If you’re visiting Lisbon there are some tourist traps you might want to avoid. Lisbon is a beautiful city with much to offer, but like any other place, you will find some tourist traps, so here’s some of the tourist traps in Lisbon to avoid.
The first tourist trap we want you to look out for in Lisbon are Fado Clubs or Fado Houses. These Fado houses are restaurants where you can listen to live Fado (the traditional Portuguese singing). The are some brilliant ones, but there are also some that don’t have the best food or the best singers or even some places that overcharge. If you’d like a good recommendation, read our suggestions here.
You might feel another tourist trap in Lisbon is the tram 28. This is a very touristic tram because its route crosses the whole city and you get to see most of it in a traditional Lisbon tram. The thing is that, because it is very touristic, it is often packed and it’s a favorite spot for pickpockets. I still believe it’s worth the journey, but try taking less busy times such as the morning or the evening and, if it’s packed or taking too long, it’s very likely you can walk up to your destination, Lisbon is quite small. Also, get the green card for transportation across buses, metro and trams: it’ll be charged less than if you buy individual tickets.
I was asked by one of our guests if A Brasileira was a tourist trap in Lisbon. A Brasileira is a very famous coffee house for two reasons: firstly, it was the first house in Lisbon to sell coffee from Brazil (hence its name: the Brazilian) and secondly, Fernando Pessoa, the famous Portuguese poet loved spending time here (hence the statue in his homage). The thing is that yes, it is very touristic and it is quite expensive. I believe it’s a beautiful place to visit, but if you think it’s too crowded or too expensive, try Bernard, the house next to it.
Another tourist trap I was asked about in Lisbon was about the city’s nightlife. One of our visitors said he found Pink Street to be full of tourists. Here’s my perspective: Lisbon is a small city and the main areas to go out at night are Bairro Alto, Santos and Cais do Sodré (Pink Street). In the summer, the high season of tourism, it is quite natural that you will find a lot of foreign people in these areas. That does not mean you are in tourist traps. We, the locals, still go out to these areas for drinks after dark. Want more suggestions of where to go? Read our Top 5 Night Bars in Lisbon here.
I was also asked about restaurants as a tourist trap in Lisbon. Of course you have some restaurants that are very touristic, you can check some local restaurants here, but most restaurants are friendly. The bread, olives, pates and butter they offer you at the beginning will be charged for. It’s not a tourist trap, that’s how it works in Portugal. If you don’t want it send it back as soon before it touches the tablecloth. When in doubt about what to order, you can always order the prato do dia (dish of the day) which is usually cheaper and quicker and it’s a way for you to try different things.
Lastly on our list of the tourist traps to avoid in Lisbon is taxi fares from the airport (and not only). A couple of visitors got charged 30 euros to get from the airport to the city center – that should never happen. A ride from the airport to the city center should be around 10 euros (unless you get crazy traffic). It could be more if you put your luggage in the trunk as that is charged separately. Keep this in mind: to cross the city, it takes 10 euros, so if you find a bit of traffic you can expect more but nothing close to 30.
After settling in the city (tourist-trap-free!), join us in our walking tours around Lisbon. Find out more about our tours here.