Don't throw away your green public transport ticket — it's worth 50c and you can recharge it either with trips or with money.
Black riding metros, buses and trams is easy and even commune trains are fairly easy if you manage to avoid conductors. The metro has glass doors that open and close when you flash your card and pass through - simply follow somebody else. note that you must follow somebody again when you leave. the commuter trains to Sintra and Cascais have bigger, faster doors, you have to follow much closer, and if you aren't careful, they can deliver quite a punch.
If there are no people around to follow, climbing over the gate is a possibility. There is typically a security man standing around in each station, but it isn't his job to stop black-riders. occasionally there may be controllers. Typically they are in a big group at the exits of big stations where different lines meet, though they are rare.. In the buses in Lisbon, occasionally controllers come on to the bus and check people. but the driver won't stop you or say anything when you get on. just watch at the big stops for people in controller jackets. If you don't have many bags and like adventure, try tram-hiking. There are many old-style trams gong around Lisbon, and you just hold on to the back door, on the outside, as it goes along. be careful and have fun!
Chose the "zapping" card (so you can use the same for most transports), have it charged with 2euros, and just don't validate it each time and act the tourist if facing a control.
Read more in section Black-riding in "Nomads guide to Lisbon" by Micael Salton.
- Bus: Flibco
In general Alfama and Mouraria (around metro station Martim Moniz) districts are really cool in Lisbon if you're looking for a place to live or cheap restaurants. Many bars and cafes are in Bairro alto.
There is a great spot for it, free and out of the way so no one bothers you. Go up the Rue Professor Viera Natividade towards the bus stop and take the bridge on your right, then when you see the apartment building you take the left road and follow it out to the motor way. Once there hook left again and you'll be taken into a wooded area that is full of trees and perfect for camping, the only draw back is that it is loud next to the road, but no one will find you here, or if you skip the bridge and go up the road a ways there is an old abandoned building that is perfect and sheltered.
-- September 16: If you use the house, watch out for the wooden rooftop. When I was there, one of the wooden beam was almost broken,just ready to fall down.
The cheapest campings are in the district called "Trifaria" (go using a ferry), they are cheap but this zone is not 100% safe, so it's up to you.
- RDA social center has daily vegan dinners for 3 euro. Sunday is a pizza day in real wood oven ! And wine for 0,6€ ! R. Regueirão dos Anjos 69.
- Gaia social centre near Alfama district, have usually a free price vegan dinner on thursdays.
- ArtCasa - social space / project run by bunch of Italians. Bar and food. You need to pay entrance card.
- TAO - Vegan food buffee, you can get good sized lunch for 4euro.
- Primo Basilico - Cool simple restaurant selling pizza slices for 2.90e or 3.50 with a drink. Mostly vegetarian, some meaty.
- In Mouraria district (around metro station Martim Moniz) there are many very cheap illegal chinese restaurants. Ask around from people there and you'll eventually find one. Usually you need to write numbers from menu to a paper there, because workers don't really speak anything else but chinese.
-- September 2016: checked RDA for the vegan dinner, but they were just renovating. So it seems to be a good idea, to check the websites of the mentioned options here, don't know how hold this information is. Anyway, after this I've walked around a bit and found a Nepal culture center, were I got a starter (which was even big as a main dish) and a main dish for 3,5€! They have also some vegan (labeled as vegetarian) dishes. Quite spicy! You can find it in Rua Palmira, just opposite a church.
Busking can be done without a permit, try in Bairro alto or Rua Augusta. You can earn enough to survive but rarely more than that.
- RDA has daily vegan dinners for 3 euro. They also arrange events, computer repair workshops etc. Generally a cool place to meet people.
- Disgraça is a DIY self-organized social centre, with vegan dinners every monday and friday, anarchist library and punk shows
- Gaia is a small radical environmental association with a nice little social centre in the heart of Alfama district. There's a bicycle repair workshop with dinner every Thursday, and dinner with projection/debate most Tuesdays. There's a free shop too.
- Mob social centre in Intendente.
Lisbon is going through a hardcore gentrification process fuelled by mass tourism. 70% of the working class neighbourhood of Alfama is already taken for tourists' consumption (bnb apartments, hostels...), for example. A recent renting law change has made many old rents to sky-raise, forcing long term habitants and small business to shut their doors forever. Malls and hotels and mcdonalds take their place. Lisbon and Sintra are beautiful, but keep the eyes open during the 40min train ride between them. That's the real 3 million inhabitants Lisbon, suburb dormitories where most working class people are pushed to. The risk is no different from elsewhere: tourism turning the city into nothing but a dead commodity, the pleasure of wealthier people at the expense of habitants' lives. Here, like elsewhere, keeping your money with real people rather then giving it to tourist and big businesses is an act that shapes the city. For info on gentrification and the right to the city check Habita collective, which is based in Mob social centre.