TRAVEL GUIDE: 10 Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal
Get your walking shoes on girls and boys, ‘cause you’re gonna need them. May I also suggest you start working out and getting your hamstrings warmed up prior to visiting? The elevation and hills in Lisbon are no joke, and you’ll be huffing and puffing your way up hills for the duration of your stay. With steep hills, comes beautiful views though don’t forget!
10 THINGS TO DO IN LISBON! And, a few things to skip!
1) Praca do Comercio is the main attraction, so it would be crazy to not include it in the list. Not to mention the fact that we visited this spot in particular multiple times. If you’re into droning, this is an amazing place to visit as well. Blake searched the drone laws and you’ll be good to go. Just follow the common courtesy of droning and keep it away from people.
Be sure to stop at some of the pop up restaurants surrounding the square, and grab yourself a nice glass of sangria before heading out and exploring the other parts of the city. Also, take the boardwalk West a bit and check out a few of the pop up restaurant and drink stops along the water. People can be found selling their jewelry and art, or playing some pretty amazing music.
2) The LX Factory is probably on the top of our list. Continue West from the Praca do Comercio and you’ll eventually end up at the LX Factory. This stop has everything all in one: shopping, food, drinks, and a pretty amazing book store. Many of the restaurants don’t open until 12:00 so keep that in mind. There’s plenty of cafes to grab coffee or a pastry at while you wait. Be sure to check out all the shops, and if you have nice weather, grab a drink at the rooftop bar for one of the best views of the city!
*** Tourist Tip: Get to the Livraria Ler Devager book store right when it opens if you want to take pictures. People begin flooding in around 11:30, a half hour after opening, and it can make it harder to get the photos you want!
3) Before we go any further, we need to talk about the Public Transportation. By now, you’re probably already going to be exhausted of walking. I’m not kidding. The elevation will get to you quickly, as will walking on cobblestone roads for 10 days in a row. Don’t be afraid of the transportation options! They are efficient and easy to use! We regularly road the bus and metro, and we still put an average of 20K steps in a day.
*** Tourist Tip: Purchase the unlimited day pass for $6 (euro) and you’ll be able to jump on and off the bus/metro as often as you’d like. Bonus, this pass gets you on any and all of their transportation options including: bus, electric tram, trolley, metro, and the ferry!
4/5) We need to stop and talk about food. I don’t know how I made it this far already without mentioning it. Carve out some time to visit the Banana Cafe near the Cultural Center. It’s high up on a hill, but the view is amazing. You’ll see a Banana Cafe hut too off the main shopping strip, but if you’re looking for a gorgeous view of the city with your morning coffee, this is worth the walk. Also, you MUST check out at least one vegan restaurant. I promise you that the AO 26 is worth making a reservation for.
** * Tourist Tip: If you’re looking for a stereotypical coffee order a “cafe americano” or “Um abantando.” They’ll understand both. This basically a watered down version of espresso that resembles a black coffee. Everywhere we went, they also provided us with at least 1-2 packs of sugar.
6) The Praca da Figueira/Time Out Markets were stops we made multiple times as well. The Time Out Market is an indoor market with multiple options for food and an entire fruit/vegetable farmers market next door. With food from all over the world, you’ll be sure to find something fun to try! The Praca da Figueria was one of my absolute favorites. Was it because of the sangria? Maybe. Grab yourself a drink, walk around this outdoor market and shop a little. Then grab ANOTHER drink for the metro on your way home.
*** Tourist Tip: Open intox laws don’t seem to be as strict as in the US. People can be seen openly drinking around the city. Many people grab a quick beer from the Mercado and head towards their destination. We walked past multiple police officers and they never blinked an eye at us.
7) Speaking of Mini Mercados, you absolutely need to stop into some of these. They have fresh fruit, chips, beer, etc. Take a walk through and try some snacks you can’t normally find here in the US. We picked up some chili flavored Doritos, and all I can say is … Amazon please God have these available. Make sure you have cash, a lot of these places don’t take cards!
*** Tourist Tip: Exchange your money at the airport and/or train station. Also, don’t be afraid to use the ATM’s. We only had to pay a $3 fee, which is typical even at ATM’s back home.
8) Shopping Off Av. da Liberdade - This is a main street that leads from the Parque Eduardo VIII (we will chat about this soon!) all the way down to the water where the markets and tourist attractions are. The reason this is on my list is solely for those looking to shop. I must recommend that you check out some of these shoe stores. They are very popular in Spain and Portugal and they have some ADORABLE shoes for really great prices. For this reason I implore you to hold off from packing heels and just pick up a pair when you are there instead.
9) Go visit those monuments! We visited quite a few of the monuments for photo purposes, but never paid to actually go in. We did go into one while in Spain, but none in Portugal. If you like museums, consider checking out ticket prices, but the best part of these monuments are the buildings themselves, which are best viewed from outside! The majority of these are to the West of downtown, so I would recommend taking the bus system or train to them!
10) Parque Eduardo VII/Miradouro Parque Eduardo VIII - This park is the very top of the city and has the absolute best view! You can see the whole city and the view is stunning both during the day and at night! It’s a hike to the top, so consider taking the metro some of the way! Also, there’s a fancy restaurant at the top that looks super cool! Definitely worth the view alone!
** * Tourist Tip: Grab a cold one, and enjoy it at the top!