City Guide: Lisbon
I absolutely adored the charming city of Lisbon! It was bustling with life and not hard to find amazing food, quaint streets, incredible architecture and PLENTY of picturesque corners. We spent two days exploring this incredible city and filled every possible minute. If you like to move at a more relaxed pace, I would say 3 nights in Lisbon is perfect! We thought 2 days was enough but easily could have spent another in this awesome city. I loved Lisbon even more than I thought I would. The people are so kind, it’s easy to get around on foot, the food is UNREAL and the architecture and cobblestone streets make the city so charming, it’s a little ridiculous. We wanted to take pictures every turn we took.
THINGS TO KNOW
Lisbon is HILLY and all cobblestone. Wear sneakers and be prepared to walk A TON. Some of the hills are super steep, so you will get a workout. I just want to give you a fair warning. There are cabs, tuk tuks and trams readily available if you don’t want to do everything on foot.
Traveling into the city from the airport is easy! There’s a subway station connected to the airport and really clear signage to get there. We opted to take the subway to save some $$$ instead of taking a cab from the airport. The subway tickets were 1.50 euro each. There’s also tons of cabs and Ubers if you would rather! Ubers are actually cheaper than cabs within Lisbon! It was super inexpensive to get around via Uber!
Just like any city, you have to be careful of pickpockets. We had no issues, but we have heard a lot of stories of it happening. It’s good to wear things with zippers and keep your purses and backpacks in front of your body. We never for a second felt unsafe, but like anywhere, always be careful and be aware!
It’s good to have some cash on you! Pretty much everywhere takes cards, but if you have a small bill (like grabbing a coffee), they may ask you for cash.
Most places have WiFi so if you’re like me and like to take a break from your phone, this is an easy place to do it!
Some places will bring bites that you didn’t order to your table... if you eat it, you’ll get charged. Although, some places do bring free bread and butter or a very small appetizer. Both Sala de Corte and Ramiro did that. If you don’t know, just ask!
You will get offered drugs on the street. Just say no thank you and keep on walking. They are harmless, but also very persistent.
WHERE TO EAT
Fabrica Lisboa: Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon 1100-319, Portugal
A quaint spot in the Baixa neighborhood for coffee, pastries (homemade croissants) and simple breakfast and lunches. We hid out here for a while during a downpour, and it was a great spot to warm up and relax! Cash only!
Time Out Market: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal
The coolest indoor food market with tons of different stalls for everything you could imagine! We were there on a Saturday night and it was HOPPIN!
Sala de Corte: Praça Dom Luís I 7, 1200-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Recommended from my good friend and fellow foodie, Hailey, who I TOTALLY trust. We walked in, and instantly I knew I would like it. The vibe was great. Not too loud but really good energy; it smelled amazing and the restaurant was beautiful! If you want a table, definitely make a reservation! We sat at the bar because we walked in, and the next open table was two hours later (it was 9pm)!!! We had the entrecôte steak, truffle garlic mashed potatoes (you must eat these), goat cheese in pasty appetizer and the beef croquettes. I’m still sitting here as I write this and WOAH. If you’re in Lisbon... this place is a MUST!!!!
Cafe Janis: R. Moeda 1A, 1200-109 Lisboa, Portugal
A yes from me for breakfast! It’s an adorable spot with AWESOME healthy breakfast options! We had amazing cappuccinos and fresh OJ, shakshuka and a smoked salmon board. It was fairly priced, and the food was delish!
Ramiro: Av. Alm. Reis nº1 - H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal
Most famous seafood spot in Lisbon! We heard about it and had to try! Turns out we weren’t the only ones who heard about it! We waited about 75 minutes for a table which was a bummer, but the food was very good and the experience was so fun!
Pastel De Nata: everywhere!
Pastel De Nata is a famous Portuguese pastry and it’s UNREAL and super inexpensive! Usually about 1 Euro. Eat them, and eat them often! You don’t want to miss these delicious treats.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at an Airbnb in the Alfama district, which is the old historical district of Lisbon. It was rebuilt in 1755 by the Prime Minister after a big earthquake, and it was BY FAR my favorite area! Alfama is also walkable to pretty much everywhere. Our Airbnb was perfect! Super nice but not too fancy, on the cutest, quiet street, had an awesome view of the ocean (above) and was very affordable. Find it HERE! I would absolutely stay in the Alfama district again next time I’m in Lisbon!
WHAT TO DO
Jardim Julio De Castilho Lisboa: R. Norberto de Araújo 22A, 1100-117 Lisboa, Portugal
It’s an amazing view of the ocean and old city with tons of bougainvilleas (my favorite) and amazing tiled walls and awnings. I shot the above image and THESE (hyperlink to IG post) images there!
Belem Tower: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Arco da Rua Augusta: R. Augusta 2, 1100-053 Lisboa, Portugal
I adored this beautiful spot (besides being scared by some bold pigeons)! We also stumbled upon a fun wine festival here one night! The architecture in this square is absolutely beautiful! A great spot to stop for a coffee and a picture!
I read about this street everywhere. I actually didn’t plan on visiting it, but we happened to walk right past it accidentally one day! In all honesty, we thought it was very overrated. It was dirty and smelly and covered in trash. If you happen to be near there, take a peek! But in my opinion, no need to go out of your way to see this spot.
Ride a tram!
Tram 28 is the famous route you see all over social media! It’s mostly famous because of its route. It goes through some of Lisbon’s best knows neighborhoods like Baixa, Graça, Alfama and Estrela. A lot of visitors take tram 28 to get up to Castelo de São Jorge! But if you want to avoid the crazy crowds on famous tram line 28, you can hop on line 12 in Praça da Figueira to get there! No matter the reason, it’s fun to hop on a tram!
While there is plenty of amazing things to see and do in Lisbon, with only two days there, we decided to explore on foot without much of an agenda. We absolutely loved getting lost in this city and taking in the people, the architecture, the sounds and lots of espresso! We ate great food and woke up early to enjoy the city empty before most everyone was awake. No matter what you do here, make sure you save some time just to get lost in the streets. You are guaranteed to stumble upon beautiful places.
Incase you’re looking for more things to fill your itinerary in Lisbon!
DAY TRIPS NEAR LISBON
Sintra is an absolute MUST when visiting Lisbon. I am working on an entire guide just for a day trip to Sintra. There is so much to see and so much to plan! (Coming soon!)
We actually spent a day and night here! It’s a super charming town on the water! There is not a ton to see and do, but the city is absolutely worth a visit! If you’re looking for a place to just relax on the beach for a day or two and get out of the hustle of Lisbon, Cascais is definitely your spot! We stayed at a gorgeous hotel called Villa Cascais which I highly recommend. Their sister hotel is Hotel Albatroz which was also incredible (The photo above is at their pool) and right above a small beach. When staying at Villa Cascais you have access to the pool at Albatroz. They’re just down the road from each other and it’s a charming 5 minute stroll between the two. Breakfast was also included in our stay at Villa Cascais and it was DELISH! Besides breakfast at our hotel, the food we found in Cascais wasn’t too impressive. I’m sorry I don’t have more food recs for this charming town!
Overall, we adored Lisbon and would 100% go back! Let me know if you have any other questions about this wonderful city and safe travels!