Warnings about Lisbon

Warning! To read before you visit Lisbon

The appetizers are not free

The appetizers are not free!

In this post I am going to give you some important warnings for you to be aware before coming to Lisbon.
These are based on the main complaints and mistakes I’ve seen from my friends when they are visiting Lisbon for their first time.

1. When you sit at a restaurant, the bread, butter, cheese, olives or other delicious things they put in the table without you asking… They’re not free!!!
It is as it is. It is not scam. It is a different formula in the restaurants, which works smoothly, if you know the rules.
In many other countries, if a waiter puts something on the table without you asking for it, it means it’s free. Not in Portugal. But you’ll pay only what you eat. The things you don’t touch aren’t billed to your account. Check you bill at the end, just to make sure.

Watch out for taxi extra charges

Watch out for taxi extra charges

2. There is an extra charge on taxis to carry luggage in the trunk
If on top of the value indicated on the taximeter the taxi driver adds sums extra 2€, it is probably because you have put some luggage in the trunk. You are not being ripped off 😉
What is scam is if the taxi driver takes you more than 12-15 € for a trip from the airport to downtown Lisbon. Of course that if you are going to Estoril or Cascais the cost will be much higher, because it is much farther away.
One tip that I also give regarding the taxis at the airport is that you pick a taxi in the departures area, not the arrivals ones. There’s also a line of taxis at departures, and they tend to be more serious than the ones at arrivals, so less probability they will try to take the long way to your hotel.
One last warning about taxi drivers, if your taxi is driving like a madman at full speed and jumping red lights … it is “normal”! 😉 That’s the way of 90% of the taxi drivers in Lisbon. Of course you can always tell them to slow down… Or just choose to use a different transport, as you can see here other options.

High prices in clubs entrance means "go somewhere else"

High prices in clubs entrance means “go somewhere else”

3. If you are asked 200€ to enter a nightclub … they do not want you to go in!
In most clubs arround the world, the normal procedure is that you wait in line and pay what you pay to enter the club when it comes your turn. But not in Lisbon… Many clubs here will “discriminate” you based on what you are wearing, with whom you are, etc…
Regular customers, or people who the bouncer believes have a “style” that matches the club culture, pay nothing. And will probably just cut the line. The remaining clients will depend on the bouncers judgement. They can ask for a minimum consumption of 15€ or 20€, this would the normal situation. But if they don’t want you to go in, they will ask you up to 200€ or 300€. This is just a way of saying “go away”!…

Lisbon in videos

Lisbon in Videos

In this post I will be adding videos of “moments” in Lisbon, so that I can show you a little more of this beautiful city and its special places. These videos have aprox. 1 minute, they are made by me with the camera on my phone, just capturing some moments of a lisboners life… I hope you like.

#thebestoflisbon To have a cocktail at sunset in the bar À Margem

Check please:

– Caipirinha: 6.5€
– Morangoska: 6.5€
– Bruscheta à Margem: 5.5€
– Fantastic view over the river, the bridge and the Christ statue: 0€
Total: 18.5€ (2 pax)


#thebestoflisbon To have dinner at Café Buenos Aires

Check please:
– Bread and butter: 2.5€

– 1 bottle of Red Wine from Alentejo region: 15.5€
– 1 Grilled Goat Cheese Salad: 11.5€
– 1 Steak (you can order it for 2 people and they will devide it in 2 plates): 18.5€
– Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream (to share): 6€
– View over the S.Jorge Castle: 0€
Total: 54€ (2 pax)
#thebestoflisbon To cross the bridge and in 20 minutes arrive to the fantastic beaches of Costa da Caparica

Check please:
– 1 Vegetables Soup: 2.5€
– 2 Sandwiches in rustic bread: 7.8€
– 2 Natural juices of Pinneapple and Melon: 8€
– 1 Bottle of Water 1.5L: 2.2€
– 1 Ice cream: 2.3€
– Swim in the very “cool” water of the Atlantic ocean: 0€
Total: 22.8€ (2 pax)


#thebestoflisbon Go up to the roof top of Hotel Bairro Alto to have some beers at sunset with a fantastic view over the city and the Tagus river!

