Nobody wants to spend a lot of money on their vacation but it can be difficult to figure out the top free things to do in a city that you are not familiar with. So, that's why we've decided to help you out by finding the top free things to do in Lisbon. It's a quaint and historic city with a lot to see. For example, street art in Lisbon is always free.
Another fun thing you can do while you are visiting Lisbon is to get a look at the scenery from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. It has the best view of the River Tejo as well as the city's oldest district, Alfama. While you are in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by the market to check out the wares.
The Campo de Santa Clara, also known as the Feira da Ladra (Thieves Market in English) is also free to walk through, as long as you can stop yourself from buying anything, which is hard to do with all the cool items on display! This is the city's largest flea market and is found in the Alfama district of Lisbon.
Or you could take a free walking tour to see even more of the important Lisbon sights in unique Lisbon districts. Some of the free walking tours take you on a walk through the final resting place for some of the most prestigious citizens of Lisbon at the Cemiterio dos Prazeres in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood.
Another great free thing to do is to visit the Lisbon museums. Some of them are free all the time while others are free on certain days of the week or on special occasions. If you are near Belem, stop in at Pasteis de Belem to get some amazing coffee and pastel de nata with all of that money you saved.
A note on getting around Lisbon: Certain types of public transportation are also free to those with a Lisbon Tourist Card so you can get around the narrow streets to see the scenic spots you may not have been able to get to otherwise. But while you are in town, be sure to drop off your luggage at one of our Lisbon luggage storage lockers while you explore the city.
Free Things to do in Lisbon
Lisbon is relatively inexpensive compared to other European cities such as Berlin and London. To keep the cost of your vacation low, finding all of the best free things to do is a must. See the ruins of Lisbon's medieval wall at Praça do Martim Moniz, which is also known as Martim Moniz Square. Or see the Miradouro de S. Pedro de Alcântara next to the Elevador de Santa Justa.
The Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara is one of the most popular viewing spots in the city. From here, you can get a spectacular view of the skyline and the 25 de Abril Bridge, which many say is the twin of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Many other areas of the city you cannot see from anywhere else. And it is all totally free of charge.
The tourism industry in Lisbon Portugal is booming so you should visit these famous attractions before they become one of the things to see that are not free. Right now, some of the best things to do in Lisbon are still without charge, so take advantage of them while you still can.
Explore the Historic Center
Alfama and Bairro Alto in Lisbon are two of the most impressive and popular neighborhoods in Lisbon. The stunning combination of historical buildings and bright street art will leave you breathless. And of course, you should grab a pastel de nata in Bairro Alto while you are there. They may not be free, but they are not expensive and they are certainly worth every penny.
Lisbon is the type of place where you find beauty everywhere, so take a closer look at things as you explore. The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site so take a self-guided tour along the Tagus River and see the Belem Tower and São Jorge Castle. Portugal's history can be seen on every street corner in the square and the entire city is full of museums with contemporary art, free tours, and other free things to enjoy.
Enjoy Free Fado Shows
One of the best free things to do in Lisbon is to see a free fado show. Portugal Fado is the most popular musical genre in the country. Visit a local café or tavern and save your money for the delicious wine and tapas. Head to the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Mouraria, or Alfama and you will find fado shows every night, many with dinner included.
The live fado sessions around the city attract a lot of budget travelers for their free performances, so be sure to get there early if you want a seat. If you want to experience an authentic culture then go to a live fado show in Lisbon. Every day at 5:00 PM, Adega Machado hosts "Fado Inside The Box" and A Nini in Parque Eduardo VII has shows on Thursdays.
Go For a Scenic Climb on Miradouro de Santa Luzia
In Lisbon, Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcântara is the highest tower where you can see miles of the Tagus River and the South Bank as well as many other landmarks and attractions in Lisbon. Some of the Lisbon beaches can be spotted from here so you can also find your next destination by scouting the area from above like the Praia de Carcavelos.
Travel Through Alfama on the 28E or 12E Tram
Tramlines 28E and 12E in Alfama are great for getting around Lisbon. Some of the best places to see along these routes include the shipyards and docks, plazas, parks, and museums. Cemiterio do Alto de Sao Joao is located on the east side of the city and is also definitely worth a visit. In fact, the admissions to all Cathedrals in Spain and Porto are included with a Lisbon tourist card.
