When wandering through the narrow streets, you’ll immediately sense the friendly atmosphere of this wonderful European city: Lisbon. A city divided into different neighborhoods, each with their own charm. It’s a delight to spend a few days in this city. From the delicious wines, cheese and espresso to incredible street art, cute laundry-filled balconies and of course the southern European climate. So if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle and get into the holiday mood, book a city trip to Lisbon. Let us give you 10 highlights to help you get the full Lisbon experience.
To get an impression of the atmosphere, you can also watch our video at the bottom of this article!
1. Get lost in the streets of Alfama
To get in the mood straight away, visit the neighborhood of Alfama. Like almost everything else in Lisbon, this neighborhood is easily reached by subway. It’s a good idea to get a day pass for the public transport system. €6 gives you 24 hours of unlimited use of the subway, tram and bus. Once you’ve arrived in Alfama you can choose to take a meandering walk through the scenic streets. It’s a really pleasant place to roam the streets with your camera in hand. The colorful, often tiled houses with their balconies full of laundry are a feast for the eyes.
2. Enjoy a ‘wine with a view’
Alfamo is famous for its castle situated on one of the neighborhood’s seven hills. From the castle walls you can enjoy a beautiful view of Lisbon and the river Tagus. To complete the experience, have a ‘wine with a view’. You’ll find an inventive mobile wine bar at the castle, where you can order a glass of delicious Portuguese wine or port. They serve it in a plastic wine glass (which you can keep as a souvenir) so you can enjoy the view while sipping on a glass of wine. What more do you need?
3. Book a food tour
When you first visit a city, you often don’t know where to find the culinary hotspots. Do you want to know more about Portuguese culture while enjoying good food? Book a food tour with The taste of Lisboa. Owner Filipa offers a peek into the tasty cuisine of Portugal. During a three hour walking tour she lets you taste delicious Portuguese snacks, cakes, espresso and wine. She enthusiastically tells you about the history and (food) culture of Lisbon. You get to know some surprising culinary hotspots in the city as well. Places you can’t easily find as a tourist. We also got a few good tips from her that led us to even more cool highlights.
4. Visit the LX factory
One of Filipa’s tips led us to the unique LX factory. An absolute must if you visit Lisbon! This area full of old factory buildings is a hotbed for creativity. The industrial buildings house all kinds of studios, design shops and restaurants. You can stroll from shop to shop amongst the old, sometimes humongous machines and see new things being created on the spot. The bookstore in LX factory is an eye catcher. One that every bookworm dreams of. The sky-high bookshelves peeping through the industrial stairs will catch your eye right away. The little café in the middle of the bookstore is also striking. It’s a great place to catch your breath after a day of strolling through Lisbon. And while you’re there, go upstairs and let the creator of the art objects on display give you a tour. This nutty professor inventor will show you all of his creations enthusiastically: machines without a purpose. Fantastic!
5. Discover Lisbon’s best street art
Lisbon has secured a place on the list of the world’s 25 cities with the best street art. And it shows! You can see bits of urban art all around. Sometimes they are huge murals, one more beautiful than the next. There was also a book published about Lisbon street art (for sale at the bookstore in LX factory too). This book has many pictures, but also includes a map showing the location of all the pictured street art. A really fun, inspiring and slightly different way of exploring Lisbon.
6. Taste Portugal in Timeout food hall
You could of course visit a cozy restaurant, but it’s even more fun to go to Timeout. You’ll find a ring of restaurants here in a huge covered market where you can pull up a chair for some delicious bites and drinks. From tapas and hamburgers to Portuguese wines and spectacular gin & tonics. Take a seat at one of the long tables in the center and before you know it you’ll end up spending an evening with friendly strangers.
7. Go on a ride with tram 28
The streets of Lisbon are known for the typical old-fashioned trams. You might think these were especially designed for tourists, but nothing could be further from the truth. These funny slow trams are still widely used within the general public transport network. If you want to experience a ride through the super narrow and sometimes steep streets of Lisbon, take tram 28. This is also the most touristic ride, but it’s a unique experience.
8. Drink a ‘bica’ with locals
The Portuguese like to start the day with a ‘bica’, also known as an espresso. You can find pastelarias where you can drink a tasty espresso amongst locals everywhere. Treat yourself to one of the scrumptious cakes or bonbons too, because the Portuguese are patisserie masters.
9. Get lost in the Bairro Alto nightlife
The nightlife district of Lisbon is Bairro Alto. A maze of streets with a bar at every corner. The nightlife mostly takes place outside here, even in winter. Drinks are ordered inside, and then enjoyed out on the street. Especially at the weekend, the streets of Bairro Alto are littered with nightlife crowds. You can expect lots of fun if you enter one of the many cafés too. The Bali bar, for example, is a surf bar with a relaxed backpackers vibe..they even serve buckets!
10. Buy a can of sardines
Portugal is famous for its sardines. You’ll see them everywhere in Lisbon. A shop frequently referenced in travel guides is ‘conserveira de lisboa’. A prettier and more comprehensive shop where you can buy the beautiful, colorful cans is Loja das Conservas. Besides sardines, they sell mackerel, tuna and other canned seafood from various brands in this stunningly arranged store. Whether you are crazy about the tiny salty fish or not, the cans themselves with their (often retro) graphic designs are little works of art.
Watch our Lisbon highlights video too!
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