Lisbon on a Budget

Lisbon on a budget

Visiting Lisbon in January

Lisbon on a Budget

Lisbon has become a popular travel destination. It surprises me how many people I've met who have visited Lisbon in the last 2 years.
The reason for this probably because it's a fantastic city to visit on a low budget. There's plenty of affordable accommodation in town and food & drinks are notably cheaper then in Belgium or The Netherlands. Public transport is also cheap compared with other travel destinations and there are many things to see and do in the city that don't cost a thing. You could easily spend 3 days just sightseeing and walking through the city.

I visited Lisbon in January and found it to be a low budget travel destination to escape winter in Europe.
It sure was one of the cheapest location I could choose from. Since I booked my ticket on Black Friday, the flight only cost me 30€ in total.
In January there are also fewer tourists around, meaning you have more cheap accommodations to choose from. My stay at the 7 seas hostel set me back for 10€ per night. It was a private room I shared with my travel partner. We stayed for 5 days, so the entire trip cost me 80€. My daily expenses were quite the same as in Belgium so I don't take them into account.

January temperatures in Lisbon are quite pleasant. Winters are rather mild over here and you can expect temperature around 15°C during the day, whilst night temperatures range around 7°C. About half of the days in January you can expect some rain in Lissabon. However during my 5 day stay, we only had 1 rainy day. Other days we had mostly clear blue skies, making it perfect for taking pictures! If it wasn't for the soft chilling sea-breeze, I would have totally forgot it was winter.

Things to see in Lisbon on a budget

As I mentioned before, there are so many things to see in Lisbon that you can easily fill 3 days with just exploring the city. We managed to fill 5 days of non stop exploring Lisbon and covered most of the famous landmarks, districts and viewpoints over the city. However I didn't get a chance to visit Sintra. We planned to visit it on our last day in Lisbon, but unfortunately I got ill overnight and could only drag myself out of bed around noon.

Praça do comércio.

This big town square is located next to the river Taag. It's a quite large square, with beautiful colored buildings around. One of the entry points to the square is the Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta.

Ascensor da Bica

Lisbon is well known for it's iconic trams and the funicular ascensor da Bica is probably the most iconic of them all. This uphill tram line connecting the Rua de São Paulo with Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto opened in 1892. It rises an 11.8% incline over a distance of 254 meters. Today this tram line is still running, but it's mainly a tourist attraction.

Elevador de Santa Justa

This historical elevator features a viewing platform with spectacular view over the city. Tickets prices for the elevator combined with the viewing platform are quite expensive. But you can walk around and buy tickets for the viewing platform alone for about 1€50.

Miradouro da Graça

This is absolutely my favorite Miradouro in Lisbon. It's a steep walk to get up there, but it has one of the best views on Lisbon to offer. The place consists out of a little market square in front of a church and is free to access. There's even a small outside bar where you can have a drink whilst enjoying the view. For me it was quite a luxury to setup my camera and wait for the right light to come whilst having a beer and chatting with other tourists and locals.

The Alfama District

The Alfama District is the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon, build on one of the seven hills. Wander through the old charming narrow streets and discover many little town squares.

Miradouro das Portos do Sol

In the Alfama district you can find this popular viewing platform which is freely accessible and offers a lovely view over the Alfama district and river Taag. Is this viewing point to crowded for you? Then there are much more smaller ones to discover all around the Alfama district.


Museum of Arts, Architecture and Technology

The new Museum of Arts Architecture and Technology opened in 2016. The contemporary building is located on the riverbank of the Tagus.

Lx Factory & Village Underground

The LX factory is probably one of the hippest and trendiest upcoming places in Lisbon. Located in a former abandoned industrial site in the shadow of the impressively high Ponte 25 de Abril, you'll find many pop-up stores, art galleries and trendy restaurants.

Close next to Lx Factory you can find Village Underground which is a creative shared working space, constructed out of shipping containers and a old doubledecker bus.

Parque das Nações

Parque das Nações (or Park of Nations) was founded on the aftermath of Expo 98; an annual world exhibition. The 1998 edition was held in Lisbon and attracted over 11 million visitors. The area offers a great view on the famous Ponte de Vasco da Gama.

Torre de Belém

This Unesco World Heritage site is located at the riverbank of the Thagus. The Belém tower is a 16th century fortification tower that was build during the Portugese renaissance. Although we didn't take a tour, it is possible to visit the tower.

Campo Pequeno

Campo Pequeno is a multi-functional arena that is being used for various events, including bull-fighting. It has to be noted that the Portugese type of bull-fighting is much more elegant and less violent then the Spanish type of bull fighting.

The arena inludes a shopping mall, cinema and metro-station.

Nightlife in Lisbon

In January the sun might be setting early, but that's no reason for the people of Lisbon to stay inside. There are plenty of bars where the local gather to get a drink or a beer. Bairro Alto and the "Pink Street" are 2 of Lisbon's most famous nightlife districts with lost of bars and clubs. Many place tend to hold a happy hour around 9-10pm when it's still relatively calm. Most people start arriving at the bars and clubs after 23h.

At some tourist hotspots you'll also encounter many street musicians, artists and performers.
We stumbled upon to "Altacena", a saxophone band who rocked the streets with fantastic covers of famous tunes:

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