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Cheap Places to Travel in Portugal - A Detailed Guide
The Lisbon cityscape

Imagine strolling through historic towns with cobbled streets, feeling the ocean breeze as you explore stunning beaches, and all the while, your wallet isn’t crying for help. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, let’s explore cheap places to travel in Portugal!

Nestled in the corner of Western Europe, this isn’t just another holiday destination – it’s a budget traveler’s paradise.

You might be thinking, “Europe on a budget? Really?” Portugal is the real deal. Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty of places like the Algarve or you’re a history buff who loves exploring old towns, Portugal offers a rich experience that’s surprisingly affordable. So, if saving money while soaking up culture and sunshine is your thing, then you’ve just found your next adventure.

Travel Cost in Portugal – Food and Accommodation

So, you’re all set to soak up the sun on Portugal’s stunning beaches and get lost in its historic charm, but what about the essentials like food and a place to lay your head?

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Portugal is a budget-friendly paradise. Everything from food to accommodation to that lovely bottle of local wine is super affordable, especially when you compare it to other European countries. As long as you steer clear of those touristy, overpriced spots, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to have a blast without emptying your wallet. So, let’s get into the details, shall we?

Food: A Culinary Journey That Won’t Break the Bank

Jay Wanders - Cheap Places to Travel in Portugal - A Detailed Guide
The famous Portuguese pastry, the Pastel de Nata

Portugal is a haven for food lovers. From the coastal towns serving up fresh seafood to the bustling local markets in historic cities, the country offers a wide range of delicious cuisine. One of the best parts? The average prices for meals are incredibly reasonable. Traditional Portuguese cuisine like Bacalhau à Brás (a codfish dish) can be enjoyed for as little as €10 in an affordable restaurant.

Pro tip: always ask for the “menu do dia” (menu of the day) or “prato do dia” (dish of the day) when dining out. Even high-end restaurants offer these good-value lunch specials.

If you’re in the mood for something different, why not opt for a sunset picnic by the sea or in a lush park? A loaf of fresh bread, cheese, olives, and a bottle of wine can make for a memorable evening.

Don’t miss out on the “tasca,” an old-fashioned eatery often frequented by locals, offering excellent daily specials and classic dishes like bacalhau. For a more convivial atmosphere, head to an “adega,” (a traditional wine cellar or tavern), where you can enjoy hearty meals and carafes of affordable wine.

Accommodation: Rest Easy Without Emptying Your Wallet

Cheap Places to Travel in Portugal A Detailed Guide hotels
The beautiful city of Lisbon

When it comes to accommodation, Portugal offers many options that cater to all budgets. From hostels with free Wi-Fi in the old town of Lisbon to charming guesthouses in historic towns, you’ll find something that suits your needs. If you’re looking to save money, consider staying in a hostel or a guesthouse that offers free breakfast as an added perk.

Portugal is home to some of Europe’s most stylish hostels, many set in historic buildings and offering upscale amenities like roof terraces and art-filled lounges. Rates start at around €22 per night, offering big savings over traditional hotels. Many hostels also offer budget-friendly activities like free walking tours and low-cost rentals of bikes and surfboards.

If you’re on a tight budget, hostel dorms are the cheapest option, costing around $15-20 per night. Private rooms in hostels are slightly more but still affordable at $25-30 per night. For the ultimate budget-friendly experience, camping can cost as low as $10 per person per night.

Cheap Destinations in Portugal

Portugal is a treasure trove of stunning architecture, historic charm, and natural beauty. But what makes it even more appealing is that you can explore this Western European gem without emptying your wallet. So, let’s embark on a journey through some of Portugal’s most captivating yet budget-friendly destinations.


Cheap places to travel in Portugal - Lisbon at night
Lisbon city at sunset

This Portuguese capital is a popular tourist destination that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or someone who just loves to wander, Lisbon has something for everyone—and it’s all surprisingly affordable.

