lisbon miradouro

There is something in Lisbon that many keep on coming back. For many backpackers, it is easy to hop on one tram to another or walk around its neighborhood to prove that the city is such as wondrous place to explore.

Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital is a grand showcase of the old and the new. Its old town still features its pastel-colored buildings from ancient roots which are a nice contrast to the city’s modernity.

Whether it must be their museums and castles or its nightlife and great city views, Lisbon is a place that is never a tiring place to explore.

If you are worldpacking or backpacking Lisbon for a couple of days, make sure everything is crossed out of our must-see sights before you leave. Here’s a list of what you can explore in this charming city on a budget.

8 things to do in Lisbon on a budget

1. Explore Bairro Alto

When in Lisbon , expect to walk around amazing neighborhood situated in its hills. 

Bairro Alto, or also known as the Upper City, is tucked in one of Lisbon’s hills. By taking a trolley or a tram in going there, you are guaranteed great views of the city’s oldest buildings painted in pastel hues. 

Majority of the buildings found here are survivors of the great earthquake that hit the city in 1755. Aside from its interesting architecture, Bairro Alto is also home for Lisbon’s popular nightlife escapes and gastronomic adventures.

2. Tour around Alfama

Made up of pathways covered with cobblestones and adorned with tiled buildings, Alfama is a picture- worthy backdrop for some budding photographers. 

The city’s oldest town is also close to São Jorge Castle and the Tejo River, which can be a part of your itinerary when booking for a walking tour around the neighborhood. 

What is good about walking around this old district is that you get a glimpse of the local’s lives—grandmothers hanging their laundry by their windows, interesting street arts, and their favorite drink Ginjinha, Portuguese liquor.

3. São Jorge Castle

In one of Lisbon’s hills sits São Jorge Castle, a centuries-old royal place and one of the city’s most popular destinations.

The castle was built by Visigoths in the 5th century and was altered by the Moors during the reign of Afonso I of Portugal. Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian ruins were recently discovered in the castle.

Wait for sunset and savor the commanding Lisbon view and Tagus River from the castle.

4. Monastery of Jerónimos

During the time when Portugal was one of the most powerful countries around the globe in the 16th century, the Monastery of Jeronimos was erected. 

Built in limestone, the masterpiece of Manueline and Gothic architecture is where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is buried. The monastery also served as a resting place for poet Luis de Camões and King Manuel and King Sebastião.

5. Spend a day in Belem

Dedicate a day in one Lisbon’s famous district for its iconic spots. Learn more about Lisbon with tours in museums like MAAT and Berardo Museums which houses works of Dali, Picasso, and Warhol. 

Its gardens showcasing the city’s history as well while the most famous attraction Belem Tower is a 200 plus stairs climb with stunning waterfront views.

6. Take a good view of Lisbon

There are a number of Miradouros, or viewpoints, offering stunning views of Lisbon. 

For a night time view, best to go to Elevador de Santa Justa viewpoint to check out magical city lights. For soloist who wanted to seek for fewer crowd, Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII is the place to be. 

Miradouro de Santa Catarina meanwhile has stunning Lisbon views couple with food stalls with food and drinks. Castle St. Jorge is one of the hundreds of miradouros for free.

Meanwhile, Miradouro das Portas do Sol is frequented for its views of Alfama roofs and the serene vibe of Tejo Estuar.

7. Nightlife in Lisbon

When done with all the walking tours of neighborhoods and museums, it’s now time to relax and check out Lisbon’s enthralling nightlife.

As earlier said, Bairro Alto has a good number of bars to choose from which boasts of fund nightlife experience. Being one of the cities in Europe with biggest numbers of clubs, one will not find it boring to search for cool stops to relax and have fun.

Choose from popular bars like Music Box located in the red-light district of Cais do Sodre or Dock’s Club at Alcântara. If you feel like you want to spend some cash for booze, head on to Lux.

8. Shop at Chiado

Before heading home from a weekend of backpacking Lisbon, never miss out buying some stuff for you on the city’s shopping district. Here you will find Rua Garrett’s popular shops, as well as the Armazéns, do Chiado mall where you may tempt to splurge some cash.

If you have any other tips about what to do in Lisbon on a budget, please comment them below so we can add to our list!



Karolina and Patryk are full-time travelers, digital nomads and professional bloggers. They are o...

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Nov 19, 2018

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