There are very few places in the world that make you feel like you’re in a movie. Lisbon is definitely one of them…the colors, the architecture, the streets, the food. It is Europe’s westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast.
My honest opinion is that you should definitely try to visit Lisbon either in Spring, Summer or early Fall. The city overall is not very big and distances are small so you will really enjoy it if the weather is good and sunny, which will give you the opportunity to walk around. If you are into architecture and history then this is your city, as it is full of monuments, museums and architectural buildings.
For all the foodies out there, when you’re planning for this trip make sure you have enough days to taste most (why not all?!) of the restaurants we’ve put together for you, as Portuguese gastronomy and its chefs have definitely found a way to keep their customers satisfied, no matter their preferences.
Alfama is the oldest district of the city located on the southeastern slope of the hill, something like a small village. If you love taking pictures of places or architecture in general then you should definitely walk around its medieval alleys and enjoy the views. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral church, then grab a tuk tuk and go visit the Miradouro de Sonhora do Monte which will offer you spectacular views of the city and the castle.
You should also try to visit a Fado music venue, most of which are in Alfama, where they play the famous traditional Portuguese music genre called Fado. In most places you would enjoy your dinner along with a singer and a guitarist taking you on a musical trip of the Portuguese culture.
Campo de Ourique and Belem
The 28-Prazeres tram is the most famous tram line in Lisbon running across famous sites (Castelo de Saint Jorge, Portas do Sol etc) all the way to Campo de Ourique, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city that remained intact after the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami and fire in 1755. Primarily a residential area, Campo de Ourique is referred to as a city within a city because its residents, mainly upper-middle class families, have everything they need there without having to step out into downtown Lisbon. Apart from the famous Campo de Ourique market and the best chocolate of the world right nextdoor, this area offers multiple foodie options you’ll thank us for: Pigmeu for the crackling pig and Moules for steamed mussels to name a couple!
Talking of local food, you haven’t really visited Lisbon unless you’ve tried the famous Pasteis de Belem located in the picturesque district of Belem. The line is usually long but it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to get a taste of these egg-cream rich tarts topped with your choice of ground cinnamon and/or powdered sugar. If you’re interested in some Portuguese history while you’re in Belem, don’t forget to visit the Jeronimos Monastery.
One of the most central area of the city, Chiado is a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern commercial establishments, mostly located at the Carmo and Garrett streets. Rubbing shoulders with Bairro Alto and Paixa Pombalina, all of these neighbourhoods present a high proportion of gentrification with hip shops and food establishments. If you’re looking for Lisbon souvenirs you can try This & That, a small cute shop appealing to adults and kids alike, or have a bohemian drink at one of the city’s old brothels, Pensao Amor.
Spend one of your days visiting the beautiful town of Sintra surrounded by the majestic Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais. Only about 40 minutes away from the city of Lisbon, you’ll find yourself lost in this small town full of historical buildings, exquisite palaces and traditional cafes and restaurants. You should definitely walk around the narrow streets of the town, visit the Parque e Palácio Nacional da Pena and the gothic styled Sintra National Palace. If you really wanna go all the way, you can catch the scenic route there along the coastline with great views to the sea.