Travel Guides

A Guide To Lisbon

I haven’t written a travel guide before, but recently a few people have asked me for advice on visiting Lisbon. In the process of helping them, I realized I was formulating quite a useful guide. Lisbon is an incredible city with an abundance of character and charm, so I’m not surprised people are interested in traveling here. Maybe you aren’t planning a trip to this beautiful city right now, but maybe one day you will or you know someone who is. Anyway, I hope you find this guide helpful!


Where To Stay

[Map of the areas at the bottom of this post]

Alfama — Traditional and quaint. Many hilly, windy and narrow streets.

Baixa Chiado — Most centrally located to tourist things.

Bairro Alto — Late night party scene. Only recommend if you don’t mind noise.

Cais do Sodre, Santos, Avenida, Restauradores, Marquês Pombal,  Rato

Honestly if you are anywhere near these districts you are within walking distance to things. Lisbon is relatively small and compact. Each area has its own unique charm. Can’t go wrong really. If you’re needing a more affordable option, don’t be discouraged to look outside these areas.

From Airport (LIS)

Taxi – €20ish (25 minutes + taxi line)
Metro –€1.50ish (30 minutes + 5 min walk) — Metro map

  • Airport metro located right outside the exit by My Bistro
  • Purchase “Viva” card from kiosk (would suggest putting €15 on card for future uses) (this card can be used for metro, bus, tram, and Santa Justa lift)
Things to do/see

[Click links for more information]

Baixa Chiado area

  • Santa Justa Lift — A 19th century elevator with a sweet view from the top.
    • If you want to wait in the long line for a ride to the top, that is up to you. You can use your Viva card to enter. If you don’t want to wait, you can find a similar view after visiting the Carmo Convent by walking around the building toward the backside.
  • Carmo Convent Ruins — 4 minute walk from Baixa-Chiado metro.
  • Shopping (Zara, H&M, Brandy Melville, Nike etc) and tourist shopping

Terreiro do Paco/Alfama area

West area

  • LX factory – Beneath the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge is a hip mecca of cafés, bars, art spaces, vintage shops, tattoo studios, yoga studios and music venues.
  • Walk/scooter/bike/run along the river toward the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. There is a designated path and amazing views of the river.
  • Panoramic of Monsanto – Explore an abandoned restaurant on one of the highest hills with pano views of the entire city.
  • Sailing with Nigel – Take a boat cruise for 2 hours up and down river with Nigel. (Recommended to me by a friend)

Day trips

  • Belem
    • Known for the Belem Tower, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and Pastel de Belem
    • 10 min trip west by Cascais train
    • Located next to Cais do Sodre metro €4.50 round trip
    • You may use the the Viva card to pay for this train
  • Sintra
    • Known for the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle
    • 40 min train ride by Lisboa-Rossio train to Sintra
    • Located near Restauradores metro €4.50 round trip
  • Cascais
    • Known for the beaches and Boca de Inferno
    • 40 min west by Cascais train
    • Located next to Cais do Sodre metro €4.50 round trip
    • You may use the the Viva card to pay for this train
  • Ericeira
    • Known for the beaches and surfing
    • An hour away by Mafrense bus
    • located outside Campo Grande metro €13 round trip
Authentic Portuguese things you can do
  • Walk around, get lost, and just enjoy the beautiful views and buildings. Lisbon is small enough to walk aimlessly and hop on a subway to return home.
  • Eat a Pastel De Nata.
  • Have an espresso shot at the bar-top at any traditional Portuguese café. Only €.60!
  • Drink Port wine and take a Ginja shot.
  • Take a ride on one of the trams. (use Viva card to pay)
  • Go to a dinner and Fado show.
  • Walk around at the Feira Da Ladra flea market in Alfama. (Only open Tues and Sat)
  • Eat these local dishes at a traditional café: bacalhau (cod), octopus, croquettes, chicken piri pirir, cozido a portuguesa, can of sardines, arroz de pato, chocolate salame (dessert)
Food, Drinks, Coffee

(Below you will find mostly international cuisines because this is what I personally prefer. If you want to try a Portuguese dish, you should sit at any traditional cafe and order one of the dishes I mentioned previously.)


  • Zenith
  • Chérie Paloma
  • Fauna & Flora
  • Café Janis
  • Comoba

Lunch & dinner

  • Tapa Bucho — My favorite tapas in all of Lisbon (not the gastrobar)
  • Pistola y Corazon — BEST tacos, margs, and cocktails
  • Crispy Mafya — Fried chicken
  • Okah — Rooftop Asian cuisine with river view
  • Timeout Market — A giant food hall. 24 restaurants and 8 bars. Fight the crowd for a seat at the table.
  • Koppu Ramen or Miss Jappa
  • Ground Burger or B Temple — Burgers
  • LX Factory — A hip/art/food district with a variety of restaurants, cafes and shops
  • A Cevicheria — Seafood and ceviche. A massive sponge octopus hangs from the ceiling.


  • Crafty Corner — Craft beer and food
  • Rio Maravilha — Rooftop bar in LX Factory
  • Park Bar — Rooftop bar on top of a parking garage
  • By The Wine — Wines, tapas, and food
  • Delirium — 25 taps of Belgium beer and food
  • Montana — Coffee with river view
  • Red Frog speakeasy bar — Pricier, but the vibes and cocktails are legit speak easy style
  • Copenhagen — Coffee and pastries
  • Head to the Bairro Alto area for dive bars and cheap beer

Are you on a strict healthy diet? Don’t worryview this article

Map of Areas

Dark blue: Bairro Alto
Green: Baixa-Chiado
Yellow: Rato
Pink: Alfama
Red: Cais do Sodre
Light blue: Avenida, Restauradores, Rossio
Highlight: Metro

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