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Is Lisbon Expensive? (A 2024 Cost Breakdown)

So, you’re planning a trip to the stunning capital of Portugal, but you have one question before you commit and book your flight. ‘Is Lisbon Expensive to Visit?’. Well, in this post we are going to break it down.

Let’s take a look at just how much a trip to Lisbon costs, from accommodation and food to transportation and sightseeing. This guide will be your one-stop shop for all things costs related.

Section 1: Lisbon Prices for Accommodation 

Accommodation plays a big role in any travel budget and Lisbon is no different. However, the beauty of this city is that it caters to everyone – from backpackers on a shoestring budget to luxury seekers who want nothing but the best.

In this post, we will take a look at the cost of accommodation in Lisbon, for all kinds of Budgets, whether you’re seeking a hostel dormitory or a 5-star suite.

Average Cost of Accommodation in Lisbon

Budget Accommodation

For those travelling on a tight budget, Lisbon offers numerous hostels and budget hotels, costing around €18-€30 per night. These accommodations usually provide shared amenities but are often centrally located. And, a great place to meet other travellers. Lisbon is also home to some of the best hostels in Europe.

Mid-range Accommodation

If you have a bit more to spend or value comfort and privacy, Lisbon’s mid-range hotels and rentals offer great value. Expect to pay anywhere from €75 to €150 per night for these accommodations, which usually include private bathrooms, comfortable beds, and often, complimentary breakfast.

Bonus Tip: You could opt into an aparthotel style accommodation that way you can save money by making your own food.

Luxury Accommodation

Those looking for a more luxurious experience you may opt for a high-end hotel, Lisbon is home to several 5-star hotels and luxury rentals. 

These accommodations offer top-tier amenities and services, including spas, fine dining, and concierge services. Prices for these exclusive stays range from €350 to €900 per night.

Luxury Travel: Those looking for a splash of luxury can expect to pay around € 250+ per night at a 5-star hotel.

Accommodation  Recommendations in Lisbon for all Budgets

I have highlighted below some accommodation options in Lisbon with suitable for all budget types.

Luxury: If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, consider staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.  This five-star hotel offers stunning views of the city and is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Avenida da Liberdade.

Mid-range: For mid-budget travellers, hotels like Hotel Avenida Palace and Mercure Lisboa provide a comfortable stay with good amenities at a more reasonable price.

Budget: For those on a tight budget, Lisbon has plenty of affordable options. Consider staying at hostels like Lisbon Destination Hostel or Home Lisbon Hostel, both known for being one of the best hostels in Europe, with their clean facilities and friendly atmosphere.

Tips on Finding Cheap Place to Stay in Lisbon

  1. Book in Advance: Consider booking your accommodation well ahead of your travel dates. Prices can go up as the date gets closer, especially during peak tourist season.
  2. Consider off-peak travel: Lisbon’s high season is during the summer months. If you can, plan to visit in the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) when fewer tourists are in town and prices are generally lower.
  3. Location: Accommodations in the heart of the city tend to be more expensive. Consider staying in a neighbourhood just outside the city centre where prices can be more affordable, but you’re still within a reasonable distance of the main attractions. However, it is also important to weigh up the cost of transport as it may work out the same price in the end.
  4. Use comparison sites: Use comparison websites to check prices across a variety of accommodations. This can help you find the best deals and value for your budget.
Related Post: Is Lisbon Safe?

Section 2: Lisbon Prices for Food and Drink

In a world-famous city like Lisbon, it is safe to say that the food scene is rather diverse, with some traditional meals mixed with worldwide cuisine. Let’s take a look at how much you should budget for food while in Lisbon.

How much is a meal in Lisbon?

Breakfast:  You can expect to spend around €5-7 for a continental breakfast in a cafe or pastry shop, including a coffee and pastry.

Lunch: A traditional Portuguese meal at a local restaurant will cost anywhere from €8-12, depending on the type of dish you choose. For budget-friendly options, look for daily specials or “Prato do Dia” (dish of the day) menus.

Dinner: For dinner, plan to spend around €15-20 per person for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant. 

However, Lisbon’s does have its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants, if you do decide to treat yourself to one of these, expect to pay more in the range of €60-100 per person.

Street Food:  If you’re on a budget, street food is definitely the way to go in Lisbon. You can find a variety of snacks and meals for as little as €2-5 from street vendors and markets. This is particularly important for those trying to stay within a backpacker’s budget.

Price of Wines, Beers & Coffee’s in Lisbon 

So, it’s safe to say that a lot of people visiting Lisbon will want to check out its selection of wines and beers. And, when looking at a budget for a trip, it can be easy to forget about the cost of beverages. Let’s discuss how much you can expect to pay for drinks in Lisbon. 

