Pastel coloured buildings, vintage trams, multi coloured tiles and stunning vistas are a few of the reasons why I adore Lisbon. What makes me love the place even more is the food! So delicious and so cheap. Portugal is one of the most affordable countries to travel to in Europe, great for the budget traveler. You can travel here all year around due to the mild climate. We visited in April and spent the first 3 days of our day road trip around Portugal in Lisbon.
We stayed in Belem, the historical suburb of Lisbon. Belem was a good place to base ourselves as it’s only a 15 min tram to the centre of Lisbon, there was space to park the car we hired and we were able to get a goods night rest. The streets in the centre of Lisbon are known to come alive at night as people spill out of the many bars and restaurants.
Below are some tips on what you must do while in Lisbon!
Things to do:
Spend your days walking around the beautiful hilly suburbs of Bairro Alto, Chiado and Alfama. Stop to take photos, have drinks at the kiosks, sample the delicious food and enjoy the culture.
Another great way of seeing the beautiful suburbs mentioned is to catch tram 28 from the beginning to the end. It’s a very popular route with tourists, so keep an eye out for pick pockets.
My favourite views of Lisbon:
Spend a day in Belem:
Catch a tram to Belem and see the famous Belem Tower and the Monastery. We also went up a monument which had a great view from the top. While you are there stop at the famous custard tart shop called Pasteis De Belem (more on this below).
Where to eat:
What I love most about travelling is eating good local food. Nothing beats it. The Portuguese food was amazing. Pastries (including the famous pasteis de nata), fish (especially salted cod), pork, cheeses and port are a must try. They do a very good brunch too. Not the kind of brunch we’re used to in New Zealand. Their brunch is more like what we would call a continental breakfast. It consists of pastries (normally crossiants and bread rolls), granola and yoghurt and coffee.
Walking tour with Didi
One of my favourite foodies Donal Skehan did a tour with Didi when he travelled to Lisbon, so of course I followed suit. We had a great day with Didi. He took us to so many authentic places where he introduced us to Portuguese delicacies. Some of our favourites were the black pork, ginjinha (cherry liquor) and salted cod fritters. A lot of the places he took us to were hidden gems we wouldn’t have found on our own. Highly recommend his tour, Lisbon Foodie Walks!
Brunch at Wish:
Wish is a cute cafe which is situated in the LX factory, a modern art center that has become a home to various start-up businesses, ranging from funky restaurants to work spaces. Some of the best croissants I’ve ever tried!
Taberna da rua das flores
My favourite meal in Lisbon was here. The staff were so welcoming. The menu is written on a blackboard in Portuguese, but don’t worry your waiter will go through each dish with you in English. The dishes are suited for sharing. Get there early as it is very popular.
Pastel de Nata’s
These tarts are insane! The shell is flakey and crispy, the custard it still warm and melts in your mouth. Don’t forget to sprinkle with cinnamon.
Try them at:
Pasteis de Belem – when you get here don’t get takeaway. Go inside, the line is shorter and you can take some tarts away with you too.
Manteigaria Frabrica de Pasteis de Nata
I’ve suggested two places for you to try them at as they both have top secret recipes and they do actually taste really different!
Tartine for breakfast / brunch:
Tartine is a great place to go to for breakfast. They have so many delicious pastries also. We had the brunch and Eggs Florentine. It is a bit more expensive here than the rest of the places we visited.
Mercado de Riberia – Time out market.
You absolutely must visit the market. There are stalls from famous Portuguese chefs and also lots of local delicacies.
Day trip to Sintra
If time allows spend a day out in Sintra! Since it’s quiet in Portugal in April we drove to Sintra. It takes about an hour. We found a car park easy. If you are visiting in Summer it may be wiser to catch the train, which I hear is very easy.
Visit Pena Palace: it looks like it’s out of a Disney movie
Visit the Moorish Castle: So old, I heard someone compare the castle to the Great Wall of China.
We had an absolute blast in Lisbon! One of my favourite places I’ve visited. Please feel free to ask me for any tips.
Special thanks to Purple Foodie. I got a lot of my recommendations from her blog.