My first trip to Lisbon, nearly four years ago, caught me completely by surprise when I immediately felt an unexpected sense of home. Lisbon, from the moment we began our drive from the airport through the city, took my breath away. From the the dramatic San Fran-esque hilly streets, the vast coastal views, to the dreamy pastel-coloured buildings painted with romantic ceramic tiles, it was immediately like no where I had ever been. This city truly has it all : culture, warmth (as in vibe!), weather, amazing people, ocean, night life, and of course most importantly a food scene to die for! I am so excited to share my highlights since returning three times in three years!
If you haven’t already explored Lisbon then here I have you covered to hit up all the best food spots and hidden gems!
Surf : Lisbon being a coastal city and Portugal having some of the best waves in the world, means within 20 minutes you can be perfecting your surf game on some of the most sought after beaches in the world. We went with a host we found via Airbnb and had the best time. For €28 per person, collected from Lisbon centre we were driven straight to the beach and kitted out for our surf lesson. It was such a fun day and I would highly recommend our host Nuno.
- Torel Palace
- Jardim do Torel
- Miradouro Pedro Alcantara
- Le Chat bar
- Miradouro da Graca
Areas to stay
- Arroios (very traditional and up and coming)
- Bairro Alto (very central to shopping and night life)
- Bica (trendy and close to the sea)
Things I really enjoyed
- I think you’re crazy if you don’t run in this city. Even if you want to avoid the hills (which I think are the best part!) a gentle jog along the sea encaptures the magic of this beautiful city.
- At sunset a stroll down towards Praça do Comércio – there are often buskers out signing by the sea and little stalls selling drinks so you can enjoy while watching the sunset.
- On our last Friday as we walked past TimeOut market (the front entrance facing the ocean) there was a little vintage / second hand sale of clothing on the street and I managed to pick up some really nice bits!
- Go to a class at Baraza Yoga!
- I got one of the best mani-pedis of my life at Moscow Beauty Bar – TREAT YO’SELF!
- Pasteis de Belem is of course a MUST. Do not be thrown by the queue outside – that is for takeaway which often people join without just heading inside. There will be a queue inside for seating but it moves super fast and i can promise you – the wait for the best pasteis de nata is BEYOND worth it.
- My favourite thing about Lisbon, in many ways similar to New York (my favourite city of all time), the best attraction is the city itself! This means that simply getting lost in the hills and windy cobbly streets, for me anyway, is the highlight of the whole city experience. Forget your google maps and simply roam the streets, allowing yourself the pleasure of getting lost in the unparalleled views, perhaps stopping along the way into one of the traditional Pastelerias you’ll find on literally every corner (Make sure it has Fabrica Proprio written on the signing outside – this means all the baking is done in house!).
SO let’s get to, in my opinion the best part of Lisbon! I was literally blown away by every meal and loved the variety while everything was unbelievably affordable!
Dinner spots you have to try :
- Cafe O Corvo – traditional portuguese with outdoor eating and the best service
- Prado (book the restaurant but also walk into the Prado Mercearia) – this place was both our favourite eating experience
- Fares – middle eastern trendy
- Damas – loved this place. small plates. different. fun.
- TimeOut market – ground burger is what we went for and we weren’t disappointed (the seating arrangement is a nightmare. i wouldn’t bother going if there is a big group of you as being able to sit together would be almost impossible)
Brunch spots :
- The Mill
- Cafe Boavida
- Comoba (don’t leave without getting the vegan ice-cream cookie)
- Cafe Janis
- Pateleria Centro Ideal Da Graca (traditional portuguese bakery)
- Seagull Method Cafe
- Ela Canela
- Dear Breakfast
Ganni dress | H&M mini bag and bags
Night out on the town :
- Foxtrot speakeasy
- Red frog
- Less at Pollux rooftop
- Eden hotel rooftop
- Terraco 23 at Torel Palace (sunset)