32 Lisbon Travel Tips To Make Your Trip So Much Better

32 Lisbon Travel Tips To Make Your Trip So Much Better Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is one of the best places on Earth. This vibrant, colorful destination — a bit reminiscent of San Francisco in its better days — has so much to offer visitors! From its rich history and laidback culture to its ...

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Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is one of the best places on Earth. This vibrant, colorful destination — a bit reminiscent of San Francisco in its better days — has so much to offer visitors!

From its rich history and laidback culture to its stunning architecture and delicious seaside cuisine, Lisbon is a city that is sure to captivate and inspire you to come back time and time again.

As with any travel destination, there are certain things to keep in mind when planning your trip to make the most of your experience.

In this post, I will share a handful of my lessons learned and travel tips for Lisbon to make your trip that much better. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these tips will help you navigate the city like a pro, help you save time and money, and ensure that you have an unforgettable experience in an even more unforgettable destination!

From where to eat and drink to how to get around and what to see, I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into all the travel tip goodness.

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!


Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!

  • When To Go: March – May or September – October. During these shoulder season months, the weather is pleasant (cooler than in the summer), hotel rates are cheaper, and you’ll find far fewer crowds than during the summer.
  • Where To Stay:
  • Nearest Airport: Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS)
  • How to Get Around: Public transportation or rideshare — both are super affordable compared to other European countries.
  • Must-Do’s: visit the historic Jeronimos Monastery, explore the charming Alfama neighborhood, day trip to Sintra, and try the local cuisine such as pastel de nata, bacalhau, bifana sandwich, and seafood!
  • Before You Go: Lisbon has so much good food. Make a list of all the restaurants you want to dine at — and try to make reservations for them so you can guarantee your seat!
  • ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Portuguese: “olá” (hello) and “obrigado” (thank you) when addressing a man or “obrigada” (thank you) when addressing a woman
  • Currency: the euro (€) – click for current conversion rates


1. Everything airport-related takes longer, especially if you’re used to using TSA PreCheck.

Be prepared for longer lines and wait times at Lisbon airport. This airport gets BUSY. We arrived into LIS on a Sunday, and throngs of people were everywhere — it was truly shocking how many people were walking around the airport.

Sure, it’s a Sunday, one of the busiest days of any airport. But when we left on a Wednesday, we were faced with not crowds, but long and slow security check lines! If you’re someone who’s used to getting through a security check line in under 10 minutes, this will NOT be your experience in Lisbon.

Just to me safe, I’d allocate at least an hour to get through security. Make sure you arrive early for your flight and have all your documents and boarding passes ready!

If you need some time to buy or swap out the SIM card in your phone, allocate some time to do that by showing up 10-15 minutes earlier than you intended.

2. Expect cobblestones, so be prepared with your footwear and luggage.

Lisbon is known for its charming cobblestone streets, but they can be challenging to navigate with heavy luggage or inadequate footwear. Expect uneven tiles with gaps between them… if that sounds like a rolling suitcase nightmare, it is.

After about 3 minutes of rolling your suitcase on Lisbon’s cobblestoned roads, you’re going to regret your choice of luggage and telling yourself “RIP suitcase wheels”!

If you’re getting picked up and dropped off door-to-door from the airport to the hotel and vice versa, then feel free to use whatever luggage you choose! But if you’re going to be taking public transportation and have some long distances to walk with your suitcase, then I hope you have strong arms!

After about 30 seconds of rolling my luggage on the cobblestones, I decided to just carry my carry-on the whole way to the hotel. Never making that mistake again!

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction and consider packing a travel backpack or rolling suitcase with extra sturdy wheels (or at least a good warranty!).

Read more: 10 Best Carry-On Travel Bags For Your Next Trip

3. The currency of Portugal is the Euro (€).

While most establishments take credit cards, it’s best to carry along with you a little cash for those smaller vendors who don’t take card.

4. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal but you should have no problem getting by with just English.

You’ll find that most people speak at least a little English.

