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10 Free Things to Do in Lisbon

Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belém. Lisboa

2023 is here, and with it also came inflation. We still want to travel and see the world, but most of us has to take a closer look than before at what we’re spending when on holiday, and where we can save a few coins. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many attractions to explore, but not all activities have to come at a high cost.

Here are our top 10 picks for free things to do in Lisbon:


fotografia de paisagem de casas de telhado laranja perto de corpo de água

Source: Tom Byrom on Unsplash

1. Wander around Alfama

Alfama is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Lisbon and is filled with narrow streets, traditional houses, and stunning views. Although it once was residence to the city’s poorest, today it is a hip and fashionable place, whilst never forgetting its unique historical inheritance. Take a stroll through it, breathe in the centuries of history, enjoy the colorful tiles on the buildings and appreciate the charming atmosphere. Take a few minutes to visit the Sé, the Lisbon Cathedral – entrance to the cathedral is free, but the cloister is paid.

Insider tip: Alfama (and Lisbon in general) is all going up, down and then up again – don’t forget to bring your comfiest shoes /sneakers!

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Lisbon - working hours, photos, information | Planet of Hotels


2. Admire the view from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is one of the highest points in Lisbon and offers a stunning panoramic view of the city. It was where the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, installed his first encampment for the conquest of Lisbon. Nine centuries later, it’s The Lady of the Hill (Senhora do Monte), with her hermitage, who’ll conquer your heart. Your family or your instagram followers will all be jelly of the pictures you’ll take!

Insider tip: If you can, swing by at sunset, you won’t regret it!


3. Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum & Gardens

One of the wealthiest charitable foundations in the world, the Gulbenkian Foundation was founded on 18 July 1956 according to the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a Portugal-based oil magnate who bequeathed his assets to the country in the form of a foundation. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum has a vast collection of art from around the world, including Egyptian artifacts, European paintings, and Islamic art. Entrance to the museum is free on Sundays from 2pm onwards.

Insider tip: A haven of much-needed shade in hot summers and sun-drenched glades in the winters, the Modernist gardens of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian are a local favorite, and free to visit every day.

a crowd of people

4. Have a different Sunday at Avenida da Liberdade

Lisbon definitely has no shortage of cafés, bars or outdoor places where one can enjoy a cold beverage or a snack. But, if you make your way to Avenida da Liberdade on any given sunday between 4 and 8pm, you’ll find a huge, energetic, and happy group of people, dancing their soul out, right next to a friendly quiosk which sells one of the “best chocolate cake in the world”. The Espaço Baião Forró school organizes a free dance party where all are welcome, even if you think you might have 2 left feet.

uma pessoa sentada em uma mesa

Source: Riccardo Farinazzo on Unsplash

5. Explore the LX Factory

The LX Factory is a creative hub in Lisbon that’s home to many shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. There’s also cooking workshops, an escape room, a bookstore and a restaurant with a wrestling ring inside. It’s a great place to explore and discover new artists and designers and enjoy that young and kind of hipster vibe. Entrance is free and it’s open every day.

a person holding a guitar

6. Listen to Fado Music

Listening to fado should be a must when you visit Portugal, but at the same time it can also be an expensive affair.

If you’re on a budget, instead of going to a big restaurant which usually charges you for a full meal + fado show, you can go to a smaller, traditional place (AKA tascas)  with Fado Vadiofado sang by amateur singers. Unlike most fado restaurants in Lisbon, you don’t have to get a full dinner here or pay a minimum fee, you can simply order a drink and a few snacks (AKA petiscos) to share.

Here’s a few places where you can listen to free fado in Lisbon:

  • Grupo Desportivo da Mouraria
  • Devagar Devagarinho
  • Associação do Fado Casto
  • Povo
  • A Nini
  • Solidó
  • Tasca do Chico
  • Tasca do Jaime
Anfiteatro Keil do Amaral | Atracções | Alcântara, Lisboa


7. Take in the view from Panorâmico de Monsanto

Monsanto can be called the true lung of the city of Lisbon. In these 1000 hectares of nature, there’s a lot of fun to be had. From pic-nic areas to a skatepark, 4 different viewpoints and a fashionable brunch location, you definitely should check out this wonderful well-kept Lisbon secret.

Once a high-end restaurant for the social elite of Lisbon, Panorâmico de Monsanto tried and tried again to stay alive between the 1960s and the late 1990s until it was permanently shut down and left to decay. This semi-clandestine viewpoint became official in 2017, with reinforced security and opening hours. No one knows what will come of the building in the future, but for now, it’s the best spot to get a free 360-degree view of Lisbon. It’s just one of four viewpoints in the Monsanto park you should definitely check out.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belém. Lisboa

8. Visit Belém and marvel at the Belém Tower

The Belém Tower is a symbol of Portugal’s Age of Discovery and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While entrance to the tower itself has a fee, the surrounding gardens and recently renewed park are free to explore. The church of the Jerónimos Monastery is also free to enter.

Insider tip: Since as you’re saving so much money on things to do, we strongly advise you to try one (or five) Pasteis de Belém, our world-famous custard tarts. Not free, but so worth it anyway.

António vem do Alentejo com o cão Óscar.

Source: / Diana Quintela / Global Imagens

9. Visit the Feira da Ladra flea market

This outdoor market in the Alfama district happens every Tuesday and Saturday, and is a great place to find unique souvenirs, vintage clothing, and antiques. With roots dating back to the 13th century, the fair has shifted from place to place over the centuries, until it settled in Campo de Santa Clara, where it now takes place. It is dedicated, above all, to the trade of old, second-hand objects and crafts. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s worth visiting just to experience the lively atmosphere and see the eclectic mix of items for sale.

Insider tip: If you have a sweet tooth, we recommend paying a visit to As Marias com Chocolate!

Vhils | Magazine | P55.ART


10. Explore the street art of Lisbon

Lisbon is known for its vibrant street art scene, and visitors can explore the city’s murals and graffiti for free. Some popular areas for street art include the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Mouraria, and Marvila. You can find pieces by famous street artist Vhils in Alfama, Alcântara and others.

There you have it, our list of 10 free things to do in Lisbon. Whether you’re a budget traveler or just looking to save some money, these activities will provide a great way to explore the city without breaking the bank.

PS: If you’re saving your budget for an organized tour from Lisbon, why not check out one of our small group tours?