For the most of us, discovering a city happens in the same way: you look up the main attractions, the most popular spots, and you go check them up. For me, discovering a city during a citytrip isn’t about the popularity of attractions, monuments or places, but it’s about the experience. That is why I created an insider’s guide to Lisbon, especially for you, the curious, open-minded, adventurous traveler.
Lisbon has a lot to offer. Gastronomy-wise, culture-wise, and viewpoints-wise! That category was invented by Lisbon. The many miradouros in the city offer breathtaking views from different hidden spots. Sure, you have some popular miraoudors, but did you know about the less known ones?
As you can see, I created three categories: what to visit, what to taste and what to see.
What to visit
What to visit is all about the most beautiful and impressing monuments, places and parques that are worth paying a visit to. You can enter these places, often for free. There are exceptions, however: Cristo Rei monument offers (at a rate of €6) an elevator that takes you to the feet of the monument, offering you panoramic views of not only Lisbon, but the whole surroundings over the river and the other side of the river.
What to taste
In what to taste, I put the main drinks and dishes that are deliciously Portuguese and often not so known, but so worth tasting. I also listed the places where you can get the best ones. Of course, this is just a recommendation and if you’re blown away by one of these dishes in another restaurant, please, let your fellow foodie know.
Let me give you some more explanation regarding the foodie part! Pensão Amor is an authentic cocktail bar and udes to be a brothel (many, many years ago). This theme is conserved very well, as they created their own signature cocktails , referring to the “madames” of their golden years! Take one of the cocktails (aphrodisiac level is also indicated) and enjoy a night back in time.
Ginjinha do Carmo is a local spot to try out a ginjinha. a cherry liquor, often poured into a chocolate cup. Yes, a cup made out of chocolate, which you can devour after your free refill!
At Casa do Alentejo, a hidden tavern in the Morrocan-inspired, hidden spot at Restauradores, you can enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes with products from the Alentejo region. My favorite ones are scrambled egg with farinheira and Migas’ fried roll with pork meat. Try out the Alentejo bread and olive oil and the house wine (red of course) and your lunch cannot be any better nor on a better budget.
A Tigelinha is my favorite dinner spot in Lisbon. Freshly grilled fish, homemade dishes, salads, sausages and 1 liter of delicious red wine for €3. Leave with a full stomach for less than €20 for two people at this local, hidden and small restaurant. note: their alheira sausage is to die for. Also is their homemade cheesecake.
Cova Funda is the place to be for a nice atmosphere, friendly waiters and good (and so much) food. Grilled salmon with cooked vegetables must be my favorite dish. Try it with the local green wine (vinho verde) for a refreshing taste.
Next up is the manteigaria. This pasteís de nata factory is the perfect quick stop if you want to try out this Portuguese deliciousness. Try it for only €1 and put some cinnamon on the warm goods. I guarantee you, this is the start of a pastel de nata- addiction.
I discovered Cruzes Credo on Momondo app – you can choose your city and the theme of things you want to explore (obviously, I choose dining) and they promised me the best chocolate cake was to be found at this little restaurant. Since you’re reading about it now, you already know the outcome.
What to see
In what to see, I listed places and viewpoints that will leave you breathless. Especially during sunset, Lisbon can offer stunning views – whether it be in summer or winter, the setting sun in the rio or the golden light shining over the city of Lisbon makes you not want to miss any sunset. At these places, you can just relax, order yourself a drink and enjoy the beautiful views by day, during sunset or by night.
Sidenote: if you are looking for accomodation, I stayed the Largo da Sé Guesthouse, as it name says: close to the Sé Cathedral. Our rooms were modern, luxurious and the facilities were great. Breakfast was served with local pastries and anything you would like to try, they would provide it to you. Largo da Sé Guesthouse is the perfect balance between a luxurious and authentic experience of Lisbon. The location is perfect for when you want to discover the colourful and authentic part of Lisbon – Alfama district!
Enjoy, fellow salty soul, foodie, discoverer, adventurer, photographer. And be aware: I cannot promise you that you won’t turn into a lisboeta (habitant of Lisbon). It is very contagious!