5. Traveling during the winter/shoulder season? Bring the right shoes for rain.

When packing footwear, you should pack a pair of comfortable shoes to walk around in, as well as a pair of boots in case there is rain in the forecast.

The one pair of shoes that kills two birds with one stone for me? For both guys and gals, I’d highly recommend getting a pair of Blundstone boots!

These shoes are so comfortable — I find that I can wear them walking around town on a sunny day, on light hiking trails, and even in the rainiest conditions. They’re so, so, so versatile! Don’t forget to pack a thick pair of socks to pair with your boots!

If snow and rain are not in the forecast, then you can go with regular walking shoes.

My all-time favorite travel shoes these days are the tried and true Ecco Soft 7 (they’re stylish, comfortable, and have been raved about for decades since they were first created)! The best part is that they have them for both men and women.

The sole support on these is great for Europe travel — you’re not going to be feeling each and every rock under your foot if you happen to be walking on cobblestoned streets!

6. Be prepared for some steep hills and stairs when exploring Lisbon.

But don’t worry as there are plenty of lookout points to take in the view and catch your breath! Chances are, everyone else around you is probably also out of breath.

7. Tram #28 is especially popular with tourists, so it can be quite crowded.

On certain days in the high season, there can even be wait times to board at over an hour. If you want to try out the tram, aim to hop on board one of the earlier trams of the day. The early bird gets the worm!

Not only will you get the figurative worm, aka a seat on the tram, but you’ll also have a much more peaceful experience with fewer people chattering on board!

8. Portugal has a fairly low crime rate but you should still be vigilant.

Portugal, including Lisbon, has a relatively low crime rate compared to other European cities. However, as with any big city, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

One of the most common types of crime in Lisbon is pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas such as tourist attractions, public transportation, and busy shopping streets. To avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing, keep your valuables (credit cards, ID, money, and phone), in a secure location such as a money belt or a cross-body bag.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pickpocketing can be common in trams, particularly on Tram 28.

Read More: 10 Best Anti-Theft Travel Bags For Your Next Vacation

9. Many tourist attractions are closed on Mondays.

This is a common practice throughout Portugal, with many museums, monuments, and other attractions choosing to close on Mondays for maintenance and cleaning.

Some of the popular tourist sites that are closed on Mondays in Lisbon include the National Museum of Ancient Art, the National Coach Museum, and the Berardo Collection Museum. Other attractions, such as the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery, are open on Mondays but may have reduced hours or limited access.

With this in mind, plan your itinerary accordingly! Consider visiting attractions that are open on Mondays, such as the Lisbon Oceanarium or the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

10. Take elevators to Alfama instead of walking up the hills.

Alfama is a historic neighborhood in Lisbon known for its steep hills and narrow streets. Tourists who aren’t in the know will probably end up walking up alllll the steep inclines to get there.

To save yourself from a strenuous climb, take the free public elevators that are available in the area. Taking the right elevators can help you skip what feels like 7+ flights of stairs!

How to get up to Alfama by elevator: At the Baixa-Chiado metro station, walk straight across Baixa (toward Alfama, away from Chiado) until you can’t go further. Go inside the blue building that houses a set of public elevators. When you get off at the top, cross the street and turn left.

Head for Pingo Doce (the grocery store). Inside the Pingo Doce building, you will see elevators. Take them as far up as they go. From there, you’re pretty close to Alfama!

11. Buy a Viva Viagem card and load it with the carris to save money on rides.

Lisbon’s metro, buses and trams are among the cheapest in Europe, making them affordable ways to help you explore the city.

To use any means of public transportation, you’ll need to buy a Viva Viagem card. The Viva Viagem card is a quick and easy way to pay for rides on public transportation in Lisbon. It’s basically a reloadable card that contains all your tickets or transportation funds on there.

By opting for the 10-ticket carris instead of just loading your card with 1 ticket, your ticket price goes from €2 per ride to €1.65 per ride.

12. Rideshare like Bolt, Uber, and Freenow are super affordable.

The bus and metro are great, but sometimes you just want to get somewhere without having to do any walking or making a ton of extra stops. That’s where the convenience of rideshare comes in!

