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)
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.
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.)
Fauna & Flora
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