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Experience the Best of Lisbon Like a Local on a Budget

Experience the Best of Lisbon Like a Local on a Budget

by Louise Campos

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is a beautiful and romantic city. Life here is full of vibrant colours, sounds, tastes, and art which makes it such a happy place to be. The balmy Mediterranean weather, picturesque streets, beautiful buildings which tell tales of a bygone era, winding lanes and steep gradients, lip-smacking Portuguese food, and nice friendly people make it one of the most popular tourist places. What makes Lisbon even more popular is how affordable it is. From lodging to food to travel, everything has tons of pocket-friendly options. Here are some cool things you can see and do without spending a lot.

Take a stroll around Ajuda

Palacio de Ajuda in Lisboa
Situated between Belém and the foothills of the Monsanto, Ajuda is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Lisbon, dating back to about 1500s and was once quite a popular pilgrimage sanctuary among the rich and nobility of ancient Portugal. This ancient neighbourhood is absolutely gorgeous. Pay a visit to the stunning Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, which was the official residence of the King of Portugal until 1910. This neoclassical palace is a marvel of architecture. Located opposite to it is the Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, the oldest Botanical Garden of Portugal. It houses over five thousand varieties of plants and trees, brought in from Asia, Africa and America. Take a stroll through this beautiful garden and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Climb up to Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte

Nossa Senhora do Monte
An extremely offbeat spot, the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte, the highest point of Lisbon, offers breath taking panoramic views of the city. Take the Tram 28 and get off at Rua Graças or rent a tuk tuk to reach the spot. It is a steep climb uphill from here, but the experience is totally worth the walk as you get to enjoy a fascinating view but also, in ethereal solitude. While you are there make sure you visit the statue of the Virgin and the Nossa Senhora do Monte Chapel, dedicated to the ancient bishop, martyr Saint Gens. It dates back to 1147 and was rebuilt in the 1700s and is an absolutely essential addition to your Lisbon private tours.

Explore brilliant street art

Soccer Mural
The streets of Lisbon are famous for its brilliant graffiti street art. Artists such as Vhils, Odeith Addfuel, Bordalo II, BLU, Sam3 etc. have converted the streets of Lisbon into a huge modern urban art gallery and the results are spectacular. A city known for its romantic medieval architecture, Lisbon also makes one fall in love with its stunning graffiti. Take a walk around the streets of the city, especially in areas near Picoas Metro Station, Beleem cultural centre, Mouraria, Bairro Alto, Alfama etc. and you can encounter some of the most stunning and colorful street art which are not only pretty to look at, but also have social awareness to raise and hard hitting messages to deliver, making them extremely important in today’s world.

Pick up a superb bargain at the Thieves’ Market

Pop-Up Market in Lisbon
Whether you are travelling solo, or with people, shopping is something that no one can do without which makes this amazing shopping pop up perfect for your Lisbon private tours. Pick up some of the coolest stuff for yourself or get unique and exciting souvenirs for your loved ones back home at the Feira da Ladra, or locally known as the Thieves’ Market, which is available every Tuesday and Saturday in the Alfama district. It is a treasure trove of the most beautiful, unique, vintage, kitch and pocket friendly shopping where you can pick up exclusive dresses, accessories and souvenirs. You can easily reach the market by metro or tram.

Try some of Lisbon food delicacies

Piri-Piri Chicken
You must experience this luscious city also with your mouth if you really want to get the full local experience. Portuguese food ranges from the outmost famous Pastel de Nata to very authentic treats like Moelas and Bifana sandwiches. We won’t go over the full list here, but surely a brief reference is due to Pasteis de Nata: pick one up on your way to the Belem Tower, since Belem is where the original pastry beloved by the locals was invented. There this pastry is still baked according to a secret Catholic monks’ recipe. To enjoy some of the best Portuguese dishes without having to worry about the right venue and the authentic flavors, we highly recommend joining a private food tour in Lisbon with a local. Why private and why with a local? Because this is the only way to go beyond the average tourist experience and dig deeper into the local food culture. And a good chance to grab some extra hints about cool things to do in Lisbon during the rest of your stay.

Taste heaven at Pastéis de Belém

Pasteis de Nata
Your Lisbon private tours cannot be complete without a taste of heaven, otherwise known as the egg custard tart of Pastéis de Belém. You can take a tram to reach this iconic bakery. A copyright recipe of the family which owns the patisserie, this tart is possibly the most famous dish of Portugal and the patisserie is always teeming with tourists and locals. Make sure you grab this gooey, soft, delicious custard-filled dessert before it is over. It tastes best when it is eaten hot, right out of the oven. Lisbon is a beautiful city which offers some of the best and affordable travelling, living and sightseeing options for its travellers. It is a wonderful blend of the old and the new, the ancient architecture and the modern technology cohabiting beautifully, making it an extremely romantic place, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

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