Wander Through History

First stop, Alfama and Bairro Alto. These historic districts are like stepping into a time machine. Picture narrow, winding streets, colorful buildings, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from quaint cafes. It’s a sensory feast that costs you nothing but the joy of exploration.

Iconic Views

The Belem Tower is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This isn’t just a tower; it’s a window into Portugal’s seafaring legacy. Plus, the sweeping views of the Tagus River are Instagram-worthy.

Green Escapes

Need a breather? Head to Parque Eduardo VII or Jardim da Estrela. These lush parks are perfect for a picnic, a casual stroll, or simply soaking up the Lisbon sun. And guess what? Enjoying nature’s beauty is absolutely free.

A Foodie’s Delight

Speaking of food, you can’t visit Lisbon without diving into its culinary scene. The Time Out Market is a food haven where you can taste dishes from top Portuguese chefs without splurging. And if you’re up for some street food, the options are endless and easy on the wallet. The coffee shops in Lisbon provide the perfect setting to enjoy a ‘pastel de nata’ and watch the world go by

Nightlife and Culture

When the sun sets, Bairro Alto comes alive. This neighborhood is the epicenter of Lisbon’s nightlife. But if clubbing isn’t your scene, how about some soul-stirring Fado music? It’s been a local favorite since the 1820s and adds a unique flavor to your Lisbon experience.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Mid-range hotels go for around €45 ($51), while hostels are as cheap as €14 ($16).

Food: Expect to spend around €13 ($15) for a decent meal.

Daily Budget: You can have a fulfilling day with just €61 ($70).

So, why is Lisbon gaining traction among backpackers? Simple. It’s one of the most cost-effective capitals in Europe, brimming with culture, history, and life. You get a rich, unforgettable experience without the hefty price tag. What’s not to love?


Cheap places to travel in Portugal - Porto
Porto city view

Portugal’s second-largest city and a haven for budget travelers. With its blend of history, art, and gastronomy, Porto offers a rich tapestry of experiences that are as affordable as they are unforgettable.

Step Back in Time

Let’s kick things off with the Ribeira district. Imagine cobblestone streets, vibrant buildings, and a riverfront that looks like a postcard. Strolling through Ribeira is like walking through a living museum, and the best part? It’s free.

A View from the Top

Next up, the Clérigos Tower. This Baroque beauty isn’t just eye candy; it offers panoramic views of Porto and its lush countryside. And guess what? The experience comes with a minimal price tag.

Street Art and Soul

If you’re an art enthusiast, Porto won’t disappoint. Check out the famous murals at Largo da Fontinha. It’s a budget-friendly way to soak in the city’s artistic vibe and maybe even discover your new favorite artist.

A Taste of Porto

You can’t leave Porto without trying the Francesinha sandwich. It’s a local delicacy that’s as delicious as it is affordable. And for the wine aficionados, a glass of port wine by the Douro River is a must. It’s the authentic way to savor Porto’s renowned wine without splurging.

Magical Moments

Harry Potter fans, rejoice! Livraria Lello is a Neo-Gothic wonder that inspired J.K. Rowling. It’s a bookstore that’s more like a work of art, complete with golden columns and intricate ceilings. You might even find a special edition of your favorite wizarding book.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Mid-range hotels are around €52 ($59), and hostels start at €13 ($15).

Food: An average meal will set you back about €11 ($13).

Daily Budget: You can explore and enjoy Porto for approximately €57 ($65) a day.

So, why is Porto becoming a hotspot for budget travelers? It’s simple. The city offers a relaxed vibe, steeped in history and culture, without the hefty price tag. Whether you’re into history, food, or even wizardry, Porto has something for everyone. Come see for yourself!


A beautiful Algarve beach
The beautiful beaches of the Algarve

This southern slice of Portugal is renowned for its beautiful beaches, where golden sands meet crystal-clear waters. A place that won’t have you counting pennies. From sun-kissed beaches comparable to that of Menorca, to its historic towns, let’s dive into what makes the Algarve a budget traveler’s dream.

