Before my trip to Portugal, I planned that I will spend two days wandering through the streets of Lisbon and two days exploring interesting spots outside the city. My first trip brought me to the seaside town called Cascais where I was enjoying the last beachy moments of this year. During my second trip I visited lovely town Sintra together with the most colourful palace I have ever seen. I absolutely fell in love with Lisbon and if you are just thinking about visiting, stop and book your flights now. Meanwhile, I have a few more tips for you on what to see in this amazing city.
One of the oldest districts in Lisbon starts at the famous São Jorge Castle and runs all the way down to the Tagus River. There are plenty of narrow streets with stunning buildings, coffee shops, wine bars and restaurants. Once you get here, forget that something like Google Maps exists, put your phone inside your bag and get lost. When going towards the castle, stop for a coffee at Café da Garagem that offers amazing views over the city. The opening hours are a bit weird, they open at 5 PM during the week and they are closed on Mondays. A piece of advice, this area is super hilly with loads of stairs so make sure you wear some comfortable shoes.
MIRADOURO PORTAS DO SOL
Miradouro in Portuguese means gazebo and in Alfama district you can find two right next to each other. One of them is called Portas do Sol, another one Miradouro de Santa Luzia. These are not exactly gazebos but more like a huge private terraces. Well, not really private because they just happen to be occupied by people all the time. I came here on my last day to see the sunrise and had this place all to myself. The popular yellow tram nr 28 comes here as well.
When someone says Lisbon, the first thing you might be thinking about are the yellow trams. This type of trams were built around 1930 and in other capitals they would most likely be locked in the museums but in Lisbon they are still part of the public transport. The most popular line is number 28. It starts at Martim Moniz, ends at Campo Ourique and serves stops in districts like Chiado, Estrela or Baixo. There are usually queues to get on the tram and for one way journey you will pay around three euros.
I think I have never visited a place where I would see so much street art. You will find most of the paintings in a tiny streets so best is to forget taxi or public transport and explore on your own foot. The street art in Lisbon focuses mainly on history and pop culture and my favourite piece can be found at Feira da Ladra (on the first photo) in Alfama district. I arrived here at 10 AM and there was nobody around! So it was a perfect occasion for me to use that tree stump that was opposite the wall and take some photos with a self-timer.
TIME OUT MARKET
Time Out Market is like a huge fancy canteen opposite the Cais do Sondré train station. It was opened in May 2014 and inside you can find 35 stands offering mainly seafood, burgers, sushi, chocolates, wine, ice cream and other delicacies. Food here is a bit more expensive in comparison to an average restaurant but as they say “you get what you pay for”. I recommend to try delicious egg tarts pastéis de nata from the bakery Manteigaria and the stand Conserveira de Lisboa where they sell the best tinned sardines I have ever had. All the sardines, calamary, octopus, cod and other goodies are packed in beautiful packagings and make a great present.
Pink Street? You might be thinking “what is that”? Yes, Rua Nova do Carvalho really has a pink pavement and I found out about this place on Pinterest when I was researching the most insta friendly spots in Lisbon. But this pretty street turns into a crazy party place at night so when I got there around noon, the street was closed as there was a vast cleaning going on. If you want to take some photos for your Instagram, the best is to come around 4 PM.
PROMENADE RIBEIRA DAS NAUS
On my last day in Lisbon, I took a walk along the Tagus River, from Praça do Comércio to Time Out Market and discovered this neat Ribeira das Naus promenade. This area has been recently refurbished and I think it’s a great spot for relaxation. You can sit down on the long stairs that go all the way down to the river or have a drink in one of the many bars.