Wine: Portugal is known for its delicious wines, and you can find a good bottle of wine in Lisbon for as little as €5-7 at a local supermarket. If you want to try different varieties, many bars offer flights of wine for around the same price.

Beer: A pint of beer at a local bar will cost you around €3-4, but if you’re buying from a supermarket or convenience store, prices can be as low as €1-2 for a bottle. 

Happy Hour: Many bars and restaurants in Lisbon offer happy hour specials, usually between the hours of 5pm-8pm. This is a great way to try different drinks and save some money while doing so.

Cocktails: Cocktails can vary in price, but on average expect to pay around €7-10 for a cocktail at a bar or restaurant. However, cocktails are usually on happy hour deals too.

Coffee: If you’re a coffee lover, Lisbon has some great options for you! A cup of coffee at a local cafe will cost you around €1.50-2.50, but if you want a fancier drink like a latte or cappuccino, prices can range from €3-5.

Where to Find Traditional Portuguese Dishes

Lisbon is a goldmine for food lovers, especially those seeking to indulge in traditional Portuguese cuisine. 

Pastéis de Belém or Pastéis de Nata, the iconic Portuguese egg tart pastry, can be found in every bakery, but the ones from ‘Pastéis de Belém‘ in the district of Belém are exceptional and worth the visit. 

For seafood lovers, the traditional dish of Bacalhau à Brás (shredded cod with onions, eggs, and potatoes) is a must-try and can be found in most local restaurants with Cervejaria Ramiro is a popular spot for seafood dishes.

Meat lovers will not be disappointed with the well-known dish of Cozido à Portuguesa, a hearty stew made with various meats, vegetables, and beans. A great place to try this dish is at traditional restaurants such as A Taberna da Rua das Flores.

Section 3: Transport Prices in Lisbon

Navigating through Lisbon is relatively straightforward, with a variety of public transportation options available at affordable rates. 

Metro: The Lisbon Metro is the quickest way to travel around the city. Single tickets cost €1.65, but if you plan to use the metro frequently, consider a 24-hour ticket for €6.40.

Trams & Buses: Trams and buses are an ideal way to see the city at a slower pace. A single ticket on a tram costs €3.00, whilst bus fares are cheaper at €1.80 per ride. 

Taxis & Ride-hailing: Taxis in Lisbon are reasonably priced particularly Uber, with most trips within the city costing between €5-10. 

Tips on keeping transportation cheap in Lisbon

  1. Consider purchasing the Lisboa Card, which offers unlimited travel on Lisbon’s public transport system and discounts on various attractions. The card can be purchased for various durations, starting from 24 hours (€20) up to 72 hours (€42).
  2. If you plan to stay in Lisbon for a longer period, consider getting the Viva Viagem Card. This reusable card costs €0.50 and can be loaded with single tickets, a daily pass, or zapping credit that can be used on metros, buses, and trams for cheaper than the pay-as-you-go price.
  3. Walking is another cost-effective way to explore the city. Lisbon is a compact city with many of its major attractions located within close proximity. Walking not only saves money but also provides an immersive experience of the city’s vibrant streets and charming neighbourhoods.

Section 4: Lisbon Budget for Attractions & Activities

Lisbon has some incredible attractions for tourists to enjoy, from the historic Belem Tower to the Hop on Hop Off Tours. Let’s take a look at how much you should budget for Lisbon attractions.

  1. Belem Tower: This UNESCO-listed fortress is one of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks. A standard ticket to the tower costs around €9, but admission is free with the Lisboa Card.
  2. Jeronimos Monastery: Another World Heritage Site, this magnificent monastery is a must-visit. Entry to the monastery costs €10, or is free with the Lisboa Card.
  3. Tram 28: Riding this heritage tram is an experience in itself, offering panoramic city views. A single journey costs €3, or you can use the Viva Viagem Card.
  4. Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: This tour allows you to explore Lisbon at your own pace. Prices start from €22 for a 24-hour pass.
  5. Lisbon Zoo: A great spot for families, the zoo houses a range of species from around the world. Entry costs €29 for adults and €18 for children.

FREE Things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon also boasts an array of activities that can be enjoyed without spending a cent. 