Rideshare services are a convenient and affordable way to get around Lisbon, especially if you’re traveling in a group or want to get somewhere quickly.

To give you a sense of how affordable it is, our ride from town to the LIS airport via Bolt came out to €4 (about $5 USD). Our rides around town were also never really more than €3 either. What. A. Steal!

Especially since we were a group of 4 — each ride was basically €1 each, which is cheaper than what it would have cost us all to ride the metro.

For reference, the metro/bus cost to get from the airport to our hotel was €1.65. An extra couple of euros spent to save time and effort of lugging your suitcases to the bus/metro stop? 100% worth it!

13. If you’re planning to get by with public transportation, do note bus end times.

Buses don’t run all night long and there is such a thing as “the last bus of the night” here. If you’re going to be out and about late at night, then you’ll want to pay attention to bus end times.

If anything, you can always rely on the metro to get you closer to where you want to go. However, if your destination is not covered by the metro, then taking rideshare is a great option as well because it’s super cheap!

14. Buy a Lisboa Card to save money on attractions.

The Lisboa Card is a great way to save money and make the most of your time in Lisbon. This card offers free admission to over 37 museums and attractions in the city, as well as free public transportation on buses, trams, and metro trains.

The Lisboa Card is available in different durations, ranging from 24 hours to 72 hours, and can be purchased online or at various locations throughout the city. The card also comes with a guidebook and map, which can be helpful for planning your itinerary and navigating the city!

Some of the top attractions included with the Lisboa Card are the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, the National Tile Museum, the Lisbon Zoo, and the Lisbon Oceanarium. The card also offers discounts on tours, restaurants, and other activities, making it a great value for travelers who plan on doing a lot of sightseeing.

In addition to the cost savings, the Lisboa Card can also save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket lines at many popular attractions. This can be especially helpful during peak tourist season when lines can be long.

During our last trip, we had only one day planned for sightseeing at paid attractions, while the other remaining days were reserved for walking around, sampling foods, and taking day trips out of Lisbon.

With our 24-hour Lisboa Card, we did the following:

  • National Coach Museum
  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Belém Tower
  • ride around town with the Lisboa card – unlimited for 24 hours!
  • Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum) the next morning before the 24 hours were up!

We definitely got our money’s worth with the 24-hour pass!

15. Get your timed entry Pena Palace tickets ahead of time.

If you wait until the day-of to buy your ticket there, you might have a LONG wait ahead of you. That’s because admission at Pena Palace is now time-based. This means if all the time slots for your arrival time have already been sold out, you’ll be given the next available time slot, which could be 1-2 hours after you’ve already arrived.

This actually happened to me on my second visit to Pena Palace! My friends had decided last-minute that they wanted to visit. (Last-minute is never a good idea!)

Online reservations were sold out that morning, so our only option was to show up physically at the ticket office to buy tickets. Luckily, they had availability for in-person ticket purchases.

BUT, we had to wait 2 whole hours before they would let us in! We had walked all the way up the hill to get to the Palace, so there was no way we were walking back down to kill time. So we mostly just sat around for the whole two hours before getting in line to enter. It was a total waste of time, to be honest!

To avoid long lines and stupid wait times, purchase your tickets for Pena Palace online ahead of time.This will mean no wasted time — you’ll get to enter the palace at your desired time slot. Easy in, easy out!

16. If you’re traveling outside of the summer season, bring warm clothes to Sintra.

Sintra can be significantly cooler than Lisbon, especially during the off-season. Be sure to bring warm clothing and dress in layers to stay comfortable. If the clouds and the fog are rolling through, it’ll feel a lot colder when the sun isn’t shining directly on you.

17. For nightlife, go to Barrio Alto or Pink Street.

For night owls or people looking for a lively nightlife scene in Lisbon, two popular neighborhoods to grab drinks, party, and dance are Barrio Alto and Pink Street (or Rua Nova do Carvalho).

