Lisbon, the city of sun, small streets, houses covered in tiles, yellow trams and Pasteis de Nata. Lisbon has the perfect combination of city and sea, where you can enjoy a fresh Seawind every day. I fell in love with this city and visited multiple times. As a total Lisbon expert (haha) I would love to give you a few of my personal tips on what to see and where to go when you are visiting Lisbon! Be warned, you might never leave again!
What to see?
Belém is my favorite part of the city. I love the green open parks, and you can stroll past the Tagus. Here you find the Tower of Bélem, which served as both a fortress and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Closeby is the Monument of the Discoveries, which is a beautifully decorated monument which is also located on the riverside. The monument represents the big discovery sailers like Vasco da Gama. In this part of the city, you also find the Jerónimos Monastery, which took almost 100 years to build, which was mostly done during the 16th century. Very touristy, but when you visit you will get why. Next to the breathtaking outside of the building does the inside not disappoint as well. Up for the original dessert of Lisbon? Visit Pastéis de Belém, a small pastry shop that became world-famous. This bakery is the only place in the world where the original Pasteis is made, and therefore the dessert is called Pasteis de Nata in the rest of the city. The original recipe is so secret that it has never been written down, and only five people know the recipe. These five do not take the same flight or eat the same food, all to protect that the recipe will not be forgotten! If that’s not dedication.
The classic Lisbon you will see in all the travel guides. Narrow streets, high buildings in pastel colors and filled with cute bars and cafés.
Alfama is one of the best tourist-friendly locations to enjoy authentic Portuguese meals while listening to the country’s favorite genre of soul music, fado. Walk to a higher point and enjoy the view. Miradouro das Portas do Sol is a recommendation, I am obsessed with the view from here.
From this point, you will also see Castelo Sao Jorge, which is a tip to visit itself. After a steep walk uphill (or you take the bus) you reach this landmark. Once there, you’ll have unrivaled 360-degree views, plus the chance to wander the old castle walls, check out the old cannons on display, visit the camera obscura, and more.
This is the part of the city that never sleeps. From cozy bars to trendy clubs, you will find them here. Are you a party animal? Do not skip Pink Street, the center of the clubbing district.
What is it? Just a street where the road is painted pink, but it is all about the people and bars here. Nice fact, you will also find a restaurant that only sells canned fish, and for most people in Lisbon, this is their go-to snack after a night out.
You will also find the Praça do Comércio here, although some people say this is located in Alfama. This famous square with the large yellow walls is an absolute draw for the city, and must not be missed.
Outside the center
The three districts above make the heart of the center of Lisbon, but the city is much larger. Take a metro and visit LX Factory, a small industrial park where local craftsmen and street art can be found.
Closeby you will also find the Ponte de 25 Abril and you can see the Cristus Rei statue from here. Have some more time? Take the train to Cascais, it will take you about 40 minutes. This cute seaside resort offers a more relaxed vibe outside the city, and you will see a lot more natural. Want to shop till you drop?
Take the metro to Centro Vasco da Gama. Skip the cab, because the metro station is decorated very colorful with lots of graffiti.
You may think graffiti is vandalism, but they made real art here. The center is one of the largest indoor shopping malls, and you will also have a great view of the Vasco da Gama bridge. Good to know, this is also the longest bridge in Europe!
What to eat?
Yes, this is a very important part for me. Why would you go to a place without good food? Right, no problem finding that in Lisbon. With pain in my heart, I need to mention that my all-time favorite restaurant all over the world (yes, the food was heaven) closed a year ago but they may open a new restaurant in the future. Therefore I want to give the tip to watch the Facebook page of Restaurante Mili, they might open something new. Okay, sad point but there is plenty of amazing food to find in Lisbon. Here a few of my personal favorites:
Rosa Stupa Resturant
Cheap Indian food with an amazing taste. Do not expect luxury here, but damn the food is great. It’s small so make a reservation or be ready to wait in line. The place has some tables outside but also takes a look inside since it is totally covered in the typical blue and white tiles. In case there is no place left, the restaurant also offers a takeaway service. Great food for a great price.
Here you will find something suitable for everyone. The restaurant calls itself European, and that suits the wide variety of meals they offer here perfectly. You can go here for either breakfast, lunch or dinner and it will all be amazing. If you are a lover of craft beer, eat your heart out in this restaurant, as they have several options. Wine lovers will also be very happy when they come here, the waiters know which wine suits your dish perfectly and are always happy to help you choose. Not a fan of alcohol, try one of the fresh-made juices!
Okay, this is not really a place to eat. PARK is a very trendy cocktail bar on the roof of a parking deck. Luxurious and hip, so you better watch your wallet or your night will be very good. The view here is amazing, and you will enjoy the vibe of Lisbon here perfectly.
Mercado Da Ribeira Nova
This is a favorite for the Squad since we came here multiple times when we visited Lisbon. Here you find a food hall with all kinds of different restaurants, so everybody can find something they like. From Asian to Portuguese, and from Burgers to soup, this place has too much to choose from. Order what you like and take a seat. You will be given a buzzer, so you can chill until your food is ready to be picked up!
After the trip with the squad, one of us decided to stay here for a while. This is what one of our founders Lasse has to say about the city:
“The City is made on 7 hills which makes it full of stunning viewpoints and rooftops and a “pain in the a..” to walk around in because it is super hilly. I have been here for a bit more than one month and Lisbon is for sure a place for newcomers with weekly meetups and a digital nomad/expats culture that makes it easy to find new people to hang out with.
If you are a foodie like myself the hardest thing is to figure out which places to visit first since there are so many amazing restaurants but for sure go for one of the seafood places! -Portugal is a great place for fresh seafood.My last piece of advice is to go with the flow of Lisbon and the culture, who knows maybe you will find yourself at a Benfica match, “thief’s marked” or dancing Regaton in Case Intendente. No matter what I am sure you will “love” Portugal’s cozy capital just as much as I do.”
We are convinced Lisbon is an amazing city. Still doubting? Talk to Lasse, he is our local now! Thinking about staying? For a couple of months, years or maybe forever?