Lisbon is one of those poorly-known European cities that has it all. Great boutiques and street-style for the fashion lovers, beautiful weather and beaches for the Vitamin D seekers, superb architecture for the city-roamers, great cuisine for the foodies and a fantastic history and culture because, let’s face, that’s why we all love Europe.
I’ll be honest, I initially was planning on going to Greece but eventually thought that why not give Portugal a try? I’m still high-fiving myself over that decision.
Food is great and CHEAP. You can most certainly get a meal for 10€ tops in any good restaurant in the city (stay clear from touristy areas that overcharge, but that’s a given anywhere). One of my faves was restaurant Esplanada do Principe Real in Barrio Rato. You can eat for 8€ and leave feeling seriously full. Tables are nestled under superb magnolia trees, always a nice breeze there.
Be prepared though, service is not the best so don’t be in a hurry: enjoy the moment!
Don’t miss out on local delicacies! The cheese and cured hams are delicious and can be found in any bar / bistro / restaurant in the city. White wines are also a must and local beer is refreshing and really affordable (we’re talking 2 euros for a pint).
Of course, one can’t stay in Lisbon and not try out the country’s über famous pasteis de nata! Creamy deliciousness! And don’t forget it’s counterpart, Pao de Lo! Also available in most bakeries, it isn’t at all as heavy as it looks! It’s soft and light and chocolaty! (I got both my pasteis and pao at Pasteleria Lido!)
Lisbon’s most famous neighbourhood will take you a while to get to: Belem is the historical heart of the city and it takes over half and hour to get there via tramway. Famous for it’s architecture, it is home to the famous Torre de Belem (6 euros), Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (free – where you can find explorer Vasco de Gama’s tomb) and most importantly, my favorite museum in the city: Museo Berardo!
Museo Berardo is a modern and contemporary art museum put together by José Berardo, an art lover who made a point of making it accessible to everyone. And he did. The museum is free and hosts pieces by some of the greatests such as Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, César and many, many more.
You need to walk across this city to fully enjoy it. But it’s a hike! Much like San Francisco (with whom it shares twin bridges), Lisbon is built on a hill. It’s up. And down. And up again.
There are funiculars for those who’d rather not blow up their calves on these crazy slants, but they are touristy and therefore pricy-er than you’d expect for a means of transportation.
But walking accross the city will give you a look at what I found to be it’s greatest attraction: architecture. Gothic, contemporary, Art-Deco, roman… it’s all there and you can’t miss it. See for yourself:
Lisbon is a good party city. You eat late (never before 8 PM at the earliest) and then enjoy the nightlife. It’s also one of those cities that has a LOT of rooftops terraces and the VIP Eden in particular has a great view.
I was lucky enough to attend the city’s Lisboa Pride and it was a fantastic evening on Praça do Comercio, just by the beach. I’m guessing this square hosts a lot of events, it’s so nice when it’s warm outdoors!
Accommodation is pretty affordable (for Europe). As in Italy, you will find pensiones, hostels, hotels and of course Airbnb is also a good plan. I actually got a good deal on Altis Prime, an appartment hotel in Barrio Rato. It’s not the cheapest but gives you access to the nearby spa and a great rooftop complete with a jacuzzi and bossa nova music, perfect for an urban getaway (also your legs will hurt so bad after all those hills, you’ll want that spa)
What to wear on your trip to Lisbon
Locals are CHIC. So your plan is to rock something comfortable and sophisticated.
I went for light dresses at all time (mostly black or coral, but although the monochromatic trend seemed strong there, I also noticed some very vibrant colors such as greens and blues).
A pair of strappy flats will work miracles (don’t forget: cobble stones and hills) and never leave without a hat.
Men will go mostly for cuffed brightly-colored jeans or linen pants. Button-up shirts were everywhere and I consider them to be a summer staple anywhere in Southern-Europe (white with a more ample, relaxed cut, don’t forget to roll up those sleeves just over your wrists).
As far as accessories go, lots of beach-inspired arm-swag and funky shades!
A couple of pics of some good street styles and a peak at my Lisbon-style!
Up next: fun day-trips outside of Lisbon!
For all the update on the latest trips and adventures on Instagram: @alenalucy | #MazrouDécouvre