  1. Roaming the Streets of Alfama: Known as the oldest district of Lisbon, Alfama is a maze of narrow streets, ancient houses, and traditional Fado bars. Wandering around this neighbourhood is completely free and offers an authentic taste of Lisbon’s past.
  2. Beach Day:  Lisbon is home to some beautiful beaches, such as Cascais and Costa da Caparica, which are easily accessible by public transportation. Spend a day soaking up the sun and swimming in the clear waters without spending a dime.
  3. Explore the Landmarks: Lisbon is dotted with stunning landmarks that can be admired for free, such as the Torre de Belém, Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, and Praça do Comércio. These iconic sights offer great photo opportunities and a chance to learn about the city’s history.
  4. Picnic in the Park: Lisbon has several beautiful parks, such as Parque Eduardo VII and Jardim da Estrela, where you can enjoy a picnic with stunning views of the city. Pack your own snacks and drinks to save money.
  5. Take in the Views: Lisbon is known for its breathtaking views, and luckily many of them can be enjoyed for free. Head to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara or Miradouro da Senhora do Monte for panoramic views of the city.
  6. Free Walking Tours:  Many companies offer free walking tours of Lisbon, where knowledgeable guides take you through the city’s history and culture. These tours are a great way to explore the city and learn about its hidden gems without spending any money. (Although I do recommend leaving a little something as a tip)

Section 5: Cost Breakdown of a Trip to Lisbon

If you are planning on spending 3/4 days in Lisbon then I recommend the below budget for each style of traveller.

Budget Traveller:  €50-70 per day

Mid-range Traveller: €100-150 per day

Luxury Traveller: €200+ per day

This budget includes accommodation, food, transportation and activities. However, keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the time of year you visit and your personal travel preferences.

Section 6: Is Lisbon Cheap or Expensive

When compared to other Western European capitals, such as Dublin, Lisbon is relatively affordable. 

Accommodations, dining, and attractions generally cost less in Lisbon than in cities on this side of the continent. 

However, like any destination, the cost can increase significantly if you opt for luxury accommodations or dine at high-end restaurants.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your own personal budget choices, the city can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.

Section 7: Tips for Visiting Lisbon Cheap

If you’re planning on visiting Lisbon and want to stay within a tight budget, here are some tips to help you save money!

  1. Transport: Lisbon’s public transport system is both reliable and economical, making taxis unnecessary for most journeys. The metro, trams, and buses are all excellent ways to explore the city.
  2. Eat at Local Markets: Local markets, such as the Mercado da Ribeira, offer a wide range of fresh and budget-friendly Portuguese meals.
  3. Free Walking Tours: Several companies offer free walking tours in Lisbon, providing a great introduction to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Don’t forget to tip your guide based on what you can afford!
  4. Enjoy Free Attractions: Lisbon boasts a wealth of free attractions like parks and historical sites, allowing you to experience the city without spending anything.
  5. Visit in the Off-Season: Lisbon sees most of its tourists during the summer months. Consider visiting in the off-season for lower rates on accommodations and activities. Another great thing about visiting Lisbon in the autumn/winter months is you are unlikely to see snow as it tends to host mild to moderate temperatures all year round.
  6. Stay in Hostels: Hostels are a cost-effective accommodation choice, particularly for solo travellers. Even staying in private rooms in hostels can cost significantly less than hotels.
  7. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle: Instead of buying bottled water repeatedly, bring a reusable water bottle. You can refill it at the numerous public drinking fountains around the city.
  8. Stay outside the city: If you are looking to save a little money I’d consider staying outside the city. I stayed in Cascais on one of my trips and LOVED IT! There is so much to see and do in Cascais and it’s only a 30 minute train journey from Lisbon.

Section 8: Cost of Flights to Lisbon

So, you’ve decided to take a trip to the beautiful city of Lisbon. You’ve planned your itinerary and figured out how to do it all on a budget. But, one vital piece of the puzzle remains, and that’s your flight. The cost of flights will vary depending on when and where you’re booking from. But don’t worry, I’ve compiled some estimates to give you a general idea of what to expect.

  • From New York City, USA: You can find round-trip flights ranging from 0 to 0.
  • From London, UK: Prices for round-trip fares generally fall in the range of £50 to £200.
  • From Sydney, Australia: Expect to pay between AUD 1,000 and AUD 1,500 for a round-trip ticket.
  • From Tokyo, Japan: Round-trip flights usually cost between ¥60,000 and ¥120,000.
  • From Johannesburg, South Africa: You can get a round-trip ticket for between ZAR 7,000 and ZAR 12,000.

Of course, these are all estimates, for finding the best flight deals I recommend using skyscanner and be flexible with your dates.

Section 9: Is Lisbon More Expensive than Other European Cities

As a seasoned traveller, I can confidently say that Lisbon, while being a captivating European city rich in culture and history, is significantly more affordable when compared to other popular European destinations. 

