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Is Lisbon Expensive to Visit? (A Breakdown in Travel Costs)

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If you’ve found your way here then the top question you’re asking yourself is; ‘is Lisbon expensive to visit?’. We’ve created this post to break down everything from accommodation, food and attractions so that you can budget for your trip to Lisbon.

You’ll find that there are plenty of tips so that you can save money whilst you’re visiting Lisbon too.

Lisbon is easily one of our favourite European cities to visit. There is something about this enchanting city that just captures and entrances you.

If you’re visiting Lisbon on a budget then you’ve come to the right place. Read on below to find some quick facts on the prices in Lisbon. In the other sections, we will take a deeper dive on budget accommodation that we recommend, affordable tours for sightseeing and one of our top tips for saving money when you’re exploring in Lisbon.

Streets in Lisbon

Prices in Lisbon (Quick Facts)

A lot of people feel that Lisbon is really expensive but if you’re careful and know where to look then it can easily be done.

Below, you will find a list which will show you the average cost of drinks, food, accommodation and sightseeing tours in Lisbon.

Accommodation

One of the biggest factors for price of accommodation is the time of year that you choose to go. It will also depend on what type of accommodation you choose and where in Lisbon you’re looking to stay.

Below, you will find average prices for staying in a hostel, BnB and hotel per night. 

Hostel – 15 – 30 euros

BnB – 65 – 95 euros

Hotel – 70 – 150 euros

Eating & Drinking Out

Whilst you’re travelling, one of the biggest costs that can add up is food and drinks. The prices of this will greatly depend on where you choose to eat and what food you select.

In our food section, you will find recommendations and tips to save money when you’re eating out in Lisbon. Below you will find the average prices for drinks and food whilst you’re exploring Lisbon.

One of our favourite spots to eat was a pizza bar we found called Estacao Bica.

Domestic Beer – 1 – 3 euros

Wine – 3 – 5 euros

Soft Drink – 1.50 euros

Water – 1 euro

Breakfast – 3 – 15 euros

Lunch – 6 – 20 euros

Dinner – 15 – 50 euros

Getting Around

Prices greatly vary when travelling around Lisbon but the cheapest way to travel is by public bus. If you purchase a Viva Viagem card for 50 cents then you will receive cheaper fares.

Alternatively, if you look into purchasing a Lisbon Tourist Card, you will also receive free public transport too.

Uber – 10 – 15 euros (from airport to centre)

Taxi – 12 – 15 euros (from airport to centre)

Bus – 1.50 euros (Viva Viagem Card) / 3 euros (single fare)

Train – 1 – 3 euros (from Lisbon to Sintra)

Bus – 6 – 9 euros (from Lisbon to Sintra)

Bike Rental – 5 euros (1 hour) / 14 euros (per day)

Attractions

There are so many different attractions to visit whilst you’re in Lisbon. If you’re visiting Lisbon on a budget then make sure you plan accordingly and price up how much everything will cost.

To save yourself even more money then it is worth looking into an Lisbon tourist card. You will be able to save money on specific attractions and receive discounts on other attractions too.

Walking Tours – Free – 20 euros

Museum Entry – 2 – 15 euros

Food Tours – 45 – 80 euros

Wine Tours – 40 – 100 euros

Incredible monument taken in Lisbon.

Cheapest Time to Fly to Lisbon

Depending on which airport you choose to fly from will change the price of the cost to fly to Lisbon. Below you will see flight prices per month to Lisbon by entering your preferred departure airport.

This will help you check to see which is the cheapest month for you to fly to Lisbon. Also, by booking flights with WayAway, you will receive cashback on bookings.

Best Hostels in Lisbon, Portugal

When we were staying in Lisbon, we stayed in one hostel the first night and it really did not meet our expectations. Due to this, we ended up moving to a private room in another hostel. Surprisingly, the new hostel was lower rated but was much better than the first hostel.

When you’re choosing to stay in a hostel, whether it is Lisbon or elsewhere in the world, make sure you always do your research in advance. If it’s your first experience with hostels then you can read our tips for staying in hostels here.

The hostels that we’ve recommended below are affordable but also come with a great reputation too. Just because you’re planning a budget trip in Lisbon, doesn’t mean that you should suffer somewhere that is unclean or will make you unhappy.

The beautiful Lisbon marina.

Budget Hotels in Lisbon, Portugal

Sometimes, a hostel just doesn’t cut it and you want your own space. Sure, private rooms in hostels are great but it may be that you want a bit more privacy and less socialisation.

There are plenty of budget hotels in Lisbon, Portugal for you to enjoy. We’ve listed a few recommendations below to make your life much easier.

