It was not my first time to Lisboa, but this trip was the first time I felt that I really had the opportunity to appreciate how wonderful this city is.
You’ve probably noticed Lisbon creeping into your IG feed and that’s because it’s made a resurgence over the past 5 years with tourism accounting for much of its economic growth.
If you’re visiting Portugal’s capital for the first time, I think three days should be a perfect amount of time to really enjoy and immerse yourself. There are so many things to do in Lisbon that you can be a busy or as chilled as you please.
To start, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Lisbon’s different regions.
- Belem: The charming district to the west of Lisbon and is the setting for many of the city’s most iconic tourist attractions.
- Alfama: Begin your adventures in Lisbon here with trendy cafés and a gorgeous panoramic viewpoint.
- Baixa: The heart of Lisbon with magnificent plazas, wide avenues, and grand architecture.
- Bairro Alto: Fashionable and stylish by day while trendy and cool by night.
What to eat
Piri Piri Chicken, Pastéis de Nata, Sardinhas… There wasn’t one bad meal. Keep in mind, dinner is normally served between 2000 and 2200, depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend. Anything earlier is a snack or lanche.
- Pastéis de Nata: My mouth is watering just thinking about these creamy egg custard tarts, with a flaky crust, and a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Make sure it’s served warm.
Where to eat
- Sacramento do Chiado
- Mercado da Ribeira (aka Time Out Market)
- Café Martinho da Arcada: One of the oldest restaurants/cafés in Lisbon
- Varanda do Hotel Ritz Four Seasons: Breakfast will blow your mind
- La Trattoria
What to do
- Tuk Tuk Tejo: Tuk Tuk’s are a famous method of transport in Asian countries, but these three-wheeled taxis are buzzing all around Lisboa and it’s a really unique way to explore the city for a few hours with a knowledgeable guide.
- Mesaluisa: If you do only one activity whilst in Lisboa, please make it this market to table cooking class with Luísa. This is not simply a cooking class, it is an emersion in Lisboa. It was an eye-opening experience that you will never receive on any tour. that you will never get in a tour. You’ll begin at Mercado da Ribeira (aka Time Out Market) where you will determine the menu and Luísa will guide you through the market gathering all the ingredients necessary whilst having lovely conversations with the vendors. Next you will go to Luísa’s kitchen where you will be greeted by the lovely Ana and together you all will prepare the meal, drink wines, and swap life stories. Luísa and Ana make you feel like old friends for a visit and you will leave planning to return. I booked this through Airbnb Experiences.
- Eduardo VII Park
- Tram 28
- Explore Belém: Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery
- Explore Barrio Alto & Alfama
- Basílica da Estrela
- Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden): One of my favourite things to do in every city is a visit to the botanical garden. This garden is quiet and serene right in the middle of bustling streets.
- Viniportugal: Wines of Portugal Tasting Room offering the opportunity to taste wines from different regions of the country.
- Go on a day trip to Sintra
Where to stay
- Currency: Euro (€) and many places accept credit cards
- Language: Portuguese. Speaking Spanish won’t win you any favours.
- Weather: Summers are hot and crowded, while winters are mild but rainy. The seasons of change, spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October), offer a sweet spot.
- LGBT: Portuguese society is very accepting of homosexuality and Lisbon has visible LGBT scenes, with gay bars, nightclubs, and other venues, as well as an annual Pride parade.
PS: Please contact me with any questions as you start planning your getaway.