I tend to go to places quick and brief sometimes and Lisbon was no exception. We only were in Lisbon for just over 24 hours (while on our 18 day honeymoon) and got a wonderful taste of Portugal’s capital – literally taste: their seafood is to die for.
Airport Transportation Tip: Taxis have a reputation for ripping people off at the airport (and all over Lisbon) and the actual airport transfers that you can book ahead of time are not always dependable (The one I booked didn’t show to bring us back to the airport, so annoying!). Use UBER to get yourself to your accommodation and back to the airport at the end, depending on where you are staying in Lisbon it’s about 10-15 euro while taxis are 30 euro (of course it’s UBER so it’s pricing depends on the demand).
We arrived late in the evening and although we were tired from 18 hours of travelling, I wanted to try and check out Bairro as Anthony Bourdain had recommended it years ago and if Anthony Bourdain loved it, then it had to be good. They don’t accept reservations (oh, you know I checked that in advance), so we just had to hope for the best as we arrived on a Sunday and the only day it’s closed every week is Monday so our arrival day was our only chance. Unfortunately there was a three hour wait at 9:00pm so we weren’t able to check it out, but went to a nearby restaurant that had delicious seafood too which included salmon, prawns, an entire lobster, clams and a few other goodies – every seafood lovers dream and was less than 30 Euro for two people. But seriously, if you are able to go to Bairro please go and let me know how it was!
Tip: People in Portugal don’t eat dinner until 8:00-9:00pm so if you want to beat the rush, try going a little bit earlier.
For our full day in Lisbon we participated in a hop on hop off bus tour facilitated by the Yellow Bus. Technically the ticket was for 48 hours so this is a good option for someone who is there for longer too. The Yellow Bus is actually operated by the city of Lisbon’s transportation authority so you also got to take advantage of their trams and lifts for free during the duration of the ticket. There was two bus tours to choose from as well as Tram 28 is a must do. The 48 hour ticket itself was only $20 Canadian so well worth it – They also had other options available for a higher fee which included even more routes, trams and even a boat.
Some places to check out while bussing around Lisbon:
- Belém – You can have the best Portuguese Tart in all of Lisbon here!
- Explore the streets and ally’s of Alfama. They are so amazing to explore but just make sure you have Google maps available to help you get un-lost if need be.
- The best look out spot in Lisbon (Miradouro da Senior do Monte).
Tip: The bus tour takes up most of the day as it’s the best way to see the city, but if you happen to be there for more than 24 hours I have been told that Sintra is a spot that you don’t want to miss – You need to be able to devote an entire day to it though so it wasn’t something we were able to indulge in this time around.
For dinner we hit up the Time Out Market which was recommended by so many people and for someone who loves food: it was amazing. There was 20+ spots to choose from – picture Granville Island (If you’re from Vancouver) but with way more options, ample seating and way better food – literally, every foodies dream. Every spot was completely different so it wasn’t like a mall cafeteria with a bunch of burger options and they were definitely on a gourmet level. This particular location is the OG of the Market Hall but it looked like there are a number of them opening up all over the world over the next few years including a few spots in North America.
Other Recommended Food Spots (Because ya’ll know I love my food):
Pasteis de Belem – This place is where you can have the best tart! But honestly, the Portuguese tart (Pastéis de Nata) was good everywhere we had it and even though we were only there for 24 hours I probably had it like 8 times. Seriously. So good.
Manteigaria – Another AMAZING spot for the delicious tart (Maybe I should have done a post all on the tart? ha)
Santini Gelato – I had a lot of Gelato on this trip (Sorry DQ!) and this one was probably one my favourites (my absolute fav was in Rome)!
Next time we visit the Mediterranean I hope to visit Porto as I hear it is wonderful (if you go to Lisbon, try and check out Porto and let me know how amazing it is).