What I did:
Sintra is a beautiful area just outside the city that is easily reached by train from the center of Lisbon. It is a beautiful place that is well worth the trip. While there I visited the Pena Palace and Park. The Palace is very unique and has a wide variety of colors. As beautiful as the Palace is, my favorite part was park. It is a great place to wander through.
Lisbon has some very cool street art. One of the interesting pieces I came across is known as Fado Vadio. It was done by a variety of artists and features a tribute to the famous fado singer Maria Severa.
Commerce Square is a picturesque square located on the waterfront. As the former main entry point to the city, it is full of history.
Built on an island small island in the Tagus River, the four story Belem Tower is a beautiful structure. Although I only was able to see the tower from the outside and didn’t have a chance to go into the tower, I would like to next time.
April 25th Bridge-
The April 25th Bridge connects the city of Lisbon to the Almada area, where the massive Christ the King statue is located. The suspension bridge resembles San Fransico’s Golden Gate Bridge. It is named after the Carnation Revolution that took place in Lisbon on April 25, 1974.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, walking tours can be a great way to see a city. I went on a hostel walking tour, as well as a Sandemans walking tour. Both tours provided some history and context as well as recommendations for things to do and eat in Lisbon.
Livraria Bertrand (Chiado)-
The Livraria Bertrand chain of bookstores is the oldest in Portugal, and their Chiado location is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest bookshop in the world. Opened in 1732, it has been visited by many literary figures throughout its history.
Saint George Castle-
The Saint George Castle sits on a hill that has been a militarily strategic spot throughout Lisbon’s long history. It has changed owners throughout its history, and was severely damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It is an interesting place to walk through, and it offers some good views of Lisbon.
The LX Factory is a hip section of town with some cool art, cafes, and bookstores.
Where I ate and Drank:
A Tasca do Chico-
A Tasca do Chico is a great place to see and hear Fado music. Fado is absolutely worth listening to while in Lisbon. It is distinctively Portuguese, and sings melancholy songs of love, loss, and hope.
Red Frog Speakeasy-
The Red Frog Speakeasy is an excellent bar. The door is only marked by a red frog on the wall (and sometimes a line on bust nights). Once inside, there are high quality cocktails to try, and there is even another hidden room behind the bookshelves.
Cervejaria Ramiro serves excellent seafood. I would also recommend finishing the meal with a “prego,” which is a steak sandwich with mustard. If you go prepare to wait for a table, but the meal I had at Cervejaria Ramiro was the tastiest one I had while in Lisbon.
Time Out Market-
The Time Out Market is a great place to try a variety of Portuguese cuisine. A plethora of popular, highly restaurants each have their own spot, and you can take your pick.
Montana Lisboa is a great waterfront coffee shop. A short walk along the water from Commerce Square, they serve excellent high quality coffee and food.
A Ginjinha and Ginjinha do Carmo-
A Ginjinha and Ginjinha do Carmo are both located by the beautiful Praça do Rossio. They serve Ginjinha, a cherry liquor that is inexpensive, tasty, and incredibly popular in Lisbon. Ginjinha do Carmo even serves it in chocolate cups.
Fabrica Coffee Roasters-
Fabrica Coffee Roasters is another great cafe and coffee place. They also have a nice beer selection.
Pensao Amor means “love guesthouse,” which alludes to its infamous past. They offer multiple rooms with lounge areas and dance floors. The drinks are good and relatively inexpensive.
Pasteis de Belem-
Pasteis de Belem is where I had the original Portuguese pastry by the same name. It was delicious and absolutely worth trying. The rumor is, only 4 people know the actual recipe, and they are not allowed to travel together in case something were to happen to them.
Eurico is a nice restaurant that serves good, local food. The seafood I had there was very good.
Wish Slow Coffee House-
Wish Slow Coffee House is located in the LX Factory. They serve craft coffee as well as tasty Dutch pancakes.
O Trevo is a small cafe in Praça Luis de Camoes. Their “bifana” sandwich is inexpensive and delicious. It’s a pork sandwich with mustard, and worth a try while in Lisbon.
I had a great breakfast at The Mill. They serve craft coffee and a variety of healthy breakfast options.
Where I stayed:
Home Lisbon Hostel-
Home Lisbon Hostel is an excellent hostel. They have won multiple “Hoscars,” and it is easy to see why. The beds are comfortable and come with privacy curtains and individual outlets, lights, and well sized lockers. The “keys” are electronic wristbands that are scanned to enter the hostel and dorm rooms. They also offer the famous “Mama’s dinner,” a multi course, authentically home cooked Portuguese meal with unlimited drinks for only €10.
My favorite thing:
Lisbon is one of my favorite European cities. It has so much to offer, but I especially like the weather, the seafood, and the overall laid back vibe of the city.
My least favorite thing:
There is not much to dislike about Lisbon. However, I have heard the job opportunities there are not great.
For next time:
Lisbon has so much to offer, and I haven’t had nearly enough time there to do it all. I would like to surf, go in to the Belem Tower, visit the Jeronimos Monestary, check out more interesting bars and restaurants, visit the longest bridge in Europe, and cross the April 25 bridge to visit the Almada region and the Christ the King statue.
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