The 5 Best Ways to Save in Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

VISIT MONUMENTS ON SUNDAY MORNINGS
Most of Lisbon’s national monuments and museums are free on Sunday mornings until 2PM. That means that if you’re in the city on a weekend, be sure to wake up early on Sunday and head to the Jeronimos Monastery. After a visit to the church and cloisters, head next door for the Archaeology Museum (currently with an exhibition of Portugal’s Celtic and Roman past and with the “sick mummy”), then next door again for the Maritime Museum (telling the story of Portugal’s history at sea).
Then cross the road using the underpass across from Jeronimos’ gardens and walk towards Belem Tower. It’s also free until 2PM. Then walk back again, past the Discoveries Monument and enter the Berardo Museum for its surprising collection of international modern art. This museum is always free, every day of the week.

GET THE LISBOA CARD
Even if you take advantage of the free Sunday mornings for monuments and museums, you’ll still have to pay for transportation. So to avoid having to look for change and taking time buying tickets, acquire the Lisboa Card. It’s the city’s tourist card which provides free unlimited rides on all of the city’s buses, trams and metro except for the special airport bus. It saves you lots of money and time on getting around, but it also offers free admission to all the major attractions, even when it’s not Sunday. The few attractions that are not free with the card still have reduced admission with it. It’s really the best investment you can make in Lisbon.

EAT AT CAFÉS
You’ll find that eating out in Lisbon is much cheaper than in most other European capitals. However, prices have gone up and it’s probably a good idea if one of your meals is not at a restaurant. The best lunch options are often at cafés, especially in Chiado. Many offer great-value meals often with restaurant-sized portions. Those may includes pastas, salads or sandwiches. The same type of light meals are found at fast food restaurants in the shopping malls. Next to McDonald’s and other well-known names you’ll find local options such as “Go Natural,” “Vitaminas” and “H3” offering healthier choices. The Armazéns do Chiado mall in Chiado has a good food court with city views, with several of those fast-but-good restaurants.

STAY AT AN APARTMENT
Although Lisbon’s hotels are officially the best-value in Western Europe (especially 5-star accommodation according to annual surveys), you can really save by staying at an apartment. Many renovated houses in charming residential neighborhoods like medieval Alfama or in the heart of the city in Baixa are now used for tourist stays. GoLisbon has the most Lisbon apartment choices online, for as little as 20 euros per person per night. That means your own Lisbon home, with more privacy and even more space than a hotel room. It’s perfect for families or for those looking for the “living in Lisbon” experience.

DON’T OVERLOOK THE FREE ATTRACTIONS
The Berardo Museum mentioned above is not the only major attraction that’s always free. The Design and Fashion Museum is also free, and so are the most impressive churches: São Roque Church, Estrela Basilica and Santa Catarina Church. Also don’t forget that perhaps Lisbon’s main attraction is the city itself, its setting and scenery, so sitting at the terrace viewpoints will perhaps be your most memorable experiences, where you take the most beautiful photos, and it’s always free!

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