published: 6/26/2003 | June 23, 2023
Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s home to great museums, historic buildings, picturesque squares, cool cafés, and a lively mix of clubs and candlelit music venues where people go to hear traditional fado music. I fell in love with the city as soon as I arrived – and it was even better the second time around!
Today Lisbon is one of the most popular cities on the continent. From cruisers to digital nomads, everyone loves this sunny city. I’ve visited many times over the years and always look forward to returning. The warm weather, the inviting colors, and the relaxed atmosphere really make people feel welcome.
The best way to see the city (especially if it’s your first time) is to take a walking tour. It’s the first thing I do when I visit a new city because it’s the best way to connect with a local guide, get insider info, and see the main sights.
These days, there are plenty of walking tours available to ensure you get the most out of your visit. Here’s a list of our favorites – from free rides to food tours to pub crawls – to help you sort it all out so you end up with the best!
Best overall tour
I’ve done Wolks tours all over Europe and they are, by far, my favorite tour company. They always manage to go above and beyond with fun and educational tours.
In Lisbon they offer quite a few tours (including food tours) but for a good primer on the city I’d recommend the Lisbon on a Day Tour. It includes a river cruise, early access to the Jeronimos Monastery, and lunch. It also lasts a full day!
Best free tour
Relaxing tours in Lisbon
This free, informative three-hour tour takes you through five of Lisbon’s most famous neighborhoods – Graça, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado and Bairro Alto – and offers you an entertaining and informative dose of history and culture along the way.
Tours also focus on a more local side of Lisbon. If you are on a tight budget and want an introduction to the city, this is the tour for you. Just remember to recommend the guide!
Here are some walking tour options to help you make the most of your time in Lisbon:
1. Gobble up
Devour started out in Spain and soon began touring Lisbon. They offer a food and fado tour, blending two of Lisbon’s cultural attractions into one tour. Personally, I love the Tastes & Traditions food tour that they do: you stop at seven small businesses in Lisbon, take up to nine samples and sip three different brews. Devour is one of the best food tour companies in Europe and their Lisbon tours are no exception.
Tours start at 95 euros.
2. Inside Lisbon
This tour company offers a full range of tours but their introductory Best of Lisbon tour is perfect for both first-time Lisbon visitors and budget travelers. The three-hour tour begins at 9:30, takes you through some of the city’s main neighborhoods, stopping for wine and a snack from the famous pastries, Pastel de nata (custard egg tart). Group tours have a maximum of 14 people.
Tours start at 18 euros.
3. Guru street art tour of the city
Street art has taken over major cities in the world, including Lisbon. On this three-hour tour, you’ll see some of the city’s best businesses and learn about the social and political motivations behind them. The tours are also led by a local street artist, so you’ll really get an inside look at the scene and visit murals that skip most other tours.
Tours start at 35 euros.
4. Pancho Tours
Pancho takes tours all over the Iberian Peninsula, using local guides and crafting itineraries that focus on street art, tapas, wine, and day trips to places like Sintra. Personally, I love their fado music tour. During the 2.5-hour tour, you’ll learn all about this melancholy music endemic to Portugal. You’ll get a front row seat at a fado show in central Lisbon at the end.
Tours start at around 40 euros.
5. We hate touring
Overtourism is a problem in many cities, particularly in Europe, with crowds of people traveling from one attraction to another. Hence, the idea behind We Hate Tourism Tours: This 3.5 hour walking tour takes you into off-the-radar neighborhoods to show you how Lisbonians really live. There are only six people on each tour, which keeps things intimate. This also means that you must book well in advance because tours sell out quickly. I love the way they take people out of the main tourist areas and show you an authentic look at life in Lisbon. I cannot recommend this tour enough.
Tours start at 40 euros.
6. Discover the Lisbon Pub Crawl
Lisbon has a very lively nightlife these days, and if you’re looking for a way to see it while meeting other travelers, a classic pub crawl is a good way to go. This tour takes you to three locations, with a free shot at stops one and three. Additionally, there is a one hour period of all you can drink apple juice or sangria. It is a great choice for solo travelers looking to meet other people. It’s not a real “local” thing but it’s fun!
Tours start at €20.
Lisbon has walking tours for almost every interest and budget, which is just one of the many reasons I love the city. Whenever I visit I always take a tour or two because the city has so much to see and do and the local guides always add so much value to my trip. These tours allow you to get an inside perspective on life here and ask locals questions about where to go, what to do, and how to behave. Make sure to take at least one of these tours while you’re in town.
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Book your flight to Lisbon: logistical tips and tricks
Book your flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines all over the world so you will always know that no stone is left unturned.
Reserve your accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they constantly show the cheapest rates for cheap guesthouses and hotels. Two of my favorite accommodations are:
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here’s a complete list of my favorite hostels in Lisbon.
Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Are you looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They’ll save you money when you travel, too.
Do you want more information about Lisbon?
Be sure to visit our robust Lisbon destination guide for more planning tips!