When we first arrived in Lisbon, we weren’t really sure what to do as we couldn’t think of any iconic attractions to tick off – like The Eiffel Tower of Paris or the Colosseum in Rome. Lisbon was more about the charm, the history, the warmth, the seafood, the winding cobbled streets, the mosaic-tiled buildings, the viewpoints, the hilly roads, the river, the squares and so much more.
There are so many different areas that are worth a visit, and we decided to explore the city by foot, side-car and boat so that we could see as much as possible in 48 hours!
Baixa and Rossio Districts
This is like ‘downtown’ Lisbon with lots of squares, grand buildings, shops, restaurants and so on. If you’re passing through this area. Start by heaving a hearty brunch at Nicolau Lisboa – we got there pretty early otherwise expect a queue as it’s a pretty popular place that doesn’t take reservations.
Then walk around the area exploring the different squares and monuments. You can start at Largo de Camões, walk down Rua Augusta (a lively street with outdoor cafes and shops) and eventually you will get to the biggest and most famous square Praça do Comércio right next to the Tagus River.
While you’re in this area, look out for The worlds oldest bookshop and the Santa Justa lift!
This is the oldest, most charming, historical and kind of rustic most part of Lisbon. The best thing to do is walk around the narrow streets and you will find the most random things. For example, outside every shop they have a painting of the owner that looks like it was painted in the 1500s, you have old ladies selling cherry shots in the alleyways, and you have hidden old-gentleman clubs that can be found from the smell of cigars and cheap beer.
Once you’ve spent time exploring the streets, head to the Grand Lisbon Cathedral – a building older than Notre Damn!
Finally, Alfama is filled with many bars/restaurants that play the soulful sounds of the cities famous fado music. Check it out if you have time!
Miradors and Markets
Lisbon is filled with viewpoints of the city, and we checked out about 3 of them. Each viewpoint also had a small market where you can buy souvieners and Portuguese delicacies.
Belem has another vibe altogether right by the water. First up head to Pastéis de Belém, the original home of the traditional Portuguese custard tart. And expect to queue for up to an hour!
Once you’ve topped up your energy levels, there is lots to explore in the area. Carve out time to see the beautiful Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, the iconic and most photographed monument The Torre de Belem, and the final monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
From Belém we also took a sunset cruise down the Tagus River.
Time out market
One of the largest food courts I think I’ve ever been to! There were so many high quality restaurants to choose from – we picked some nibbles from about 4 places and they were all delicious!!!
This is the arty/hipster area of Lisbon where you can find trendy shops, cocktail bars, vintage markets and graffitied walls. You can spend as long or little time as you like here, but it’s definitely a cool place to check-out.
Seafood is a must when you come to Lisbon! We would recommend lunch at Ramiro for fresh seafood taken out of the tank in front of you…
…or dinner at Sacramento, which is more of a romantic option where the dishes are more full of flavour
And that’s a wrap Lisbon! Ps thanks Nikki for all the recommendations 😘