Barrio Alto is home to a wide range of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, catering to all tastes and budgets. Visitors can enjoy live music, DJ sets, and dancing until the early hours of the morning. Some popular bars in Barrio Alto include Pavilhão Chinês, Foxtrot, and A Capela. Round out the night with a gyro sandwich!

Rua Nova do Carvalho, is another nightlife destination located in the Cais do Sodré neighborhood. The street is known for its pink-colored pavement and is home to several bars and nightclubs. If you can, try to enjoy live music, dancing, and drinks at venues such as Pensão Amor, Musicbox, and Tokyo Bar.

Note: These areas can get quite crowded and noisy, especially on weekends and holidays! Be prepared to be chest-to-chest with people in some venues!

18. Make time to eat at a tasca and try local Portuguese food.

Tasca is a Portuguese word for a small, casual restaurant that serves traditional food. These restaurants are a great way to try local cuisine and get a taste of the local culture.

There are lots of options within the city of Lisbon, but by far my favorite restaurant is Tasca Do Teimoso. This little restaurant is run by a duo comprised of a son and a mom. The son does all the cooking while his mother is doing all the serving and hosting!

They only take a set number of reservations per day, and when that quota is met, they turn everyone else away! Be sure to make reservations ahead of time if you want the chance to dine in here! The food was so good. I’m still dreaming about their beef cheek dish…

19. Bring cash if you plan on eating at tascas.

Not all of them accept card, so be prepared with some cash money on hand to pay for your meal.

20. Make reservations for sit-down restaurants ahead of time.

This goes for any big city with a thriving food scene! Making reservations at restaurants you actually have on your travel itinerary will save you so much time and guarantee you get to eat at all the spots on your list.

I’ve seen my fair share of people getting turned away at smaller, more intimate tascas due to capacity constraints!

21. Be aware of the couvert charge.

In many restaurants in Lisbon, it is common to be served a small appetizer called “couvert” before your meal. This may include items such as bread, olives, and cheese. While couvert is not usually expensive, it can add up if you are charged for it at every meal.

If you don’t want to be charged for couvert, one practice is to move it to the side of your table and not touch it during your meal. This signals to the server that you do not want to be charged for it. It is important to note that this practice may not be well-known or accepted in all restaurants, so it is always a good idea to ask your server if you are unsure.

Another option is to simply decline the couvert when it is offered. You can politely tell your server that you do not want it, and they will usually remove it from your table without charging you.

It is also worth noting that some restaurants in Lisbon may include couvert in the price of your meal, especially if it is a traditional or upscale dining experience. In these cases, it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid the charge.

22. Tipping is not mandatory in Portugal, but it is appreciated.

Tipping is not mandatory in Portugal, but it is considered a polite gesture to show appreciation for good service. While it is not expected, leaving a tip is a common practice in many restaurants, cafes, and bars throughout Lisbon.

In general, the amount of the tip is up to the customer and depends on the level of service received. A typical tip in Lisbon is around 5-10% of the total bill, but some people may leave more or less depending on the situation. It is also common to round up the bill to the nearest euro or leave small change as a tip.

It is important to note that some restaurants in Lisbon may include a service charge, or “serviço,” in the bill. This is usually around 10%, and it is not necessary to leave an additional tip in these cases.

If you do choose to leave a tip, it is best to do so in cash rather than adding it to the credit card payment. This ensures that the tip goes directly to the server and is not subject to any additional fees or processing time.

23. If you’re in a car, don’t speed and wear your seatbelts.

If you plan to rent a car or take a tour that involves traveling by car in Lisbon, it is important to follow all traffic laws and regulations. This includes wearing your seatbelt at all times and not exceeding the speed limit.

The Portuguese National Republican Guard, or GNR, is responsible for enforcing traffic laws and ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers on the road. They may conduct random checks of vehicles to ensure that all passengers are wearing seatbelts and that the driver is not exceeding the speed limit.

In fact, this is exactly what happened to our group when we were on a full-day tour outside of Lisbon. All of the members of my group were wearing seatbelts when the GNR pulled us over, but the rest of the tour members were not so lucky! All four of them ended up getting ticketed and find €120 per person!