The hotels we have recommended below are not necessarily the cheapest you can get in Lisbon. We’ve included recommendations that are affordable but also close to the centre so that you will save money on travel costs too.

Save Money with a Lisbon City Card

If you’re travelling to Lisbon on a budget then you absolutely cannot go without purchasing a Lisbon City Card. This is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to save money whilst making the most of Lisbon.

There are a few variations of the card that you can purchase depending on if there is a main attraction that you want to visit. We purchased the Lisbon City Card with the Pena Palace combination.

As we knew that we wanted to visit Sintra when we visited, we decided that this would be the cheapest way to do it.

The Lisbon City Card itself includes access to over 38 attractions, unlimited free travel by bus, tram, metro and elevadores. You will also find that it has free train travel to Sintra and Cascais too so that will save you money in itself if you’re planning to venture out of Lisbon.

Another perk to these city cards is that it also includes free access to the infamous Santa Justa Elevator and tram 28 ride. On top of that, you’ll receive a guidebook and discounts to restaurants, shopping centres and much more.

Is Lisbon Expensive? Not if you plan and research in advance. We stayed at a really cheap hostel and this was the beautiful view we got showing Lisbon's streets.

Alternatively, you can choose to purchase the Lisbon City Card with Pena Palace like we did. On top of everything we listed above, it will also include access to the park and Pena Palace in Sintra and an audio guide too.

We find that these passes are really worth the money and you’ll save on some of the things you shouldn’t miss in Lisbon too!

You can purchase your Lisbon City Cards on the links below:

Affordable Tours & Experiences in Lisbon

Whether you’ve purchased a Lisbon City Card or not, there are still plenty of things to do in Lisbon that it would be impossible to include them all on the card (without it costing mega bucks anyway!).

Below we’ve included a list of some of our favourite affordable things to do in Lisbon. Some of these attractions are included with the Lisbon City Card so if you’re purchasing one then make sure you don’t double book!

1. Lisbon National Pantheon with Audio Tour

Originally a church, this pantheon is a really interesting historic place to visit within Lisbon. This audio tour will give you an insight into the history behind this magnificent building and admire the beautiful architecture. 

2. 3D Fun Art Museum

This museum is great fun whether you are an adult or travelling with children in Lisbon. Here, you will be able to take lots of awesome pictures for Instagram that’s for sure!

3. Bike Tours Lisbon – Centre of Lisbon to Belem

Head out on this bike tour from the centre of Lisbon to the infamous Belem. You will be able to enjoy the beauty of Belem Tower and enjoy the sights on the tour.

Belem Tower is one of our favourite spots to visit because it is so beautiful especially at sunset.

4. Lisbon Traditional Boats Express Cruise

See Lisbon from a different perspective by jumping on a traditional boat for 45 minutes. You will be able to view the beauty of the city from the water and enjoy some relaxation whilst you’re at it!

5. Lisbon Booze Cruise with Live DJ and Open Bar

Let your hair down and head out on a booze cruise along the water whilst taking in the sights of Lisbon. You can’t grumble at the price with an open bar too!

6. Fado Inside the Box Early Evening Show in Lisbon

Enjoy a bit of Lisbon culture by appreciating a traditional Fado night. This is something that you can’t miss whilst in Lisbon and really good evening.

7. The Jeronimos Monastery Tour

Learn more about the history of the monastery and the important features of the building itself. This interesting tour will give you plenty of information about Jeronimos Monastery and the importance that it holds for Portugal.

8. St. George Castle Entrance with Audio Tour

St. George’s Castle is one of our favourite spots to visit in Lisbon. Make sure you watch out for some of the peacocks wandering around the castle whilst you enjoy the audio tour!

Look out for the peacocks around Castello de Sao Jorge

9. Honey Tasting in Lisbon

Something a bit more unique to do in Lisbon is to sample the different honey that Lisbon has to offer. You will get to try seven different honeys that were made in Portugal complete with some snacks.

10. Craft Beer Tasting

Calling all beer connoisseurs! This craft beer tasting will take place in a pub and give you information and tastings of 5 different beers. You will learn what to pair the craft beers with and how they have been made.

11. Sunset Cruise with Wine & Snacks

Enjoying a sunset in Lisbon is one of the most beautiful experiences that you can have. This tour is perfect for any couples that are looking to enjoy a romantic evening watching the sun set from the water and appreciating the sights of Lisbon with a glass of wine and nibbles!

12. 90 Minute Amphibious Sightseeing Tour in Lisbon

This is a really awesome tour where you will get to explore Lisbon by both land and sea. This amazing bus will drive into the sea and convert into a bus. It’s like something from Transformers!

