The best of Lisbon
Lisbon packs a punch. From hilly streets with cable cars to sweeping city views, there is always something to see. Portuguese culture is laid-back and the locals are friendly. There are so many reasons to stay a while.
Have you eaten yet?
For brunch, head to Café Noobai, in Bairro Alto. Here, you’ll get a view of the river and the bridge while you dig into eggs, coffee and bread. Depending on the day of the week, go when this cafe opens, to get your pick of a table with the best view and to avoid a wait.
For dinner, treat yourself at Pap’Acorda, above the Time Out Food Market. This is a top pick for new Portuguese cuisine, and it’s a good time to try Portuguese meat dishes, delicious appetizers and wines. Ask your server about pairing with Portuguese wines, and try a vinho verde (green wine).
For checking out market food and some faster options, head to Time Out Market (open late!) for all types of trendy food vendors, in a big open-air market with long tables. The Time Out Market is located near the water and is a top attraction for visitors.
Are you ready for Lisbon’s nightlife?
The Bairro Alto neighborhood is the main bar area near Rua Norte, with various pubs, loud bars and little holes in the wall selling beer. We found ourselves out until 3am talking with locals and making new friends.
There is also a cereal café, called Pop Cereal right next to all the bars. If you love cereal, stop by for a bowl, in between bar hopping. Or really any time (they close at 12am). Our friend Eddie made this cool video for them, check it out! Dan loves cereal so he may or may not have been here a lot. Also fun fact, Dan had a Pop Cereal sticker on his phone for 8 months – until the phone broke.
Lisbon’s best areas for walking
Our favorite thing to do in Lisbon is walk around. We kept walking all weekend. We couldn’t stop. During daytime, walk around Bairro Alto’s quaint yet busy streets. Keep an eye out for the famous cable cars! There is a photo op at a place called Elevador da Bica, where an old cable car is stopped permanently in the middle of the street.
Also, don’t forget to try a Portuguese egg tart, called pastel de nata in Portuguese. You can find them in small bakeries anywhere! Buyer beware, they’re high in calories. Make sure to walk a few extra hills after eating one.
Next, look for Pink Street, which used to be the red light district. Now it’s a posh street with hotels and nightlife! Head back later on at night for some action.
In the Alfama district, we found historic architecture, lots of cafes and a tons of hills. Guess what? More lookout points await you!
To get here, walk 20 minutes from Bairro Alto, up a big hill, naturally. We enjoyed people-watching in Jardim da Estrela, and watched children’s birthday parties, teenagers hanging out and locals enjoying the pretty public space.
LxFactory is a custom-built hip space with an bookstores, art, enclosed bar, cafes and more. Going when it opens is recommended, as it gets crowded. This trendy area is like a secret part, so prepare to be surprised.
Lisbon’s best views
Go to Santa Catarina, a beautiful viewpoint where you can see all the churches and red roofs from above. Called Miradouro de Santa Catarina in Portuguese, this elevated area will give you a panoramic view of the city.
We climbed hills through a neighborhood and wound up at ZamBeZe where there is another excellent view of the city from a different perspective. We sat down for a coffee here and it was a relaxing break.
Where to stay in Lisbon
We recommend finding an Airbnb or hostel near Bairro Alto or the Alfama districts. Both are charming, picturesque and near all areas of interest. We think you’ll love it in either!
Lisbon charmed us, and we couldn’t get enough of the friendly locals, grand architecture, cool shopping and fantastic views.
Staying for a while?
We have a lot of friends that have come to Lisbon for an extended stay. If you’re thinking of moving to Lisbon, let us know and we can help make an introduction with someone.
If you’re a runner, you’ll find Lisbon’s hills a challenge. Sidewalks can be slippery when very dry or very wet. We do recommend running along the water, and you can run to the next train station and take the train back to where you started, or turn around and see the view from the other side! Plus, Pacman.
If you prefer a gym, Dan recommends Fitness Hut. Beware, they’ll sign you up for a mailing list and it’s really hard to get out of.
✌️ Becca & Dan