Beach Bliss

First on the list are the beaches—Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau. Imagine soft sand between your toes and crystal-clear waters as far as the eye can see. The best part? Lounging here costs you absolutely nothing.

Historic Charm

Next, let’s wander through the historic town of Lagos. Picture cobblestone streets, a stunning marina, and architecture that tells tales of the past. It’s a must-visit spot that’s as Instagrammable as it is affordable.

Natural Wonders

Ever kayaked through a cave? At Benagil Cave, you can do just that without emptying your wallet. It’s a natural marvel that’s as breathtaking as it is budget-friendly.

Take a Hike

If you’re up for some adventure, the Rota Vicentina trail is calling your name. It’s a hiking experience that lets you soak in the Algarve’s scenic beauty without a hefty price tag.

Food and Nightlife

Seafood lovers, you’re in for a treat. The Algarve’s seaside restaurants offer local catches that are as delicious as they are affordable. And if you’re a night owl, the region’s vibrant nightlife has something for everyone, from laid-back lounges to bustling bars.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Mid-range hotels go for around €36 ($41), and hostels start at €16 ($19).

Food: Expect to spend about €9 ($11) for an average meal.

Daily Budget: You can enjoy the Algarve for roughly €44 ($50) a day.

So, why is the Algarve a budget-friendly paradise? It’s simple. Whether you’re a beach bum, history buff, or adventure seeker, the Algarve offers a diverse range of experiences that won’t break the bank. So pack your bags and come see why the Algarve is Portugal’s best-kept secret!


Sintra castle
The fairytale castles of Sintra

Sintra is a town that’s as enchanting as it is budget-friendly. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lisbon, Sintra is a paradise for those who love history, nature, and pastries—yes, pastries! Let’s explore what makes this town a must-visit without emptying your pockets.

Castles and Palaces

First stop, Pena Palace. This whimsical castle perched on a hill is a feast for the eyes and offers panoramic views that are simply priceless. And speaking of price, a family ticket is just €26, making it a steal for the experience.

Historic Town Center

Next, let’s meander through Sintra’s historic heart. Think charming streets, quaint shops, and cafes that serve up tradition in every cup. It’s the kind of place where you can lose track of time without losing track of your budget.

Nature Trails

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the Serra de Sintra is your playground. Hike through lush forests and discover hidden gems like Quinta da Regaleira with its stunning gardens. It’s nature’s way of saying, “Hey, you don’t have to be rich to enjoy me!”

Culinary Delights

Let’s talk food. Sintra is home to mouth-watering pastries like Travesseiros and Queijadas. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you, and your wallet won’t complain either.

Beach Getaways

If you’re craving some beach time, spots like Praia da Ursa and Praia Grande are just a short drive away. Pack a picnic and you’ve got yourself a budget-friendly beach day.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Mid-range hotels are around €45 ($51), and hostels start at €12 ($14).

Food: An average meal will set you back about €14 ($16).

Daily Budget: You can explore Sintra for approximately €53 ($60) a day.

So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or someone who just enjoys good food and great views, Sintra has something for everyone—and all without breaking the bank. Come see why this charming town is a budget traveler’s dream come true!


JayWanders Funchal
The tiled streets of downtown Funchal

The capital of Portugal’s Madeira Islands is a treasure trove of experiences that won’t have you counting pennies. From exotic gardens and historic landmarks to local cuisine and art, Funchal offers a rich tapestry of experiences that are as affordable as they are unforgettable. Let’s dive in!

Sip and Savor

First things first, let’s talk Madeira wine. Funchal is the go-to place to sample this island specialty. While you might be tempted by the upscale wine cellars, don’t overlook the cozy, budget-friendly options tucked away in the side streets. A little exploration can lead to a delightful, and affordable, wine-tasting experience.

Historic Wonders

Next on the list is the Cathedral of Funchal, a 16th-century marvel. The ornate ceiling, crafted from Madeiran cedar and inlaid with ivory, is a sight to behold. And the best part? It’s free to visit.

