Both Portugal and Spain have been at the top of our European bucket list for a very long time, and this summer we finally got to tick one off. We spent a week exploring Portugal, along with Stephens family, and had the most magical family vacation.
Our first stop was 48 hours in Lisbon… and wow, what an incredible city!! There is so much to do (and eat) during a visit, so we thought we would put this little post together sharing with you what we recommend are the must see things to see and do during a trip to Lisbon.
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Things To Do In Lisbon
Ride Trams Around Town
Riding tram 28 from Martim Moniz to Campo Ouique is a must do here in Lisbon. It is a great way to see a chunk of the city and avoid some of those uphill walks. This is by far the most famous tourist attraction in Lisbon, and the trams get very packed during midday and peak hours when the locals are coming back from work. To avoid the crowds we recommend waking up early to be some of the only tourists on board.
Price: single rider costs €2.90. We recommend getting a 24 hour public transport ticket for €6.30 from the metro station and use that to get around the city, while also enjoying the trams.
Views from St George’s Castle
This incredible castle stands above central Lisbon and was the ancient seat of power for Portugal for over 400 years. A visit here will give you incredible views over Lisbon and you can walk along the castle walls to take in the history of this important landmark.
Take a Tuk Tuk Tour around the City
Lisbon is built on seven hills, making it quite the mission to walk around and explore. We recommend if you want to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time to go on a tuk tuk guided tour. It is a super fun way to see the city, and the drivers are very knowledgeable about the cities history and know the best places to go and see.
Check out Tuk Tuk Tours Lisboa.
Santa Justa Lift
This 19th century lift was built to transport passengers up the steep hill from Baixa district to the Largo do Carmo. The structure is gorgeous, and was designed by the same person who designed the Eiffel Tower. At the top of the lift is a newly opened viewing platform which provides wonderful panoramic views over the historic centre of Lisbon.
This lift can get very busy, especially during the summer months. We recommend getting up early to visit. We came at 8am and had the entire lift and look-out all to ourselves.
Price: return ride is €5.15, including the viewing platform. However, we recommend getting a 24 hour public transport ticket for €6.30 from the metro station and use that to get around the city, because it also includes your pass to go up and down the lift. You will just have the pay €1.50 if you want to go up to the viewing platform.
Shop at Feira da Ladra
If you enjoy flea markets, than you don’t want to miss Feira da Ladra. Open every Tuesday and Saturday, these markets are full of hidden gems and unique souvenirs to take back home.
Explore the Alfama Neighbourhood
Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood here in Lisbon, and one of our favourites. Here you will explore winding medieval streets and alleyways which have been the neighbourhood of the local fishermen for many, many years. Make sure you also find the funicular to get some cute shots, and enjoy the quick ride up and down the steep hill.
Enjoy the Nightlife on Pink Street
Lisbon has a really cool nightlife scene. The liveliest district is Bairro Alto, with many bars and quirky pubs – however this area shuts down at midnight. If you want to keep partying than head to Pink Street, just down the hill. You won’t have any trouble finding this one, as the entire street is painted pink!
Day Trip to Sintra
If you have the time we highly recommend going on a day trip to Sintra. It is a magical place, with a cute village, lush green hills, and a real life colourful fairytale castle.
The most famous site to see here is the Palácio Nacional da Pena, a romantic and rather eccentric castle that has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site. Make sure you bring your camera for this one!
To reach Sintra take the train from Lisbon Rossio station, that runs every 15 minutes (€4.30 for a return ticket).
Price: Palácio Nacional da Pena costs €10 to visit
Where To Stay
During our time in Lisbon we stayed at the most beautiful Airbnb with our family. We stayed in a super affordable 3 bedroom apartment, equipped with a kitchen, lounge area and balcony! It is located in a quiet area which we loved and a short walk away is grocery stores and a metro station.
Located in the heart of Lisbon and close to a metro station, this hostel provides 4 dorm rooms with air conditioning, a shared bathroom & shower and a fully equipped kitchen. There is a 24 hour reception, a library and a living area where you can relax or watch a movie.
Located in Lisbon’s famous Almirante Reis Street and a short walk from the historic downtown, this hotel is a uniquely decorated place to stay. Each room is elegantly furnished, each with their own TV, coffee machine, private bathroom and complimentary toiletries.
A buffet breakfast is served each morning at the restaurant, and it also has its own onsite bar. There is also a number of restaurants and bars only a 5 minute walk away.
This 5 star hotel has amazing views over 17th century noble houses and is located close to Chiado and Rossio. All rooms have air-conditioning, a beautiful bathroom, flat screen TV and river views. This spot is perfect for a couples getaway.
What To Eat
Pastel de Nata
You can not leave Lisbon without trying the famous Pastel de Nata. They are a warm, creamy egg custard tart, with a flaky crust and a dust of cinnamon and sugar… and the most delicious thing in the world! You don’t need to look very far if you are wanting to try one for yourself, however there are places that bake them better than others.
A few places we recommend having your first taste are Manteigaria, Pasteis de Belem, or Fabrica da Nata.
Time Out Market
This indoor market place has over 40 different places to eat from – all under one roof. Something unique about this food market is that everything that you can eat here has been chosen, tasted and tested by an independent panel of city experts. This place is one you don’t want to miss!
Street Food Vendors
While exploring the streets of Lisbon we came across so many little street food markets. Our favourite was one right down the road from Time Out Market, where we enjoying cod fritters and sangria. As you walk around the city, keep your eyes peeled for street vendors selling delicious food!
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