The Lisbon Guide. Yes, one more point off the travel bucket list! Lisbon feels already like ages ago and it took me quite some time to go through the amount of pictures I took. Before I’ll overload you with tons of pictures I’ve chosen a few spots we really liked. Moreover, I’m thinking to write a post about all the expenses of the city trip, if you’re interested. Let me know!
Here are a couple of activities we’ve done and I added a couple of addresses we didn’t have time for.
The Lisbon Guide STROLL THROUGH GRAÇA & ALFAMA
On our first day we walked so much – up and down and up and down. Even though everybody advised me to bring comfortable walking shoes I wasn’t really prepared. Our Airbnb was approximately 25 minutes walk from Praça do Comércio (let’s say it’s one of the most central square). We took a long stroll through the Alfama neighbourhood, passed the Catedral Sé Patriarcal and walked up to the Castelo de S. Jorge. In the end, people seemed to queue for such a long time to visit the castle, which is why we decided to walk down to the Praça da Figueira, Praça Dom Pedro IV and walked up to Bairro Alto.
The Lisbon Guide SEE LISBON FROM ABOVE
Lisbon is absolutely beautiful to see from above. We found a couple of spots which were really beautiful.
- Arco da Rua Augusta (2.50€)
- Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (public square)
- Terrace of Basilica da Estrela (4€)
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (public square)
- Elevador de Santa Justa (5€)
- Portas do Sol (Café)
above left view onto Rua Augusta | right view on Ponte 25 de Abril
below Praça do Comércio
The Lisbon Guide WHERE TO SHOP
One morning we discovered the area around Intende metro station. We had breakfast at Largo Estudio (more will follow in my food post) and visited the beautiful concept store A Vida Portuguesa. We definitely left a couple of spots for our next time. Lisbon has so many more cool stores, e.g. the LX Factory (where you could spend the whole day), Embaixa Concept store close to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Entre Tanto (an indoor market with various designer) or Fashion Clinic (luxury concept store).
above/below A Vida Portuguesa
The Lisbon Guide DISCOVER BAIRRO ALTO
I’d heard that Bairro Alto is one of the hippest neighborhoods. However, it was surprisingly calm during the day. It was quite hard to find open restaurant because apparently, it all opens up during the evening and night. One night we had dinner at Taberna da Rua das Flores (so delicious, you have to go there) and ended up in a crowded street full of bars and super cheap drinks. We had a couple of XL mojitos for 6€ each and met a couple of nice guys who happened to be French too.
above Calçado do Carmo
above beautiful view onto the Castelo de S. Jorge
The Lisbon Guide BASILICA DA ESTRELA
The area around Basilica da Estrela seemed to be more like a residential area. Next to it you’ll find the beautiful Parc de Estrela, which is definitely an oasis of calm. The parc is really beautiful and has some lovely fountains. The Basilica da Estrela is a wonderful neoclassical building with a giant dome. The light inside is beautiful and I highly recommend to climb up to the terrace (4€). The view is amazing and moreover you can walk around the rotunda.
The Lisbon Guide CRISTO REI
You cannot miss a visit to Lisboa without having seen the famous Cristo Rei. You’ll have a beautiful view over the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Tejo river. An elevator takes you up to the 80m high platform of the Cristo (5€)
- HOW TO GET THERE. Take an Uber (~13-17€) | take the ferry from Cais do Sodre and then catch bus 101 (~3.5€)
The Lisbon Guide WHERE TO GO TO THE BEACH
We wanted to go the beach at least once. Therefore, we decided to combine our visit of the Cristo Rei and drive to the Costa da Caparica (the taxi ride cost 7€). The coast on the other side of the Tejo river is really beautiful and quite calm. There aren’t a lot of tourists and you’ll find lovely beach bars. Generally speaking, you should beware that the water in whole Portugal is freakin’ cold. Nonetheless, as soon as you’re in you’ll get used to it. Here are some of the beautiful beaches near Lisbon:
- Costa da Caparica: Uber costs around 30€ / bus lines 161 from Praça do Areeiro (single ticket 3.2€ | time table here)
- Cascais: train from Cais do Sobre (return ticket for 4.50€)
- Praia da Ursa | best way to reach it via car or scooter
The Lisbon Guide WHERE TO EAT
I’ve written a more details Lisbon Food Guide here. Therefore, please refer to it!
The Lisbon Guide DAYTRIP TO SINTRA
There are some beautiful cities around Lisbon that can be easily reachable by train. I’d heard that Sintra is super touristy but I wanted to see the beautiful city, which is classified as UNESCO World Heritage since 1995. We took a 4.5€ return ticket to Lisbon early in the morning. There are a lot of sights to visit and distances may little bit farther than you’ll expect.
GETTING AROUND. There are busses that run between one sight and the other, which cost 5€ per day. However, there was a long waiting line to get on the bus and we decided to walk into the city, which took us 15 minutes. Uber is surprisingly cheap in whole Portugal and works really well. Being a bigger group we preferred to order a car (3-4€ per ride).
WHAT TO SEE. We visited the Castelo dos Mouros and Palácio Nacional da Pena (20.90€ for both sights). I absolutely loved the view from the castle while the Palácio Nacional da Pena is something you either hate or love. The architecture is just not for everybody and the view is quite the same as from the Castelo dos Mouros. What we missed to see is Quinta da Regaleira, which is one of the most beautiful gothic building in the city (entrance free is 6€). Moreover, I wanted to see the Monserrate Palace, which is a beautiful palace influenced with North African and Indian designs.
- Note: Be prepared to walk a lot when in Sintra. It’s a 800m walk to the castle from the ticket office and around 1km to the entrance of the palace. As soon as you’ll reach the entrance of the Palácio Nacional da Pena you have to walk all the way up to the hill (there’s a bus for 3€ that takes you up).
I hope you enjoyed reading my Lisbon Guide. Of course, there are still so many places (especially restaurants) that we haven’t tried. I’ll definitely come back soon.