What a steep price for not being vigilant and wearing a seatbelt in a car!

If you are pulled over by the GNR, it is important to remain calm and cooperative. They may ask to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. If you are found to be in violation of any traffic laws, you may be subject to fines or other penalties.

To avoid getting pulled over by the GNR, it is important to obey all traffic laws and regulations. This includes staying within the speed limit, using turn signals when changing lanes or turning, and yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles when necessary.

24. Bring a bottle of water with you while out and about.

Bottled water can be expensive in Lisbon, so consider bringing a reusable water bottle with you to refill throughout the day.

Like most of Europe, bottles of water cost nearly as much as beer!

25. Wandering around on foot is the best way to see art all over Lisbon.

The city is home to a vibrant art scene, with street art, galleries, museums, and installations scattered throughout its neighborhoods.

You’ll honestly find artwork all over the place (including all kinds of tile artwork unique to Portugal), so be sure to stop and enjoy these free sights!

One of the best places to start your art walk is in the Alfama neighborhood. You can explore the neighborhood’s many art galleries, including the Galeria de Arte Urbana and the Underdogs Gallery, which showcase some of the city’s best street art and contemporary art.

Another great neighborhood to explore on foot is the Chiado district. This trendy area is home to several art galleries, including the Bertrand Gallery and the Chiado 8 Contemporary Art Museum.

For those interested in public art, the Parque das Nações neighborhood is a must-visit. This modern area is home to several large-scale installations, including the Vasco da Gama Bridge and the Gare do Oriente train station.

26. If you have the time, take a day trip out of Lisbon.

Taking a day trip out of Lisbon is a great way to see more of Portugal and experience different parts of the country. There are several destinations that are easily accessible from Lisbon and make for great day trips.

One popular day trip destination is Sintra, a charming town located about 30 minutes from Lisbon by train. Sintra is known for its beautiful palaces and castles, including the stunning Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle. Visitors can also explore the town’s historic center and enjoy the local cuisine.

Another popular day trip destination is Cascais, a coastal town located about 40 minutes from Lisbon by train. Cascais is known for its beautiful beaches, charming marina, and historic center. Visitors can stroll along the promenade, explore the town’s museums and galleries, or simply relax on the beach.

Other day trip destinations from Lisbon include the historic city of Évora, the fishing village of Setúbal, and the medieval town of Óbidos. Évora and Óbidos are some of my favorite destinations in Portugal!

27. Try the local ginjinha at least once.

Ginjinha is a traditional Portuguese liqueur made from sour cherries, sugar, and alcohol. It is a popular drink in Lisbon and can be found in bars and cafes throughout the city! When in Lisbon, you have to try at least one!

Ginjinha is typically served at room temperature or slightly chilled, and it has a sweet and slightly tart flavor. It is often served as a digestif after a meal, but it can also be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a refreshing drink on a hot day.

One of the best places to try ginjinha in Lisbon is at A Ginjinha, a historic bar located in the Rossio neighborhood. This bar has been serving ginjinha since 1840 and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. You’ll also find a ton of locals selling ginja in the Alfama area.

Don’t forget to say YES to the chocolate cup that it comes in!

28. Visit the local markets.

Visiting the local markets and food halls in Lisbon is a great way to experience the city’s vibrant food culture and sample some of its best local products.

One of the most popular food halls in Lisbon is the Mercado da Ribeira, also known as the Time Out Market. This historic market has been transformed into a trendy food hall, featuring some of Lisbon’s best restaurants and food vendors.

You can find anything from handmade pastas, seafood dishes, local Portuguese entrees, and even pasteis de nata from Manteigaria. Even if you don’t plan on eating here, it’s worth a quick stroll through.

Another popular market is the Mercado de Campo de Ourique, located in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood. This refurbished market features a mix of food stalls and artisanal shops, selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Enjoy a meal at one of the market’s many restaurants or take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Portuguese dishes.

The Mercado de Alvalade is another popular market located in the Alvalade neighborhood. It was featured by the late Anthony Bourdain in his show No Reservations. This market specializes in fresh produce, with vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to flowers and herbs. You can also find local products to snack on, including cheese, wine, and olive oil!

