what makes our tours unforgettable
We want you to have an authentic experience! We are a network of carefully selected scholars, professors, researchers, authors and licensed guides specializing in the study of art history, archeology, architecture, literature and other subjects. Many of the scholars who lead our original tours hold MA, or Ph.D. degrees, and are known for their vibrant and enthusiastic presentations, bringing each location into historic and relevant detail with personality. Our guides provide accurate information, dispelling legends and myths recited by countless guides, and answering questions with a depth of knowledge that only comes from scholars with academic qualifications. We are able to customize private tours to meet the specific interests of our guests, and today we are recognized by travel writers, travel agents, and online travel sites for having some of “Portugal’s Top Rated Tour Guides”.
we are foodies and art lovers
Curious about the best restaurants where locals enjoy authentic Portuguese cuisine? During many tours our guests have the opportunity to sample some of our most popular food items, wines, liquors and coffees. Afterward, our guides are free to assist guests with sights to see in their free time, as well as restaurant suggestions for every budget and insider local secrets for where to find everything from interesting local shops to art galleries.
what we are not
Our intelligent tours are for travelers who desire an alternative to unenthusiastic, joke-telling, or misinformed guides in colored t-shirts, or leading huge groups around with signs and umbrellas. We are not a budget tour operator using students on summer break with memorized scripts, or part-time actors. We do not offer free tours to large groups which contribute to mass-tourism and the destruction of the heritage that we work to preserve. We do not accept drop-in guests without advance reservations, and we do not offer cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all tours for mass consumption. This type of cattle-herding experience is contrary to our mission. If you have a large private party, please contact us so that we can discuss the best way to create an intimate tour experience.
For us, each guest is a fellow traveler and a friend, not a tourist. We share a common philosophy about reinventing travel through intelligent tours that support the principles of Sustainable Travel International, Slow Food, and Slow Travel. We encourage our guests to become responsible stewards of heritage through authentic, experiential tours. Our shared sensibilities for a deeper appreciation of Portugal emphasizes that travelers are an integral part of preserving the culture of each place they visit. We believe in treating each guest with integrity and respect for the time and expense they have spent to join us.
excellent english language abilities
Each Lisbon Explorer Private Tour guide must possess excellent, or native English language abilities. Our private tours can be provided in a variety of other languages upon request, and language selections vary depending on the availability of scholars to lead tours.
smaller is better
If you haven’t heard of us, it’s because are a boutique tour operator. As a result, our guides will never wear bright colored t-shirts with a logo to stand out in a crowd. We do not need to use audio amplification systems unless we have a larger private party, or in some cases when museums require groups to wear Whisper-audio headsets. All of our guides have clear and resilient voices which are easy to hear, even in busy locations. Our guides often learn about the interests of guests during the tour, and can custom tailor each itinerary to inspire curiosity regardless of age, or education level. If you have a large private party and would like to reserve a tour, please contact us to discuss how we can best accommodate your request.
As a matter of fair practice, we have a very strict policy of not allowing our staff to accept commissions from restaurants and shops. We will never divert our guests into a souvenir shop, or cafe where they feel obligated to buy something. If you are curious about shopping, restaurants, or where to find purveyors of locally produced items, just ask your guide. We posses a passion for restaurants, shops, music, artisanal items, and our guides will direct you to places we enjoy as locals.
how we started
In 2009 we stared with the idea of sharing our food & wine excursions with visitors, eventually this led to art, culture and history tours, with the help of some friends, well respected locals guides, possessing vast knowledge of the city’s monuments. We share a common desire for visitors to know our city from a local perspective, up-close and on foot as much as possible.
why walk In lisbon?
Portuguese are among Europe’s biggest walkers! A Eurobarometer survey published by the European Commission in December 2014 revealed that Portugal is among the countries where making journeys by foot is most common, with 23 percent of respondents saying they make their daily routine trips that way. To really know Lisbon one must go into those small maze-like streets of the city’s old quarters, where automobiles are limited and real life unfolds in pedestrian friendly streets and squares. Join us for an intimate walk on quiet narrow streets, where Fado music and songbirds can be heard from open windows, mixing with the sounds of clanking of old trolley cars (electricos) and church bells. Where the aromas of grilled meats (churrasco), oven baked pastries (pastéis), and orange blossoms drift past friends in conversation at cafes, (tertulias). Lisbon is a city with small squares that breathe with cool Atlantic breezes best enjoyed from scenic overlooks (miradouros), where a backdrop of pastel colored houses comes alive with laundry rustling on lines at sunset. These are some of the subtleties in Lisbon that many visitors miss while rushing around in traffic filled streets, instead of experiencing the city on foot with their senses and the help of a local expert.
We look forward to bringing Lisbon alive for you in truly amazing, historic and relevant detail.
António Costa, Tour Manager, and The Lisbon Explorer Staff
a thousand gardens in africa sponsor
Creating food gardens in every Terra Madre community across Africa, assisting them in their work to cultivate more sustainable and healthy regions. To learn more click here.
we proudly support the following organizations
supporting women entrepreneurs in africa
A non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of micro-finance institutions. Learn more about how it works.
With Slow Travel you experience a deeper type of travel by staying in one place longer and seeing the things that are close to you. It is an easier, simpler and slower way of traveling. To learn more click here.