The best time to visit Lisbon is whenever you can get here!
Lisbon is a popular summer destination, so if you want to take advantage of a few warm days to explore the beach but still avoid some crowds and peak rates, try to come between March and May or September to October.
Public transportation in Lisbon is quite handy, and even if you don’t think you’ll need it, chances are that when you see the daunting hills of this city you might change your mind.
Buses are the most common way to get around the city (and the cheapest), but honestly you can walk to a lot of places. Avoid taxis and use the metro from the airport to your accommodation in the city as this will also save you a couple of bucks (the taxi fare is approximately €10, public transportation €2 and ride share options like Uber start at about €5). If you rent a car and have to park, look for free street parking on the side streets (although this can sometimes be a challenge in Lisbon).
The trams of Lisbon are well known for providing the best routes for sightseeing, most notably Tram 28E.
If you’re just trying to avoid the steepest hills, funiculars may be your best bet.
There are 3 funiculars in Lisbon, and they are designed specifically to ascend the most difficult hills in the city.
In addition to these options, you may also want to consider the metro. However, unlike in other cities, the metro in Lisbon isn’t quite as good for tourists as it is for locals.
There are also hundreds of bus lines you can use, but with so many different routes to go through, you might want to use an app like Google Maps to navigate your trip.
It’s worth keeping in mind that both the bus and metro make stops at the airport, which means you can use either of them as an affordable transfer to the city centre.
Lisbon is not an expensive city but there is always an opportunity to save.
It is cheaper to drink/eat at stalls or standing than sitting down at a cafe
Eating on the go is the best way to spare your budget in Lisbon. Try the prego (beef sandwich) or the bifana (pork sandwich). You can find them at local cafes for just 5 EUR. You can also shop at a grocery store and plan for a nice picnic at one of the local parks or waterfront.
For a nicer sit down dinner, avoid the touristy areas, as they are usually more expensive and the quality is not always to pare. When eating out you’ll often also be offered bread and olives/carrots. They will be brought to your table before your meal casually. These aren’t free, so politely decline the offer if you’re not interested in paying for them. These usually come with bread (also paid; you can also decline). You can also ask for tap water. If you don’t, they will bring you a bottle (and if you want ice, you also have to ask for it; the locals never really have their beverage with ice).
A Lisbon transit pass is a great option because it included rail, bus, tram, and train to Belem and Sintra plus the funiculars. That was a good deal and you don’t have to worry about having bus/tram coins.
We have a few blog posts on discounts and free things to do:
This post provides several free things to do in Lisbon, including a few really cheap activities.
We have organized this post into 5 sections, one for each of the most popular neighborhoods for visitors to Lisbon and an additional section to cover some of the other fun things to do in this city.Read more »