Other markets worth visiting in Lisbon include the Mercado de Santa Clara, known for its antiques and vintage goods, and the Feira da Ladra, a popular flea market held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

29. Soak in the views at the miradouros.

Because of how hilly the city is, Lisbon is known for its stunning viewpoints, or miradouros, which offer panoramic views of the city. Some popular ones include Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.

The Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is hands-down the best place in Lisbon to catch a sunset. During sunset, it gets pretty lively as other locals and tourists gather to enjoy the views. You can even expect drink vendors and live music on occasion.

From the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcántara (vista point), you’ll enjoy postcard-perfect views of Baixa, the Tagus River, and the São Jorge Castle on a hill.

30. Food and coffee are so much more affordable than in the USA / other parts of Western Europe.

One of the great things about traveling to Lisbon is that food and drink are much more affordable than in the USA. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, a sit-down meal, or a cup of coffee, you’ll find that prices in Lisbon are generally lower than what you might be used to back home.

For example, a traditional Portuguese pastry called pastel de nata, which is a must-try when visiting Lisbon, typically costs around 1.25 euro (or less) at a local bakery. A sandwich or a salad at a casual cafe or bakery can cost between 3 to 5 euros. A sit-down meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between 10 to 20 euros per person, depending on the type of cuisine and location.

In terms of coffee, a single espresso shot at a local cafe can cost as little as 0.60 euros. A cappuccino or latte typically costs between 1.20 to 2.50 euros, depending on the location.

This definitely beats the $6 cappuccinos of California or New York!

31. Skip the ride up the Santa Justa lift.

The ride up the elevator is like… 30 seconds long, while the wait is usually over an HOUR. Does that sound like a good payoff to you?

Instead of taking the lift, just walk to the top where the lift drops you off! You get to appreciate the same views as you would’ve had you taken the elevator, except you’ll have saved about an hour’s worth of time from NOT waiting in line.

To get to the top on foot, just GPS to Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau – Elevador Sta. Justa. Once you get there, you’ll find the elevator just a few steps away!

32. If you love seafood, try to eat as much as you can in Lisbon.

Whenever I find myself planning a trip to Lisbon, the first thing that always comes to mind is the amount of seafood I plan to eat. The dish that I look forward to the most? Caldeirada!

I first tried caldeirada (I think it was called fisherman’s rice on the English menu) at a restaurant called Versus in Nazare, while I was on a day trip from Lisbon.

This dish took forever to cook, but when it finally appeared on the table, it was filled with this thick orange broth, rice, crab, mussels, squid, and more. It was one of the BEST things I’ve ever eaten — even better than San Francisco’s cioppino!

You won’t have to go that far to get it because there are lots of seafood restaurants in Lisbon that serve it too.

Here are some other must-try seafood dishes for those of you eager to savor Lisbon’s seafood delights:

  • Grilled Sardines (Sardinhas Assadas): A quintessential Portuguese dish! Enjoy them with a slice of crusty bread and a glass of Vinho Verde for the ultimate Portuguese experience.
  • Seafood Rice (Arroz de Marisco): A medley of fresh seafood cooked with rice in a rich and fragrant broth. From succulent shrimp to tender clams and mussels, seafood rice offers a taste of the ocean in every bite.
  • Grilled Octopus (Polvo à Lagareiro): Tender and charred octopus, often drizzled with olive oil and garlic, served with potatoes.
  • Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato: Named after a renowned Portuguese poet, this classic dish features succulent clams cooked in a savory broth of garlic, olive oil, coriander, and white wine.
  • Gambas com alho: This simple appetizer is exactly what it sounds like: shrimp with garlic. But it’s soooo flavorful and delicious.
  • and of course, bacalhau (cod) and tiger prawns!


This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.

I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.

True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun… and most definitely not cheap.

Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!

One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, THEY will cover the medical expenses.

