Layover Lessons: €20 and 15 Hours in Lisboa



This is a twofer. The best trick in the book. A go-to for cheap travelers.



Last Spring I went on a 2 week Eurotrip through Italy, Czechia, and Madrid. There were A LOT of highlights on that trip, but one of the best parts was my free trip to Lisboa.

On my hustle to find the cheapest entry point to Italy I found a flight into Rome in the middle of Spring for only $270. What a deal. The best part? A 15-hour layover landing in Lisboa at 0600.

I took full advantage of my free day trip and spent all day exploring.

Here’s what €20 can get you in the colorful hilly mosaic streets of Lisboa.

Storage = €2.90 

If you’re like me and only have 10 hours in a city you’re going to be walking for a good majority of the day. Add on top of that the hills and stairs and steep climbs of Lisboa. I was not about to lug a carry on along. So, the first thing I did was look for car park P2 in the far corner of the arrivals and drop off my small carryon with a helpful gentleman before running off to the metro.

Off to Neverland

Transportation = €3.40 

Luckily the city invested in expanding the train system, so you can easily hop on the metro and go straight into the city. I wanted to soak up Lisboa so I knew I would be walking most of the time, but if you think you will be traveling farther out of the city, make sure to get the day pass which is under €7.

Food = €3.9

I don’t know if it was the jet lag, the excitement, or the meal I had on my way across the Atlantic, but a quick snack in the famous Confeitaria Nacional was all I needed. It was a great way to have a seat in a centuries-old building while tasting some of the oldest and best pastel de nata in the city. You’re also in a central square with shops all around, so maybe pick up a new top and postcard for a special someone at home.

Activities = €4

One of the things I love the most about my summers in DC were the free museums and exhibits, and luckily the Panteao Nacional is one of the cheapest monuments I’ve been to in a while. Apart from the Panteao, most of Lisboa’s best sites are free. I spent most of my day walking through Lisboa and exploring places like: the Mercado de Santa Clara flee market, the Bairro Alto, Church of São Vicente, Lisbon Cathedral, Arco da Rua Augusta, and Praça Luís de Camões, to name a few.

Total = €14.2

That’s almost a whole €6 left over for you to do anything you would like. You can spend it on a real lunch, a souvenir, or a night out at Tejo Bar with some live music and drinks. If making it to my 2100 flight to Rome wasn’t a concern, it would’ve been a great way to end a sunny day.

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