The hippo trip bus is a great way to see both the land and sea whilst you're in Lisbon.

13. Sunset Night Cruise with Champagne

If a sunset cruise with wine isn’t quite up your street then why not try champagne instead? This cruise is a beautiful way to spend time with your partner in Lisbon and appreciate the romantic aura of Lisbon.

14. Wine Tasting at Quinta das Murgas

For any wine lovers, this is an ultimate experience to try in Lisbon. You will get to try a variety of different wines from different vintages to fully appreciate the flavour. The tasting will take place in the farm, old mill or garden complete with a charcuterie board to enjoy.

15. Tapas Food Experience

In Spain and Portugal, Tapas is a great way to enjoy your food. Eating little and often is definitely the way forward. With this experience, you will get to try a variety of different Portuguese tapas dishes and learn more about the food along the way. Both drinks and food are included with this food tour making it for a reasonably priced evening.

Enjoy a tapas tasting tour to appreciate some of the tasty food in Lisbon Portugal

16. Pastel de Nata Workshop in Lisbon

Pastel de Natas are one of the main things that you need to try whilst you’re visiting Lisbon. This workshop will teach you how to make Pastel de Natas and give you a recipe to take home. The best part? You get to try what you made after with a glass of Porto wine or Ginja Liqueur.

17. Sintra Private Tour

If you’re visiting Lisbon then you need to head to Sintra and explore the fairytale magic of the palace and surrounding park. This private tour gives you access to a guide who will answer any questions that you have and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. Admire the beauty of the coast on your way to Sintra and make sure to take plenty of photos!

If you're visiting Lisbon then you need to take a trip to Sintra to see the beautiful vibrant palace.

Free Things to do in Lisbon

Liam walking the beautiful streets of Lisbon

1. Free Walking Tour in Lisbon

One of the best ways to explore the city especially if you only have a few days in Lisbon. With walking tours, it is customary to leave a tip at the end if you enjoyed the tour so prepare for this.

2. Explore Barrio Alto

With steep hills, gothic architecture and beautiful cobblestones, Barrio Alto is one of our favourite areas in Lisbon. Best part about it? You don’t need to spend a penny if you’re just wandering around.

3. Visit one or many of the Miradouros

There are so many wonderful viewpoints in Lisbon that you will be spoilt for choice. Hit up as many of the miradouros as you can to experience unique viewpoints across Lisbon.

4. Visit LX Factory

This trendy area used to be a textile factory but has now been converted to host a plethora of restaurants and shops. Here, you will find the best bookshop in Lisbon and admire some beautiful street art.

5. National Museum of Ancient Art

For anyone that loves and appreciates art, this is definitely the place to go. You will find artwork dating from the 12th – 19th century to peruse and admire.

6. Wander around the Time Out Market

Even if you’re on a budget, it is still worth having a wander around the Time Out Market to soak up the atmosphere. It is a vibrant bustling hub of tourists and locals alike looking to enjoy some yummy food.

The Time Out Market is one of the best places to visit in Lisbon and it is usually very busy.

8. Igreja de Santo Antonio

This beautiful church is worth a visit to admire alone. You will find that newly weds tend to visit the church to pray on their wedding day for good luck in their marriage. This is one of the reasons why it is one of the top romantic cities in Europe to visit for Valentine’s Day.

7. Ponte 25 de Abril

This bridge highly resembles the bridge in San Francisco and often gets mistaken as such. This is a great spot to wander to if you’re looking for an awesome Instagram photo.

Ponte 25 de Abril is a stunning bridge in Lisbon which vastly resembles the bridge in San Francisco

Best Places to Eat in Lisbon on a Budget

It is no secret that Lisbon is not one of the cheapest destinations to visit in Europe but you can easily explore and eat affordably.

Whilst you’re in Lisbon, you can take advantage of some of the street food on the corners at night. This will help you save a good bit of money and is quick and easy.

One of our favourite finds was a window selling hot dogs and a beer for 5 euros. It was enough to fill us and quench our first too.

In Lisbon, at night you are able to drink on the streets and you will often find locals with a plastic cup outside popular places to drink. The nightlife atmosphere really is incredible and it’s great to see so many different people socialising outside and enjoying the evening.

We’ve created a list of some of the best places to grab a bite to eat when you’re on a budget in Lisbon.

In our opinion, breakfast can be a little expensive in Lisbon but there are a lot of aesthetic cafes designed for an Instagram paradise. If it is within your budget then try to go out for breakfast once or twice whilst you’re there. Alternatively, find a hostel / hotel that includes breakfast or grab some fresh fruit from a local supermarket to go.

