Posted: 6/26/2003 | June 23rd, 2023
Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s home to impressive museums, historic buildings, picturesque plazas, chilled-out cafes, and a lively mix of clubs and candlelit music venues where people go to listen to traditional fado music. I fell in love with the city as soon as I arrived — and it was even better the second time!
Today, Lisbon is one of the most popular cities on the continent. From cruisers to digital nomads, everyone loves this sunny city. I’ve visited a few times over the years and always look forward to going back. The warm weather, inviting colors, and laid-back vibe really make people feel welcome.
The best way to see the city, though (especially if it’s your first time) is to take a walking tour. It’s the first thing I do when I visit a new city as it’s the best way to connect with a local guide, get insider info, and see the main sights.
These days, there are a ton of walking tours available to ensure you make the most of your visit. Here’s a list of my favorites – from free tours to food tours to pub crawls – to help you sort through it all so you just end up with the best!
I’ve taken Walks tours all over Europe and it is, by far, my favorite tour company. They always manage to go above and beyond with tours that are both fun and educational.
In Lisbon, they offer a few tours (including food tours) but for a good primer on the city I recommend their Lisbon in a Day tour. It includes a river cruise, early access to Jeronimos Monastery, and lunch. It lasts a full day too!
This informative three-hour free tour takes you through five of Lisbon’s most popular neighborhoods — Graça, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Bairro Alto — offering up an entertaining and enlightening dose of history and culture along the way.
The tours also focus on a more local side of Lisbon. If you’re on a budget and want an introduction to the city, this is the tour for you. Just remember to tip the guide!
Here are a few more walking tour options to help you make the most of your time in Lisbon:
Devour started in Spain and quickly began doing tours in Lisbon. They offer a food and fado tour, mixing two cultural highlights of Lisbon on one tour. I personally like the Tastes & Traditions food tour they do: you stop at seven small businesses in Lisbon, eating up to nine samples and sipping three different types of beverages. Devour is one of the best food tour companies in Europe and their Lisbon tours are no exception.
Tours start at 95 EUR.
This tour company offers a whole range of tours but their Best of Lisbon introductory tour is perfect for both first-time Lisbon visitors and budget travelers. The three-hour tour starts at 9:30am and takes you through some of the city’s main neighborhoods, making a stop for wine and a bite of the famous pastry, pastel de nata (an egg custard tart). The group tours max out at 14 people.
Tours start at 18 EUR.
Street art has taken over the world’s big cities, including Lisbon. On this three-hour tour, you’ll see some of the best works in the city and learn about the social and political motives behind them. Tours are led by a local street artist too, so you’ll really get an insider’s look at the scene and visit murals most other tours skip.
Tours start at 35 EUR.
Pancho does tours all over the Iberian Peninsula, using local guides and crafting itineraries that focus on street art, tapas and wine, and day trips to places like Sintra. Personally, I like their fado music tour. During the 2.5-hour tour, you’ll learn everything there is about this melancholic music that’s endemic to Portugal. You’ll get a front-row seat at a fado show in the center of Lisbon at the end.
Tours start at around 40 EUR.
Overtourism is a problem in many cities, particularly in Europe, with crowds of people ping-ponging from one attraction to the next. Hence, the idea behind We Hate Tourism Tours: the 3.5-hour walking tour takes you to some way off-the-radar neighborhoods to show you how the people of Lisbon really live. There are only about six people per tour, which keeps things intimate. It also means you should book in advance as tours sell out fast. I love how they are getting people out of the main touristy areas and showing you a real look at Lisbon life. I can’t recommend this tour enough.
Tours start at 40 EUR.
Lisbon has a very lively nightlife these days and, if you’re looking for a way to see it while also meeting other travelers, the classic pub crawl is a good way to go. This tour takes you to three spots, with a free shot at the first and the third stop. Plus, there’s a one-hour period of all-you-can-drink cider or sangria. It’s a great option for solo travelers looking to meet other people. It’s not a real “local” thing but it’s fun!
Tours start at 20 EUR.
Lisbon has walking tours for just about every interest and budget, which is one of the many reasons I love the city. Whenever I visit, I always take a tour or two because the city just has so much to see and do, and the local guides always add a ton of value to my trip. These tours allow you to get an inside perspective on life here and ask locals questions on where to go, what to do, and how to act. Be sure to take at least one of these tours while you are in the city.
My detailed, 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It gets straight to the practical information you need to save money while backpacking around Europe. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, and bars, and more! Click here to learn more and get started!
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. Two of my favorite places to stay are:
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here is a complete list of my favorite hostels in Lisbon.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Lisbon?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Lisbon for even more planning tips!
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