Ubers are super cheap in Lisbon.
The drivers we had were so friendly and made lots of recommendations for us too.
Utilise the kitchen facilities in your accommodation.
Groceries are cheap, and if you were really trying to save money or if you were particularly tired from travelling, this would be a really cost friendly dinner option.
Avoid tourist traps!
One of the biggest tourist traps we were told about was the Santa Justa lift. There are constant queues to use the lift, and you have to pay for the privilege just to see the views from the top. However, as we discovered on our walking tour, there was actually a free entrance round the back. This meant you could still get to the top and admire the views without being stung by the price or lines of tourists.
Beware of expensive, unauthentic Fado shows.
Do not get sucked in by the unauthentic Fado shows aimed at tourists, as they usually cost around 50 euros, compared to the traditional shows which are usually free. There are plenty of authentic fado places in Lisbon, especially in Alfama, so do your research or ask a local before committing to one.
Book a free walking tour!
We booked with Sandemans, and our guide was so engaging and he took the time to speak to everyone individually. It was so interesting to hear about the history behind such a beautiful city so early in our trip, as it gave us our bearings and we quickly learned that Lisbon is a really easy place to navigate on foot. Our guide was also quick to make us aware of any tourist traps, which was really refreshing and made us feel a lot safer. I can't believe these tours are free, it took around 2 hours and was packed with information. It is expected for you to leave a tip, but it’s completely up to you how much you want to spend.
Alcohol is super cheap from small shops and newsagents.
A lot of the local shops and newsagents sell bottles of Superboc for only 1€! If you’re staying in an accommodation with a balcony or outdoor seating area, sitting out with some beers is a great option if you're tired after travelling and don't want to be in a crowded bar.
Look out over Lisbon for free from a Miradouro.
Lisbon is famous for its many miradouros, which are high viewpoints that give gorgeous panoramic views across the city. We headed to the Miradouro Portas Do Sol about 6:30/7pm. I'm an absolute sucker for a nice sunset, and this is the perfect place to catch the sun go down over Lisbon. I'd also recommend taking a beer or some snacks with you to enjoy - we didn't think to do this but loads of other people did and we were pretty jealous as it makes for an amazing picnic spot.
Take a water bottle and snacks with you everywhere you go!
Most cafes and restaurants will fill up your water bottle for free, which is a much cheaper and more eco-friendly way to stay hydrated in the sun! For snacks, even if you just grab some Lays from the supermarket, it might stop you from taking a seat at a restaurant that will end up costing you way more euros than you intended.
When visiting Pena Palace in Sintra, use local transport instead of tourist buses!
When planning your trip to Lisbon, you’ve probably seen and planned to make a pit stop at Pena Palace. It’s an absolutely gorgeous building, and I would definitely recommend paying it a visit. We took the train from Rossio Station, which is super quick and easy - a return fare is €4.50, the journey is around 40 minutes and 4 trains leave every hour. However, it’s really easy to get caught out once you arrive at Sintra station. When you first arrive, it can be really confusing to work out which bus to take, as the outside of the station is littered with tourist agencies trying to get you to buy overpriced tour tickets. The cheapest and easiest way to get there is to get the 434 bus, which stops on the right hand side down the road from the station. Tickets can be bought directly from the driver on board so it's really easy. Once you get up to the palace grounds, you are met by a box office. You will probably only need to get the cheaper ticket for park access, rather than the more expensive ticket to access the inside of the palace.
Find some traditional Ginjinha in Alfama.
Ginjinha (cherry liquor) is a local delicacy. I was so happy when we stumbled upon one of these stalls in a backstreet in Santo Estevao. The liquor was so tasty, cheap (only 1€!) and came in a dark chocolate cup.
Lauralouisebell is a lifestyle blog focused on all things travel and living on a budget. Readers will visit this blog for money saving tips, city break itineraries and cool vegan food finds. In addition, the blog features many pictures shot on film cameras, providing a retro perspective on cities around the world. This blog is particularly aimed at people who want to see the world at a small cost.
Rajlakshmi "Thank you so much for these tips. Tourist traps are so widely present in popular tourist destinations. It is hard to escape one unless you have local knowledge. It's good that you mentioned it. I love going on guided tours as it provides so much information about the culture and history of the place."
Vidya Sury "Great tips! That cherry wine sounds delicious! Uber has really changed the way we travel making it easy to book and giving us access to places we'd be going crazy looking for. That palace is so cute, like a fairy tale creation. I am sure many cakes have been themed after it! Thank you for the valuable pointers to stay safe and of course, savings!"
Shilpa Garg "Yes, Uber is the best way to travel in a city. Touristy traps are everywhere and guess, staying away from them and exploring on your own is the best strategy. What are Fado shows? I like the idea of carrying a water bottle and snacks. Great tips, Thanks for sharing :)"