Whilst breakfast in Lisbon can be a little more expensive than other places, they certainly know how to do it well. You will be surrounded by so many places that offer breakfast and brunch you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Liam and I enjoying a sangria and beer

Breakfast

  • Chiado Caffe
  • The Mill
  • Dear Breakfast
  • Quase Cafe
  • Pop Cereal Cafe

Lunch

  • Lucimar
  • A Mesa Do LX
  • Taberna Alentejo
  • Estação Bica Pizza Pub
  • Vila Bica

Dinner

  • Cozinha Popular de Mouraria
  • Popular do Capelo
  • Ti Alcina
  • Adega Da Mo
  • A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira
  • The Decadente

Lisbon Budget Tips

1. Don’t fall into the first restaurant you see

Especially down the waterfront, there are a lot of wonderful restaurants that come with a beautiful view. However, we wouldn’t advise eating here for a number of reasons.

They may be easy to get to and you may just want to stop to grab some food and rest your feet for a while. Yet, you will find that as other tourists often do the same thing and fall into these restaurants, they are often more expensive than most places.

Pink latte is absolutely great thing to try whilst you're in Lisbon and Instagram friendly too!

Another thing that you will find is that they are often really busy so the quality of service is not as good as you would get at a small local eatery.

Before you go to Lisbon, research areas around where you’re staying and planning to visit to see where it is affordable to eat. This will help you be able to budget accurately and save you from falling into the first restaurant you see.

If you prefer travelling without an itinerary then you may need to prepare that you will have to wander around for a little while before finding somewhere affordable. However, a perk to this is that you will often find plenty of hidden gems along the way. Use our quick facts section above to check that you’re not overpaying for food.

2. Purchase a Lisbon City Card

If you’ve skipped straight here then you may not know about these wonderful city cards. They are a great way to save some money and explore as much of Lisbon as possible.

With these city cards, you will get access to around 38 attractions, an audio guide, guidebook, unlimited public transport access and much more.

Equally, if you’re planning to visit Sintra, you can upgrade your card to include access to Pena Palace too.

They are really worth the money and will keep your costs for sightseeing low.

3. Grab food at a supermarket

Instead of eating out all the time, head over to one of the supermarkets and purchase some fresh food.

If you’re staying in a hostel then you will often have facilities to cook which will cut down the costs of food whilst you’re in Lisbon.

Even if you don’t have any kitchen facilities at your accommodation, it is still worth visiting the supermarket to grab snacks and breakfast items.

You can purchase some pastries, fresh fruit etc. this will help keep costs of eating out lower.

4. Avoid Eating food at the waterfront

The waterfront is a beautiful place to visit but it is also where you will find tourists flock to.

For this reason, a lot of the restaurants are more expensive than other areas of Lisbon. As we mentioned in our first tip, you may also find that the food is not the best quality too as these restaurants are often very busy and in a rush.

5. Don’t Eat at Lisbon’s Time Out Market If You’re On a Budget

The Time Out Market in Lisbon is amazing to visit and experience especially if it’s your first time visiting Lisbon.

With that in mind, we wouldn’t recommend eating here if you’re travelling to Lisbon on a budget. The food is often a little more expensive than you would find in a local restaurant.

You may also find that wait times for food are incredibly high due to how busy it is.

If you’re wanting to try something at the market then we recommend looking out for some cold food such as Nata ice cream. As it can be so busy, food can often go cold with it waiting for a while so often it is worth sticking to cold food instead to save disappointment.

6. Look for ‘hole in the wall’ places to eat

Especially in the Barrio Alto area, you will find that there are small windows that sell food for you to eat on the go.

One evening when we were hitting some of the bars in Lisbon, we stumbled across a place that sold hotdogs and beer for only 5 euros. The food was delicious and it was nice to be eating on the street instead of sitting down at a restaurant.

Keep an eye out for places like this as you will find that they are quick, easy meals at an affordable price. Not just that but if you’re looking to enjoy a drink then they will often have deals so that you can save money on this too.

This 'hole in the wall' place we found served hot dogs and a beer for just 5 euros. Cachorro Quente was a great find before heading out for a few drinks and a cheap eat too.

7. Join the free walking tour

One of the best ways to explore a city is by joining a walking tour and Lisbon is no different.

Lisbon offers a free walking tour that will take you around the main sights of the city and teach you more about their importance. No matter which city we visit, we absolutely love joining a walking tour as it is a quick and easy way to see the sights.

With walking tours, whilst it is not mandatory, it is customary to leave a tip at the end if you enjoyed the tour. Tour guides are grateful for any tips left for them as this is how they earn their money.

