Free Things to Do in Lisbon

When it comes to free things to do in Lisbon, you can find many things to do as a first-time visitor, especially if you are visiting Lisbon on a budget.

So, if you are planning a trip to the Portuguese capital, brace yourself for one of the most magical trips ever with this comprehensive list of things to do for gratis.

I have been to Lisbon often on a tight budget, and everything here is worth the visit.

Free Things to Do in Lisbon on a Budget

When I travel to different destinations, I always seek bargains. It is not all about spending little money but finding activities that add value to my overall experience.

Lisbon is one of those places. While the city’s tourism is booming, the prices of visitors’ accommodation and activities are rising.

Yet Lisbon remains affordable compared to other European vacation destinations. So, use my tips here on free things to do in Lisbon while visiting this magical place.

24 Free Things To Do in Lisbon, Portugal

Here, I highlight the top free things to do in Lisbon so that you can enjoy the same experience I had when visiting the city and keeping my budget in check.

1. Lisbon Free Walking Tour

Alfama Lisbon A Full Tourist Guide

Lisbon has many districts to visit spread over seven hills, each presenting a unique experience. You have Bairro Alto, Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado at the city center. Navigating on foot through them is fun; the best part is it is free.

So, you can join a self-guided tour traveling through the cobblestone streets of Avenue de Liberdade and Rua Augusta and head to the picturesque neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Baixa, and Alfama in Lisbon.

Or wander through the streets without a destination in mind. Find some attractions in my three days in Lisbon guide to create a self-guided tour for yourself, visiting the best places in Lisbon for free.

Or you can join one of the free walking tours in Lisbon with GuruWalk instead. But a reminder: while these tours present you with free attractions, many of them are tip-based.

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2. Gaze Upon The Panoramic Views at Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Miradouro-de-Santa-Luzia

Lisbon has the most stunning views from Miradouro da Senhora to Miradouro Das Portas, but one stands out: Miradouro de Santa Luzia. It is one of the most romantic things to do in Lisbon.

First, you can gaze at the blue-and-white tile panels on the church wall depicting Praça do Comércio before the earthquake in 1755. Then head to the terrace for views over the rooftops and see the National Pantheon white dome to the Tagus River.

Hot Tip🔥: While there, enjoy a cocktail 🍹at the onsite cafe at Portas do Sol for more city views. Here, you get outdoor seating to enjoy your drink and the view.

3. Visit Museu do Dinheiro Free

At the Lisbon Money Museum, the nine rooms available tell you a story of commercial transactions and currency over the years. It is fun and educational at the same time.

You get the opportunity to hold and feel authentic gold bars that are a favorite for children. Furthermore, you can see other treasures, like the remains of a 700-year-old wall that once protected Lisbon.

4. Free Things to Do in Lisbon Igreja de Santo António

While Lisbon has two patron saints, António and Vicente, one stands out as the most popular and celebrated, and that is Saint António. With its Baroque-Rocco style, the church of Santo Antonio is worth visiting and free.

The church is close to the home where he was born in 1195. The padre is known as the matchmaker saint, and many devout newlyweds visit this fantastic church on the day they get married to pray and ask for protection while they donate flowers.

5. Visit Belem With Many Free Things to Do in Lisbon

Visit the historic district of Belem, which has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here, you can experience Manueline architecture in the narrow streets, loaded with history.

Belem Tower

You can find many museums, famous sites, and stunning city views here. Furthermore, Belem is known for the famous Pasteis de Belem bakery to enjoy Portuguese custard tarts.

jeronimos-monastery-monastery-church-religion-lisbon-portugal

You can make it a day trip as you can forego entering the sights that need tickets and explore them from the outside. Visit Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and the Monument of Discoveries.

If you want to visit the sights, it helps to purchase a combo Monastery/Tower ticket using a Lisbon Sightseeing Pass.

