Hope you’re all having a good weekend? I’m just back from Lisbon and it’s a miracle I’m actually finished this blog already! I’m not usually this organised but a few people asked me for Lisbon recommendations when I was there so it was easier to pop it all into one blog post!
I’ve detailed as much as I could here but if you have any other questions, shoot me a message on Instagram or through my contact page here. We really loved Lisbon and I would definitely go back so I hope you enjoy this post!
Where to stay:
There are so many options in Lisbon with lots of hotels and apartments available. We stayed in a fabulous apartment that I booked on Booking.com. Overall there seems to be much more value with Airbnb’s/apartments than hotels in Lisbon and you can stay right in the centre with all the amenities for less than you would pay with a hotel. We were about 10 minutes from the main square and our balcony looked right out over pink street! I would definitely recommend staying closer to the sea/older areas more than the shopping district. We were super close to everything and liked being away from the busy tourist spots.
In terms of areas, Barrio Alto or Alfama are both good locations when choosing somewhere to stay- close to everything with loads of restaurants, shops and things to do.
I booked on booking.com, but check out Airbnb and TripAdvisor for more options!
What to do:
- Belém- This could be a great half day excursion. We took the train from Cais do Sodré (right opposite TimeOut Market) to Belem which was only 3 stops away and a mere €1.85. We then walked past the Navigator monument (worth seeing!) and on to Belém tower. It was €6 each to go in and definitely worth it for the view.
When we were in Belém we also visited the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. We didn’t pay to do the tour but it was nice to sit outside at the fountains and to go into the (extremely) ornate church where they have the remains of Vasco da Gama- Junior Cert History- Age of Exploration coming in to play there.
- Sintra- We took the train for €4.50 return from Rossio Station to Sintra station and then got an uber to Pena Palace. The uber was €5 and worth every penny as it would have been an hour of a (steep) walk to the top of the hill. When we got to the entrance, we paid €7.50 each for a park ticket, it was €14 for entrance to the palace too but we weren’t too fused about going in. The park was really nice to walk around- very hilly- and so was the palace! So colourful!
- Viewpoints- There are so many viewing points all around Lisbon so if you can catch them at sunset (or sunrise if you’re an early bird) it’s really worth being at a height to see it. Some we visited were:
- Miradouro de Graça
- Miradouro de Santa Catarina
- Miradouro de Santa Luzia
- Elevador de Bica- We managed to go to the bottom of this hill and we had to walk the whole way up to the top to actually get the good photo but it was worth it! (Harry was cursing me) The trams only go every 10-15 minutes though so you might have to wait if you want to see it in action.
- Praça do Comércio- This is the main square in Lisbon, which you will inevitably visit while you’re in Lisbon. There are lots of restaurants around the edges and the square is facing out to the sea. Dominated by a huge arch, the plaza leads to a pedestrianised street Rua Augusta which is lined with shops and restaurants- great for an evening stroll!
- Ceramicas na Lihna- This was recommended by another friend and was the most amazing pottery shop I have visited! I know it’s such an adult thing to buy bowls and plates etc, but they were so cheap for handmade and hand painted pottery! I wanted to bring loads home but couldn’t carry more than the four plates and bowl I bought! 100% one of the best shops- don’t underestimate good plateware!
- Pink Street- Literally exactly what it says on the box, it’s a Pink street. Worth seeing but it won’t take long so don’t plan to spend an hour there. It’s actually quite short and seems to be the night-life street.
- LX Factory- We didn’t actually have time to visit here but it was recommended by two friends and is seemingly quite similar to Brick Lane in London.
- Cascais- Also didn’t visit Cascais but both friends and locals recommended it if you want to sit on the beach for a day! Maybe next time!
- Pastel de Nata- These are the famous portugese tarts that everyone talks about and they are available at most cafes/restaurants all over the city so definitely pop in somewhere and have one. They vary from €1-€2 depending on where you buy them!
- Time out market- One of the most famous tourist spots in Lisbon! There’s so many different food options and it’s really well laid out with loads of seating. We had breakfast here one of the days and the food and atmosphere was great.
- The Mill- €€ I visited this café on my last day in Lisbon for breakfast on my own as Harry left for the airport before me. It was really quirky and small and had a great menu. I had pancakes and orange juice- both great, but as with any slightly insta famous café, I felt a bit rushed and I can imagine that this café could be uncomfortably busy if you caught it at the wrong time.
- Pinóquio (Seafood restaurant) €€€ We ate here for dinner one evening and it was fabulous, quite expensive though and we managed to end up with a very pricey bottle of wine (unknowns to ourselves) but it was a nice treat. It was mostly fresh seafood- Harry had a whole crab and I had duck- not really seafood haha, but it was lovely.
- Amorino- €€ I know this brand isn’t specific to Lisbon but it really is amazing ice-cream! I hadn’t had it since I was in Vegas and wanted to try it again and it didn’t disappoint.
- Fabrica Coffee roasters- Great coffee and a really good spot to work ie laptop friendly if it had WIFI or 4G signal! How does a café in this day and age not even have signal! I wanted to stay here for the afternoon before going to the airport, but couldn’t get anything done with no signal so I just had a coffee. Maybe get a take-away one!
Here are some more recommendations I got from friends, but didn’t visit while I was in Lisbon:
For Cocktails and Wines…
- Rooftop Bar: http://www.lisbonlux.com/lisbon-bars/park.html
- Wine Bar: http://www.travessadaermida.com/?q=C/NEWSSHOW/1006
- Jazz Bar – starts at 10:30pm but get there early http://www.hcp.pt/events?filter=eventday&v=20160723
- Cocktails: Bica Do Sapato (John Malcovich) http://www.bicadosapato.com/en/menus/#bars
- Fancy Rooftop Bar: https://www.h10hotels.com/es/hoteles-lisboa/h10-duque-de-loule/galeria
- Bring your student card if you have one. Most tourist spots we visited had cheaper prices for students so you’ll save a few euros if you do!
- Don’t bother with high heels or high boots! There are hills everywhere and I can’t stress enough- you literally walk up a hill to come back down the same hill. I brought a pair of high black boots and wore them to dinner one night but we got an Uber there, walked to a bar after and then got an uber home.
- UBER- We discovered this the day after we arrived and it was a God send! It is so cheap and sometimes actually cheaper and obviously more convenient than traipsing around on the bus, tram or underground (which is much dirtier than the London underground!). We got an Uber back from Belem to a viewing point at the top of Alfama and it was only €8! And it’s also only €12 to the airport which both Harry and I got on our way home. It is cheaper to use the underground for €1.50, but I’ve come to the stage in life that if I can avoid bringing my suitcase, backpack and handbag around on public transport, I will! I did it from the airport when I arrived into Lisbon and was BET after it!
So I think that’s enough for one blog post! But as I said, any other questions or things you want to know, please message!
Hope you all have a great Sunday.