Things to know before you go:
- Lisbon is a small city, thus everything is walkable. It is very hilly though; so wear comfortable shoes.
- Uber is extremely cheap in Lisbon, compared to other cities. (Our 20-min Uber ride from the airport to downtown was only €8)
- Portuguese people are extremely (and genuinely) friendly. Make sure to say your thank you’s! (Obrigado if you are a man, Obrigada if you are a woman)
- Like any other coastal city, Lisbon has some great seafoods — take advantage of it!
Where to stay:
- Santa Clara 1728: Situated on top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills with magnificent views over the Pantheon, Santa Clara 1728 is a six-bedroom hotel with beautifully minimalistic aesthetics, and incredible hospitality of making any guest feeling right at home.
- The Lisboans Apartments: With its cozy atmosphere and central location, the Lisboans Apartments is a perfect place to stay if you want a true Lisboan experience. The interior design features both vintage and contemporary custom-made furniture and handmade Portuguese tiles, creating a unique yet stylish ambiance. Their Prado restaurant is also a wonderful option to check out, offering farm-to-table dishes inspired by and made with seasonal and fresh ingredients.
- Corpo Santo Hotel: Conveniently located in downtown Lisbon, Corpo Santo is a 5-star hotel rated #1 in Lisbon on Tripadvisor, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Throughout our stay, we were taken such great care of with superb service in an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Each floor also has its own theme with custom wallpapers and scents, inspired by different areas of the world (Portugal, Japan, Asia). Dinner at restaurant Porter was also nothing short of amazing.
What to do:
- TRAMS: Ahh, the quaint charming yellow trams of Lisbon. For the classic Lisbon tram journey, ride the number 28 which passes through the popular tourist districts.
- Bairro Alto is a central district of Lisbon, with unique avant-garde vibes mixed with vintage influences. I recommend starting your day at Praça Luis de Camões, which is a popular city square and a meeting point, and walking around the area with a Pasteis de Nata and coffee from Manteigaria.
- Alfama is the oldest (and my personal favorite) district of Lisbon. Forget the map, and get lost in these quaint medieval alleys and you will find yourself surrounded by so much of its charm. Alfama also has one of the best views of the city of Lisbon; head over to Miraduoro de Santa Luzia, the observation deck, to witness the sun rise/set on the horizon of the Tagus River.
- Belem is an area located southwest of Lisbon, filled with iconic landmarks, like the Belem tower, and many architectural sights. Start your day by picking up some Pasteis from Pasteis de Belem!
- Arco da Rua Augusta: Thanks to my friend Andie, I was able to enjoy this beautiful view of Lisbon and the Comercio Plaza. The entrance of this viewpoint is quite hidden in the bustling street of Rua Augusta, so keep your eye out for it!
- Santa Justa Elevator takes you up to the panoramic views over the city. Long queues are expected, so go early in the morning.
- LxFactory is an historical industrial complex with an array of artsy shops and restaurants.
- Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho): Once a “Red Light District” with brothels and run-down bars, Pink Street is known for its new kind of nightlife with cozy cafes and dance clubs.
- MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, Technology): If you are a fan of architecture, this museum is not to be missed.
- Syntra is a town 30-40 min away from Lisbon, with pastel-colored villas and palaces. As I’ve mentioned, Lisbon is a relatively small city, so if you have a day to spare, definitely make a trek out to Syntra. Amongst the several palaces, the most well-known is the Pena Palace, and it was incredible. Make sure to book your tickets in advance online.
- TILES! Lisbon is full of beautiful tiles, everywhere you look.
Where to eat:
- Time Out Market is a food court run by Time Out, with more than three dozens of vendors, and with the city’s best chefs, restaurants, cooking workshops, and more. Whether you are a foodie or not, this is a MUST VISIT in Lisbon!
- A Cevicheria is a Peruvian restaurant, and a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Prices can be slightly high, compared to Portuguese standards, but their ‘quinoa de la mer’ is not to be missed!
- Pharmacia is a Portuguese restaurant with a cool pharmacy-themed concept and charming atmosphere.
- Cafe Janis: Such a cute spot with pretty greenery, delicious coffee and yummy breakfast served with smiles all-around.
- Fauna & Flora offers healthy and fresh home-made dishes, with the friendliest service.
- Heim Cafe: Their avocado salad + halloumi cheese plate was absolutely amazing and their pancakes covered with coffee syrup will melt in your mouth.
- Hello, Kristof: quality coffee with laid-back atmosphere.
- Nanarella has the best ice cram in the whole city of Lisbon. Period.
- New Moment: They have Nanarella’s ice cream, but they serve them in cute little scoops.
- Fabrica de Nata: I had (multiple) Pasteis de Nata’s every single day while I was in Lisbon, but this one was by far my favorite.