The Best of Lisbon: A Quick Guide on What to See, Eat & Do

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The Best of Lisbon: A Quick Guide on What to See, Eat & Do

Best Of Lisbon (4)

Easily one of our favorite destinations in Europe, there’s SO much to see and do in Lisbon, Portugal. We had an absolute heyday eating, sightseeing and exploring the city during our visit. Better yet, the locals couldn’t be more friendly and fun, so we left with not only great memories but new friends! I reached out to some of my new Lisbon-buddies to compile this list of their favorite spots and added some of my own.

1 | Shop at the Feira da Ladra market

Held Tuesdays and Saturdays, dawn to dusk, arrive early for unique and beautiful souvenirs ranging from antiques to pottery!

Sintra, Portugal

2 | See sunrise over Alfama from Miradouro das Portas do Sol

The most picturesque viewpoint in the city, watch as the city comes alive with the new day.

7 AM –

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7:30 AM –

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3 | Listen to traditional Fado at Tasca Bela

Every 20 minutes the restaurant lights dim and a new Fado singer takes the floor. Go for the show but dinner is amazing too!

Sintra, Portugal

4 | Sip ginja at Casa de Ginja in Mercado de Riberia

A Portuguese cherry liquor, be careful because it’s pretty darn delicious. Bourdain may have had one too many during his visit.

Sintra, Portugal

5 | Go for “Couvada de Bacalhau” at Laurentina

Cod is incredibly popular in Portugal and this place is known for having the best in town!

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6 | Munch on Travesseiros de Sintra from Pastelaria Piriquita

Almondy-yummy-wonderfully-tasty, these little pastries attract visitors from across the country. You’ve gotta give ’em a try! (And send me your leftovers if you’ve got them!)

Sintra, Portugal

7 | Explore Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra

By far, one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited. Be sure to explore the inverted tower – it’s right out of Indiana Jones. Dan and I went on a tour here with Lisbon Riders and absolutely loved it. I shared my experience here.

Sintra, Portugal

8 | Sample tasty egg custard tarts at Casa Pasteis de Belem

The pride of Belem, these little custard tarts are a Lisbon favorite.

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9 | Check out the CCB Museum and Berardo Collection

For great souvenirs be sure to stop by the gift shop!

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10 | Learn to cook Portuguese cuisine

Dan and I had a ton of fun with Cooking Lisbon – bottomless glasses of wine, new knife-cutting skills and an amazing meal. It was definitely a great way to learn about the culture and spend time with locals.

Sintra, Portugal

11 | Take a boat ride to Cacilhas

You don’t need to visit Cacilhas, it’s just in the other side of the river, but the view from the boat is stunning as it crosses the river Tejo. Instead of buying some expensive ticket for a tour, take the boat from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas and enjoy the view. (10E PP)

Sintra, Portugal

12 | Visit Cascais

Referred to as a Portuguese Monaco, take a seat at one of the great beach-side restaurants and dine on fresh fish straight from the sea.

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13 | Check out Sushic

Considered the 2nd best sushi outside of Japan, it’s a local favorite.

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14 | Take a cruise through town on the historic Tram 28

The tram ride isn’t just a picturesque way to see the city but an efficient method for crossing through town. Hop on in Alfama.

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15 | Go sightseeing in a tuk-tuk!

Tired legs? Opt for sightseeing in the back of a tuk-tuk to get a real feel for the city. I loved EcoTuk, environmentally friendly and quiet compared with the rest. I shared our tuk-tuk ride the Alfama here.

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Recommended Lodging:

I love Alfama for it’s spectacular views, history and irresistible charm!

Airbnb: Airbnb 1 or Airbnb 2

Hotel: Hotel Convento do Salvador or Torel Palace


Phew, I just threw a lot of recommendations your way, didn’t I? To sum it all up, here’s a quick, pinable, pocket guide. 🙂

Pocket Guide to Lisbon

  • The slow pace

    What a great post! And I love the pocket guide!!!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

    • Thanks so much, love! Have a great weekend!! xo

  • Renuka Singh

    AMAZING! Lisbon sounds so much like my kind of a city. Such pretty buildings, cobbled streets, quirky corners and delicious food! Thanks for this guide!

    • Absolutely, my dear! You nailed it too – all those things plus VERY friendly and fun locals. They’re the best!

  • When have been thinking about a trip to Portugal so this list will be very handy!

    • Ohhh, is this a hint as to your summer plans? Dying to find out where y’all go! ;D

  • Love these tips! Great post! I can’t wait to travel to Europe.

    • Gah, exciting!! Do you have plans to visit sometime soon?

      • Sort of!! Once I graduate college (in 2 years) my boyfriend and I plan on traveling for a few years! So there’s plans but they aren’t set in stone 🙂

        • Love it. That’s a great post-grad trip. I came to Europe for 3 weeks right after I graduated from Virginia Tech and still remember the craziness and fun of it like yesterday. Just remember – table wine is amazing and soo cheap. Be careful! ;D

  • Great post! Looking forward to my trip to Lisbon.

    • Woohoo! When are you going to be there? I’m jealous! Take me with you!

      • April 17th to the 21st. I am very excited.

