Travel To Lisbon On A Budget
Lisbon in a way is like the sister city of San Francisco: cable cars, tons of hills, and the red suspension bridge (built by the same construction company that built the Old Bay Bridge between SF and Oakland).However, unlike San Francisco, Lisbon is not as expensive so that’s why I wanted to share with you my blog on how to Travel To Lisbon on a Budget.
Lisbon has always been a city that I’ve wanted to visit and I’ve read so many positive blogs about it, however to be honest I wasn’t so impressed. Don’t get me wrong, you might go and experience something totally different but for me I was underwhelmed by the food and I just felt unsafe everywhere I went. Even traveling with my SO, we ran into so many crazies and people offering us drugs ALL freaking day and night. It wasn’t just one part of Lisbon, it was practically everywhere we walked.
Going to Sintra (separate blog) did make up for it, and if I were to go back I would definitely visit Sintra again. Travel to Lisbon on a Budget
Travel Cost Breakdown
Badajoz –> Lisbon (FlixBus) 18.99€ (I was in Badajoz for a wedding)
Lisbon –> Barcelona via TAP Air Portugal: $31 USD
1898 Home & Suites booked via Hotels.com: $67/night
**Note: I happened to select the smallest hotel room (8 sq meters with a bathroom). It’s alright for 1 person but with 2 it was a bit crammed. If you book here make sure to get any other room that’s larger than 8 sq meters)
Lisbon has a great transportation system and it’s fairly easy to use. GoogleMaps does its job. You’ll need the green Viagem card (.50€) that will be good for metro, bus, trams and ferries. Metro is open from 6:30am – 1:00 am. You can purchase these tickets at the kiosks and for more information click here. Warning: A lot of the stations I went to did not have elevators or escalators so be prepared for a lot of steps and beware of pickpockets.
Single fare: 1.50€
24 unlimited: 6.40€ – If you plan on taking that popular tram at Elevador da Bica (3.80€) and the Elevador de Santa Justa (5.30€), then I suggest you get this ticket.
In my case I did a lot of walking when exploring the city, so if you prefer this as well I recommend doing the “zapping” option in which you can put an amount on the card. I put a total of 15€ on my transport card and that lasted me for 3 days including the trip to Sintra. With the Viagem card the fares are slightly cheaper. You can purchase tickets on the tram but the prices will be higher.
Train to Estoril/Cascais/Sintra: €1.90
Ferry to Cacilhas: €1.26 | Trafaria/Porto Brandão: €1.19 | Seixal/Barreiro: €2.40 | Montijo: €2.76
I finally did it and rode a scooter but NOT in the city center. It was a wonderful trip riding along the waterfront in which I will talk about later. I do not recommend riding in the city center because of the cobblestone streets, high traffic and trams. I actually hit a pothole and the handlebar hit me in the chest, which was very painful.
Be sure to download the app. Available companies: Lime, Bird, Hive, Voi, and Flash. I’ve used Lime and Bird before so I already had the app on my phone. Unlike SF, you won’t need your ID to scan before renting these scooters.
I never used their services but you can do tours with these.
Uber is available here. I used Uber both in Lisbon and in Sintra, which was very convenient and I saved time and money.
At the Rossio metro station you can store your luggage here (6:30 am – 1:00 am.) This locker accepts COINS ONLY. When I went there was an attendant helping out and giving small change as needed. Initially you put 1.50€ and then when you pick up your luggage you pay the balance. For more locker information and prices click here.
Getting to/from the Airport
It’s quite simple, just use your googlemaps. It’s very straight forward. Lines for the ticket machine at major stations can be very long.
Places To See
This city offers free walking tours but I like to do my own thing.
- Belem Tower – A UNESCO World Heritage Site. I came here at 8:30 am and it was peaceful and quiet. The bridge to the tower doesn’t open till 10:00 am. Then rent a razor scooter and take a nice ride in the bike lane to the next place.
- Padrāo dos Descobrimentos – This monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery
- Jardim da Praça do Império – across the street from the monument
- MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology. Also rode the scooter to this location. Entrance fee: 5€
- Pasteis de Belém – stop here for a treat! This is the most popular bakery in Lisbon. Open everyday from 8am – 11pm
- LxFactory – Ride your scooter all the way here to check out this cool area filled with restaurants, design shops, and galleries.
- Ler Devagar – Check out this awesome bookstore at the LxFactory
- Elevador da Bica – Everyone takes a photo here. You can ride it to the top for 3.80€ (not worth the money and wait unless you have the unlimited 24hr pass). Just head to the top of the tram and get your photo up there for free.
- The Pink Street – cool bar hopping spot at night time
- Carmo Convent – Church ruined in the 1755 earthquake. Entrance Fee: 4€
- Santa Justa Lift – Great view at the top but LONG lines. Round trip fee: 5.30€. (24 hour unlimited pass will work for this)
My Eating Experience
Tipping Travel to Lisbon on a Budget
Similar to Spain, just round the bill up or if you’re very happy with the service then you can leave a 5%-10% tip.
Couverts are things they bring you or that are already on your table such as bread, olives, cheese, etc. THEY WILL CHARGE YOU if you eat them, so if you don’t want them kindly ask them to take it away. These items are NOT free.
I was a bit underwhelmed by the food. Nothing I ate was amazing except the pasteis de
nata from Manteigaria (be sure to sprinkle some cinnamon and powdered sugar). There are a couple locations.
- Every time I walked by Ramiro Marisqueria (seafood restaurant) there was such a long line. Unfortunately I didn’t want to spend 50€ on seafood when I can get great seafood at my bf’s hometown in Vigo for 1/3 of the price.
- Sala de Corte Steak House – turned off by the prices because a couple days before I had a juicy ribeye steak for 18€ and here it was 85€/kg. Crazy expensive tourist prices.
- Time Out Market – huge hall with many restaurant vendors, however I think it’s all overpriced
- Restaurante Marco – Get a Francesinha. Originally from Porto and made with bread, wet cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, and covered with melted cheese and fries. One plate is enough for two people. Yummy!
- Bifana (pork sandwich) from Cafe Beira Gare
If you enjoyed my Travel to Lisbon on a Budget blog and you have one more day to explore, make sure to check out my blog about traveling to Sintra & Cascais for a 1 day trip. Travel To Lisbon On A Budget