card will grant discounted entrance and at the very least it will save you the hassle of digging for change and buying tickets for public transportation.


Head to the waterfront warehouse club Lux Frágil on Friday or Saturday night to dance with a hip crowd.

Get lunch at a café

Restaurant prices in Lisbon are on the rise, so head to a local café for healthy portions of pasta, salads, or sandwiches at a reasonable price. One hot spot is the Armazéns do Chiado mall, which offers a wide variety with spectacular views of the city.

Hit the monuments on Sunday morning

They’re free until 2pm! Wake up early and check out the church and cloisters at Jeronimos Monastery. Pop next door and see the Archaeology Museum and the Maritime Museum, which lays out the story of Portugal’s storied past at sea. Lastly, see the Belém Tower, an incredible garrison that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1893. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in architecture the streets of Lisbon are sprinkled with Baroque churches, Moorish castles, and Art Nouveau buildings.

Take the ferry across the Tejo River

This simple trip will provide incredible views of the city from the abandoned industrial village of Gingal. Buy your ticket from Cais do Sodre to Cacilas and consider making the trip at dusk to catch an illuminated Lisbon.

Whatever your interests, Lisbon is an easy destination to please. Bring your camera, chat with the friendly locals, and enjoy the plentiful (and cheap) red wine when you need a rest.

Lead Photo: CC Image courtesy of Fr Antunes on Flickr


Ryan is a writer, photographer, and teacher living and volunteering throughout Latin America.

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  1. October 23, 2012
    Just got back from 2 weeks in Lisbon. I went 3 years ago by myself but this time I took my son and his wife. There were a few changes I noticed. The people of Lisbon were friendly and helpful and courteous on my last trip here. Pretty much they were impatient and not courteous drivers. One big change is now taxis and buses and regular drivers will stop for you even if you just look like you are going to step off the curb into a marked crosswalk. I am not in a hurry when I am in Lisbon so this doesn't really matter to me but I am sure the the locals and most visitors really appreciate the change. Now if they can just pick up aftertheir dogs. One other change was a few more beggars and lots more street peddlers. No one I asked seemed to know if this was because of more tourists coming to Lisbon or just because of the economy. It is not something that bothers me though because I am used to seeing tons more here in cities like San Francisco, California. I had another fantastic time in Lisbon and my son and daughter-in-law fell in love with the place also. Now I will see if I can get them to follow your blog too.
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