Hot Tip🔥: Another inexpensive way to have fun and enjoy a ride from Lisbon to Belem with Tram 15. It departs at Praca do Comercio, costing 6 Euros for a return ticket.

You can save more using the Navegante (Viva Viagem) card and free with the Lisboa Card. Still, an affordable way is to walk as you get a scenic route along the way.

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6. Feira da Ladra is Free

Feira da Ladra

To get a glimpse of local life, visit the Lisbon Thieves Market, better known as Feira da Ladre. The Feira da Larga is a century-old flea market east of the Pantheon in Alfama. At the Feira da Ladra, you can find stalls on blankets with everything available, from books to antiques.

Hot Tip🔥: When visiting Feira da Ladra, it is only on a Tuesday and Saturday morning. So, check the Feira da Ladra early in the morning before it gets busy. But there are other markets to explore, like Time Out Lisboa, Mercado do Jardim, LX Factory, and more.

7. Cristo Rei, Lisboa

Cristo Rei Lisbon

The 92-foot tall Christ (Christo Rei) stands on a pedestal overlooking the Tagus River, and from the cliff of the south bank, you see the whole of Lisbon.

It is open to the public and a must-see for free things to do in Lisbon. A chapel is found at the statue base with a cross that lines the path to the cliff edge.

Here you can enjoy the views and even see the 25 de Abril Bridge.

A Note of Warning ⚠: Unfortunately, you cannot walk to Christo Rei, but getting there is not too expensive, and you can travel by ferry for around 3 Euros for a round trip. Get on the ferry at the Cacilhas Ferry terminal and take a 45-minute walk uphill to reach the statue.

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8. Cemitério dos Prazeres

Cemitério dos Prazeres

The Cemitério dos Prazeres has a grand gate with wide lanes and tall cypresses, contradicting an eerie cemetery image. It is an excellent example of funeral architecture styles in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood.

It is the final resting place of distinguished Portuguese figures from politicians, writers, and artists. From there, head down to the Artists Plot to enjoy a full view of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge on the left-hand side.

9. Lisbon Historic Churches

For free things to do in Lisbon, visit the many free historic churches in the city center.

These churches are historic landmarks with their ornately decorated interiors. You find them filled with history and artwork, all worth visiting. So, if you come across a church with unlocked doors in a historic neighborhood, go inside to look.

A reminder is that if the church has a museum attached, there will be a small fee to enter it even while it is free.

10. Free Tourist Attractions: Listen to Fado in Lisbon

Fado Show

Enjoy free cultural attractions like listening to Fado in Lisbon. The soulful sound is one of the best things to do for free in Lisbon. The best way to enjoy it for free is to head to Bairro Alto at Tasca do Chico.

You need not pay a coverage charge, but it can get busy, and you may find queues lining up. Still, if standing in a room in a packed bar is not a good time for you, then enjoy a budget Fado session instead at Faido in Chiado.

11. Cais das Colunas

Take an epic sunset with beautiful views from the riverside steps at Cais das Colunas. The old port of entry leads to Praca do Comercio. It was built in the 17th century and is marked with two columns.

Here, you can sit and enjoy Lisbon’s spectacular sunset, viewing the Targus River. At Cais das Colunas, you can also find occasional events taking place, and it is free to explore.

12. Visit Lisbon Park

If visiting in spring in Lisbon or the weather is nice, another free thing to do in Lisbon is to head to a park for a picnic. You can find several parks that you can easily access.

In the west, across the street from Basilica da Estrela, you find Jardim da Estrela Park, with several benches and fountains to admire.

Another hidden gem is Tapada das Necessidades, which has exciting structures along the moss-covered paths. Oh yes, and not to forget the peacocks. Then, you have Eduardo VII Park for a leisurely picnic.

To the north of Avenida da Liberdade, you find Parque Eduardo VII, which leads to a striking platform with a large Portugal flag. A bit north is another fantastic garden, Jardins da Gulbenkian.

