Lisbon is not only the capital of Portugal but also one of the most underestimated cities of Southern Europe. Rome has a magnificent amphitheater, Barcelona is filled with magic by Gaudi but some way or another the charm of Lisbon will steal your heart big time. With its winding streets, friendly people, pastel coloured houses and places that are filled to the brim with history, this city has it all. Getting lost in Lisbon is one of the best activities you should put on your travel bucket list. Read along to discover more on what to do in this charming city.
Last week, I had the chance to visit Lisbon for the third time in seven years. Back in the days, it was the first trip I took with my girlfriends. Three years ago, Portugal was the destination of the first holiday abroad with my darling. There is little explanation needed why this city holds a lot of great memories for me. Creating these great memories wasn’t that hard in a city that offers a lot of culture and a buzzing nightlife. Below you can find what to do, eat and see to make Lisbon a city you will cherish for a long time to come.
Climb to the top of a hill// Lisbon is built on seven hills and this is something that you won’t easily forget. Most of the time the small, winding roads are also pretty steep. On the positive side, it can function as a cheap outdoor fitness! One of my favorite climbs was to the São Jorge Castle. This is an old fort that offers a stunning view on the city. If you look closely you can even see the ocean from here.
Party till dawn in Bairro Alto// Bairro Alto is the place where the drinks are cheap and the cups are massive. In the summer, the cobblestone streets of Bairro Alto are filled with music and people enjoying their night out in the town. Salsa the night away in this lively part of Lisbon. The cocktails are served in cups of at least 500 ml for the small price of €8. You can see that partying in Bairro Alto won’t break the bank but it will for sure be a night to remember.
Ride a yellow tram// There’s nothing more picturesque than the old, yellow trams of Lisbon. The trams are a huge landmark but the most famous one might be tram 28. This tram will take you for a ride all around town. However, because the 28 is such a big tourist attraction you must be aware for pick-pocketing.
Visit the historical landmarks of Belém// In this small area you can find some of the greatest monuments of Lisbon. 25 de Abril bridge, the tower of Belém, Jéronimos monastery and the Discoveries monument are excellent places to visit if you want to go on a cultural trip in Lisbon. If you want to take a break from the city, you can visit the tropical Jardim Botânico in Belém.
Enjoy the modern architecture at Parque das Nações// Often referred to as “Expo” by the locals, the modern buildings at Parque das Nações are remains of the World Exposition that was held at this spot in 1998. One of the main attractions is the Oceanarium, which is recognized as one of the biggest aquariums in the world. Stroll along the river banks of the Tagus and enjoy the modern architecture which offer a stunning contrasts to the traditional architecture found in the historical city center.
Go traditional at Pastéis de Belém// A monument in the city of Lisbon, Pastéis de Belém is the only place where you can taste the original Pastéis. Here, you can taste the sweet Pastéis exactly how they’ve been making them since 1837. The recipe is kept a secret, which only adds to the magic of this place. The shop can seem quite small, but inside there is place to house a small village. So grab a seat and enjoy the traditional taste of Lisbon.
Try the pastries at a local bar// In Lisbon, you can find small bars at every corner of the street. In the morning these places are ideal to grab a coffee. After a long day of walking the hills of Lisbon, it becomes the perfect stop to try some of the local pastries. Filled with meat or vegetables, every pastry will taste different than the one before. Pick a few and discover the small cuisine of Portugal.
Are you ready to get lost in Lisbon?