If I had to describe Lisbon in three words, it would be: cool, creative, cultural. Lisbon was way cooler than I had imagined it would be before visiting. Every corner of the city is bursting with energy and things to do and discover. In many ways, I felt overwhelmed by the choices so a second, and an even third visit would be in order for me to really see and experience it all.
So grab your most comfortable shoes and be ready to explore this city – we didn’t take the tram but instead took Uber’s ( they were super cheap) or walked everywhere. This a city of many hills so don’t worry about missing the gym while you are traveling, I can reassure you that all the hills will help you burn that pastel de nata pastry ( a traditional and popular Portuguese custard tart ). Everyone can find something to love in this city – btw the people, the food and the culture – Lisbon was fantastic! I hope you love it as much as we did.
Please feel free to add any suggestions I might have missed in the comments!
The Lisboans Apartments – no better place to stay! This luxury boutique hotel is centrally located and will make you feel like a local. If you missed our feature about it – click here.
Eat / Drink
Prado – The restaurant is inside The Lisboans hotel and offers its patrons the authentic and genuine flavors given to Portugal by its native land and sea. When you walk into Prado, you will see some sophistication but feel a casual atmosphere and enough comfort to feel at home.
A Cevicheria – Portuguese cuisine but with a Peruvian spin! Hello, how amazing does that sounds!? Clearly, have the ceviche (ingredients handpicked freshly from the market every day) and I hear the pisco sour is a must as well.
Topo – A rooftop cocktail bar in a small shopping center that was super hip and cool. On the terrace are wooden structures doubling as tables and seats for snacking and drinking. I highly recommend this for some great cocktails!
Taberna Dua De Flores – A hole in a wall that serves traditional Portuguese tapas. Please note that they only take cash and no reservations are allowed!
Solar Dos Presuntos – Considered to be one of the best restaurants in Lisbon for traditional Portuguese cuisine. It’s a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere – the seafood paella had great reviews!
Pharmacia Restaurant – We loved this restaurant – not only was it really inside the National Association of Pharmacies but the theme and decor were reminiscent of vintage medical practice. You can sit outside on the beautiful lawn or inside which is what we did because the city was burning hot on that day. The food and drinks were on point – definitely recommend this spot, especially for groups.
Cafe Janis – One of my favorite cafes for coffee and breakfast in Lisbon! We did an entire feature on our favorite coffee shops in Lisbon. Click here to read it!
Cafe Principe Real – Upscale restaurant inside the Memmo Principe Real hotel. The food and service were amazing – try the Mini-Taco Tartar – SO good!
Jardim Do Principe Real – A chill spot on one of Lisbon’s most beautiful park’s – perfect for lunch and people watching! Only cash.
Bairro De Avillez – Jose Avillez is one of the most respected and well-known chef’s in all of Portugal. As soon as you start planning your trip, you will come across his name and restaurants. Bairro De Avillez has modern Portuguese food in a very cool setting.
Watch the sunset from Miradouro Da Senhora Do Monte
Walk the neighborhoods of Alfama, Principe Real, and Bairro Alto, Santa Catarina.
Plan a day to Sintra – I’m sure you already know this – but Sintra is a MUST! It’s a short car ride from Lisbon and before you know it you’re in a fairytale magical village with castles, old homes, and secret alleyways. I will do a separate post about Sintra so be on the lookout.
Museo Nacional Do Azulejo – Tiles are a pretty big deal in Portugal – check this beautiful museum housed in a 16th-century monastery. Make sure to check the schedule – we showed up on a day that was closed.
Day trip to Cascais – A coastal town about 35min – 45min car ride from Lisbon. I found this to be the perfect day trip if you find yourself overwhelmed from the Lisbon city-life and need a break. Even with a lot of tourists in Cascais, we found pockets of peace and quiet. We spend the day strolling the boardwalk, the parks, and neighborhood streets. This is a beach town so be sure to bring a bathing suit! We grabbed a casual lunch in of the squares and ended our day with a delicious ice cream treat at the popular shop called Santini.
Tower De Belem – This is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon – you can’t miss it!
Castelo Sao Jorge – Set on the city’s tallest hill, São Jorge Castle was originally built by the Moors, before it was captured by the Christians who eventually ruled the city. It’s a beautiful castle – wear comfortable shoes and be ready to take in the views and take a ton of photos.
Markets & Shops
LX Factory – Don’t miss out on this. This is a factory complex from 1846 and was reestablished in 2008 as a “factory” of creativity and art. There’s a ton of shops, cafes, galleries, and street art. I absolutely loved it and thought it was so cool! I suggest you head out there for lunch and spend the afternoon hanging out and taking it all in.
A Vida Portuguesa – Looking for an authentic souvenir or just a gift for yourself? Look no further – this classic Portuguese shop sells products made in Portugal and inspires nostalgia of the culture and its people.
Prado Grocery – Grocery store located in downtown Baixa, the grocery store which is part of The Lisboans hotel offers top quality Portuguese products to visitors, as well as a platform for launching a line of Prado branded home-made products such as chutneys, jams, jellies, fresh bread, and organic Portuguese wines. It’s also a great shop to buy products to bring home – like wine and olive oil – which is what we did. 🙂
Time Out Market – A place to eat and shop! For my New Yorkers, think Chelsea Market with way more spots to eat. This is definitely worth the stop – pop in for a snack and souvenirs. Try to go early – it gets so packed and getting a seat might be tough.