*1 Quick travel notes
It was a typical Sunday afternoon at the end of the summer, when I took my first flight to Lisbon as a very beginning of one-year-amazing and magic-experience in Portugal. This is how it started my Lisbon tour.
The sun always up, the warm atmosphere around you, walking around in the streets accompanied by the music and the songs of buskers ending up suddenly in one of the many Miradouros, where you can see the River Tagus and feel the Atlantic Ocean: when you can feel the freedom.
This is how I can shortly sum up Lisbon to you.
*2 How to get there
Based on my personal experience (I tried to choose the best itineraries)
Airport: Aeroporto de Portela Lisboa (Portela Lisbon Airport)
Distance from the city center: 7 km
To the city center:
By Undeground (Linha Vermelha – Red Line)
- Terminal station: S.Sebastião (Underground Terminal, Red line)
- Travel time: 20 minutes
- Frequency time: each 15/20 minutes
- Price: 1,40 Euro (the the 1st time you will pay an extra amount of 0,50 Euro for getting your transport card)
*3 City tour
When you are in Lisbon you have too many options to choose from that it is even hard to decide where to start. Here there are a few must-to-see corners that I do believe need at least a short visit. Besides them, you will discover plenty of other ones, sightseeing points and lovely corners all around the city.
Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square)
Wonderful square close to the river Tejo and to the magnificent Arch of Rua Augusta; this square has been the main gateway to the city for centuries. Walk up and there you can take plenty of pictures from several corners while breathing the fresh air coming from the Ocean. You can just sit next to the river and enjoy the view, feeling the freedom and the atmosphere. No words can explain it.
These are the magic sites from where you can take a breath-taking view of the city. Saying that they are all amazing, I am writing down my favorite ones.
- Miradouro de Santa Catarina (also known as Miradouro de Adamastor): next to Bairro Alto district, in here you can admire the view of the river Tagus, the famous Christ Rei and Bridge April 25th/XXV April, while enjoying music, wind, drinks, relax. Everything you need in just one place;
- Miradouro das Portas do Sol: located in Alfama district, you can also get there by using the famous “tram 28” and get off at Portas do Sol stop. A sunny big terrace is going to welcome you;
- Miradouro de Santa Luzia: just below São Jorge Castle, you can see, beside the Lisbon skyline, Alfama’s roofs as well as the beautiful azulejos (typical decorated tiles). It looks like a painting;
- Miradouro de São Pedro: near Bairro Alto, this miradouro gives you the unique chance to have a sight of Lisbon downtown, the main street Avenida da Libertade, São Jorge Castle and the river. Amazing during the day and romantic at night time.
Parque Eduardo VII (Eduardo VII Park)
Personally I love this huge public park, just up Avenida da Libertade (the main street of Lisbon), which is ideal for running and get lost into the nature, take some moments for yourself and a complete relax; especially in summer time there are plenty of events and fairs organized in there.
Torre de Belém (Belem Tower)
What about a very nice walk along the river? If you want to take the train from the city center it is still fine, in any case Belém Tower is waiting for you! UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is just enchanting to observe for hours, even days. Moreover on the same way you will find another wonderful monument (UNESCO Site too), called Padrão dos Descobrimentos. Super cool.
If you are going to spend more days in Lisbon and you want to organize some short trips along its magical coast, then you can take a look at 5 best beaches around Lisbon.
*4 Food planet
After all this walking, I guess it could be nice to take a sit or grab something to eat. What kind of food? Let us see some suggestions:
Arroz de Marisco
(Seafood rice made with crustaceans, mollusk, vegetables and parsley)
This dish is very tasty, it is usually served in a big portion, so I was even not able to eat it all! Great choice.
Bacalhau à bras
(Salted codfish, with fried chips and scrambled eggs, topped with olives and parsley)
They say Portuguese cuisine have a bacalhau recipe for each day, and during your trip you will realize it immediately. Each of them is worth to try and one of my advice is to order this one, which I loved so much that I even started to cook it on my own.
Polvo à lagareiro
(Octopus seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic)
If you are in Lisbon and you love trying new dishes, then you cannot avoid to try out this one. The octopus is cooked in such a perfect way that it is very hard to not fall in love with. Usually it is served with grilled potatoes, sprinkled with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. I mean, still wondering if you will like it?
Pastéis de Belém
(Portuguese pastry made with puff pastry and eggs)
A description? Be aware of trying one of them: it is like a cherry because, when you start, you just cannot stop eating them! I spent one year in Lisbon and I used to consume this egg tart pastry every week, every day. As a part of breakfast, in the coffee break or after dinner. Extremely delicious.
Perfect for an aperitive while enjoying the sight of some Miradouros, as well as lunch and dinner time. It has been such a super tasty discovery during my Portuguese experience.
Moscatel de Setúbal
(Muscat of Setubal wine)
This is another one of my favorite wines. Moscatel de Setúbal is an aromatic grape variety that you can enjoy besides your sweet dessert.
Time to move on to ginginha, which is typical from Lisbon. It is a sweet cherry liqueur and in the city it will be very easy for you to find out many “ginginha shops”, where you can just grab your shot, drink it and continue your Lisbon tour with lots of energy.
Anytime, for breakfast and after lunch, just get lost into the tasty Portuguese coffee, you will not regret it: I used to drink espresso with milk (the small one, which is named cafè pingado)
Aproveite! Enjoy your meal!
Example of Menu
1 appetizer/starter (or dessert), 1 main course, 1 drink (beer/wine)
Around 8 / 10€ (euro)
*5 Portuguese keywords
And what about learning some Portuguese words before your trip?
Of course, here you go!
- Hello – Olá
- Yes / No – Sim / Não
- Thank you – Obrigado (man), Obrigada (woman)
- You are welcome – De nada
- Excuse me – Desculpe
- Good morning – Bom dia
- Good afternoon – Boa tarde
- Good evening – Boa noite
*6 Portugal basic information
- Name: Portugal (Portugal)
- Continent: Europe
- Location: Western Europe, Iberian Peninsula, UTC +0 (WET)
- Country code: +351
- Currency: Euro
- Capital city: Lisbon
- Main airports: Lisbon, Porto