Lisbon’s popularity seems to have sky rocketed in the last few years. With Instagram feeds stock piling stunning photos of its every nook and cranny, you might be wondering what exactly it is about this sunny capital city that has stolen the hearts of so many travellers. So, here are 10 Amazing things to do in Lisbon to ease your curiosity.
1.Check out the Views
Lisbon is extremelly hilly, making for difficult walking, but spectacular views of the clay rooftops of the old city and Tejo River. Find out about the top 5 views in the city here.
2.Explore the Alfama
Getting lost in the maze like streets of the oldest part of town can be an all day event. The shadows cast by the narrow alleys provide some much needed shade while you pop in and out of bars, shops and take as many photos of the tile and flower lined walls as possible.
This sour cherry liquor has been around for generations and no trip to Portugal is complete without a shot of this sweet drink. Whether taken in a chocolate cup or on its own, you can’t go wrong with a quick sample.
4.Eat All the Pastel de Nada
These delicious egg tarts are melt in your mouth delicious and a must have if visiting Lisbon. Each cafe or bakery has their own unique recipes, so don’t feel guilty about sampling a few ( or more!).
5.Listen to Fado
This soulful folk music is the beating heart of the city. Find a small, locally run restaurant and sip a glass of Portugese wine while listening to the heartbreaking crooning of a local singer accompanyied by a single acoustic guitar.
6.Walk the Boardwalk
The Tejo River gives a Mediterranean feel to the heart of the city. Start at the Praco de Comercio ( main square) and walk in the direction of Belem. The 25 de Abel bridge in the distance is the perfect backdrop as you walk past the cafes, restaurants and mobile bars (Yes, you can take your cocktails to go, this is not a drill!)
7.Visit Sao Jorge Castle
Not only does the castle offer my favourite views of the city, the castle ruins themselves are ripe with centuries of local history. The oldest artifacts date back to the 2nd century, BC!
8.Take a Tuktuk Ride
These small motorcycle like cars have taken ove Lisbon in recent years and although they can make for the perfect vehicle to explore the narrow alleys and side streets of the city, it is also important to recognize why they are so disliked by locals.
Be selective when choosing a company as many drivers swarm the city only in the summer months to take advantage of the high travel season, and then leave again after making some money. Try to choose a local driver when possible. This will put money back into the community and will also result in a better tour as they know the area much better! There are also a few newer companies with a focus on Eco-friendly recharable vehicles to narrow your carbon footprint when travelling.
9.Spend the Day in Belem
Only a short taxi drive from city centre, this river side district is the perfect place to spend the day. Look out from the Belem tower onto the same views that explorers saw centuries ago, sample the original pastel de nada recipe or explore one of dozen museums in the area. My surprising favourite was the Naval museum!
10.Shop Local Products
Cork, tiles and canned sardines are hugely popular souvenirs for tourists, but a growing number of local artists and creative entrepreneurs are expanding on traditional items. Pop into some boutique shops to see what treasures you can find.