Check please:
– Beers: 6€ cada
– Fantastic view over the Lisbon rooftops, te river and the bridge: 0€ (or let’s day that the view price is already incorporated into the beer price! 😉
Total: 12€ (2 pax)


#thebestoflisbon Enjoy a garden picnic… without having any effort to prepare it!… 😉 The restaurant of Hotel da Estrela, in the neighbourhood of Campo de Ourique, has a picnic menu that they serve in the hotel garden, with the complete kit of towel, pillows, etc, in a private environment with a very nice service.

Check please:
– Picnic Menu: 18,5€ por person*
(Includes: Bread and toasts, Butter and Jelly | Cold soup | Cheeses and Sausages | Pastries | Raw vegetables with sauce | Roastbeef Baguette with Antique Mustard | Patato Chips | Chocolate Mousse | Fruit | Water and Coffees)
– 1 Bottle of White Wine: 10€
Total: 47€ (2 pax)

* Kids from 0 to 4 years old don’t pay, and from 5 to 12 pay 50%

Best Restaurants in Lisbon

Here you can find a small selection of some of my favourite restaurants in Lisbon.
Enjoy! 😉

Great grilled fish restaurant. It has been renovated recently, so it no longer has that “tavern” environment but it is still one of the best places to eat fish in Lisbon at affordable prices. Also going there is quite an interesting experience. The waiter is a very nice man, funny and with a big moustache. The place is decorated with soccer scarves in plastic sleeve… Mandatory: try the grilled “dorada” (gilt-head bream) or the grilled salmon fillet, and at the end… the chocolate mousse.
The place is not very big, so it’s best to book a table in advance.
The only not so good aspect about this restaurant is that it is in a quiet area, not many bars or other places to go after in the near area. But a taxi ride from there to Bairro Alto takes 10 minutes and costs less than 10 €. Worth it 😉
T: +351 213 968 633
Address: Rua do Sacramento a Alcantara, 74

Another typical Portuguese restaurant, very small, also in “tavern” style… but very good and cheap.
This one is placed in the very lively area of Principe Real, near Bairro Alto. Delicious cheese they usually serve as couvert, good selection of grilled fish, and also some delicious meat options. Very friendly service.
T: +351 213 427 578
Address: Rua do Século, 242

2yn5betSinal Vermelho
Typical Portuguese restaurant. Regional food, with good fish and good meat. Lively atmosphere, right in the heart of Bairro Alto. It has a small terrace, nice to have dinner outside on hot nights. I recommend the “Polvo à Lagareiro” (octopus baked with potatoes and a lot of olive oil) or “Porco à Alentejana” (fried pork meat in cubes, with chips, clams, pickles… all mixed and served together).
It is perhaps the most touristic of the several restaurants that I recommend on this page, but has a good balance between quality-value-location.
The price is approximately 40 € -50 € for 2 people.
T: +351 213 431 281
Address: Rua das Gaveas, 89


29261y1Café Buenos Aires
Great place for a romantic dinner or for small group of people. If you are many (8+) you probably won’t be able to get a table!
As the name suggests it has an Argentinean influence, and as so… they serve delicious meat dishes. But there are also many other options not from Argentina.
It is located in a small beautiful street stairs that come down from the Igreja de São Roque to Restauradores.
T: +351 213 420 739
Address: Calçada Escadinhas do Duque, 31b
(You can see a small video of my visit to this restaurant here!)

lapaparruchaLa Paparrucha
Argentinean grill restaurant. It is true that you are in Lisbon, and you should mostly go for the Portuguese places, but if you are in need for some good meat with the best view over Lisbon … this is the place 🙂
It is expensive (for Portugal) but very good. Good place for romantic dinner 🙂
T: +351 213 425 333
Address: Rua D. Pedro V, 18