Majestic brightly coloured buildings, a vastly underrated cuisine, wonderful people, sunshine, sea, art, culture and so much more; it is no wonder that Lisbon, the city of seven hills has seen such a surge in popularity in recent times.
There are Lisbon guide’s in abundance on the internet, but we thought we’d put our two-cents worth in there anyway.
- EXPLORE THE DISTRICTS
Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood. Get your walking shoes on and explore this charming neighbourhood with narrow streets and colourful buildings; experience the sunset at the Portas do Sol viewpoint and enjoy some live music and a glass of local wine in one of the many traditional bars.
Party till dawn in the Bairro Alto district; a vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood filled with bars, boutiques and restaurants.
For lively, downtown vibes, head to Baixa; Lisbon’s most central and renowned neighbourhood. Beautiful squares, opulent 18thcentury architecture, tiled houses and a bustling atmosphere with shops, bars and restaurants a-plenty.
For history, green open spaces and iconic landmarks, visit Lisbon’s most monumental district, Belem. It’s so much more than just custard tarts (although we do love those too).
- COLLECT SOME GEMS
A hipster’s paradise that feels a bit like ‘Lisbon meets Copenhagen’. Set in an old industrial site, you will find: cafes, bars, restaurants, a number of local start-ups, street art and a very nice book store. It is a bustling place and well worth a visit whilst in Lisbon if you are looking to experience a more modern, youthful side to the city.
Make sure you visit on a Sunday for the flea market where you will find plenty of vintage clothing, hand-made items and a number of local, young designers and vendors selling everything from handmade jewellery and swimwear to old records and DVDs.
Fiera De Ladra
Fiera De Ladra, Lisbon’s most famous flea market is held every Tuesday and Saturday. You will find everything from art and hand painted ceramics to antiques and second hand items. There are so many hidden treasures to be found here. Whilst visiting, make sure to stop by Armazem das Caldas where you will find an extensive collection of beautiful, well-made ceramics in every shape, colour, print and pattern you can imagine.
- FILL YOUR BELLY
Taberna Sal Grosso
After shopping till you drop at Fiera De Ladra head to Taberna Sal Grosso to unwind and refuel. The food here is simple, fresh, local and utterly delicious, the place itself is unpretentious and very charismatic.
We shared everything and had: the orange salad which was so refreshing in the summer heat, the bacalhou confitado (cod confit) which again was simple, delicate and fresh and the pork belly and celeric; the pork melted in our mouths and the sweet and creamy celeriac puree complimented the meat beautifully. We also opted for some sweet potato fries on the side which were fried and seasoned to perfection. Exceptional quality and lovely service.
A trip to Lisbon would not be completed without the consumption of Pasteis de Nata, we ate countless, but our favourites were from Manteigaria. They were creamy, sweet, perfectly crisp and freshly made in front of us.
The most famous of course are from Belem which we opted to skip, if you do decide to go to Belem, a tip is to sit inside and enjoy them with a coffee to avoid the very long queue.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique
Skip the over-hyped Time Out market and head to Mercado de Campo de Ourique for a more local market experience. Enjoy a drink at one of the many bars then fill your bellies at one – or many, of the delicious food stalls. We suggest Malha Mariqueira for seafood lovers and for traditional Portuguese snacks head to, Alhos e Bugalhos. After refuelling with all that food and drink, you can take a wander round the local produce stalls and digest with a coffee at Café de Mercado.
- TAKE TRAM 28
After Mercado De Campo De Ourique, I suggest taking a stroll around this residential area and soaking up the relaxed, local atmosphere.
Conveniently Campo De Ourique is located on the last stop of Tram 28, Lisbon’s oldest tram. If you want to experience the tram, get on here and you should be able to enjoy the luxury of a seat. Grab a seat by the window and enjoy the gorgeous journey through from Camp de Ourique to Alfama.
Side note: the tram will get exceptionally busy and is a hot spot for pick pockets so be vigilant with your belongings.
- TAKE A DAY TRIP
If you have time, a visit to Sintra is highly recommended. The vibrant and eclectic castle is utterly mesmerising and a sight to behold. Stunning views and set in a beautiful park, it is a haven for ‘instagrammers’, photographers and architecture enthusiasts.
City breaks, although wonderful, can be intense. Take a pit stop at Jardin da Estrella, a beautiful, tranquil park with a more local vibe. Take a seat on the bench, read a book, enjoy an ice cream and watch the world go by a little more slowly.