posted: 26/6/2003 | June 23, 2023
Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in the world. It is home to impressive museums, historic buildings, lovely squares, relaxed cafes, and a vibrant 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 explorers to digital nomads, everyone loves this sunny city. I have visited several times over the years and always look forward to returning. The warm weather, inviting colors and relaxed atmosphere really make one feel welcome.
However, 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 visiting a new city because it's the best way to connect with local guides, get insider info, and see the main sights.
These days, there are tons of walking tours available to make sure you make the most of your visit. Here's a list of my favorites – from free tours to food tours to pub crawls – to help you sort them all out so you get the best!
Best Overall Tour
Go for a walk
I have been on Walking tours all over Europe and, by far, this is my favorite tour company. They always go above and beyond for fun and educational tours.
In Lisbon they offer several tours (including a food tour) but for a good primer on the city I recommend them Lisbon in a Day tour. This includes a river cruise, early access to the Jeronimos Monastery, and lunch. It lasts a full day too!
Best Free Tour
Lisbon Leisure Tour
This informative three-hour free tour takes you through five of Lisbon's most popular neighborhoods – Graça, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Bairro Alto – offering entertaining and enlightening doses of history and culture along the way.
The tour also focuses on the more local side of Lisbon. If you are on a budget and want to get to know the city, this is the tour for you. Remember to tip the guide!
Here are some other walking tour options to help you make the most of your time in Lisbon:
Devour started in Spain and quickly began touring in Lisbon. they offer food and fado tourism, combines two of Lisbon's cultural highlights in one tour. I personally like Tastes & Traditions food tour they do: You stop at seven small businesses in Lisbon, eat up to nine samples and sip three different drinks. Devour is one of the best food tour companies in Europe and their Lisbon tours are no exception.
The tour starts from 95 EUR.
2. Inside Lisbon
This tour company offers a wide variety of tours but their Best of Lisbon introductory tour is perfect for first-time Lisbon visitors and budget travelers. The three-hour tour begins at 9:30am and takes you through some of the city's main neighborhoods, stopping for wine and tasting famous cakes, milk butter cookies (egg custard tarts). Group tour maximum 14 people.
Tours start from 18 EUR.
3. Guru City Street Art Tour
Street art has taken over the world's major cities, including Lisbon. On this three-hour tour, you'll see some of the city's best works and learn about the social and political motives behind them. Tours are also led by local street artists, so you'll really get to see the sights from inside and visit the murals that most other tours do.
Tours start from 35 EUR.
4. Pancho Tour
Pancho tours throughout the Iberian Peninsula, using local guides and crafting itineraries focused on street art, tapas and wine, as well as day trips to places like Sintra. Personally, I love their fado tour. During this 2.5 hour tour, you will learn all about this melancholic music that is endemic to Portugal. You'll get a front row seat at a fado show in the middle of Lisbon eventually.
The tour starts around 40 EUR.
5. We Hate Tours
Overtourism is a problem in many cities, particularly in Europe, with crowds ping-ponging from one attraction to the next. Hence the idea behind We Hate Tourism Tours: a 3.5 hour walking tour takes you to an environment off the radar to show you how Lisbon's people really live. There are only about six people per tour, which keeps things intimate. This also means you have to book in advance as tours sell out quickly. I love how they get people out of the main tourist areas and show you a real view of Lisbon life. I can't recommend this tour enough.
Tours start from 40 EUR.
6. Discover the Lisbon Pub Crawl
Lisbon has had a particularly vibrant nightlife these days and, if you're looking for a way to see it while meeting other travelers, the classic pub crawl is a great way to go. This tour takes you to three places, with one free shot at the first and third stops. Plus, there's the one-hour period of all-you-can-drink cider or sangria. This is a great option for solo travelers looking to meet other people. It's not real “local” stuff but it's fun!
Tours start from 20 EUR.
Lisbon has walking tours for just about every interest and budget, which is one of the many reasons I love this city. Whenever I visit, I always go on a tour or two because the city has so much to see and do, and local guides always add a lot of value to my trips. This tour allows you to get an inside perspective on life here and ask locals questions about where to go, what to do, and how to act. Make sure to take at least one of these tours while you're in town.
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Book Your Trip to Lisbon: Logistics Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know there's not a stone left unturned.
Book 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, go for it Booking.com because they consistently return the cheapest rates for guest houses and budget hotels. My two favorite places to stay are:
If you're looking for more places to stay, here is a comprehensive list of my favorite hostels in Lisbon.
Don't Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It's comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel 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:
Looking for the Best Company to Save Money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to work with when you're on the go. I list everything I use to save money while I'm on the road. They'll save you money on the go, too.
Want More Information about Lisbon?
Be sure to check out our powerful destination guide in Lisbon for even more planning tips!