For most people it might seem adventurous and exciting that I’ve been to over 60 countries. And I myself have to pinch my arm sometimes. Have I really seen so much of this world? And what is more to come? Will there ever be more fascinating places than the ones I have already seen? And that is when the downside, my very personal downside, of traveling begins. It’s like getting overloaded with toys as a little child. The first few dolls and trucks and puzzles were exciting but then the excitement slowly fades. Then you find yourself thinking that country x or city y is actually quite boring. And you wonder if this is because your mind and soul are overwhelmed with impressions and experiences from previous trips. Or is that certain city or country just not as fun as you expected it to be.
I tell you, it’s a nagging thought. It’s an unpleasant thought because you don’t want to end up with a life that seeks for the next more challenging, more thrilling, more adventurous, more exciting trip. You also want to appreciate quiet moments and soothing journeys. You want to wander a city, walk aimlessly through its hilly streets, enjoy a refreshing drink on cobbled squares, stop at the bakery to inhale the smell and a freshly baked pastry shortly after. And you want to think “Oh, this city is simply beautiful”. Then you realise that all your worries were for nothing. Because just when you thought you had seen it all and will never be impressed again, then there is Lisbon. Portugal’s quite capital. Not in terms of noise. But in comparison to other European capitals like London, Paris or Berlin, Lisbon is not the most popular travel destination. Wrongfully.
Its buzzing night life with plenty of amazing roof top bars to choose from, its incredible food scene (think sweet pastries, fresh fish and delicious wine) and its historical centre that equals a picturesque labyrinth are nothing to hide from. Lisbon is worth a visit a thousand times (such a German expression but so true).
I put together a quick guide to Lisbon. It’s by no means complete or comprehensive but I included all my favorite spots. Okay, I listed every single place we went to because every single place was good. Whether food or shopping or accommodation, I loved them all. And I wish I would have brought more days with me to explore a little more.
What are your favorite places in Lisbon? Let me know in the comments!
Quick Guide Lisbon
Mini Bar – Probably some of the best food we ever had, Mini Bar offers an experiential dining experience. I recommend the tasting menu and its cocktails.
By The Wine – High quality tapas, delicious Portuguese wine and a cozy but trendy atmosphere.
Sea Me – Seafood, seafood and more seafood. Fresh, extremly delicious but this place is always busy, so make sure to reserve a table.
Time Out Market – A food hall with Lisbon’s best restaurants under one roof, a real foodie adventure.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon – Give yourself a treat and indulge on endless choices of desserts, an array of high quality sushi, freshly grilled octopus, an extensive cheese board and much more
Tasca Kome – Perfect for lunch, this Japanese tavern is authentic but doesn’t overwhelm with too many choices. It serves fine sushi, daily specials and a few vegetarian options.
O Prego da Peixaria – Hungry for a Portuguese version of a burger? At O Prego da Peixaria they are served with different kinds of bread and made with steak, cod, tuna or mushroom (there is one veggie option).
Pastel de Nata
Pastéis de Belém – If you ask Lisboan to name their favorite pastel de nata place, you’ll probably hear Pastéis de Belém. And its not just popular with locals but tourist alike. A real pastel del nata institution and worth a visit.
Fábrica da Nata – Delicious pastries, fresh orange juice and an all blue interior makes this a very photogenic pasteleria.
Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata – In my opinion the best pastel de nata in Lisbon
Lapa 82 – Cozy, friendly, welcoming boutique hotel located in a quite neighborhood of Lisbon but only 20 min walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. The rooms and big and bright and the breakfast with fresh croissants and homemade pancakes absolutely delicious.
Casa Balthazar – Quite and beautifully decorated boutique hotel with a grassy backyard, a pool and some of the best pastries for breakfast.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon – If you are looking to splurge or have some extra pocket money, the Four Seasons offers a lavish but stylish atmosphere.
Views (& Drinks)
Portas Do Sol – Spectacular views over Alfama.
Arco da Rua Augusta – Fantastic river views and panoramic view of the city.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – Lookout point with a wonderful garden and food market (in summer).
Park Rooftop Bar – Cocktails on an old parking lot with an amaying view over the city.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte – Highest view point in Lisbon.
Noobai Café at Miradouro de Santa Catarina – Wine and clear views of the city and its ’25 de Abril’ Bridge.
LX factory – Bustling new design and art district with hip restaurants, trendy cafes and stylish shops.
A Vida Portuguesa – If you go to one souvenir shop only, go to A Vida Portuguesa, a treasure trove of beautiful gifts.
Pop Up shops at Praca do Principe Real – Mansions made into pop-up shopping experiences. You can find everything from clothing to ceramics and leather goods.
Alfama – Picturesque labyrinth that gets crowded in the afternoon with tourist groups so come early in the morning.
Bairro Alto – Lisbon’s liveliest nightlife district with cool bars lining cobbled streets.
Chiado – Upmarket neighborhood containing countless tourist attractions and trendy shopping as well as amazing food hotspots.
Caiscais – A charming fishing port with a beautiful beach and an amazing cliffed coast. 30-45 min drive from Lisbon.
Sintra – Think ferry-tale castles, lush green mountains and a mystic scenery. 45-60 min drive from Lisbon.
Azenhas do Mar – Just a stone’s throw away from Sintra, this small town offers one of Europe’s most amazing beaches with a natural saltwater swimming pool. 60 min drive from Lisbon.
Vineyards – Portugal is a country of wine. Even though most of the wine regions are located in the north, there are some pretty good ones just 1-1.5 hours away from Lisbon. Evora and Azeito are among well-liked regions.
Also, watch my first YouTube video about our stay in Lisbon and give it a LIKE if you…well, like it 🙂