Already famous for combining old-world charm and grand architecture with an eclectic food scene and vibrant nightlife, according to the latest City Costs Barometer from Post Office Travel Money the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is also the cheapest city in Western Europe for a city break.
A good choice for budget conscious British travellers, the survey found that Lisbon offers excellent value for money, with an average cost of £135 per person for a weekend break, including 3 star accommodation for two nights, local transport, sightseeing, meals and drinks.
Not only does the survey highlight costs such as return airport transfers for only £2.21, 48-hour travel cards for less than £10 and a three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine easily available for below £40, it also points out that admission to many art galleries is free or costs only a few euros, even for a top heritage attraction such as the Jerónimos Monastery.
Here are just eight ways to enjoy Lisbon without having to dig too deep into your pockets:
1) Hop aboard the No28 tram, the most popular route operated by Lisbon’s nostalgic, century-old form of public transport, whose 40-minute journey crosses the oldest part of the city, the Moorish Alfama district
2) Do it like a Lisboeta and head to a market – one of the city’s coolest is Mercado de Campo de Ourique, featuring traditional vegetable stalls and gourmet food stands, or you can go in search of vintage findings at the Feira da Ladra flea market
3) Grab a Lisboa Card and take advantage of free public transport (underground, bus, trams and lifts) and free or discounted entrance to the city’s most popular attractions and places of interest
4) Alternatively, time your visit to iconic attractions such as the Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, both protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or hidden gems like the National Azulejo Museum on a Sunday, when it is free to enter
5) Explore the riverfront on foot – the Tagus River is intrinsically linked with Lisbon’s history and in the recent years its waterfront has opened up, making it easy to walk from Praça do Comércio, in the heart of the city, to the centuries-old suburb of Belém
6) Make the most of Lisbon’s glorious beaches, easily – and cheaply – accessible by public transport in only 30 minutes; seaside Cascais is easy to explore on two wheels (and you can rent bicycles for free!)
7) Find the right spot for a selfie: Built on seven hills, Lisbon has many viewpoints – but you can also visit the Cristo Rei statue, on the estuary’s southern side, for stunning vistas of the city and the 25 de Abril suspension bridge from its (free) viewing platform
8) Take in one of the city’s memorable events – you can attend for free the open air Festival ao Largo Millennium bcp and enjoy opera, ballet and classical music concerts under the stars or join in the citywide festivities for Santo António, Lisbon’s patron
For more information and ideas please visit www.visitlisboa.com.
Direct flights to Lisbon operate from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol with TAP Portugal, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch.