Lisbon is the capital and largest city in Portugal.
Lisbon has so much history behind it. From surviving an earthquake which destroyed most of the city and killed most of its population in 1755, being invaded by Napoleon in 1807, being invaded by Spain a few times and going through an anti-democratic government system which ended in 1974.
I went to Portugal with my best friend, Lourdes. We spent a total of 6 full days in Lisbon.
While we were in Lisbon, 5 of those days we stayed at the Hotel Princesa Lisboa Centro. The hotel was small but comfortable for those days. The location was perfect.
Near the hotel, we had a small grocery store that was inexpensive, cafes, a bus stop right in front and most things were at best 30-45 minutes walking distance. The bus only cost €2.
I love Lisbon for a many reasons. For starters it is a clean city, the architecture is beautiful, street art is amazing, the food was great and there were not as many tourists as I expected. The weather was warm, in the 80°'s and sunny but the temperature would drop significantly enough for us to need light sweaters in the evening.
If you are going to Lisbon, be aware that there are many steep walkways. The sidewalks are famous for the Portuguese pavement. Although it looks beautiful, they are slippery! In sandals and sneakers, we were still almost slipping and falling while walking up or down the steep sidewalks. But nonetheless, they looked beautiful!
On our first day there we explored the city and ended up at Miradouro da Graça located in Alfama. From here we were able to see an amazing view of Lisbon.
From there we went to the Praça do Comércio where The Equestrian Statue of King Joseph I, is located. It’s a beautiful open space with a bunch of stores and restaurants nearby.
On one of our days in Lisbon, we went to Belem.
This is a town in Lisbon which is known for the Torre de Belem, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the famous Portuguese pastry called Pastel de Nata. The Pastel de Nata is a custard tart, is a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.
In Belem, we checked out the LX Factory which consists of a bunch of restaurants, street art, and the famous Livaria Ler Devagar (bookstore).
We also checked out the Cordoaria Nacional for the “Banksy: Genius or Vandal?” exhibition.
It is Banksy’s first exhibition in Portugal so that was pretty cool to experience.
The famous Ponte 25 de Abril is also in Belem. Across that bridge, there is the Cristo Rei statue which resembles the Jesus Christ statue in Brazil. Also, on that side of the bridge, you get an amazing view of Lisbon.
We also went to Sintra, which is a town in Portugal known for its beautiful colorful castles where Portugal's Kings lived.
We went on a driving tour through Sintra with Adevntroppers which cost €60. Throughout the tour, we saw the Palácio Nacional da Pena, Quinta da Reglaria, Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Palácio de Seteais and Palácio de Monserrate. Since it was a driving tour we did not go inside any of these except the Palácio de Seteais because it was an open space. We saw all of the castles from afar mostly but the driving tour was worth it.
While in Sintra, we took an Uber to Azenhas Do Mar. This is a beautiful beach with a natural pool just feet away from it.
The view was simply breathtaking.
One thing to keep in mind if you’re planning on going to Sintra is that the temperature is different than in other parts of Portugal. In Sintra, it was a lot cooler and the higher up you go in the mountains, the cooler it gets. So, take a light sweater, even if it’s summer time!
Some of my favorite places to eat in Lisbon
Time Out Market:
We ate grilled octopus with rice at Monte Mar. Hands down one of the BEST Octopus dishes I have tried.
We tried the steak from Alexandre Silva which was also delicious.
The Sangria from O Bar da Odete was amazing too. We had sangria with red fruits.
Josephine bistro & bar:
They have good sangria, burgers, fries and other meals for great prices.
A Padaria Portuguesa, was our go-to for breakfast every morning. The coffee was great, the pastries were amazing and the service was fast. They had these empanada type of pastries breakfast and some yummy croquettes!
Barrio Alto is where most of the bars are located. These bars have a different type of music playing in each one. One could be live bands, Hispanic music or American music. One thing I noticed is that after a certain time they play old USA top hits. Mostly the one’s we are tired of listening to lol. But it is definitely an interesting experience.
Lisbon is beautiful. There is so much to see, so much to do and the city is amazing. If you have the opportunity to go, definitely check it out. I highly recommend it! You’ll love it- trust me. You’ll fall in love with Portugal as I did.