Quick Trip to Lisbon

Lisbon is the largest city and the capital of Portugal. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, situated next to the Atlantic Ocean with a beautiful culture and subtropical climate, Lisbon is an ideal travel destination.

Stay:

Lost Inn Lisbon: Definitely check out this cheap hostel that feels like a hotel. It includes breakfast and is located in an amazing part of the city.

Bairro Alto and Chiado: These neighborhoods are probably your best bet when it comes to being near tourist attractions, restaurants, and bars in a lively part of the city.

Anywhere in the city center (closest to where the city meets the river): most parts of the city center are easily accessible by metro from the airport (which is also very cheap).

Visit:

Belém Tower: This medieval defense tower is located just 20 minutes from the city center and stands in the Tagus River. Take the train (not a metro, but an above-ground commuter rail) from Cais do Sodré to Belém. [FREE to see, €6 to enter]

 Belém Tower as seen from its gardens

Belém Tower as seen from its gardens

Berardo Collection Museum: While you’re in Belém, definitely check out the Museu Coleção Berardo if you enjoy modern art exhibitions. The museum houses some pretty famous works of art and gives you a more artistic perspective of Portugal. [FREE]

Praça do Comércio: Located right at the city’s edge on the shore of the Tagus River, this is a beautiful plaza that has seen incredible historical events over the centuries while still maintaining its attractive structure. [FREE]

 Part of Praça do Comércio

Part of Praça do Comércio

São Jorge Castle: Structures from the hilltop upon which this Moorish citadel is situated date back to the 2nd century BC. The current site is a medieval castle that overlooks virtually the entire city of Lisbon. [€5 for students]

 View of Lisbon from the gardens of São Jorge Castle

View of Lisbon from the gardens of São Jorge Castle

Rossio Square: Probably the most famous plaza in Lisbon, this part of the city is always flooded with tourists and Lisbon natives alike. The surrounding area is covered in restaurants and shops that are perfect for exploring the local culture, but also for seeing some familiar store names. [FREE, unless you’re shopping]

Alfama: This is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and probably one of the most unique places you will ever come across. It stretches from São Jorge Castle to the Tagus River and is made up of small, winding streets. Though considered one of the poorer areas of Lisbon, Alfama is home to important historical monuments, authentic Portuguese restaurants, and several Fado bars. [FREE]

Others: If you have time, definitely check out Carmo Convent, The Santa Justa Lift, and Padrão dos Descobrimentos.

  View of Alfama in the evening

View of Alfama in the evening

Food and Drink:

Pastel de nata: A traditional Portuguese egg tart pastry that you can find virtually anywhere that sells sweet food.

PARK Bar: This is a restaurant-bar that is a perfect place to get drinks and snacks in the late afternoon or evening. It’s built on top of a parking garage in the middle of the city (yes, you have to physically enter the garage and take the elevator to the fifth floor to access it). Definitely try to get seats on the outdoor terrace to get amazing views of Lisbon.

 PARK Bar

PARK Bar

Bairro Alto: Definitely check out streets in this neighborhood such as Rua do Norte in the evening or even during late night hours (starting at around 12:30AM) for dinner and drinks.

Time Out Market Lisboa: The Time Out Mercado da Ribeira (located right across from Cais do Sodré train station) is definitely a must-see for lunchtime in Lisbon. It houses over 35 small restaurants and kiosks with authentic Portuguese food as well as cuisines from around the globe.

 Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa

Fado Bars: Fado is the traditional music style of Portugal that originated in Lisbon in the early 19th century. The style traces its roots specifically to neighborhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto and you can still go to many restaurants in these areas that will host live Fado performances every night as you eat or drink.

Day Trip:

Sintra, Portugal: You should definitely consider a trip to Sintra if you are going to be in Lisbon for at least three or four days. Sintra is home to several national palaces and castles that are built atop hills and mountains. The town is just a 40-minute train ride from Rossio Railway Station in Lisbon and is certainly worth the trip.

 Pena National Palace in Sintra

Pena National Palace in Sintra

Boa viagem!