Lisbon, Portugal travel guide that tells you the best of where to eat and what to do…
Oh wow. What a city. I was blown away by how beautiful Lisbon is. I travelled there in early May and it was quite hot most of the time. It got chilly in the evenings or near to the coast and we have a day or two that was overcast but it was still shorts and t-shirt weather which is the perfect weather for walking around. The city is built on 7 hills so either be prepared to pay for tuk-tuks or for a lot of uphill walking. The city as a whole is extremely affordable. Drinks, food and even public transport. Uber’s were €2-4 per journey. I loved my time in Lisbon and would defiantly like to go back.
Where to Stay
We stayed in the Turim Restauradores Hotel. I’m not sure why but I hadn’t expected much from this hotel. Perhaps because of it’s low price. But I was wonderfully delighted at how nice the hotel is. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but inside it is like any good hotel. The rooms were spacious enough and well air-conditioned. The shower was AMAZING. I could have spent all day in it with that water pressure. The cleaning staff were great. Beds made and fresh towels everyday. They even folded my pj’s and left them laid out on the bed for me. The staff at reception were so helpful with every little request. Overall, I would definitely recommend and go back to this hotel.
Where to eat
Zenith Brunch & Cocktails – This was the first place we ate in. By the time we got to Lisbon we were so hungry and thirsty we just went to one of the closet places to us (after a quick Google search). This place was mentioned on a few must visit for brunch blogs and I 100% can see why. It was laid back and cool. The food was delicious and the menu was plentiful. The cocktails were also delicious and everything was so well priced. I had the eggs Benedict and mojito. Both were yummy. 🙂
Noobai – Noobai is a very cute little outdoor restaurant with a breathtaking view. We went here for drinks and food. I ordered the curry and cheeses selection. Both of which were very tasty. I also got the dip duo with bread but I wouldn’t recommend this. The staff were great fun but be wary of them. Before we even sat down they made what we thought was a joke about ordering espresso martinis. When we realised they were not joking and tried to cancel the order they made a bit of a fuss. Luckily, the guys sitting next to us said they would take the drinks. Other than that though it is a beautiful place to go for a glass of which to watch the sun set.
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Hard Rock Cafe – Once you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all. However, when you’re tired and want a decent burger or chicken tenders, they are always reliable. Although it was the usually Hard Rock Cafe pricing compared to everything else in Lisbon it was very expensive.
Pastéis de Belém – Lisbon is known for it’s bakeries and this place seems to be king. You won’t have a problem finding it as there will be a queue a mile long. Honestly, by the time I got to the counter, I was so overwhelmed that I just ordered one of every sweet pastry and 6 of the traditional ones. It came to about €20 which was very good value. We had so much fun trying all the different pastries. And believe me they are huge so they are perfect for sharing.
Chiado Palace – This place is next level. Instagram content heaven! The decor is so so cool. There is loads to order from on the menu too. The restaurant is known as the 5 kitchens so if you are all ordering from different sections of the menu don’t expect ti to come out at the one time as it is actually 5 separate kitchens. I ordered the steak which I wasn’t blown away by but I tried some of my sisters duck which was delicious. White wine and mojitos were my poison once again and both hit the spot perfectly.
Hotel do Chiado – Even if you don’t have time for food and a drink go here for the view. Go into the hotel and go to the rooftop bar. It is even better than the one at Noobai and I already described that as breathtaking. The staff at reception told us you had to have a booking so we said our friends were already upstairs. When we got up there the place was empty. I think they try to keep it for hotel guests. I could have sat there all day sipping on mojitos and taking in the view. We didn’t eat here but you can.
Time Out Market – This place is any foodies idea of heaven. It’s basically a huge hall with a dining area in the middle surrounded by loads of stalls that offer every type of food you could think off. I got the bacon cheese burger from ground burger followed by pavlova from the bakery that was 3/4 to the right of ground burger and I recommend you do the same as it was very tasty. But then again, there is a lot to try in there so take a walk around first and see what tickles your fancy.
Belém Pizza – Situated just around the corner from Pastéis de Belém, this is a great spot to relax with a glass of wine after queuing for your pastries. The pizzas aren’t bad either. 🙂 Plus the staff were so nice and accommodating. (there were a lot of us)
What to do
While in Lisbon I felt like I did so much but now that it comes to writing it down we didn’t actually set out to do activities. Lisbon is such a beautiful city that we spent a lot of time just walking around the streets taking it all in. The houses in the streets are old-fashioned and authentic, many of which are painted pretty pastel colours or tiled with intricate designs. There is also a lot of street art and graffiti which I love to look at. But here are a few of the things that stick out to me…
The Pink Street – The Pink Street was the former centre of Lisbon’s red light district. They have now painted the street pink and turned what used to be the old brothels into the quirkiest and coolest little cafes/bars. One of which is Pensão Amor.
Pensão Amor – This place was so cool. I entered from the pink street which meant you have to go up this dingy concrete stairs which are covered in provocative graffiti and paintings. As you climb up the stairs on the different levels you’ll find all sorts of things. You can only imagine what once carried on in this establishment. Now turned into a very cool bar which features the odd burlesque show, I think it is a must see. There is no way to describe how cool it is. We didn’t stay for a drink but the cocktails looked good.
Hop on/hop off bus tour – Lisbon is huge. So much bigger than I thought. And a lot of the main attractions are very spread out. I would recommend doing the hop on/hop off bus tour but only if you’re willing to be organised. If I were to do it again I would get the map and know exactly where I want to get on and off. Otherwise you end up just driving around the city aimlessly.
Castelo de S. Jorge – This is the castle in Lisbon. Although we didn’t go into the castle as there was a charge and a big queue I would recommend walking up to it as the streets around it are so quaint and pretty. I loved just getting lost in the streets.
If you head to Lisbon soon and find this blog helpful I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you liked and didn’t like or tag me in your photos. 🙂 Enjoy your travels,