This is an affordable way to explore the city and you will be able to choose how much to leave as a tip at the end of the tour.

8. Use public transport

One of the infamous yellow trams in Lisbon

Public transport is the cheapest way to get around Lisbon. With all the steep inclines throughout the city, you will certainly want to rest your feet and take public transport.

If you’ve purchased a Lisbon City Card then unlimited public transport will be included with your card. This is a great way to save money and also your poor feet at the same time.

If you’ve not purchased a city card then take advantage of using the bus by purchasing a Viva Viagem Card. It will cost 50 cents to buy the card but you will have a greatly reduced bus fare with the card.

Try to avoid using taxis if you can help it because this will soon add up the cost of your budget trip to Lisbon.

9. Plan your time

One of the best ways to save money whilst travelling is to plan your trip and time as much as you can.

By doing this, you will know when you’re expecting expenses and where. This also helps you to find cheaper alternatives too!

When we’re arranging a budget trip, we like to book some of our tours and sightseeing in advance so that whilst we’re there, our spending money is purely for food and souvenirs. That is, unless we find something really cool to do whilst we’re exploring!

10. Stay at a hostel

It may seem obvious but staying at a hostel is one of the best ways to save money in Lisbon.

If you’ve never stayed in a hostel before then you can check out our hostel guide for more tips.

They are an affordable way to stay in a city and if you’re off out exploring all day then it won’t matter much that you’re sharing with other people. This frees up more money to have awesome experiences in Lisbon instead.

Often when you’re staying at hostels you will find that there are activities or breakfast included in your stay. In some hostels there will be free walking tours or activities such as cocktail making, beer pong etc. They are all designed for you to meet new people whilst you’re travelling and experience the culture.

11. Travel out of Season

If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon then you will save money by visiting out of season.

During the summer months, you will find that Lisbon is much more expensive. The flight prices increase along with the price of tours, accommodation and food.

Igreja de Santo Antonio

We have visited Lisbon in both February and October which are considered out of season. Both times, it was still quite busy but quiet enough to enjoy the city without too many people.

You will find that the busiest period to visit Lisbon is between June until the end of September. With that in mind, try to avoid visiting during these periods so that you can keep costs low.

When Amy visited Lisbon in February, it was still quite warm and able to enjoy the attraction even more with less people. In October, we experience a couple downpours of rain but not enough to dampen the trip. Forgive the pun!

Is Lisbon Expensive to Visit? Our Verdict

It is true that Lisbon is not the cheapest city to visit in Europe but it is certainly a beautiful place to travel to.

Whilst it can get quite expensive in Lisbon, you can easily do it on a budget. The most important thing is to plan your trip to Lisbon so that you know roughly where you’re planning to eat, stay and the things that your planning to do.

One of the biggest ways to save money whilst you’re in Lisbon is investing in a city card. As these city cards include free public transport, this will save you a lot of time and money.

Lisbon is renown for it’s steep hills and trust us when we say that you can’t do it all on foot. Having a card that gives you access to unlimited public transport will really help (not just your wallet but your feet too!).

The most expensive part about visiting Lisbon is choosing your accommodation. There are a lot of places to stay in Lisbon that are affordable but not very good quality. It can be easy to fall into this trap (like we did) and not enjoy your time there or not get a good rest.

It is worth spending a little more money on accommodation in Lisbon so that you’re happy and know that it will be clean.

One of the beautiful streets in Lisbon

It’s also important to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep (especially after all that exploring) so you want to find somewhere that you won’t be disturbed.

Another expensive part about travelling around Lisbon is the price of breakfast in particular. You can easily avoid this cost by only eating breakfast at a cafe once or twice. The remainder of the time you can either grab a pastry to go or visit a supermarket to stock up.

So, ‘Is Lisbon expensive to visit?’ There is not really a set answer for this and yes, it is expensive to visit but you can easily turn it into a cheap place to visit with a bit of planning and research.

How expensive is eating out in Lisbon?

The prices for food in Lisbon can really vary. Typically you’re looking at 3-15 euros for breakfast, 6-20 euros for lunch and 15 – 50 euros for dinner. If you research restaurants beforehand you will be able to budget much more easily.

Is Lisbon budget friendly?

It is no secret that Lisbon is not one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. However, as long as you do your research in advance, you will easily be able to have a budget-friendly trip in Lisbon.

How much should I budget for Lisbon?

Lisbon can be quite an expensive city to visit but if you research thoroughly beforehand, you will be able to have a budget-friendly trip. On average, you should look to budget 60 – 80 euros per day including accommodation for a frugal traveller.

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