One the biggest attractions in Lisbon is the district of Belém, situated west of the city center. We were staying in Alfama, and although we like to walk every where, Belém is more than hour away. So we took an Uber! There is not so much to do in Belém – it’s more things to see, so you only need to plan in a half day.
Marisqueira Cervejaria Ramiro was one of our must-visit restaurants in Lisbon! We first heard about on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when he was in Lisbon to taste an array of local seafood ending with a prego, or steak sandwich, for “dessert”. It was so delicious we went back again – normally we never repeat restaurants on vacation! But we just had to have those scarlet shrimp again!!
View of the city of Azenhas do Mar – taken by our Tuk Tuk driver 🙂
Portugal is famous for its seafood and Sintra is no exception. So to conclude our day trip, after researching and asking friends, we decided on Azenhas do Mar. To our surprise this is the name of both the restaurant and the city! So when we asked our Tuk Tuk driver to take us here he looked at us very weirdly and said it’s two towns away. But luckily he lives closeby and we negotiated a price and off we went! He happily let us know that after dropping us off he could just go home and not work the evening shift.
After exploring Quinta da Regaleira, I was really craving a cup of coffee and sweets. Before heading to the Pena Palace, we decided to head back in town and try to find a cafe that wasn’t too crowded. We thought heading up hill was the best bet and spotted a cute yellow cafe with a huge line at the to-go counter but almost no one in the dining area. Perfect!
If you have enough time while in Lisbon, the most popular day trip is to the resort town of Sintra at the foot of the Sintra Mountains – only 25 minutes by train. The city is beautiful and filled with many historical palaces and castles (and also a ton of tourists!). Just google Sintra and you’ll see all of the picturesque sites and understand why it’s such a popular destination!
Downtown Lisbon consists of the neighborhoods Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Baixa. We were staying in Alfama, in east Lisbon, and walked downtown to explore these neighborhoods over a few days. On my list of things to see and do included: Praça do Comércio, the Rua Augusta Arch, Ascensor da Gloria and da Bica (didn’t do either – so crowded with tourists!), Jardim de Sao Pedro de Alcantara Miradouro, Café A Brasileira, Livraria Bertrand, and the Elevador de Santa Justa.
I don’t think anyone goes to Lisbon without visiting the Time Out Market. To quote their site:
Have you ever heard of curated burgers? Curated nigiri? Curated pizzas, sandwiches or even curated cod? Probably not. After all, Time Out Market is the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tasted and tested (with four or five stars, and not one star less) by an independent panel of city experts: Time Out’s own journalists and critics. More than 40 spaces with the leading representatives in all the food categories that help make Lisbon what it is – and tastes – all together under one roof. Find out everything you need to taste – and what Time Out had to say about it.
I read that in Porto you have Port wine and in Lisbon you have ginja, so of course we needed to try this sweet cherry liquor! Like most of the people waiting in line for a shot at A Ginjinha, we first heard about it by watching Anthony Bourdain in Lisbon. Located on Rossio Square, you can try ginja for only a couple of euros – with or without cherries (we preferred with). It was delicious enough for us to drink 4 each, but when it came to bring back a bottle we passed. And be careful – the sweetness makes it easy to go down and then hits when you once you start walking to your next destination 🙂
Sometimes things just work out. While planning for our trip to Portugal, it can get overwhelming try to decide on where to stay in each city. For Lisbon I had debated between Alfama – the eastern part of the city – or a central neighborhood like Chiado or Baixa. Luckily in the end I chose Alfama! What a romantic, beautiful neighborhood!