Art on the Streets

Who needs expensive art galleries when Funchal’s Old Town is a canvas in itself? Stroll down Rua da Santa Maria, one of the city’s oldest streets, and you’ll find over 200 art displays adorning walls and doorways. It’s like an open-air gallery that’s open 24/7 and costs absolutely nothing.

Foodie Delights

When it comes to dining, Funchal offers a smorgasbord of options that won’t break the bank. Venture into the charming side streets and you’ll discover eateries that serve up delicious meals for as little as €10 ($12).

New Year’s Extravaganza

If you happen to be in Funchal for New Year’s Eve, you’re in for a treat. The city hosts one of the most spectacular fireworks displays, and guess what? It’s free to watch!

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Mid-range hotels average around €41 ($47), while hostels start at €22 ($25).

Food: Expect to spend around €10 ($12) for an average meal.

Daily Budget: You can enjoy the best of Funchal for about €53 ($60) a day.

So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a history buff, or an art enthusiast, Funchal has something for everyone. And the best part? You can experience it all without burning a hole in your pocket. Cheers to that!

Portugal Travel Hacks: Tips to Save Even More

Let’s take a look at some tried-and-true travel hacks that’ll help you save some euros while still having an unforgettable experience. I’m on a mision to prove to you there are cheap places to travel in Portugal!

Opt for Public Transport Over Car Rentals

Let’s face it, rental cars and fuel costs can quickly eat into your travel budget. So why not go green and save some green by using Portugal’s efficient public transport? The country’s rail network connects major cities like Porto, Lisbon, and Faro, and the bus system is great for reaching smaller towns. Plus, ticket prices are pretty reasonable. For example, a second-class train ticket from Lisbon to Lagos costs around €25—probably less than what you’d spend on tolls if you drove.

Off-Season Travel = Big Savings

If you’re flexible with your travel dates, consider visiting Portugal between October and April. Not only will you enjoy fewer crowds, but you’ll also find discounted accommodation rates—sometimes up to 25% off high-season prices. Want to save even more? Plan your trip between November and February. Many hotels offer rates slashed by 50% or more. Just pack accordingly; think rain jackets and warm layers for the north, and lighter gear for the sunny Algarve region.

Eat Like a Local

Portugal offers a plethora of dining options that won’t break the bank. Look for a tasca, a traditional eatery often frequented by locals, where you can enjoy daily specials and classic dishes like bacalhau (codfish). For a more social dining experience, head to an adega. These spots are usually adorned with wine casks and offer hearty meals and affordable carafes of wine.

Make Lunch Your Main Event

Many restaurants in Portugal offer special lunch deals, known as menu do dia (fixed menu) or prato do dia (daily special). These are often much cheaper than dinner options, even at high-end places. In the evening, why not switch things up with a picnic? Grab some fresh bread, cheese, olives, and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a sunset meal in a scenic spot.

Bonus Tip: Pack a Reusable Water Bottle

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Portugal, so bring a reusable bottle to refill throughout the day. It’s eco-friendly and saves you from buying bottled water.

And there you have it! With these tips in your travel toolkit, you’re all set to explore Portugal without stressing over expenses.

Wrapping up on cheap places to travel in Portugal

Portugal is a goldmine for budget travelers. From the lively streets of Lisbon and the historic charm of Porto to the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve and the enchanting landscapes of Sintra, there’s something for everyone – and all without breaking the bank.

So, if you’re looking to experience the best of Europe without emptying your wallet, Portugal should be at the top of your list. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisine, this Western European gem offers a travel experience that’s as enriching as it is affordable.

Ready to pack your bags and visit Portugal? Portugal is waiting for you, and, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Jarrod Frankel

Jarrod is the founder of Jay Wanders. Born into a family of explorers, Jarrod fast became addicted the feeling of being lost. Travelling around the world in search of a moment of complete and utter awe inspiring beauty, Jarrod shares his collection of memories and experiences through the medium of Jay Wanders.