Self-Guided Walking Tours to Explore Lisbon, Portugal
How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. Each walk comes with a detailed tour map as well as photos and background information for the featured attractions. The app's navigation functions guide you from one attraction to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Custom Walk: Create Your Own Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: City Orientation Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: Parque das Nacoes Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: Self-Guided Tour of Lisbon Museums
Sightseeing Walk: Alfama Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: Belem Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: Alfama & Baixa Souvenir Shops
Sightseeing Walk: Amoreiras Walking Tour
Sightseeing Walk: Madragoa Nightlife
Sightseeing Walk: Central Lisbon Nightlife
Discovery Walk: Alfama Quarter Walk
Discovery Walk: Bairro Alto and Chiado Walking Tour
Discovery Walk: Baixa Shopping Walk
Discovery Walk: Escola Politécnica and São Bento Antiques Hunting
Discovery Walk: Cais do Sodré Walking Tour
Discovery Walk: Principe Real Walking Tour
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Saving Money with City Passes
To save yourself time and money getting around Lisbon and visiting the city's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the Lisbon City Card.
Among other conveniences, this card allows bearer to explore all of Lisbon's top attractions (cathedrals, castles, palaces, museums, monuments and other places of interest), both in and around the city, either for free (28 sights) or with great (up to 50%) discounts. The card provides 24-, 48-, or 72-hour passes to all these locations, plus free ride on public transportation including trams, buses, and regional trains to Cascais and Sintra. Very convenient!
Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels
Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Lisbon hotels that are conveniently located: Hotel O Artista, Rossio Boutique Hotel, Internacional Design Hotel.
Taking Care of Your Feet
To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Lisbon, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.
Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device
Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.
For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.
Exploring City on Guided Tours
We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close, with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, as a guided tour of Lisbon typically costs from around US$35 up to US$80 per person:
- Explore Lisbon Highlights on a walking tour revealing the unique side of the Portuguese capital, be it a gorgeous building, historic event, colorful street, picturesque square, or a quaint little shop or cafe serving delicious local food and wine, or perhaps a spot with a breathtaking panorama of the city.
- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.
- Pedal your way up and down Lisbon's 7 hills on an electrical bike tour visiting the city’s best historic landmarks and hidden spots, learning about its curiosities, and reaching the highest spots for the most scenic views of the Portuguese capital. Definitely more than “just another bike tour”!
- Treat yourself to the most delicious experience on a food tour exploring the top delicacies of Lisbon - authentic local must-try bites and traditional drinks - visiting memorable spots for a perfect tasting and insight into the Portuguese lifestyle and eating habits.
- Immerse yourself in Lisbon’s heritage on a 7-hour driven tour around the city’s oldest quarter, Alfama, exploring the famous local monuments and discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. On this tour you will also get a chance to see modern Lisbon complete with a scenic cable car ride, plus indulge in a delicious local meal (optional). If you have little time in the city, this tour will make you feel like you've seen a lot!
- Sail around Lisbon for a different perspective of the city that very few people actually get to see, on a boat tour. Apart from enjoying spectacular views of Lisbon's famous seaside monuments, you will get a chance to do a bit of yachting (steering the boat) or just laze around on the deck enjoying champagne, homemade snacks and other refreshments, while hearing interesting historical facts about this fascinating city.
If you have a day to spare whilst in Lisbon, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Sintra, Évora, or a combo of Aveiro and Coimbra, or Mafra and Ericeira. For as little as US$100+ to US$250+ you will get a chance to visit some of the finest tourist attractions of Portugal including remarkable 19th century pieces of Romanticism architecture, one of Portugal’s most iconic villages (UNESCO World Heritage site), have a gondola ride in Portuguese “Venice”, and enjoy an authentic Portuguese lunch at restaurant (optional). All these trips start and end at your hotel and you'll be carried by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan, accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide.
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