The cost of living in Lisbon is lower, which translates to less expensive meals, more budget-friendly accommodation, and affordable public transportation. 

The city’s hospitality, coupled with its great value, makes it a top choice for travellers seeking to explore Europe on a budget. 

Section 10: Is Lisbon Expensive to Visit FAQ

How expensive is Lisbon?

While the perception of ‘expensive’ can vary greatly, Lisbon is generally considered quite affordable, especially when compared to other European capital cities. 

You will find a range of price options for food, accommodation, and activities, to fit most budgets. 

The average daily cost for a tourist in Lisbon is around €100 – €150. This can significantly decrease if you opt for budget-friendly options like street food, free walking tours, and public transportation.

Can you visit Lisbon on a Budget?

Yes, absolutely! Lisbon is a fantastic destination for budget travellers. The city offers an array of affordable options from accommodation to food. 

For accommodation, apart from budget hotels and hostels, Lisbon has a wide range of affordable Airbnb options. 

As for food, you can enjoy delicious and inexpensive meals at local eateries. Opt for traditional Portuguese dishes for a more affordable and authentic experience. 

The city also boasts numerous free attractions, including parks, museums with no admission fee on certain days, and stunning viewpoints (known as ‘miradouros’) that offer panoramic views of the entire city. 

Also, public transportation is reasonably priced, and walking is always a free and enjoyable option in this pedestrian-friendly city.

How much will I spend after 2 days in Lisbon?

Calculating expenditure for two days in Lisbon primarily depends on your lifestyle and the kind of activities you wish to partake in. A budget traveller could spend around €50 – €80 per day, thus totalling around €100 – €160 for two days.

 This would include staying in budget accommodations, eating at local eateries, using public transportation, and visiting free or low-cost attractions. 

On the other hand, if you prefer more comfort or luxury, expect to spend from €150 to €200 per day, or €300 – €400 for two days. This budget includes staying in a midrange to an upscale hotel, dining at better restaurants, and possibly taking guided tours or partaking in more costly activities. 

Therefore, while Lisbon can be a rather budget-friendly destination, your total expenditure significantly depends on your personal preferences and spending habits.

How much would it cost to spend one week in Lisbon?

Spending one week in Lisbon, the cost would naturally multiply based on your daily expenditure. So, as discussed for a budget traveller, spending would be roughly €50 – €80 per day, you might anticipate a total cost around €350 – €560 for a week. 

For those going for more luxury or comfort options, you will spend around €150 to €200 per day, which totals to around €1050 – €1400 for a week. 

This will always come down to each individual person’s spending habits which is extremely hard to predict.

Top 10 Things to do in Lisbon when visiting on a Budget

  1. Visit the Belem Tower: This iconic landmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a small admission fee, but just admiring the tower from outside is free. It is also one of my favourite places to watch the sunset in the city.
  2. Explore LX Factory: This hip and trendy area is filled with unique shops, restaurants, and street art. It’s free to explore, though you might be tempted to buy a souvenir!
  3. Take a ride on Tram 28: This historic tram route is a cheap way to see many of Lisbon’s most famous sights.
  4. Visit the Mercado da Ribeira: Sample a variety of Portuguese foods at this bustling food market. 
  5. Enjoy a picnic in Jardim da Estrela: This beautiful park is perfect for a budget-friendly picnic.
  6. Visit the Museu Nacional do Azulejo: Learn about Portugal’s tile-making history at this museum. There’s a small admission fee, but it’s worth it for the cultural experience.
  7. Take a ferry to Cacilhas: For the price of a ferry ticket, you can enjoy stunning views of Lisbon from across the river.
  8. Visit the Miradouros: These viewpoints offer stunning vistas of the city and are completely free to visit.
  9. Walk along the Tagus River: The riverside in Lisbon is beautiful and filled with history. A walk along the river won’t cost you anything but will reward you with some unforgettable views.

Conclusion: Is Lisbon Expensive? Should I book a trip?

Yes, Yes and Yes, Lisbon is one of my favourite cities in Europe. It is a must on anyone’s bucket list.

Not only is it an affordable place to visit, it is also home to some incredibly nice locals,  rich history and culture, delicious food, beautiful architecture and stunning views. 

Lisbon offers something for everyone, from budget travellers to luxury seekers. You can explore the city by foot or take a ride on one of the iconic yellow trams. 

Spend your days wandering through charming neighbourhoods, admiring historic landmarks such as Belém Tower or São Jorge Castle, and indulging in local food.

I’d say book your trip sooner rather than later!

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