Olá! It’s been a while but here are my highlights from my trip to Lisbon a few weeks ago. I loved this city and it reminded me of Rome: a little crumbly, bags of character and steeped in history.
First thing’s first. Where to stay? We stayed in Baxia House , a fantastic apartment in the Baxia area of the city (meaning down town) and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The staff were really helpful, friendly and on-hand for any questions we had. They also provided us with a map of the city which came in super handy, especially for all the little side streets. Our apartment was bright and spacious with big French windows and a lovely mix of well chosen vintage pieces.
The kitchen was really well equipped with a coffee machine, washer/dryer, fridge and cooker. Coffee, cereal, milk and other goods were all included in the cost but that wasn’t all…every day we were provided with homemade jams, juice, fresh bread, cheese, ham and a Portuguese cake which made breakfast a real treat.
SeaMe is a fantastic seafood restaurant; it was so good we went twice! We tried some amazing sushi and prawn tempura with almonds and then discovered that it was customary to round the meal off with a steak sandwich! I’m not a huge fan of steak but this was the best steak sandwich I have ever tasted. The place had a great atmosphere and was really buzzy with great wine and cocktails to accompany the food. The service was also excellent. The restaurant was super busy at all times, so I would advise booking. There is also a small outlet at the Mercado da Ribeira.
Pharmacia was a cool restaurant perched at the top of a hill with a lovely garden overlooking the Tagus River and city. The restaurant is filled with old pharmacy cabinets and drinks are served in medicine bottles and test tubes (why not?!). I tried the Ibuprofeno cocktail which reminded me of sherbet lemons (yum!). We opted for the tasting menu which was a great price at 28 euros and each course was served on pretty vintage plates. It was busy when we were there, so it’s a good idea to book.
Taberna Ideal (Rua da Esperanca 112-114, Lisbon 1200-658) was a great little find, located up a narrow street. I really liked the menu of local dishes. The place was packed when we were there but they managed to squeeze us in. There is also another place next door called Petiscaria Ideal which serves smaller plates and was equally busy.
Santini is a great place to check out if, like me, you are addicted to gelato! It opened in 1949 and is a cute place for a pit stop on a hot day. I loved the red and white striped theme and it was nice to see that it was busy with tourists and locals.
A trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without sampling some Portuguese custard tarts! We visited the famous Pastéis in Belém (a short tram ride away from the city centre) and were not disappointed. I can see why the place had a huge queue – I don’t even like custard and I loved them! Belém is lovely for a walk along the River Tagus. You can also visit the impressive Jerónimos Monastery, Church of Santa Maria, Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Belém Tower. It can get quite busy with tourists, so it’s probably best to go early or later in the day.
For great views of the city, walk up to Castelo San Jorge and admire all that Lisbon has to offer! It was lovely to sit with a cold drink and watch the city below.
MUDE, Lisbon’s design and fashion Museum, has a brilliant and well curated exhibition of 20th century design. I really enjoyed my visit here and loved looking at clothes, furniture and products from some of my favourite eras.
The old trams in Lisbon are gorgeous, although they tend to get very busy so I enjoyed watching them from the pavement! We took a tuk tuk and it was a great way to see some parts of the city that we probably wouldn’t have known to go to. Our guide was really informative and spoke to us about the history of the city and local architecture. She also told us that Lisbon is the only European city to use tuk tuks – they are really handy for all of those hills and narrow streets!
On the shopping front, there are plenty of the usual high street shops you would expect to find in Europe (H&M, Zara etc) but here are a few quirky options and photos of some shop fronts I liked:
I fell in love with A Vida Portuguesa. It’s full of huge wooden cabinets full of amazing Portuguese products. I got lots of nice souvenirs for friends and family here…and for myself!
I also bought a large supply of sardine tins from Conserveira de Lisboa! I loved the old lady wrapping tins with military precision in the corner. There are lots of other shops selling tins of fish with gorgeous packaging but this one was definitely my favourite.
To finish up, here are some photos of all those beautiful tiles I spotted in Lisbon. Actually, I have loads more so these are just the highlights!