Visit Some of Lisbon's Free Museums
There are many museums in Lisbon that have free entry every day of the week while others are free on certain days. Those who enjoy history should make their way to the Museum of Aljube Resistance and Freedom and the Archaeology Museum. The National Museum of Ancient Art has no cost admission on certain days of the month. The Money Museum is also an interesting museum with no admission fee.
On Saturdays, the Berardo Collection Museum is also free and this is a museum you do not want to miss. It boasts a plethora of artworks, including some by Picasso and Andy Warhol. Also, the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida is free on the first Sunday of every month and has 25 rooms featuring thousands of artifacts including 225 clocks and watches from the 1500s.
Relax in a Picturesque Park
Lisbon Jardim de Estrela
Lisbon Jardim da Estrela (the Estrela Garden) is free to all and has all sorts of plants, both native and exotic as well as a duck pond, acres of green spaces, and a bandstand with live music on certain days. Do not miss the fountain of life and the sculptures like the bust of Actor Taborda from 1918, the bronze bust of Antero de Quental from 1948, and the Awakening from 1911.
Eduardo VII Park
Eduardo VII Park is another free park and is home to the biggest flag of Portugal in the world. With its 64 acres, it is the largest city park in the country and has many attractions including gardens, a greenhouse, a hothouse, towers, and sculptures. Some of the places have a small admission fee unless you have the Lisboa Card, which gets you in free. There are numerous parks in Lisbon to hang out in near Lisbon's city center. Head to a park to contemplate a fabulous Lisbon hike for tomorrow's entertainment.
Check out the Campo de Santa Clara or Feira da Ladra
Feira da Ladra, the 200-year-old flea market is just east of the National Pantheon in Alfama. On Wednesday and Sunday mornings, you can find thousands of kiosks and stalls all around the streets where locals sell their goods. Some are just homemade items placed on a blanket on the ground while others are large stands full of books, antiques, and clothing. It is a fantastic place to get unique souvenirs.
Visit Belem Tower
Also known as the Tower of St. Vincent, Belem Tower was built back in 1515 and is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can see the tower from the outside for free, but the admission to the interior will cost you a little bit of money. If you have a Lisbon tourist pass though, there is no charge.
It is often portrayed as a symbol of Europe's Age of Discoveries and as a major landmark. There are numerous sculptures to see inside the tower including several rare animal figures and historic figures., other. The beautiful architecture from the 1500s is a sight to behold from the outside though, and you can enjoy the scenery from the outdoor seating nearby.
Go to Jerónimos Monastery
Also known as Hieronymites Monastery, Jerónimos Monastery was built to celebrate Vasco da Gama's voyage to the Middle East. On the banks of the Tagus River, this is the former monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and is another of Lisbon's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The facade and stonework are spectacular but many visitors come to see the tombs.
Some of the famous figures buried there include King Sebastio, King Manul, and of course Vasco da Gama. Although admission to the chapel is free, the monastery does require a ticket. However, you may be able to get in at no cost or get a discount with your Lisbon tourist pass (Lisboa Card). Se Cathedral is one of the most iconic religious buildings in Lisbon and has been the site of many noble baptisms and marriages since the 1100s.
Check out the Local Street Art
Many people consider Lisbon to be an open-air gallery with all of its beautiful architecture and detailed stonework all over the city. Even the cobblestones you walk on in parts of Lisbon are considered to be street art by some. In fact, you can see a large portrait of Fado diva Amália Rodrigues done by Vhils, a famous Portuguese graffiti artist on Calçada do Menino Deus by the Igreja do Menino Deus.
Other places to see local art include Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo, Av. 24 de Julho 28, Rua da Senhora da Gloria, Rua Alberto José Pessoa, Marvila, and Rua de Santa Apolonia. On Calçada de Santa Apolónia, not far from the train station, there is a colorful mural by mural by Mário Belém that celebrates life. Take a ride on the Glória Funicular for a good view of many of these.
From free performances to museums with no cover charge
The travel tips we included here include a variety of fun things to do in Lisbon for free or at a very low cost to save money on your trip to the Portuguese capital. We also included some that are only free on certain days of the week or month. On public holidays, you can find many more free things to do including museums, parks, and other attractions. All of the Lisbon markets are free to enter as well.