6 Tips from a Lisbon Local

I’ve mentioned before in articles here that having Portuguese friends helps when you’ve living in Lisbon, but if you’re just here for a short spell, and don’t have time to cultivate a friendship, I’m here to help. I sat down with a good friend of mine who is born and raised in Lisbon, and they […]

I’ve mentioned before in articles here that having Portuguese friends helps when you’ve living in Lisbon, but if you’re just here for a short spell, and don’t have time to cultivate a friendship, I’m here to help.

I sat down with a good friend of mine who is born and raised in Lisbon, and they were kind enough to share a few tips that the locals know to make navigating Lisbon that little bit easier for you all.

Work on Your Calves and Bring Good Shoes

Many cities in Europe describe themselves as “The City on Seven Hills” but Lisbon is one of the few that backs up the boast.

You will feel like you’re going uphill in every direction while you’re wandering through the gorgeous winding streets of the city, so if you’ve got some time before you come, a few calf exercises wouldn’t hurt!

Above all else, bring comfortable shoes, either trainers or walking boots, and make sure they have good grip. The streets are slippery enough at the best of times, but when it rains, they can become terrifying!

Beware the Taxis

Taxi drivers in Lisbon are known amongst locals for taking the long route, especially when it comes to tourists.

Using taxi apps tends to be the better option, because if you’re taken the long route, you can complain and get yourself a refund.

If you don’t know the way to where you’re going, and can’t direct your taxi driver, be aware you may be taken the scenic route for a higher price.

Use Zapping and Season passes on the Metro

You can top up your Viva card at any metro station, if you use Zapping, you can save a bit of money on each trip, and also use various other modes of transport around Lisbon, and it saves the queues.

If you’re here for a while, consider a monthly pass, for €30 you can get any form of transport around Lisbon, and if you go up to €40, this also covers boats across the river and other trips to outside of the city.

Two Kisses, Every Time

Every culture has a different way of saying help, in Lisbon, expect a kiss on each cheek. You won’t be considered rude if you don’t do this, but it is the expected greeting.

Fado for Locals is Different to Fado for Tourists

Fado is a huge thing in Portugal, and that counts in Lisbon too. However, if you visit one of the big, tourist centred Fado places, while you may have a lovely time, you won’t be getting the full experience.

Aim for a Fado house that is aimed at the locals, if you’re not sure how, come along to one of our Fado tours and we’ll help you find a few.

The Best Portuguese Food Isn’t in the Prettiest Places

If you’re looking for a top quality Portuguese meal, then you won’t find it in the places that are aimed primarily at tourists.

Look for the small little café/bar/restaurants, and check the clientele. If the place is full of Portuguese people tucking into tasty looking plates of meat and fish, head inside. If it’s full of tourists, the chances are the locals avoid it because there’s a better place nearby.

And there you have it, if you run into me in Lisbon, say hi, and if my friend who helped me write this list is with me, you can buy them a drink as a thank you!


Photo by Alex Paganelli on Unsplash

Best Guided Tours of Lisboa

  • Lisbon Fado Tour A Different Type of Lisbon Fado Tour 14.99$19.26$
    This tour will give you a unique insight into the magical world of fado, with a private audience with my favourite fado singer and friend, Tiago. We’ll head to Mouraria, the birthplace of fado, where I’ll give you a brief introduction to the culture, before you see with your own eyes the wonderful power of this exceptional music.


    Time: 7:00pm-11:00pm

  • Lisbon Seafood Tour A Different Type of Lisbon Seafood Tour 24.99$32.12$

    Indulge your senses by immersing yourself in Lisbon’s seafood tradition. Take a stroll along the riverside with chef and guide José, sampling some maritime delicacies along the way.


    Time: 10:00am-3:00pm

  • A Different Type of Ugly Lisbon Tour 14.99$19.26$

    I believe that only in looking at the ugly can we decide what we truly think is beautiful and I challenge you to develop your and my opinions of this city. I rarely meet people who connect the words ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Ugly’, and we’re going to find out why…




  • Pub Crawl Lisbon A Different Type of Lisbon Pub Crawl 14.99$19.26$


    N.B January 2020, 25% discount bonanza!

    Discover hidden local gems that took me a lifetime to find, exsplore Lisboa with friendly faces from around the world and leave feeling just like a local

    Our events are not just about getting wasted and being on your feet all evening. There are some classy joints about the town that all the travellers miss and because we are in Lisbon you’ll still wake up the next day with money in your pocket.

    Book now!


    Max group size: 15

    Time: 7:00PM-Until midnight

  • Local Bars And Associations A Different Type of Underground Lisbon 14.99$19.26$

    Get to know the a different side of Lisbon in an exploration of it’s underground scene. In this tour, you’ll visit some of the city’s best-kept secrets: local bars and associations.

    If you want to experience an authentic and sometimes crazy evening, this is the tour for you.



  • Lisbon Surfing A Different Type of Lisbon Surfing 39.99$51.39$

    This isn’t just any normal surf lesson… It’s an exploration into the world of Lisbon beach culture, a magic day at the beach followed by a delicious meal in a local restaurant.

    Surfing is more than just about being in the ocean; it’s about discovering hidden beaches, wild nature spots, respecting and practicing ocean conservation and most of all, connecting with like minded people and forming unforgettable memories.


    Time: 9:00am-9:00pm