Tag Archives: Lisbon

Five things to do in Lisbon for under €5

So, you’re in the capital of Portugal. You did a day trip to Sintra, you’ve spent a beachy day at Caiscais, now you’re looking for some things to do in Lisbon itself. Here are my top five things to do in the city:

1) Free Walking tour


I am not sick of writing it, I am not sick of doing it, free walking tours are the best activity one can do in any city. SANDEMAN’s New Europe free walking tours are some of the best free walking tours I have ever done (and I proudly say this with no compensation from the company). The tour guides are so well informed about the history of the city, and so clearly love this place, it is hard not to fall in love yourself. They work on tips, so you decide how much the tour was worth at the end. I generally stick to €5-€10, because I am on a crazy budget, but you tip whatever you feel!

Cost: €5 (-€10 if you’re not a cheapskate)


2) Get the view of the city from St George’s castle


You can take an elevator for €7 up most of the way to this observation deck, OR if you find the monastery, there is a little pathway beside it on the right. Follow the path and you will find the top of the elevator. You just saved €7, my friend! You still pay €3 to walk up the stairs all the way to the top of the lookout point and the view is spectacular. I would say it may even be worth €7 for the elevator as well as the €3, but then you will drink those two beers you bought with that €7 and you’ll thank me.

Cost: €3 if you take the shortcut!


3) Get Lost in Alfama


The streets of Alfama were built to make enemy soldiers get lost. It was some of Lisbon’s greatest defense! I can see how one could get lost… Turn a corner, and you’re at a dead end. All of a sudden, the only way to get home is by climbing a super skinny, dark, steep staircase. Streets are only as long as 100m until they turn or end. Go, wander, bring some water just in case. You can continue making your way uphill and find the Miradouro das Portas do Sol Observation Deck for a view of Porto you won’t quickly forget!

Cost: Free. €1 if you buy a shot of Ginginja…


4) Eat dinner at Time Out Market


The Time Out Market, located a quick walk from old town, is a restaurant market full of many different vendors selling many different food and drinks! It’s the perfect night out, because everyone can get something different! I had delicious croquettes from Croqueteria Está Aquiz, tried some Oysters from Monte Mar, and split a bowl of Poke from the Hawaiian fusion place. Come here to drink beer, eat a delicious meal, and people watch.

Cost: Whatever you want it to be!


5) Eat a pastel de nata at Manteigaria


A Pastel de Nata is an incredibly delicious, creamy, custardy Portuguese pastry. In Lisbon you can get one from any bakery, but the best Pastel de Nata is from Manteigaria. When you are walking through the streets of Lisbon and you hear a bell toll, no, it is not a church bell (well it might be, there are a lot of churches in Lisbon) it is the bell of bakery Manteigaria signifying you that a fresh batch of Pastel de Nata has just come out of the oven! RUN there. Do not walk. The most amazing custardy tart awaits you!

Cost: €4.50 for two tarts, a coffee, and a tea


Looking for some more inspiration? Read about my day in Lisbon here!

Heading to Porto? Check five things to do in Porto here!

Patio Sitting in Lisbon

Steph and I decided go for an adventure! We walked through the heat down to the centre. Steph confessed she had a wish for a big, cold glass of fresh lemonade. I hoped we could make it happen, but we weren’t optimistic. We took the shortcut through the metro, wandered through the streets until we found the monastery,and took the secret pathway beside it. It spit us out half way up a lookout point. We paid the €1 to walk up the stairs all the way to the top. The view was spectacular. I love climbing to the tops of things and looking out. It’s the best. We did a photo shoot and stayed up there for as long as could stand. We were both sweating alcohol out of our pores, and with nowhere for shade, we were overheating.

Me, on top of the world.

We walked back to Alfama to meet up with our friends. As we walked and talked, a kiosk caught my eye. LEMONADE! As if. AS IF there is lemonade! It was like a dream come true. We bought two cups and were the happiest girls in Alfama.

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Steph and I as the happiest girls in Alfama

The giant group of us (seven) wandered around the streets, searching for a dinner place. The problem with looking for a dinner place with seven, really easygoing people is that we will never find a place, because everyone’s, “easy.” As we weaved in and out of the streets, we spotted a BBQ at the end of a skinny lane. Perfect! Pateo 13 (Patio 13). We walked up and Yuri asked the man if we could sit at the free table outside. We sat down and the crazy yelling began. The waiter was talking to Yuri in Portuguese, and kept yelling sporadically at the man at the BBQ. I kept telling Yuri to order wine. He wasn’t responding to me. I talked over the yelling Portuguese, and said to Henrique, “can you order two bottles of red wine?” He didn’t react to me. Am I invisible? Rebecka and Kevin were just laughing! Everyone was yelling! It was CRAZY! I finally grabbed the waiter’s attention and said, “can we have two bottles of red wine, please?” The waiter laughed and yelled something at Yuri, who laughed along with Henrique. Holy moly! I just wanted wine. All of a sudden, we were ordering! The waiter left and I asked Yuri if he had ordered wine. He said, “don’t you worry. I would never leave you wine-less!” I smiled. Sure enough, the waiter came back with two bottles of red wine. Phew!

The gang

We had some great conversation. I don’t remember it all, but I remember laughing pretty much the entire time. Henrique said something about “cockfish” and we all laughed. He meant codfish of course, and this we all knew, but couldn’t help to laugh. The food was great, the wine went down too quickly, one bottle, two bottles, three bottles, then we left. We mostly left because the entire patio had closed down and we were being shooed by people hanging out of windows, clearly trying to sleep on this Sunday evening. Yuri knew of a little bar we could go to for more drinks. It was called Tasca, and it was here we sat outside around a table, and ordered another bottle of wine. Next thing we knew, a man came outside of the bar holding a bucket with a rope in it, attached to a stick. He placed the bucket down, held the stick in place, and began playing it like a bass. WHAT?! A man with a guitar joined him and they began playing music. I can’t believe he is playing a bucket with a rope and a stick. I don’t know when it happened, but the guitarist asked the crowd if anyone plays the melodica. Rebecka offered Kevin, the professional pianist, and his skills. The guitarist handed Kevin the melodica and we all waited with bated breath. Sure enough, Kevin rocked it. I think everyone, the musicians, the audience, and even Kevin were surprised at how good he was. “I’m salivating everywhere”, he said.

The bar closed down and we all parted ways. I fell asleep on a cloud that night in Lisbon.

A man playing a guitar and a man playing a bucket & rope!