This summer I got to take a 5 day break in Portugal’s picturesque capital – Lisbon. The alluring culture, mouth-watering food and breath-taking views are some of the many reasons I’d recommend visiting. Plus it’s pretty low cost in comparison to other European cities, possibly due to there being much less tourism here.
Lisbon’s a big city with lots of different districts to explore, so here I’m giving you the lowdown on the ones I visited.
Probably the prettiest district of them all, Alfama has endless cobbled streets with little bars, cafes and restaurants. Every turn taken shows you a windy pathway with old, colorful houses and buildings. It’s a 5 minute walk from Santa Apolonia metro station.
Along the harbor we stopped at a restaurant and enjoyed a fresh fish platter – just €22 between the two of us. With one of the highest fish consumption per capitas in the world, Portugal is very well known for fresh fish and seafood, so has to be tried in Lisbon!
We were going to visit The Castelo de Sao Jorge in Alfama but it was far too hot to trek all the way up. But if you’re visiting Lisbon in a cooler season, I’d definitely recommend.
Costa de Caparica
Beach time! So this spot isn’t quite in Lisbon, but those seeking a beach will need to venture out. Lisbon is just surrounded by harbours instead of beaches.
To get here, we took the TNT 161 bus and it was the last stop. This journey gives you spectacular views of Lisbon over the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The stop was by a Spar shop where we stocked up on food and drinks to take onto the beach.
The beach was family-friendly and quite peaceful. There are several little restaurants and cafes along the pier too.
A district that is famous for having Lisbon’s buzzing nightlife. It’s around a 15 minute walk from Rossio metro station. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t what we expected. There were lots of bars and little clubs open, with hardly anyone inside them! We visited on a Monday evening, so maybe it’s better at the weekends.
The Rossio area is really nice in the daytime – lots of hustle and bustle around endless shops and restaurants. It’s got many outdoor areas with people sat out having a drink and a bite to eat (a pastry no doubt!). We came across a little bakery where we enjoyed the famous Portuguese delicacy – custard tarts. Something that’s got to be eaten in Portugal!
Outside this metro station is a big square with lots of little outdoor bars selling food and drinks. We visited a couple and enjoyed some cocktails – just €5 for a strawberry mojito!
We then visited a peaceful little park just a 10 minute walk away called Jardim da Cerca. Beware it’s quite an uphill trek to get up here. But the views of the city make it worthwhile. It also had a nice café selling fresh toasties for just €3.
Santa Maria Dos Olivais
For those into shopping, Santa Maria Dos Olivais has a big shopping center right by Oriente metro station, with loads of retailers including Nike, Sephora and Calvin Klein.
I’d also recommend spending an evening in this area along the harbor – it’s very tranquil and relaxing to wander around, with several bars and Oriental restaurants to choose from. We tried one for dinner where we each ordered a noodle dish and dim sum to share, but they oddly brought out each of our dishes one at a time! But it was still really tasty.
So that’s pretty much all of the places we visited in Lisbon! If you’re considering visiting this stunning city, feel free to hit me up for some more advice.