We spent 5 days in Lisbon and it was so easy to fall in love with all its pretty streets. It truly is a “must see” kinda place, and hopefully, the photos in this post can help inspire your trip some more. This guide will help you create your perfect Lisbon itinerary. This lovely little city in Portugal is built on 7 hills, but I’d say it is much easier to walk those hills than the vertical town of Positano.
Lisbon’s architecture is colorful and full of character, the tiles on the facades are so unique, and the food is worth the trip alone. Favorite part about it? It’s one of the more affordable places to visit in Europe. Cheap and gorgeous? Yes, please!
Getting Around Lisbon
Uber’s are highly recommended to make commuting easier on your feet. Their uber prices are the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere. It cost us €7 to get from the airport into Lisbon’s old town, and most rides within the city were around €2-€4. The city can be walkable though if you set out to explore by foot.
If you’re a visitor from a city like San Francisco, then the hills will be no problem! A lot of the places I’m recommending below aren’t far apart from each other and can easily be walked to. Trams are also readily available, except for Tram 28, but I’ll talk more about that famous tram later.
Best Place to Stay in Lisbon
Your Airbnb stays will be cheaper in comparison to places like London or Boston (have you seen Boston prices? OMG how do they live!) Make sure you go with an Airbnb because hotels seem to be much more expensive. Save $40 on your first stay by clicking here and using this code.
Our Airbnb’s were in great locations but they were so noisy I wouldn’t stay there again. However, I will link them if you don’t mind the noise and want a great location.
Alfama | Click HERE for the link to the Alfama Airbnb. The superhost at this Airbnb had local wine and tarts waiting for us on our late arrival, he recommended great places to eat, and the apartment was spotless. If you’re looking to stay in a more historical area with amazing views of the whole city then Alfama is for you. But just note, it’s also the hillier (much hillier) part of town.
Cais do Sodré | The hillier part didn’t fly with this Chicago flatland girl. So we moved on over to Cais do Sodré. Click HERE for the link to this more central Airbnb. This new place is a few blocks from the Time Out Market and Bairro Alto area.
I really loved our new location because I was within walking distance to so many places on our list, and the area was pretty flat in comparison to Alfama. Haha, I realize I sound so lazy!
If you want to stay closer to the best-reviewed restaurants, cafes, and bars then consider either the neighborhoods of Cais do Sodré, Baixa, Chiado, or Bairro Alto.
Hey, handsome <3
Foodie’s Guide to Lisbon
Coffee & Breakfast
The Mill– FAVE. We went twice. I had the best B(E)LT sandwich I’ve ever had in ma’ life here! Food was full of flavor.
Dear Breakfast– Another delicious option for breakfast with excellent coffee.
Nicolau– A bit cheaper than other breakfast places and a little closer to some touristy spots, but the food was good and the restaurant was adorable.
Fábrica Coffee Roasters– Awesome coffee and a good place for a cheap meal. This was our first stop when we arrived in Lisbon and we got some sandwiches and lattes.
Hello, Kristof– On the hunt for another cheaper breakfast, we came here for more lattes and some croissants. Really good stuff.
Pastelaria Alfama Doce– A little local bakery in the Alfama area. Recommended to us by our Airbnb host.
Dinner & Drinks
Cruzes Credo– FAVE again! Another place we visited twice. I had the most delicious shrimp rice. If you go definitely get the pitcher of sangria, it’s good and they really jazz it up. Prices are great too.
Pistola y Corazon– This place was so fun to visit. We never ever get tacos in Europe but I saw the raving reviews and we wanted a break from seafood so we gave this place a try. The wait was long (lots of locals), but the tacos were pretty good and they have tons of creative margaritas to choose from. The inside decor was funny, very “vato loco/cholo” feel.
Time Out Market– Definitely need to visit Time Out Market while in Lisbon, they have an overwhelming amount of good food stops to choose from. It’s a good spot if it’s a rainy day, which seems to happen a lot in Lisbon.
Manteigaria– This was our favorite stop for pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tart). We visited almost every day.
Pastéis de Belém– This shop is famous in Lisbon and visited by many every single day. It’s located about 15 minutes outside of Lisbon, so I recommend an uber. The tarts were good, but honestly, Manteigaria’s were so much better.
A Ginjinha– It’s a cherry-like liquor served to you in shots and is a typical drink in Lisbon. I wasn’t a fan, but for some reason Jorge liked them.
Landeau– An incredibly rich and delicious chocolate cake. That’s their main dish! They have multiple locations, but we visited during our time at the LX Factory.
Veggie Wave Juice– You can find this unique juice shop at the LX Factory. It’s a good stop if you’ve been eating way too much and need to give your body a break. Every juice is made fresh and they don’t use electricity so you need to peddle a bike to get the blender going!
7 Cool Things to Do in Lisbon
1. Walk the streets of Alfama, Bairro Alto, and the neighborhoods in between for all the best photo spots. You won’t be disappointed with all the opportunities in those areas!
2. Check out a traditional live Fado show. You cannot leave Portugal without seeing a performance at least once. They offer this at some restaurants but you do need to reserve ahead. You can also get tickets for a show ahead of time online, click here to book.
3. Make a stop at all the viewpoints in the Alfama area. Great for pictures or dropping by a rooftop bar for a drink.
4. Visit the LX Factory for some shopping and food. Ler Devagar bookstore is located at LX Factory, you may have seen it all over Instagram.
5. If you can get a spot on the oh so popular Tram 28 go for it. It’s the only line that allows you to see a lot of the city with just one ticket. It’s like a cheap tour of Lisbon on a traditional tram, but you’ll most likely have to wait hours to actually get on it.
If you want to adventure further and explore Lisbon’s neighborhoods at your own pace, check out this tour that lets you go on 5 different hop-on-hop-off busses including the trams. It also takes you to Belem where you can stop for the famous tarts (more on that below), and it includes a ticket to the Santa Justa Lift. Click here for these tickets.
6. If you can’t fit on the Tram 28 (which we never did plus we didn’t want to wait) and want another unique experience check out the tuk-tuk tours, I’ve heard great things about them. I actually found amazing prices on GetYourGuide and am seriously kicking myself for not doing further research and booking this when we were heading to Lisbon. Click here to book a tuk–tuk.
7. Explore Belem and try their famous tarts, even if it’s just once because Manteigaria is better. But you need to compare for yourself! Report back. If you choose to do the hop-on-hop-off tour then wandering around Belem will be a lot easier. These next few photos were taken in the Belem area.
Day Trips From Lisbon
One of the most popular day trips from Lisbon is to Sintra (castles). We took a train in from Lisbon and only had time for Pena Palace. Click here to buy your ticket ahead of time and skip the line at Pena. For me, I thought it was a gorgeous place to visit, but I was really annoyed by the crowds.
If I could do it all over again I would’ve gone to the medieval town of Obidos instead. Another option if you’re a beach lover is Cascais. Portugal has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, so if that’s your thing, it’s definitely worth a trip over.
If you don’t have much time to explore Lisbon and are looking to cover as much ground as possible then a tour would be a great idea. Check out these cool options for your day trips or shop around for something that fits your travel style!
Visit Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais plus they pick you up from your hotel: Click here for pricing.
Tour the Portuguese countryside including Obidos (gorgeous town) and Fatima: Click here to book.
Hope I helped make your Lisbon trip a little simpler. I’m excited for all you’re about to experience in this beautiful city!
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