In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as:

  • emergency medical evacuationvery much needed if you like to go hiking or backpacking in the wild.
  • travel delay
  • lost checked luggage
  • adventure sports coverage (add-on)so you can rappel down waterfalls, cave dive, mountain bike, scuba dive, etc. with peace of mind.
  • electronics theft (add-on)get reimbursed if your laptop, phone, camera or other electronics get stolen.

Click here to price out how much travel insurance would be for your trip.



The short answer is yes; Lisbon is considered to be an exceptionally safe city, especially when compared to other popular European destinations.

The crime rate in Lisbon is low compared to other major cities and most visitors report feeling safe while they are there. I’ve been to Lisbon twice and I’ve never encountered anything sketchy, other than the peddlers who try to sell you friendship bracelets by trying to tie them on your wrist as you pass them by!

Having said that, you should still take standard travel safety precautions such as being aware of your surroundings, not walking alone at night, and avoiding secluded areas.

And as with any major metropolitan city, pickpocketing can occur in tourist hotspots like on public transportation or near monuments. To avoid this potential issue, it’s best to keep your belongings in an anti-theft travel bag, keep them close by, and always remain vigilant when out exploring the city.

With that in mind, you should have an enjoyable and safe experience while visiting Lisbon!


When compared with other major cities in Europe, Lisbon is definitely not expensive. I’d say Lisbon is cheaper than cities like Paris, Milan, and Rome, but more expensive than cities like Prague, Budapest, and Krakow.

A cup of coffee rarely costs more than 1 euro, and wine/beer is not too much more expensive. And on the food side, local Portuguese food is very high quality and inexpensive.

While you can certainly rack up some hefty expenses in Lisbon, such as accommodation costs and dining out at higher-end restaurants, there are also plenty of ways to explore this vibrant city without breaking the bank.

In fact, many activities can be done for free or very low cost – walking around the streets of Alfama, taking free walking tours around the city, exploring Parque das Nações, or enjoying free admission to paid attractions with a Lisboa Card!

If you’re trying to do Lisbon on a budget, shopping at local markets, staying at hostels, and eating at cafés or casual counter-service restaurants can also help keep your costs down.


The answer is both yes and no, depending on where in Lisbon you are.

Lisbon does contain several hills, including many steep cobbled streets in its old quarter. However, for the most part, the streets are quite flat. This makes it easy to explore on foot or by bike without having to worry about tiring yourself out too quickly with all the inclines!

In some parts of Lisbon, you may come across quite hilly climbs, but this isn’t true for every area as there are plenty of parks and waterfront districts which offer great views without too much effort.

If you plan on taking public transport then don’t worry either; many buses and trams can make their way up steep hills with ease!

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My Favorite Travel Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when planning out a new trip itinerary. The sites/companies listed here typically have the best overall value, offer deals, beat out other competitors, and offer great customer service when needed.

  • WayAway | This site compares flight ticket fares from hundreds of agencies. You’re going to get the best prices on the market, at least $10 lower than those on Skyscanner, Kayak, and Priceline.com. The best part is? The WayAway Plus membership. With the membership, you’ll get up to 10% cash back on airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, and other travel services.
    • DEAL ALERT!Use code ‘travelswithelle’ for 10% off WayAway Plus.
  • Booking.com | Honestly, this is my go-to accommodation booking site. This site has free cancellation and no prepayment required on reservations which is huge for me. It also has amazing abilities to filter accommodation options by rating and price. Honestly, it’s shaved off so many hours of endless research for me and has made booking hotels and other accommodations a breeze.
  • Viator | Viator is a huge online marketplace for all things tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, ATV tours, sailing trips, walking tours, hot air ballooning, and more.
  • Go City | Go City offers great value-for-the-money attraction passes in various destinations around the world. Whenever I want to play tourist in a city, I always check to see if Go City operates in that city. The money you can save with this pass is unreal (as opposed to buying admission tickets for various attractions separately).
  • SafetyWing | SafetyWing is by far one of the best travel medical insurance for travelers as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those heading abroad.
  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tips/32-lisbon-travel-tips-to-make-your-trip-so-much-better/ar-AA19Q8Zb?ocid=00000000


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