Travel Guide: Lisbon, Portugal
Visiting Lisbon? Here's what you need to know!
Portugal has been on my bucket list for a few years now, and when I saw a deal, I just had to book my tickets. Originally, I planned on visiting Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto, but I decided to cut Porto out of my trip to fully experience Lisbon.
Lisbon is the coastal capital city of Portugal and is also the city of seven hills. Believe me when I say every day is leg day when you choose walking as your mode of transportation! Because of its history, Lisbon is an extremely friendly and open city, accepting all walks of life. As a solo traveler (my first time!), I felt incredibly safe the entire time.
During my trip, I felt that there was a ton to do and see, and that it wasn't the type of city I could do in just a day and be bored. I was able to explore some incredible seafood restaurants and see some gorgeous views during my time there. And boy did I eat. Below are my recommendations on where to stay, how to get around, what to do, and, of course, where to eat!
Where to Stay
I stayed at Lisbon Destination Hostel for my entire stay and the location was perfect. It's inside of the Rossio Train Station, which is really convenient for a day trip to Sintra. The hostel has a bunch of activities available including a free walking tour.
Although I didn't stay here, this is a great boutique hotel option. It's close to the river, so you may have to travel more to the city center. It's really close to the Time Out Market though!
Don't want to stay in a hostel or a hotel? There are tons of Airbnbs to choose from! For $40 off your first booking, click here.
Getting Around Lisbon
I found Lisbon incredibly easy to navigate, though I did get lost a few times walking around—problematic when you're starving and walking up and down hills!
I took the Metropolitano de Lisboa, the underground metro, to get from the airport to the city center. If you've ever traveled in Paris or Barcelona, the system is really similar. There are only four lines, so it's hard to get lost. One way fares are €1.45, and you can reuse your fare card for buses and the train to Sintra.
For a full view of the city, get Hop On Hop Off tickets to visit and learn about all of the different spots in the city. Tickets are valid for 24-48 hours, so you can always come back to different spots. This came in handy when I visited Belém Tower, which is pretty far from the city center.
Take Tram 28 to easily travel around the city and visit tourist spots. Tickets in advance are €1.45 and €2.90 onboard.
There are tons of tuk tuks in the city that you can take for on the spot tour guides.
Uber is also available along with taxis. Locals recommended that I use Uber over taxis.
What to Do
Hunt for azulejo, a tin-glazed ceramic tile that's found on the exterior and interiors of all types of building. Colors range from oranges to greens!
Get lost in Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. I loved discovering hidden gems in this part of town.
Go on a food tour with Taste of Lisboa. I did the Downtown Mouraria Food & Culture Walk for an off the beaten track tour.
Take in the city views at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Castelo de São Jorge, and Miradouro da Graça.
Visit Sintra for a day or two.
Where to Eat
If you love ceviche, this is the spot for you. The spot is constantly packed, so grab a drink while you wait.
This restaurant is in all the guide books, but it's worth it for the fresh seafood. Try to sit on the second or third floor as it's a lot quieter. You can grab a free beer on tap while you wait for your table too.
For a quiet breakfast, come here. They have their own baked goods, which are amazing.
You can't miss the Time Out Market. This place is a foodie's dream, though incredibly overwhelming. It's best to come here in twos or as a group so you can try a bunch of things without splurging too heavily.
Sea Me is the trendy version of Cervejaria Ramiro. I really loved being able to pick out all of the seafood I was eating. I'd recommend just getting seafood from the fish monger vs. getting sushi here.
O Talho is another restaurant by Chef Kiko (A Cevicheria, above), but focuses on meats. There's a full butcher shop in the front of the restaurant too!
I got overwhelmed at Time Out Market and ended up eating at Marisqueira Azul. They have a huge tank of live lobsters and crabs that you can choose from.
If you can't make it out to the original Pastéis de Belém, Confeitaria Nacional is a good backup to grab pastel de nata.