Are you planning to visit Lisbon but you don’t have a lot of money to spend? Well, traveling is only costly sometimes. So, don’t be worried. This article will explore how to visit Lisbon on a Budget. Let’s dive right into our Lisbon travel guide on a budget!
Why You Should Visit Lisbon
Lisbon is a city present between the hills and the Atlantic Ocean. It has vibrant streets with a unique cultural influence and exquisite architecture. Those who visit Lisbon find the essence of Portugal at its best.
Over the years, Lisbon has become quite a tourist attraction, and prices for accommodation have skyrocketed. But there are still amazing ways to have fun on your Lisbon tour, exploring unique places and experiencing exciting adventures that can still be done on a budget.
Choose the Best Time to Travel
Most people visit Lisbon during the high season, and this results in high flight rates and inconvenience due to traffic and overcrowded tourist spots. Hence, choosing the right time to visit Lisbon matters a lot.
The Best Time to Travel to Lisbon
You don’t want to fight the crowds to grab your flight tickets or accommodations in Lisbon. Nobody wants that. Try traveling in spring or autumn to avoid this hassle. On average, fewer people visit Lisbon during this time, so the atmosphere around that time is relatively peaceful.
The second benefit of visiting in spring and autumn is the weather. The weather is moderately warm, and you can explore beautiful tourist places without being too hot to the point where you just want to get back to the hotel.
The Most Economical Time to Visit Lisbon
January and February are the cheapest months to visit Lisbon. Everything is more affordable in these cold months, from flight tickets and hotel accommodations to traveling expenses and even food.
Most people visit Lisbon in Summer, so you will find higher rates in the summer, but winter months like January and February are the cheapest. You can still see somewhere between April and October if you want to get warmer weather.
Let’s Find Cheap Flights
The first and foremost way to find cheap flights to Lisbon is to buy them a few weeks or months in advance. Consider buying your tickets at least 4 weeks before your tour. This will give you some time to research the cheapest flights, and you will find competitive rates.
Choose to travel in months when fewer people travel to Lisbon. Mainly January and February are the cheapest months when flights are less packed to charge you high rates.
Traveling Inside Lisbon: Use Public Transport
The cheapest way to discover Lisbon is on foot. To keep the transportation costs under your budget, choose public transport instead of renting a car or taxi.
Ride Lisbon Metro
Lisbon metro is economical, peaceful, and the fastest way to travel across the city. The Lisbon metro has four lines with four different colors to identify.
- Blue line
- Green line
- Red line
- Yello line
Traveling via the metro is the best way to explore Lisbon city. You need a Viva Viagem Card to travel. Details for this card are given at the end of this section. Service hours for the Lisbon metro are 06:30 am to 1 am, and one trip will set you back at just €1.5.
Ride the Bus
Traveling via bus can be more scenic compared to the metro. The bus will take you to where the metro and trams can’t. With 172 routes, you will find bus stops all around the city. Most of the time, maps and timetables are posted at bus stops.
Major bus lines run from 5 am to 11 pm daily. The interval between two consecutive buses on a stop is 15 to 20 minutes. Traveling via bus is economical and handy for a low-budget city tour.
Ride the Tram
If you want to experience how the people in the past used to travel in Lisbon, ride the tram. This is one of the most iconic tourist attractions the city has to offer and a great place to snap some incredible photos. While most of the trams have been replaced by the metro, there are still six old-school tram systems still functional, especially in hilly areas where the metro is not available.
Ride Lisbon’s Commuter Train System
Another way to have an economical and budget-friendly ride in Lisbon is to travel via the commuter train line system. This system has five lines crossing toward greater Lisbon. This is a fun way to have a 40 to 45 minutes short tour around Lisbon. The commuter train systems’ service hours vary but primarily run from 6 am to 1 am.
Ride Lsibon’s Ferry System
Ferries connect Lisbon to the Tejo South Bank. If you are up to traveling across the river, traveling via ferries is a fun way to commute. Transtejo operates these ferries. Want a smooth ride over water? You must try Libson’s ferry system.
Buy a Viva Viagem Card
You will have to buy a Viva Viagem card for €0.5, and this fee is non-refundable and can be purchased and loaded at any metro station in cash or using a card.
The Best Budget-Friendly Hotels and Restaurants in Lisbon
After getting cheap flights and economical transportation, another hurdle in your traveling dreams – is food and accommodation. Let’s check out some of the best places to sleep and eat in Lisbon and how you can save money doing it!
Advance Reservations Without Extra Charges
As with the flights, hotel reservations will also help you get the maximum discount and cheapest rates. When you travel in the months suggested above, you will automatically have affordable rates as fewer people are visiting the city.
Some of the Affordable Hotels to Stay in Lisbon
Here are some of the best affordable hotels with the best reviews.
ibis Lisboa Centro Saldanha
Ibis Lisboa Centro Saldanha is one of Lisbon’s most affordable and peaceful hotels. It is newly renovated and is situated in the center of the city. You will have markets, shops, and restaurants, everything a few steps ahead. So, staying at the ibis will save you most of the traveling cost.
Pátria Hotel comes second in popularity among visitors. The hotel offers all the amenities, and it is a 15-minute distance from Marques de Pombal Square.
Safety Lisbon Bairro Alto
If you want to be even closer to the tourist attractions on foot, then you should consider staying in the iconic neighborhood of Bairro Alto. Safety Lisbon Bairro Alto has partnered with walking tour guides and let you explore the fantastic spots on foot. Customers often call this hotel a hidden gem with a good ambiance and a small garden.
Eat Within Budget on Your Visit to Lisbon
Though you will find numerous spots to eat in Lisbon, the following three are the top picks for affordable and tasty treats.
Ze da Mouraria
Located at two different spots, one in Mouria and the other in Campo Martires, this restaurant offers you the best taste of Lisbon at a low price. The former branch is open for lunch only, and the latter is for dinner only.
Rosa da Rua – Enjoy a Buffet
Want to eat till you can’t move an inch? Rosa de Rua offers a buffet service to its customer with various dishes at an economical price. The food, service, and ambiance are perfect for dinner with your beloved.
Tascas: The Traditional Portuguese Low-Cost Dinners
If you want to taste traditional Portuguese food, Tascas are the places to visit. These are low-cost and simple restaurants that can be found all throughout Lisbon and Portugal. They are some of the best places to find the most affordable traditional Portuguese food.
Most Tascas often have daily dishes, and we recommend trying those. You can even try Superbock, the king of Portuguese beers and by far one of the best European beers around.
Prefer Free or Low-Cost Tourist Attractions
There are numerous places in Lisbon that you can explore on foot. Similarly, many tourist spots are free or low-cost. Below is the list of some of the budget-friendly or free tourist attractions in Lisbon:
- Iconic Alfama and Bairro Alto
- Free Fado Show
- Feira de Ladra
- Colorful Pink Street
- Praca do Comercio
- Lisbon Cathedral
- Jeronimos Monastery
Lisbon remains one of the best low-cost destinations in Western Europe, and while prices have increased over the last few years, there are still ways of visiting without spending a fortune. We hope this guide has helped you plan your next trip to Lisbon!