The fascinating city center of Lisbon is the perfect environment for a free walking tour. The city is composed of different districts, dotted by historic buildings and picturesque squares, connected by narrow streets.
Lisbon is built on seven hills facing south direction alongside the river Tagus, offering dramatic views from its numerous viewpoints. Free walking tours provide the opportunity to learn about Lisbon's history while discovering its most impressive landmarks.
How do free walking tours in Lisbon work?
Free walking tours have been introduced in Lisbon quite recently. They are walking tours where the price is not set upfront, but it is decided by the traveler. The amount will be determined by each traveler at the end of the tour (pay-as-you-wish). Each traveler is free to choose how much the tour is worth by giving a tip directly to the guide.
The reservation of the free walking tours online is completely free of charge. Make sure to bring some cash for the tip to the guide.
How much should you tip for a free walking tour in Lisbon?
The amount of the tip (the price) is decided freely by the traveler. However, there is a typical range.
There are people tipping €50 while others pay only €5. Most of the people tip between €10 and €15 per person.
When deciding the amount of your tip, you should consider: whether you enjoyed the tours and guide, if you learned a lot, and how much time and effort your guide invested in the tour.
What are the best free walking tours in Lisbon?
There are several kinds of free walking tours in Lisbon that lead you to different city districts or are customized around a topic.
Chiado, Bairro Alto and Baixa Free Walking Tours
This is the most popular kind of free walking tours in Lisbon. By strolling down from the hill of Chiado to Baixa, you will pass through Lisbon's several landmarks, learning its history and architecture.
We recommend starting your visit to Lisbon by booking this kind of free walking tour. You will get an excellent introduction to the history of the city and the most famous neighborhoods.
Most tours start from Praça Luís de Camões, in Chiado district, in the core of Lisbon city center. The tour heads up to Bairro Alto while the guide begins the narration of the history of Lisbon.
Then, you will follow your guide down through Chiado heading to Baixa. There are several stops during the route, each connected to important events and periods of Lisbon history.
Praça do Carmo is a crucial stop. You will be taught about the Carnation Revolution of the 25th of April 1974, when Portuguese people ended the dictatorship of António Salazar.
In the same square, you will see the Convento do Carmo, a church partially destroyed, which became an emblematic symbol of the devastating earthquake of 1755.
You will see amazing views over the city from Santa Justa Elevator. Strolling down the hill toward the Baixa district, your guide will narrate about the reconstruction of the city under the supervision of the Marqués de Pombal.
Finally, you will reach Praça de Comercio, one of the largest squares in Europe, directly facing the water of the Tagus river.
Most tours end in Praça de Comercio. Some of them continue to Casa dos Bicos, the house of the writer José Saramago. Only a few tours continue exploring the city by going uphill to a section of Alfama district.
Some tours focus more on some points of interest or others. Still, the focus of this itinerary is to provide a first comprehensive introduction to the city and its history for travelers visiting Lisbon for the first time.
Alfama & Mouraria free walking tours
Alfama is the most charming district in Lisbon. Alfama is the only part of the city that has survived the devastating earthquake of 1755. Therefore, Alfama is built with narrow streets and passages, opening up into lovely traditional squares and incredible views over the Tagus river.
Mouraria is a small district stretching between São Jorge Castle and Baixa district. Mouraria and Alfama are also the best locations to spend the nights during the famous open-air traditional festival named Festas dos Santos Populares taking place during the full month of June.
The free walking tour will bring you uphill through the narrow streets of Alfama. Your guide will narrate the stories of its inhabitants and their traditions.
Alfama offers also offer some of the best viewpoints of Lisbon, such as Santa Luzia viewpoint and Portas do Sol viewpoint.
Some tours continue uphill tower the viewpoint of Graça, one of the highest in Lisbon. You will see some street art graffitis on the way as well.
Belém free walking tours
Belém is a district of Lisbon located 5 kilometers west of the city center along the Tagus river. Belém is the symbol of the Portuguese Age of the Discoveries. The Portuguese ships sailing to the New World were leaving from Belém.
Belém free walking tours start from Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, a lovely garden located in front of the residence of the president of Portugal.
Your guide will start narrating the Portuguese history during the Age of the Discoveries, when Portugal was among the most active countries in exploring new territories in South America, Africa and Asia.