13. Tour Ancient Lisbon Free

Enjoy a pre-booked free guided tour traveling through the historical layers from Roman times until today in Lisbon with Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros.

The tour occurred in the 1990s when the builders of Rua dos Correeiros hit an archaeological jackpot of history spanning 2500 years of Lisbon’s history.

Nonetheless, it is essential to remember it is a popular attraction, and it is best to book in advance.

14. Caminho da Água

Visit the art installation at Almeda dos Oceanos created by Rigo on one of the Parque das Nações main lanes. The cartoon character with ocean motifs decorates the Portuguese pavement with six colorful tiled water volcanoes erupting regularly. You can take the kids to splash in the water.

15. Parque das Nações

Panoramica_do_Parque_das_Nações

The Parque das Nações used to be the Expor 1998 former grounds on the city’s east side.

Now, you see an urban park where you can admire modern architecture. It spreads from Alvaro Siza Vieira’s Pavilhão de Portugal to Santiago Calatrava’s Gare do Oriente.

Here, you find riverside gardens and walkways to admire the Ponte Vasco da Gama bridge and Tagus River.

16. Panorâmico de Monsanto

Panorâmico de Monsanto, once a prestigious restaurant reserved for the upper class of Lisbon’s society, has had a tumultuous history since the 1960s.

Despite several attempts at revival, the restaurant was ultimately closed in the late 1990s and left to deteriorate over time. Nevertheless, in 2017, the viewpoint was officially recognized, and security measures were taken to protect it.

Although the fate of the building is uncertain, it currently offers you an unparalleled 360-degree view of Lisbon, making it a must-visit spot for anyone looking to take in the city’s beauty.

Note of Warning ⚠: While it presents you with an Instagram moment, you need to be careful where you go pointing that camera as there is a military institute next door, and capturing images is forbidden.

17. Praça do Martim Moniz

Praça do Martim Moniz

Mouraria’s Praça do Martim Moniz is a charming spot where you can relax and watch passers-by in the late afternoon.

It’s easy to overlook, but if you look across the street from the square, you’ll notice Lisbon’s medieval wall remnants.

Yet, the most impressive sight is Castelo de São Jorge, perched high on the highest of Lisbon’s seven hills, offering a stunning view of the city.

18. Galeria de Arte Urbana

If you’re up for some adventure in Lisbon, why not brave the steep climb up the Calçada da Glória to check out the city’s urban art gallery?

The Galeria de Arte Urbana is a designated spot featuring seven panels for pre-approved projects by up-and-coming and established street artists. You’ll be able to admire the latest pieces and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s street art scene.

After exploring the gallery, don’t forget to snap a photo of one of Lisbon’s most notable sites – the Ascensor da Glória. This mustard-yellow lift has become a canvas for graffiti art itself on many occasions.

It is a must-see for anyone interested in the intersection of urban art and urban life.

19. Igreja de São Roque

This historical church situated close to Bairro Alto is a remarkable survivor of the devastating earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755.

Despite the simple exterior, the church boasts a lavishly decorated interior adorned with frescoes and intricately carved wooden designs.

It includes nine chapels, each uniquely crafted and decorated to fit the taste and style of its respective patron.

Still, while it is one of many free things to do in Lisbon, the museum has a small fee. But a worthy note is that you can get in free when you visit before 2 pm on Sundays.

20. Ancient Roman Ruins

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755, the city was quickly rebuilt without much regard for the layers of history beneath.

Yet, nowadays, it is not uncommon for construction projects to accidentally stumble upon ancient Roman artifacts, prompting a halt in construction and the involvement of the city’s team of archaeologists who carefully catalog the findings.

Once construction resumes, it is often done in a way that incorporates and respects the newly discovered remains. One example is Casa dos Bicos, home to the Fundação José Saramago and the Eurostars Museum.

Visitors to the lobbies of both buildings can view ancient Roman remains and other historical artifacts free of charge.

