France, England, Italy - eat your heart out. There’s a new kid on the block ravaging the European tourist circuit and its name is Portugal. While it won’t remain off the beaten path for much longer, Portugal is currently one of the cheapest, most underrated, historically intriguing and aesthetically marvelous countries across the entire continent.

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Its affordability is already a huge selling point, and while we can certainly get a taste of luxury-style living for pennies on the dollar compared to most big-ticket metropolises nearby, there is still an abundance of things to do and see in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon that won’t put even the slightest dent in our bank accounts.

10 Meander through Feira da Ladra

Kicking off our journey around Portugal’s capital is a visit to Feira da Ladra. This market, being the oldest one in Lisbon, provides a unique insight into the city’s local culture and traditional shopping life, showcasing a collection of everything from hand-painted tiles to evening gowns, and local snacks. Translated to English, it means “‘Thief Fair,” so it’s not hard to imagine the peculiar assortment of knick-knacks on offer.

Regardless whether your pockets are deep or full of nothing but fluff, the area is worthy of a stroll simply to snap a few photos.

9 Soak in the sun at Ribeira das Naus

Thanks to its position in the southern European expanses, nestled on the Atlantic coast, Lisbon is a haven for anyone with an affinity for sunshine, summer, and the great outdoors. In an area that used to function as a boatyard, the Ribeira das Naus now offers a chance for locals and tourists alike to kick back on the deck chairs, sip or a cold beer or two, and let the warm sun soak in.

While the brews aren’t free, the experience and views won’t cost you a dime.

8 Be on the lookout for eclectic street art

Ask anyone who’s been fortunate enough to have the chance to visit this bubbling Portuguese city and they’re sure to attest to the fact that the street art on display is second to none. No matter which direction you cast your eye, quirky cartoon characters, obscure and abstract designs, giant portraits and plenty more lines the public walls.

Granted, plenty of major cities present intriguing street art - however, where Lisbon sets itself apart is with its dedicated regions. The Mouraria area boasts art focuses on the music of Fado, while Bairro Alto showcases a range of illustrated Combi vans alongside, of all things, uprisings.

7 Ascend to the heavens

After appreciating the art-lined streets, it’s time for us to appreciate a different view of this illustrious city - from above. With hills to boot (by the way, make sure to bring a sturdy pair of walking shoes) and impressive architecture left, right, and center, it’s only a matter of time before you come across one of the area’s fabulous panoramic viewpoints.

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There are a number of strategically-located lookouts throughout the city, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to snap a few jealousy-evoking selfies. Overlooking the old neighborhood of Alfama, the Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a prized lookout, while the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is equally sure to impress.

6 Stop into Palacio Foz

While we’re strolling around the city, pinching pennies, our next point of interest is none other than the Palácio Foz landmark, dating back all the way to the 18th-century. Aside from the building’s impressive stature, the event calendar also warrants attention.

Throughout the year, the venue puts on a range of hour-long concerts for the wider public to enjoy, including piano recitals, bassoon and harp recitals, choir performances, and more. For anyone with an inkling for jazz and classical styles, this is the place to be.

5 Relax like the locals at Jardim do Príncipe Real

Beneath the shade of a towering, century-old cypress tree, the Jardim do Príncipe Real welcomes locals and visitors as an ideal locale to relax and let a Sunday afternoon fizzle into the night. As far as free, outdoor spaces go, when it comes to being family-friendly, it’s hard to surpass the Jardim do Príncipe Real as the frontrunner.

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If the calendar matches up, each Saturday boasts a Biological Products Market jam-packed with vendors offloading fresh, local fruit and vegetables to the masses.

4 Mix culture with nature at Poet’s Park

While we’re on the hunt for nature and the great outdoors, not too far outside of the city we’ll come across the Parque dos Poetas - translated directly to Poet’s Park. As you can imagine, with sculptures and landscaped grounds, the green expanses on offer are themed around some of Portugal's most iconic literary figures. Poets ranging from the Renaissance period over to the 20th century are represented.

Combine this with the shimmering lake, music concerts, child-friendly maze, and best of all, the free entry, and it’s easy to see why this locale rakes in the attention.

3 Swimsuits on at Praia de Carcavelos

It wouldn’t be a trip to Portugal without a dip in one of the pristine nearby beaches. Along the entire western coast, Atlantic shores are abundant. One of the prime spots, without a doubt, is Praia de Carcavelos - sitting conveniently just a 20-minute train journey from the city center.

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While it can certainly attract larger-than-ideal crowds during the peak summer months, when the tourists start to dissipate, the surfer-centric beach markets itself as one of the prime spots to spend a lazy weekday afternoon. As a bonus, the cafés and restaurants dotted along the esplanade enhance the impressive natural asset.

2 Join a free walking tour

Whether it’s Lisbon, Porto, or any other major European city for that matter, one of the best ways to explore the city while getting the inside scoop on the architecture, history, and local culture is with a free walking tour. While these tours come across as ‘free,’ there is an expected donation at its conclusion - of course, merely pay what you feel the tour was worth.

In both English and Spanish, one of the tour options departs from Praça do Comércio most morning at 10 am, strolling through a number of the city’s iconic spots, such as Bairro, The São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, and the site of the 1755 Great Earthquake.

1 Check out the Resistance Museum

Lisbon, it’s been a blast, but sadly our time has come to an end. Wrapping up our journey to the Portuguese capital is a visit to the Museu do Aljube-Resistência e Liberdade - also known as the Resistance and Freedom Museum.

Accessible via the electrical or by bus, the museum - which, by the way, is totally free of charge to enter - showcases the sacrifices that the people of Portugal were forced to make in their pursuit of freedom. Its history is not as outdated as many expect either - the shackles, so to speak, were only released in 1974.

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