This article is part of our Spending Money Guide Series: The WeSwap community spent upwards of £38 million around the world last year. That works out at roughly 1.2 transactions every minute. We’ve taken that data, crunched it and created a series of travel money spending guides, based on how actual travellers travel and spend abroad.
With real data from real travellers, we’ve explored how much you really need to budget for a trip to Portugal's capital city. We've included the price of a beer, a meal at a great restaurant, a day trip to Belem and a night out in Bairro Alto. We'll also cover other helpful things like transport costs. Really, it's all here:
This reflects what everyday travellers tend to spend in Lisbon. Think mid-range: Nothing super-cheap, nothing super-extravagant. It doesn’t include the cost of hotels or car hire as these are often booked in advance.
Want to see where it all goes? Read on!
Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: €38 per day
One of the reasons behind Lisbon's upsurge in popularity is the burgeoning food and drink scene. Eating out regularly is very much part of the Portuguese culture, which keeps standards high and prices low. But bookings are essential in most places, especially on weekends. Tipping is expected at around 12% of the tab, or round-up to the nearest euro if you’re having a coffee.
Portuguese wine doesn't get the recognition it deserves but that means that prices are still low which is great for travellers.
Cervejaria Ramiro is the most popular restaurant with WeSwap travellers and is probably the best-known seafood restaurant in town. This place is busy no matter when you go: in the middle of the afternoon or in the middle of the night - so book ahead. It's also equally as popular with locals as it is with travellers - which is usually a sound good indication of quality. No, it's not cheap. But yes, it's worth it.
You cannot go to Lisbon and not try their most famous pastry, the pasties de nata AKA the custard tart. Located right where the areas of Bairo Alto and Chaido meet, Manteigaria does the best one in town. Although we don't recommend taking Trip Advisor as gospel, this place holds position No.1 of 88 "dessert restaurants" in Lisbon. Not bad.
Taberna da Rua das Flores, is, without doubt, the best meal I had in Lisbon and is our staff pick. You must, find this little gem. Incredible tapas and wine and you'll pay less than €20 a head. The food is stunning. It's hard to say anymore. Google it, pin it, visit it.
The Bairro Alto district is an awesome night out with the majority of fun being had out on the thin streets as people spill out of the bars, pubs and clubs. It is popular with students, which as we all know, means one thing: cheap drinks.
Paginas Tantas is a cozy, contemporary live jazz bar with a more relaxed atmosphere. It's not in the least bit pretentious and provides a nice alternative if that's what you want.
If it's a stunning rooftop bar view you're looking for there are 2-3 good options. "Park" in Bairro Alto is super trendy - you have to go through an actual multi-storey carpark to get there too. Our pick for a high-rise cocktail is Entrentanto at the summit of Hotel Chiado. Go at sunset for this...
Bairro Alto closes down not long after midnight but that is not the end: no, no, no. Anyone who wants to keep going after the watching hour heads down to Pink Street. The street is actually pink which makes things easy on a number of levels. Mainly directional levels.
Helpful traveller tip: Between the uneven cobbles, grid manholes and steep hills, you’d be far better off wearing hiking boots than heels in this town. Pop flip-flops in your handbag or rucksack for the walk between pubs to avoid any ankle sprainage. Thank us later.
Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: €38
Castelo de Sao Jorge or the Castle of St George is probably the most high-profile attraction in Lisbon and indeed, the most popular with WeSwap travellers too. There’s an entrance fee of 8.50 EUR but the gardens are free to enter and offers awesome views over the city.
The spectacular Jeronimos Monastery sits in the costal town of Belem just down the coast from Lisbon. A walk through the gardens would be worth the €10 entrance fee alone. The train takes about 5 minute and costs next to nothing. We would recommend taking a two-mile coastal walk back into Lisbon; You'll go under spectacular 25 de Abril Bridge (it looks just like the Golden Gate in San Francisco) and pass the recently opened Museum of Art which opened in October 2016.
Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon, it's not an "attraction" as such but it is a must-visit area. It’s characterized by irregular winding medieval streets and alleyways that have traditionally been the neighbourhood for fishermen. This is the place to go to find some authentic fado music (the traditional music of Lisbon) too.
Free walking tours are all over the world now but the format takes the same structure: you enjoy it, you tip at the end. You dislike it, you leave before the end. To call the "Chillout Walking Tour", a "tour" or our host NuNu a "tour guide", feels like a slight disservice. This is much more than that. If you partake in one experience in Lisbon, let it be this. It’s also a great way to get your bearings so we would say do it on your first day in the city.
Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: €8
The tram is not only an excellent way to get up and down the seven hills of Lisbon, it is an experience in itself. The yellow trams are an iconic feature of the city and you'll find many people riding them just for the fun.
Tram No. 28 is the famous one and will be rammed with a combination of workers going to work and sight-seeing tourists at any given time. We recommend taking the No.15 and No.18 trams, they cover a very similar route but are not as well known.
Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: €57
Of course, shopping budget depends on the individual Chiado is the main city centre shopping area with high-street and high-end.
Feira da Ladra is the big flea market and takes place on a Tuesday and a Saturday. In true flea market style, you can find absolutely everything at the flea market but make sure you take a big old dollop of patience. Oh, and beware of the midday sun.
Last checked and updated: 15.03.2017. All travel, accommodation and entertainment costs are taken from the provider’s official website – but don’t forget to double check yourself first before you head off.
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