Lisbon, Portugal (ft. Sintra)

A city filled with culture, tasty seafood, and some of the friendliest locals in Europe, Lisbon is a treasure of the Iberian peninsula. As the capital and the largest city in Portugal, Lisbon has something for everyone to enjoy! Three days wasn’t enough, but with cheap seats on TAP Air Portugal and being only a two hour trip from Italy…I’m sure I’ll be back. Read below for all my favorites from Lisbon!

Attractions

Pink Street

Touristy for a reason…Pink Street is the perfect location to document all your Instagrammable moments in sunny Lisboa. The magenta asphalt is lined with cute bars and restaurants, but beware: everything here comes at a higher price. Better to take all your pics and venture over a few streets for your Pastéis de Nata and vinho.

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Castelo de Sao Jorge

Forever searching for a viewpoint, there is no better picture of Lisbon than from Castelo de Sao Jorge. A €10 ticket gets you access to the 11th century Moorish castle along with the museum and a truly stunning view. Located in the Alfama district, the castle is surrounded by adorable shops and outdoor restaurants, a great place to grab a bite to eat after some exploring.

If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of a peacock raising its feathers! The castle is filled with the exotic birds.

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Try Pastéis de Nata

Pastéis de Nata, an egg tart dusted with cinnamon, is the local pastry of Lisbon. Available on every corner, I couldn’t get enough during my stay in Portugal! Luckily you can’t find Pastéis de Nata in Florence, or else I might be in trouble.

Day-trip to Sintra

If you have more than a day or two in Lisbon, be sure to make time for a stop in Sintra. Only an hour train ride away, Sintra is filled with enough palaces and castles to keep you occupied for days! Train tickets are only €5 round-trip from the Rossio railway station, and well worth it. The 19th century National Palace of Pena is a masterpiece of King Ferdinand II and my personal favorite attraction in Sintra. Tickets only €12.50. Tip: It’s located at the top of the mountain, so take a Tuk Tuk to the top!

The Moorish Castle, another must-see in Sintra, carries even more history since it’s construction in the 9th century. Tickets only €7!

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The National Palace of Pena

Hungry? Check out Casa Piriquita, a local pastry and sandwich shop in the center of town that sells delicious Travesseiro. A puff pastry filled with almond cream, travesseiro is the Pastéis de Nata of Sintra!

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Ride the 28 Tram

Although Uber is unbelievably cheap in Portugal, you can’t leave the city without riding in one of Lisbon’s iconic yellow trams. Plan to avoid rush hour, the tram cars are cute but they’re not spacious.

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Eat lots of seafood

Being right on the coast, Lisbon is home to some of the best seafood in Europe. Get your fill of deliciously fresh, and affordable, seafood dishes while you’re on the coast. (More restaurant suggestions below).

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Love me some paella

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte Viewpoint

Told you I spend my vacations chasing viewpoints…Located in the center and highest point of the Alfama district, this is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the afternoon with a Sagres and some people-watching.

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Gulbenkian Museum

Showcasing the prized collection of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a British businessman with a fondness for art during WWII, the Gulbenkian Museum is considered the best art museum in Lisbon. His collection of Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Islamic and Oriental pieces is beautifully displayed and worth the €5 a student priced ticket will set you back (€10 full-price). A great way to spend a few hours indoors recovering from the Portuguese sun!

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Buy cork

Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world and Lisbon is a great place to buy it. You can buy everything from cork bags to cork postcards, the Portuguese can make anything out of cork. Teresa Martins, a Portuguese designer, even designed a cork dress for Lady Gaga to wear when she performed in Lisbon in 2014!

Restaurants

Restaurante Sto. André

The perfect lunch spot in the heart of the Alfama district, Restaurante Sto. André was the site of the best mussels and grilled octopus I’ve had by far! With an spacious outdoor patio and fair prices, it’s the perfect local restaurant to hit during your time in Alfama.

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HUGE mussels
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Shellfish rice, grilled octopus, ham & cheese omelet, Sagres beer

Comidas de Santiago

Another hidden gem in the Alfama district, Comidas de Santiago has a friendly family atmosphere packed into a tiny space. The perfect place to throw back a few Sagres and try some traditional Portuguese cuisine.

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Fish soup, cod à bras (traditional Portuguese dish, flaked cod mixed with eggs, fried potato and corriander), spaghetti bolognese, roast lamb with potatoes. Couvert: bread, olives, butter/patê, cod cakes.

Madame Petisca

Views + Food = Rooftop restaurant! My two favorite things packed into one perfect evening. A classy tapas bar with friendly staff and a stunning view of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and Christ the King, Madame Petisca is the ideal location for a Saturday night dinner on the town. Had a lovely time trying loads of local dishes washed down with Portuguese wine!

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Shrimp soup, pork loin and potato skins
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Super bock (beer), Serras de Azeitão (wine). Sausage and cheese, popcorn chicken, tuna tataki with wild rice

A Obra

An tiny tapas bar in Bairro Alto, A Obra is an intimate setting with a cozy, friendly atmosphere. They put an interesting, yet delicious, twist on traditional Portuguese dishes and are more than happy to offer a recommendation or two to confused American tourists!

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Alvarinho Trajadura (green wine). From top: Breaded oxtail croquettes with “Serra da Estrela” cheese and red onion jam, chévre cheese spring rolls with green apple purée and half-pickled cucumber, prawn & lemongrass risotto, mackerel sashimi.

Manteigaria

For Pastéis de Nata, there’s nowhere better to go than Manteigaria. With three locations around Lisbon, there’s a reason there’s always a line out the door. Flaky, buttery crust filled with sweet custard, what could be wrong with that?

Consider this post unfinished, I plan to return to Lisbon and continue exploring and eating my way around the city. If you plan on visiting Portugal soon, I suggest giving yourself more time than three days. There’s simply too much to see! Enjoy Lisboa travelers ❤

xoxo.

 

 

 

 

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