Additionally, in the Alfama district, just up the street from Sé de Lisboa, an ongoing open-air excavation of a first-century Roman theater outside the Museu do Teatro Romano provides a unique glimpse into Lisbon’s rich history.

21. Traditional Portuguese Art Forms

Amália Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues, a renowned Fado singer, was a cultural icon in Portugal and an ambassador of this soulful urban music genre across the globe.

Vhils, an outstanding Portuguese urban artist, paid tribute to Rodrigues by creating a magnificent artwork in the heart of Alfama called Calçada.

The artwork is a stunning black and white portrait of Rodrigues, crafted with the help of professional paving stone layers, using the traditional Portuguese pavement technique known as calçada Portuguesa.

The Rua dos Cegos 42 mural is an excellent example of Lisbon’s urban culture that seamlessly blends art, music, and tradition in a beautiful masterpiece.

The best of all, it is a free thing to do in Lisbon, costing you nothing.

22. Sé de Lisboa

Sé de Lisboa, also known as Lisbon’s cathedral, follows the traditional architectural pattern of 12th-century medieval churches in Portugal.

It was constructed on the site of an old mosque after the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, conquered the city from the North African Muslims.

The cathedral has undergone various reconstructions and renovations over the centuries, which have added Gothic and Baroque elements to the original Romanesque structure and interior.

You can explore the cloisters by paying a fee and witness the ongoing archaeological excavations being carried out there.

23. Igreja de São Domingos

Igreja de São Domingos, a Catholic church in Lisbon, has a rich history. It was once where the Portuguese Inquisition was held and was a popular venue for royal weddings.

The church has suffered significant damage over time despite surviving two major earthquakes. In 1959, a destructive fire ravaged the church’s interior, destroying many of its works of religious art and leaving visible scars on the walls.

Unlike other Catholic churches in Lisbon, São Domingos’ walls are primarily bare, serving as a reminder of its tumultuous past.

24. A Secret Viewpoint in Parque Eduardo VII

Eduardo VII Park

Parque Eduardo VII is a beautiful mid-century-style park in Lisbon’s heart. It boasts of being the largest park in the city’s center and is a popular venue for many outdoor events, including the famous Lisbon Book Fair in the spring.

On the park’s north side, near João Cutileiro’s monument in honor of the Carnation Revolution, lies a lesser-known viewpoint that offers stunning views of the Baixa neighborhood, the Tagus River, and the south bank.

This hidden gem is a perfect spot to enjoy the serene beauty of Lisbon away from the bustling city life.th bank. This hidden gem is an ideal spot to enjoy the tranquil beauty of Lisbon away from the bustling city life.

The Advanced Lisbon Quiz

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Wrap-Up: Interesting Free Things to Do in Lisbon

As you can see, even as a budget traveler, you can find many free things to do in Lisbon. You need not pay entrance fees to visit some of the fantastic places in Lisbon. I hope my list of Lisbon things to do for free helps you have a great vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there are many free things to do in Lisbon, especially if you are on a budget. There are plenty of free opportunities to explore the city’s historic districts, museums, and parks.

Some of the top free things to do in Lisbon include taking a free walking tour, visiting Miradouro de Santa Luzia for panoramic views of the city, exploring the Lisbon Money Museum, visiting the Igreja de Santo António, and exploring the historic district of Belem.

Yes, it is possible to visit Belem for free. While some sights in Belem require tickets, such as the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower, you can still explore the historic district and enjoy the architecture and scenery for free.

Yes, there are several free museums in Lisbon that you can visit, such as the Lisbon Money Museum and the National Museum of Natural History and Science. Remember that while these museums are free, they may have limited hours or require reservations in advance.

Yes, you can find free events in Lisbon, especially during summer. Many parks and public spaces host free concerts, festivals, and other events throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to check local listings and event calendars to see what’s happening during your visit. 

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