You will walk by the beautiful buildings of Belém Palace and Jerónimos Monastery, known for its Portuguese Lage Gothic Manueline-style architecture. The monastery and the Tower of Belém, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Heading to the Tower of Belém, you will stop by the Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), where your guide will explain the details of the Portuguese Discoveries by using the world map made of a beautiful marble mosaic in front of the monument.
Alternative, Street Art and Almada Free Walking Tours
Lisbon is not only about its ancient and medieval history, but it is also one of the most culturally vibrant cities in Europe nowadays. There are several free walking tours in Lisbon that explore the alternative side of the city.
There are different itineraries to discover the alternative side of Lisbon. Most tours stroll through the city center, touching the district of Graça and Bairro Alto - Restauradores.
Graça is standing atop of Alfama and it is offering the highes viewpoints in town: the Miradouro de Graça and the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
The tours will lead you through the narrow streets of Graça, down to Restauradores and up to Bairro Alto, stopping by the open art street galleries and the most exciting graffiti on Lisbon's buildings.
Your guide will narrate about the recent history of Lisbon and its dark sides and contradictions.
Some tours are heading to Almada, located on the other side of the Tagus river. The side of Almada facing the river (Cacilhas) is dotted by old factories, which are now being turned into trendy bars and restaurants. In Almada, there are also astonishing viewpoints, such as Boca do Vento elevator, from which you will be able to admire Lisbon from a different perspective.
Fado free walking tours
This free walking tour is customized around the theme of Fado music. Fado is traditional music born and played in Lisbon. The music is melancholic and performed live by a single singer (male or female) and two guitars: a portuguese guitar and a classical guitar.
The tour takes place in Mouraria and Alfama's districts, which are the symbols of the Fado music. You will pass by the traditional squares and bars where the music is still played live every night. You will also see Mouraria's School of Fado, while your guide will narrate the history of the music and its evolution over the centuries.
Sintra free walking tours
Sintra is a town located in the Great Lisbon metropolitan area. Sintra is famous for its fairytales castles, such as the Palacio da Pena, Quinta da Regaleira, or Montserrat Palace. A trip to Lisbon is not complete if you do not spend a day in Sintra.
The free walking tour of Sintra will take you through the city center of Sintra. The tour starts in front of the town hall and heads in the direction of Quinta da Regaleira, passing through the center of the town. You will stop in front of the National Palace of Sintra before reaching Palácio de Seteais. Your guide will narrate the history of the town.
In which languages are free walking tours in Lisbon operated?
Free walking tours are often run by multi-lingual guided. English is the most common language. You will find a large number of free tours in Lisbon in English.
Due to the vicinity of Portugal to Spain, Spanish is the second most common language: you will find enough free walking tours in Spanish.
Some free tours are also available in French, Italian and Portuguese. Free tours in German are available only occasionally.
Where do free walking tours in Lisbon start?
Most tours happening in the city center (Chiado, Bairro Alto, Baixa) start from Praça Luis de Camões.
The tours heading to Alfama and Mouraria start from Praça do Comercio or Rossio Square.
The free walking tours of Belém start in Belém, which can be reached by train or bus.
The tours of Alfama start from Cacilhas, just a 10-minute ride on the ferry across the river.
How long do free walking tours in Lisbon last?
Most free walking tours last 2 or 3 hours. They are operated in the morning or in the afternoon, but there are more options for the morning.
When is the best time to join a free walking tour?
We recommend joining a free walking tour in the morning. There are more options available, and the weather is pleasant, not as hot as in the afternoon. Also, consider that Lisbon is built on hills, so you will need to go uphill and/or downhill.
We recommend booking your free walking tour on your first day of staying in the city. The free tours will provide you a soft landing in the city, with a complete introduction to its districts and history.
Since Lisbon offers so many different free walking tours, it's a good idea to book more than one. We recommend to start with a classical free walking tour through Chiado and Baixa and add another tour in one of the following days.
Should free walking tours in Lisbon be booked online?
Free walking tours are very popular in Lisbon. In peak season, in a touristic city like Lisbon, free walking tours can even sell out. Since the size of the group should be kept to a maximum number of people (25-30 people max) to be able to move well in the small and crowded streets of Lisbon, it is better to book the free walking tour online to reserve your spot.
Moreover, the guide can organize the tour better by knowing in advance how many people will join it.
Booking free walking tours online is also easy, fast and convenient.
- The reservation is entirely free of charge.
- You will not need a credit card.
- There is always free cancellation.
- Your spot will be reserved.
- You will know all the details in advance.