General Tips, Do’s and don’ts for tourists in Lisbon.

Restaurants:

  • Olives, bread, butter, etc are paid, eat one pay them all. You may ask for these to be removed from the start once the waiter arrives. For any doubt ask for the receipt in the end.
  • Always ask for the receipt with detailed description. You will be amazed with the quantity of owners who can make the bill in a piece of paper torn of from the paper towel. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s your right and they are demand to give it to you.
  • Distrust restaurants where you are approached by a waitress in the street offering you a traditional Portuguese meal.
  • Avoid going into the “Tourist” restaurants wherel tourist get enticed, by outside restaurant employers, to enter and enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal. Most probably you will end up eating French fries, hamburgers or any other (re)heated meal and miss out a nice real Portuguese meal.
  • In “tourist” restaurants avoid asking “what is good”, you will be offered the most expensive plate.
  • Always ask for the prices or menu before ordering.
  • In restaurants eat the “prato do dia”, these are usually cheaper, traditional, faster served and tastier. The “prato do dia” will always be a Good option.
  • Restaurants are obliged to give the “complaints book”.

General:

  • Want a traditional or cheap meal? Just ask! Ask someone in the street, Portuguese people are very friendly, we like a good meal, we will be glad to give a good advice.
  • In a sunny day in Lisbon you might get tempted to buy a “nice” pair of sunglasses, take good care of your eyes and avoid buying sunglasses of doubtable quality in the street.
  • Avoid buying cellphones, cameras, gold etc from a total stranger in the street, a “good” bargain might end up with a piece of wood of a rust chain. This advices serves for someone wearing a suit, a gypsy or whatever.
  • Avoid riding a taxi without knowing the average time, distance and price for the ride. Ask at the hotel desk, a policeman, a couple of taxi drivers or, why not, to someone in the street. Another good option might be plan your travel (distance and time) using Google maps.
  • In a taxi you pay for any luggage that you put in the trunk, you may want to keep with you your small luggage.