        • Oh boy, it’s really going to be so much fun. We staying in a cute little Airbnb in Alfama, let me know if you’re looking for recommendation and I’ll pass along the info. 🙂

  • Kari Guastella

    Love this guide! Thanks for making a pinable one!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

    • You’re very welcome, my dear! Hope you can make it to Lisbon sometime very soon! xo

      PS. just saw your recipe for bourbon meatballs. ohh myyy word. yum.

      • Kari Guastella

        Thanks! That one is seriously one of my favorite recipes!

  • Wow, that sunrise! Breathtaking! & cooking classes look like a really fun time. I will definitely pin your guide.

    Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment on my blog. I appreciate your kind words and offer us a place to stay during our Euro trip. Thank you! Thank you! That is so thoughtful of you. I’ll shoot you an email if we’re in your neighborhood. 😉

    Christina
    http://www.cityloveee.blogspot.com

    • Absolutely dear! Just let me know! Safe travels! xo

  • This is great! Would love to visit Lisbon one day, Portugal in general! So many things to do/see/eat! That sunrise, swoon!

    • swoon is right! gehh, those lisboners have it made, I tell ya!

  • HandLuggageOnly

    I loved the ginjinha and egg custard tarts!

    • Right there with ya, but I think I loved the ginjinha a little too much. You’ll notice an absence of photos following my visit to the market. 😀 ha

      • HandLuggageOnly

        Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • Yes, yes, and YAS. I absolutely loved Lisbon! I am slowly but surely organizing my thoughts and will one day have a master post/guide of Lisbon and surrounding areas. I’m so sad I didn’t get to do all of these things, but it just gives me an excuse to go back! I would especially love to do the cooking class!

    Off topic, but do you do your own design? As a graphic designer, I love seeing good typography and layout, and that last QUICK GUIDE is sooooo purddyyyy. Well done!

    • Woohoo, thanks so much for all the sweet words dear!

      So my hat is completely off to Canva for that little quick guide. What would I do without it? I don’t want to know!

      xo

      • I’ve never heard of that! Just looked it up, though. How neat! They’ve got some great stuff on there!

        • Yeah, seriously. A real game changer. ;D

  • Ahhh, I’ve always wanted to go to Lisbon but this just made me want to jump on a plane now! Your guides are always so helpful, and I love the idea of that Quick Guide! Something so easy I can save on my phone!

    • Yay, glad you found it helpful! Huge win! ;D

      Happy weekend lovey!

  • Rinka Inka

    What a lovely guide! I miss Lisbon!

    • Me too, Rinka! Did you live there?

  • This is great! I need to make it down to Lisbon. All of this sounds amazing, but anything with bottomless glasses of wine is what i’m about! 🙂

    • ha, me too gal! so this “Blogger Summit” (as Dan likes to call it) is going to get out of hand quickly, isn’t it?

  • Alexandra Cordato

    Great post! I also suggest drinking some Portuguese wine 😉

    • Ohh, you’re so right! We had really yummy sangria too!

  • Bravo on that quick guide Margo!! Fantastic idea. I’m headed there again in May so I’m going to be taking this with me. We loved the Mercado de Riberia so much on our last trip, I think we ate there twice.

    • Thanks so much, lovey! Glad you like it!

      Ohh, Lisbon in May is going to be amazing. Feel free to take me with you! 😉

  • I have friends in Lisbon and loved visited this warm, welcoming city. Your photographs capture it’s beauty so well!

    • Wow, thanks so much for the kind words about my pictures Jen. That means a lot! 🙂

      I’m so envious of your friends, I can’t imagine calling that city home – I’m sure they’ll never leave!

  • My goodness you’re too thorough. A Pinterest pocket guide, amazing! I’ve already sent this to at least 5 people. It makes me want to return to Lisbon next weekend, and every weekend after. I agree that it’s been one of my favorite destinations in Europe, and unexpectedly so. Somebody get me a Pastis de Belem stat!

  • Ines Marques

    My city is so pretty on sunrise =) the pics at Miradouro das Portas do Sol are very nice.

    http://www.thelisboners.com

  • Mmm, Ginja! And that pastry! Love this guide of what to see, eat & do! Thanks for sharing!

  • We’re now living in Lisbon for a month and I think we visit your blog every day just for some inspiration. Your photography is so on point! WE LOVE IT! Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it!

  • Mike

    Sorry to be a pain, Lisbon is my favourite city, I used to live there….please correct your spelling of Alfama, you have spelt it Almafa…

    • Mike, my sincere apologies! I apologize for the misspelling and have now made the correction. Thanks so much for letting me know! I know I kept flip-flopping Alfama with the Almafi Coast when I spoke, so it seems that I combined the two! Apologies.

      • Mike

        No worries I’m just an old nit picker…by the way, it’s Amalfi, not Almafi…also a lovely area, don’t worry, you’re doing a great job getting people interested in travel, keep it up !!

        • Kymber

          I think my husband is disguised as Mike. 😉

  • Brittani Texeira

    Love the quick guide! Definitely will be using it, thank you!!

  • Great tips, thanks for sharing! I’m going to Lisbon in September and will definitely be doing some of these things!

  • Ana

    Thanks for this list! I will be going to Lisbon for New Years! I am really excited because it will be my first time in Portugal, and I really don’t know much about the city (yet).