Nomad Guide to Lisbon

We started our journey through Europe in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. About the city, Micael wrote this nomad guide, that was originally published on Nomads Magazine a few weeks ago.

Busking:

Lets start with moneymaker’s info. You can busk/perform on Augusta pedestrian street. You’ll find other buskers there, especially people doing street dance, and some playing instruments. By the time I got there, there was no one juggling except me. I don’t know how it is in the spring/summer but now in February, there are lots of space, so this is not a problem. The first time I went there, one cop approached me and asked what I was going to do, with my Brazilian-Portuguese smooth talking charm I said that I was just doing some street art since I needed to buy a bike to continue my journey. He said I wasn’t allowed. I smiled, he hesitated for a bit, I saw the opportunity to bargain and ask for just an hour. He accepted and left me there, never to come back. As far as I know they don’t usually bother you. If they do approach you be sincere and polite and you’ll make your way.

At night the best street is Rua Garret. It’s a tiny street, though packed with tourists, in front of “Cafe a Brasileira” on the exit of Baixo Chiado metro station. More tricky with the street dance guys performing all day and night, but i managed to find a spot and made some coins there too. Overall busking in Lisbon its not that profitable but you can make enough to eat decently.


Cheap food:

(If you have a place to cook your meals)

Buy everything in Pingo Doce, its cheaper than the small markets.

For example: 0.50€ for canned beans; 0.70€/kg tangerines; 2.00€/kg pork meat; 0.40€ 500g pasta, 0.50€ tomato sauce, 1€/kg bread… Every week they have different stuff with lower prices.

(If you don’t have a way to cook)

Go to “Mouraria” neighborhood and find the illegal Chinese restaurants or small traditional portuguese places called “Tascas”. Usually you find soup for 1€ and other plates for 3€ to 5€.


Free food:

There’s lots of small markets around the city, all selling vegetables and stuff so just pass by at the end of the day and ask for something they will throw away. Bakeries are good, too. Portuguese people are very friendly and open, they wont let you starve that’s for sure. About real dumpster-diving I will paste some info here from Trashwiki:

“Brio bio supermarket in Chiado has its dumpster from 8 pm in the backstreet, right next to Largo do Carmo.Usually you find a a dumpster full only with fresh vegetables and fruits. If you’re lucky, you can find other things inside trash plastic bags. Note that in the square you have a fountain where you can wash your stuff right away!”


Useful phrases (basic Portuguese would be useful):

“Something to throw away” = “algo para deitar fora?” or “algo para o lixo?” (“alg prolish” [rough

pronunciation])

“Do you have fruits or veggies you are not selling anymore?” = “Tem frutas ou legumes que já não vai vender?”


Shelter:

Fortunately I was lucky enough to find a good CS host so I can’t add anything in terms of stealth-camping spots, but if you are really desperate you can find buildings with the main door open so you can sleep on the front hall ( I met one guy who did this but from being drunk and not necessity :D)


Black-riding:

Metro: You can easily pass the gates behind someone, and don’t forget to thank them after. The stations are pretty much unguarded, so you can jump if there’s no one passing by. Be mindful that you have to do it to enter and to leave the stations. If you travel with someone else one can pay a ticket and you two pass together, it’s the safer way. ( the disabled gates are wider and take longer to close )

Urban train: The urban train that goes to Cascais or Sintra is more tricky since they have a conductor checking the tickets on the train but there’s a way around this: you need to pass the gates the same way as the metro. After that if you’re on the first station enter on the second last wagon, when you see the conductor go to the last wagon and leave on the next stop if you haven’t already reached your destination( then wait for the next train). If you enter through another station just go to the first wagon and the conductor will never come back and you can just relax (there was not a single time when I took the metro or the train that i didn’t see someone black-riding, its really common, even old ladies do it).


Wi-fi signal:

The train station ” Santa Apolonia ” has free wi-fi, the password is write on the boards of the wi-fi area.


Important info:

Lisbon is going through a severe process of gentrification, where hostels and fancy restaurants are taking the place of traditional commerce and it’s forcing local families into the suburbs because of the increasing prices of the central area. It’s our responsibility as travellers to not support this type of aggressive capitalistic business.

To end this article I’d like to add some pictures of the Art I found in a squat where I was luckily invited to stay for two nights. The people there are doing an outstanding job with the local community who have been facing evictions to satisfy a perverse social cleansing. I won’t share more info about this squat because their goal as a community is political protest and not to host nomads, but if you are an activist of some kind you’ll know where to search for the right people and maybe you can get into their work as well.

Keep sharing people, this is our world, fight just for the people, stand just for the people no matter what. There are many forces trying to separate us from our equals, as it is, so if we do their work and start judging each other slavery will be our only future.

Nomads/wanderers/pirates o’ t’ world unite!”

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