Lisbon is a beautiful capital built across seven hills and offering guests amazing views It’s a laid back city with a riverside feel, pastel buildings, and a thriving cafe scene. Compared to many affordable cities, it’s very affordable and if you run out of money, you can just spend your days on the beach sunning yourself for free! Having worked out how to relocate to Lisbon a few years ago, and worked in the city for 6 months, here are my best tips on taking on this incredible spot with a tight budget.
But, if you’re in need of full meal for a growling belly, Almada would be my pick. As long as you are near Lisbon’s famous bridge, you are near the ferry across the waterway, and great seafood is served on both sides. There are some lovely fish restaurants lining the banks of the river here that won’t break the bank and you can’t go wrong with Alentejo bread or the famous ‘bacalhau com natas’ or cod in cream.
As night falls, your best budget thrill is in Bairro Alto- the city’s nightlife capital. It’s a place to socialise, nibble snacks and try the best drinks while meeting friendly locals. Arrive at a a traditional fado bar such as A Tasca do Chico, Rua do Diario de Noticias 39, around 8pm and reserve your seat, then order a drink and wait for a night of sweet fado. Avoid pricey touristic fado places with high cover charges, the real experience is out there and costs only a few tasty drinks. While you’re sipping, try Vinho do Porto, a wine from the Porto region, or the sweet cherry liquor Ginjinha.
Lisbon’s prices have been gently stabilising after the euro’s economic downturn, but it’s still a very affordable destination, perfect for a budget long weekend. The public transport is excellent and full of character, so you’ll avoid pricey taxis, and always go for the local experience rather than the tourist trail to save your pennies. If you’ve 24 hours spare in Europe, take a layover tour of Brussels or find out how to get to San Marino.