From fabulous food, historic landmarks, chic bars, and hip street art it’s impossible to be bored in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. We can however understand being a bit overwhelmed with where to even begin, so here are 6 tips on how to spend your day exploring Lisbon.
Stroll through some of the city’s most iconic attractions as you explore this charming district west of Lisbon. Belem was originally home of Lisbon’s shipyards and docks which launched 15th-century voyages that discovered the sea routes to India, East Africa and Brazil. Today you’ll see that the surrounding buildings commemorate the rich seafaring history with extravagant and stunning beauty. In Belem you can escape the city and get a green fix in its many parks, tree-lined plazas and open spaces. You can also take in many of its historic buildings including The Torre de Belem and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to the 15th-century Portuguese explorers with a panoramic roof top view.
Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira):
Take some time to stroll through this historic market hall. Located in the Cais do Sodré neighborhood, the Time Out Market features the city’s best known (and longest running) meat, fish, fruit and flower vendors and is home to 26 restaurants, 8 bars, and 12 shops. If the timing is right you might be lucky enough to catch live music as the food hall hosts shows as well!
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Take the metro to Baixa-Chiado and walk though historic neighborhoods Alfama and Mouraria on your way to one of the city’s most stunning sites, Castelo de Sao Jorge. Marvel at this physical reminder of Lisbon’s long history including Romans to Visigoths, fierce conflicts between the Arabs and Christians, formidable sieges by the Castilians and the birth of Portugal as a seafaring nation.
Feira da Ladra
If you happen to be in the city on Tuesday or Saturday morning, visit the local flea market – or “Feira da Ladra. Located on a steep hill in the neighborhood of Alfama, you will have no trouble finding a great souvenir. Vendors line the sidewalks with blankets and rugs in rows and sell a host of hand-made goods, antiques, books, clothes, military objects, and more.
Bairro Alto Ridge Line
Catch the “Elevador da Gloria” funicular from Praça Restauradores up to the Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint for a fantastic sunset experience in Bairro Alto. At dusk this neighborhood begins to come alive as Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s hub for nightlife. Countless small bars and restaurants line the the narrow cobbled streets and the sounds of traditional Fado music waft out of intimate venues.
Hops are becoming hip
Until recently Portuguese beer meant Sagres or Super Bock, but now the city is booming with great micro-brews. If you are into craft beer, Lisbon’s first craft beer Cerveteca Lisboa, opened its doors in 2014 and since then the beer scene has been growing fast. Start with this list if you’d like a few ideas of where to quench your thirst with a local beer!
And some Restaurant Recommendations!
With so much exploring, we’ll need sustenance. Here are our favorite restaurants for you to check out.
Orteá Vegan Collective- BOTANISTA
This unapologetically vegan restaurant is a delight for vegan food lovers. Dishes are delicious and don’t pretend to be anything other than vegan. Even the most occasional vegans are apt to find something they enjoy on this menu. Don’t forget to check out the range of sumptuous desserts.
This more meat-leaning Argentinean-inspired restaurant came highly recommended by our Tour Leader Jonas.
Tucked away in the alleys of the Baixa District, this farm to table eatery will delight with sumptuous shareable plates.
Typical Portuguese restaurants
For a more typical Portuguese cuisine, you might enjoy Tasca Zé dos Cornos, O Zé da Mouraria and O Velho Eurico.