Lisbon is city that conjures up many different images. From the yellow trams commuting up-and-down the hills, the golden hue of the luminous city’s buildings viewed from afar or perhaps if you’re a foodie, all you can think of is the famous Pastéis de Nata. Whatever moves you Lisbon is sure to have something.
The city, even with it being far south in Europe, plays hosts to some very fashionable Lisboans who value an excellent quality of life. A rich cultural history follows the city, from the middle ages, and it has a lot to show. If you look past the vast amount of abandoned buildings throughout the city (due to economic tough times) you will see some amazing architecture, tiled building façades and gems like the Gustave Eiffel Santa Justa lift. The general lay of the land simply feels like there is something new to discover around every corner.
A personal favourite sight is the garbage/refuse bins in a deep green emblazoned with the city crest in gold.
Lisbon Portela Airport is a pretty easily navigable airport that has an industrial feel with portuguese design touches. Taxi’s and ubers are plenty and it’s pretty inexpensive – around 12Eur for the 20min trip into the city.
Lisbon is super easy to walk. There’s a couple of sights that fall a little outside the city, but these are super easy to get to using uber/cabs. Be sure to also try the antique trams though – even though they’re not exactly “cheap” when you consider uber’s low rates – but they are super charming to make use of, especially if you need to get up one of the steep hills.
The all important thing to eat here is Pastéis de Nata, and there’s a couple of good options.
- Pastéis de Belém – The original. It’s a cab-ride out the city, and be prepared to queue.
- Manteigaria – modern and slick, inexpensive Pastéis and coffee – caffeine and sugar fix while seeing these tarts of goodness being made.
- Cervejeria Ramiro – classic good Portuguese fare.
- Mercado de Ribeira – the market halls offer some great options for lunch or an early evening bite.
- A Cevicheria – modern portuguese cuisine.
- Quiosque do Mercado – next to the Basilica da Estrela serving sushi to those waiting at the tram stop.
- Pensão Amor – a mashup of sailors, art & culture in the city’s former red-light district.
- Pavilhão Chinês – starting off as a private art collection, The Chinese Pavillion is something between a bar and a museum.
- By The Wine – food and wine bar by local chef celebrity, Jose Maria de Fonseca.
- There’s plenty happening in the Barrio Alto and Príncipe Real areas at night. Have a look at local sites for events taking place, or just pop into one of the party streets for some drinks and festivities while standing around.
- Check LisbonLux and LisboaCool for up-to-date happenings
- Shoes Shoes Shoes.
- Embaixada – a concept store in Prícipe Real that showcases many young designers.
- Plenty of antiques and thrift shops throughout the city.
- After you grab your pastéis in Belem, head over to the modern art museum at Centro Cultural de Belem
- The view over the city is breathtaking – so be sure to stop at some rooftop bars
- If you want beach – head out to Cascais or if you prefer to stick to the city, pop down to Ribeira das Naus for some modern sunbathing.
- For some greenery head to the north of Avenida de Liberdade to visit Park Eduard VII and the greenhouse.
- There’s plenty of lookout points as you start climbing the hills. Stop and take it in.
- For a nice daytrip, head out to Sintra and marvel at the medieval architecture.
Lisbon has some excellent boutique hotels including the LX Boutique and Casa Balthazar. There are also some great airbnb’s, go for areas like Príncipe Real for cool shops and green areas, Bario Alto for a little more bohemian, grittier, party places, or Chiado for a view.