Although Lisbon is not a particularly expensive city considering European standards, there are some tricks that you can make, especially during your Erasmus program, to enjoy this amazing city to the fullest even if you have to control your spendings.
Here are our 7 life hacks to live the city of the seven hills on a budget:
1. Use public transportation (this one is obvious but important)
The public transports in Lisbon are pretty good, clean, safe and take you to where you want to be. Get a Lisboa Viva pass and benefit from the 25% discount which is given to higher education students.
If you go out at night you can return home on the night buses (201, 202, 206, 207, 208, 210) but be sure that you are with your friends. If the night was a little bit too crazy you can return home by subway as it opens at 6:30am.
2. Cinema for less
At Saldanha Residence you can watch a movie for 4€ every day.
If you are client of Vodafone Yorn, you can go to the cinema for only 3€ on Tuesdays at UCI Cinemas (El Corte Inglés and Dolce Vita Tejo). Also at UCI Cinemas you only pay 4,70€ on Wednesdays.
3. Ladies night? Wednesday is the weekday for that!
If you are a girl, choose Wednesday night to go out with your girlfriends! At the club Plateau you don’t pay the entrance and on top of that you also have 3 drinks for free. The music is perfect for a ladies night because you can listen to anything from Britney Spears to Rolling Stones and the attendance is selected.
4. Free Culture on the first Sunday of the month
There are some museums and attractions in Lisbon that are free, like CCB (Belém Cultural Center), but other ones can be a little bit expensive, like for example Jerónimos Monastery.
Choose the first Sunday of the month to visit all those touristic attractions that you think are too expensive because most of them are free for that day! Here are some of them: Jerónimos Monastery, MNAA, Belém Tower, Tile Museum, National Coach Museum, MNAC.
5. Dinner out for half the price
Lisbon has a lot of restaurants that are absolutely unmissable and you don’t need to spend half of your allowance. Start to buy the magazine Time Out which has great “2 people for the price of 1” discounts for amazing restaurants. You can also download the app “BestTables” to your smartphone and be watchful of the discounts that come up every week.
6. Exercise for free
Replace the gym for a nice jog along the riverside. You don’t spend money and Lisbon has a nice and well cared riverside, especially from Alcântara to Belém. Throughout the city there are many spots whith good public exercise equippement.
7. Enjoy a low cost night out
One of the best and cheapest programmes to do in Lisbon at night is to go to some belvedere with drinks and your friends. Buying drinks at the supermarket is much more affordable and you can have nice conversations with an amazing view to the city. Just don’t forget to separate the plastic from the glass and put the bottles in the proper recycling bins in the end! 😉