This charming waterfront city should not be one to overlook. From its ancient buildings, colorful narrow streets and famous food, it’s quite possibly the perfect European city. Lisbon is continental Europe’s most western capital city and is the only one along the Atlantic coast, making it absolutely picture perfect. With so much to see and do, its important to make the most of your extended weekend.
Lisbon isn’t too big but you’ll end up doing your fair share of walking. There are several different areas in Lisbon including Chiado, Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodré, Alfama, Belém, and Baixa Pombalina (Downtown). Within each of these neighborhoods there is a ton of things to do and see. In this post I’ll give you just a few ideas of what you can do in each area.
Day 1: Downtown – Baixa Pombalina and Cais do Sodré
Praça do Comércio
Arco da Rua Augusta
This spot in Lisbon is one of the largest squares in all of Europe and offers displays of beautiful works of art and sculpture. The center features the statue of King José I and just beyond is the arch. This place is also a great place for a leisurely stroll where you can find a number of different shops and places to eat (although, it can get pretty pricey since it is in a touristy area of Lisbon).
Location: Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Lisbon 1100-053, Portugal
Rua Nova do Carvalho, Cais do Sodré – aka “The Pink Street”
Painted pink as part of an urban regeneration project by architect, José Adrião, it is now one of the most “instagrammable” place in lisbon. On each side of this pink walkway there are different resturants and bars and really comes alive at night.
Location: Rua Nova do Carvalho 1200-161 Lisboa, Portugal
Elevador de Santa Justa
This elevator has beautiful metalwork and connects Downtown lower streets with Carmo square on top of posh Chiado and trendy Bairro Alto districts. From the top of this work of art is a another beautiful view point. I decided not to go to the top the day we were in the area as it was super crowded with a huge line. I suggest going early morning if you want less people. The ride also costs about 5 euros.
Location: Rua do Ouro, Lisbon, Portugal
Pastéis de Nata
You can get these tasty egg custards all over Lisbon, but I suggest getting them at Fábrica da Nata. In my opinion, they offer the best ones around the city and all of Portugal!
Day 2: Belém
Torre de Belém
The Torre de Belém is a 16th-century tower and was built as monument to Portugal’s age of discovery on both the seas and lands. countless of exploratory expeditions around the world began from Lisbon, so it feels right that the travellers of today should want to visit where it all began.
Location: Avenida Brasília – Belém, Lisbon 1400-038, Portugal
Pastéis de Belém
(photo not mine, credit to the photograher)
Pastéis de Belém have been around since 1837. Created by the monks from the Heironymite Monastery as a means of survial after the 1820 liberal revolution, when all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down. From then on these pasteries have become quite famous and are only slightly different than the latter pastéis de nata.
Location: Rua de Belém n. 84-92, Lisbon 1300-085, Portugal
Number: +351 21 363 7423
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Large Manueline monastery attached to the Church of Santa Maria. Monks in this monastery provided a spiritual guidance to navigators and sailors in Portugal’s golden age of discovery.
Day 3: Santa Catarina, Alfama, Mouraria, Castelo, and Graça
One of the best things to do in this neighborhood is just wander and explore. Maybe you’ll hear some authentic fado, be offered a small shot of Ginja, or happen upon your favorite facade covered with azulejos.
Castelo De Sao Jorge
Explore the Moorish infuences in this 11th century neighborhood, stroll through the castles gardens, and stop for a snack the Café do Castelo. Open from 9 am- 9pm and does costs money to enter (although walking within the fortresses neighborhood is free).
Location: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
If you are wanting try some very typical and cheap food, I suggest this cute little resturant. This joint is meant for the taxi drivers of the area so you know if all the locals are going there daily it must be good!
What I recommend to order:
(Caldo verde soup- appetizer)
Caldo verde soup for the appetizer, fish for the main course (sardines or swordfish are very typical and delicious!) and molotov for dessert, which is basically egg whites and sugar. It’s like a sweet version of egg whites omelette. Sounds weird if you are not use to it but actually super tasty!
Location: 093, R. Carlos Reis 36, 1600 Lisboa, Portugal
Number: +351 21 796 0910
Viewpoints – Miradouros
Lisbon is full of beautiful vantage points where you can view the cities red rooftops and some of it gorgeous monuements. All of them are easily walkable, with a just short steep walk up a hill. What’s a better way to enjoy an evening sunset than one of these views with a drink in hand?
Portas do Sol, Alfama
With a great view of Alfama and the river, the viewing area itself is beautiful with a large reflection pool and flowering pink bougainvilleas. Miradouro Santa Luzia was unfortunetly closed for reninnovations, but there was still this amazing view just right next door.
The Keep – Sleep Boutique, Castelo
The Keep is actually a botique hotel, but even if you are not planning on staying here, this place has a nice terrace that offers some unique views of Lisbon.
Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Graça
This terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the city’s rooftops, the 25th of April bridge as well as the Castelo De Sao Jorge (not pictured).
Location: Calçada da Graça, 1100-265 Lisboa, Portugal