Lisbon offers definitely lower prices if compared with other European capitals and you get to do a lot of genuine stuff by paying almost nothing. I’ll not make the usual travel guide type recommendations (like riding on the 28 tram!) but instead give you 6 must things under 4,00€ you should do in Lx (shortcut for Lisbon). See below:
#1. Rua Augusta Arch (2,50€)
You’ll be amazed – this monument offers an incredible viewpoint from where you have the chance to cover a 360º view over the entire city – including Tagus river, Terreiro do Paço square, Saint George’s Castle, 25th April bridge, etc. The sculptures on top are incredible too. You reach the top by elevator followed by a couple of stairs. 35 is the maximum number of people allowed at the same time on top.
Hot tip: Schedule your visit for sunset time and be surprised by the city colors and make sure you have enough battery on your cellphone (or camera) – you won’t get enough with the pictures.
#2. Tomato soup with poached egg @ Café Nicola (3,70€)
Yes, I’m talking about Café Nicola in Rossio, the one that looks like a tourist trap. But don’t get confused, I’m recommending you to eat their Tomato soup with poached egg – it’s very tasty and for some might be a full meal since the portion is quite big and the egg is perfectly cooked – just firm on the outside with a semi runny-yolk in the centre. Ask the waiter for some grain black pepper.
Hot tip: Don’t sit! Otherwise, you’ll pay an extra for having the chance to rest your feet. You have to eat the soup on the balcony and leave with dignity for being the last man standing.
#3. The realest Pastel de Nata by Manteigaria (1,00€)
This topic could be turned into a major heated argument if instead of “realest” was “best” Pastel de Nata. It’s simple, although food is not football, try this next time: within a Portuguese group, ask what’s THE best Pastel de Nata and by the end you’ll be as confused. I’m a huge fan of these little sweet babies and Manteigaria is part of my top 3 – no doubt! There’s a winning combination of subtle flakiness with buttery thickness on the pastry along with the just-enough-sweet filling that give me chills.
Hot tip: The store is pretty small, only with a balcony, no tables or chairs, so in case you don’t want to eat your pastry there, ask for their square sized package that fits perfectly each unit.
#4. Lisbon from the other side (1,20€)
For the first time Lisbon visitors, one of the most frequent questions is “what’s on the other margin?” and if back in the days I would immediately say South margin (Margem Sul sounding way better in Portuguese) now I have to think twice and rename to Lisbon South Bay – it’s new fancy (?) marketed denomination. The boat departs from Cais do Sodré area pretty much every 10/15 minutes and takes around 8 more to get to Cacilhas. Even if it’s windy, I recommend to stay outside in order to enjoy the quick breeze and views!
Hot tip: Do you really thought I would suggest a boat trip without a food reward at the end? So, once you arrived in Cacilhas, don’t miss the opportunity to eat really affordable and high-quality fish and seafood at one of the pier restaurants, always fully packed with locals. I always go to the same one: Farol restaurant. Even if you’re not hungry, try the clams Bulhão Pato style and the stuffed crab.
#5. Roasted chestnuts (2,00€)
Ok, keeping it 100%: I’m the biggest fan of these precious little gems! They’re sold on the street from October until March (sometimes right until the end of it) and they represent one of the main ex-libris of Lisbon. You’ll find different vintage vending carts spread all over the city and you can either ask for a dozen or half of it.
Hot tip: Choose the busiest chestnut seller meaning that for sure you’ll get a hot batch and don’t get fooled by the tourist trap of some vendors charging 2,50€ for a dozen – the normal price is 2,00€ and you should not pay more.
#6. Landeau chocolate / slice (3,50€)
Lx Factory is definitely one of my favorite spots in town. It’s the official creative incubator of the city and I love the vibe around it. It’s home for various portuguese alternative brands and food/bar/entertainment wise, each day is getting better with the opening of new cool places displaying their own unique identity. One of those spots is Landeau Chocolate. By far, one of my favorites chocolate cakes ever. It’s a mindblowing combo of chocolaty moistness with pure cocoa power! A calorie-must you won’t regret.
Hot tip: If you consider yourself the ultimate chocolate freak (#onlyforthebrave) on earth, don’t waste the opportunity and try their Pure Hot Chocolate (3,00€).
You might also like: Chimera Brewpub | A bold & cold pint