LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

Free activities and things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon is a great holiday destination, which is able to offer visitors a range of interesting sights, lively nightlife and is close to stunning beaches. Lisbon is an ideal holiday location for visitors with limited funds (click here for a guide to visiting Lisbon on a budget) as there is a wide selection of free or relatively cheap activities. This guide will detail the most popular free or inexpensive things to do while on holiday to Lisbon.

Explore the Alfama District

The Alfama district is one of the gems of central Lisbon. The area is a labyrinth of narrow streets that climb from the river up to the ancient castle. These narrow cobble streets are inaccessible for motorised traffic and the only way to explore is on foot.

Se cathedral Lisbon

The Se Cathedral of Lisbon

The two stand out monuments are the Se Cathedral and Saint Anthony’s church (both free to enter), while away from the tourist trails Portuguese women can be seen gossiping between the balconies of the houses. From the vantage point of the Santa Luzia plaza there are panoramic views across the hap-hazardous roofs of Alfama and out to the Tejo estuary. An enjoyable half day can be easily spent exploring the district, which costs absolutely nothing .

Ride the number 28 tram

The number 28 tram route passes through many of the most interesting regions of Lisbon. The tram route begins in the grand plaza of Baixa before passing through pretty Graça, hilly Alfama, trendy Bairro Alto and terminating outside the mighty Estrela basilica.

Lisbon Tram 28

The number 28 tram as it whizzes through the Alfama district

The entire tram journey takes 40 minutes and is the best inexpensive way to view the city. The trams themselves are as much a tourist attraction as the journey and are painted bright yellow, with polished wood interiors and were originally constructed in the 1930. A single fare costs €3.00 when purchased from the tram driver but this is reduced to €1.80 is purchased from a metro station.

Visit Parque das Nações

The Parque das Nações is another great free area of Lisbon to visit. The park was once the show ground for Expo ’98 and has since been converted into the ultra-modern side of Lisbon. Throughout the park are water themed exhibits that are back by contemporary architecture and futuristic buildings. The park follows the river Tagus estuary and overlooks the Vasco da Gama Bridge and tower, the tallest building in Lisbon. The large shopping complex (again named Vasco da Gama) has a large range of good value restaurants on the top floor.

Orient station at Parque das Nações

The Orient station at Parque das Nações

Ride the Lisbon ferry

The commuter ferries provide an inexpensive means to view Lisbon from the water’s edge. There are two main terminals; Cais do Sodré and Terreiro do Paço. Sodre terminal ferries offer the shorter and cheaper route that pass beneath the shadow of the Lisbon suspension bridge. Ferries from Terreiro do Paço provide panoramic views over the Baixa and Alfama districts but are slightly longer and more expensive. A single ticket from Sodre to Cacilhas cost €1.40, less than a drink!

ferry Cacilhas from Lisbon

The ferry to Cacilhas from Lisbon

Lisbon beaches

There is no better free activity in Lisbon than to visit the wonderful beaches of the region. The highest regarded beach, which is easily accessible from Lisbon, is Carcavelos beach. The beach boasts a huge expanse of sand, waves suitable for surfing and great facilities. To reach the beach catch the Lisbon to Cascais train that departs from Cais do Sodré train station.

lisbon coastline

The wide golden sands of the Lisbon coastline

A return train ticket costs €2.40. Another fantastic beach is the 30km long Costa da Caparica beach on the southern side of the Tagus River. There is a direct bus (€2.20 single) from Lisbon Costa da Caparica and a mini train which travels the length of the beach.

Visit Sintra For Free (nearly)

Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon and is only a short train ride away (€2.40 return). The town is spread over the hills of the Serra de Sintra and was a favourite with the Portuguese nobility who constructed lavish palaces and stately homes.

Sintra portugal

The Pena Palace in Sintra

The entrance fee to each of the palaces is comparatively expensive but the town centre is incredibly charming. The only recommended ticket to purchase in Sintra, if on a budget, is the Pena Palace grounds ticket (€7.50), which allows the courtyards and terraces of the ornate building to be explored.

Head to the Cristo Rei statue

An alternative and inexpensive excursion from Lisbon is to visit the Cristo Rei statue on the southern side of the estuary. From the (free) viewing platform there are wonderful views over Lisbon and the suspension bridge. To travel to the statue catch the ferry to Cacilhas (€1.40) and then the 101 bus from Cacilhas bus terminal (€2.20 return) to the statue, for a guide please click here.

christ statue

The Christ statue is high above Lisbon

Visit the Berardo Museum

The best free museum in Lisbon is the extensive art collection of the Berardo Museum which is located in the Belem district of Lisbon. The museum has a vast collection of over 1,000 pieces of contemporary and modern art, all of which is completely free to visit. The Belem district is a pretty region filled with parks and open spaces that line the estuary. Situated in Belem are the pretty Torre de Belém and the imposing Discoveries Monument.

Day trip to Cascais

Another inexpensive day trip from Lisbon is to the fishing town of Cascais. The town is a popular tourist resort that has developed around a charming 19th century town centre. The town boasts small beaches, free museums and a unique cliff formation called the Hell’s Mouth. It is possible to hire free bikes (ID required) to further explore the region.

Cascais Portugal

The charming resort town of Cascais, only a short train ride from Lisbon

Conclusion

We hope that our guide has presented many free or inexpensive activities for a holiday to Lisbon. Lisbon is a destination that is perfect suited for a cheap holiday as food, accommodation and flights can be found at bargain prices especially outside of the summer season.

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LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best guide to Lisbon

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums

We Need Your Support
The digital landscape is evolving, and small publishers like us are feeling the pressure. Search engine biases and AI plagiarism have made it increasingly challenging to thrive.
You can make a difference by bookmarking our site for easy access and sharing your favorite articles with others on social media.
If you spot an error, please let us know. With over 1,600 pages to maintain, we greatly appreciate your vigilance.
Please contact us at: [email protected]

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums