Portugal: Exploring Lisbon

We're nearly there, you nearly have all the information you need to explore Lisbon if you're planning a trip. From exploring Alfama and Belem, to which museums you should visit and why you should take a sunset cruise, this is the last, everything else post. Get ready to book your holiday!


Getting there and getting around:
Lisbon Airport is super close to the city with regular daily flights - we flew there with easyJet and back with TAP Air Portugal for roughly £60 each way, with checked-in luggage - and used Uber to travel around the city. The Metro costs €1.50 per trip, or €6.40 for a day ticket but, as there were four of us, Uber worked out cheaper. Going to the airport from Alfama cost €6.50, with local trips around Lisbon costing between €2.50-7.50.

What else you can see and do:
Lisbon is scattered with miradouros - viewing points - and if you head to Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, as well as an excellent view, you can go up graffiti street on Calcada da Gloria to get there and check out some fantastic street art.


      
There's a funicular on graffiti street if you don't want to walk up - you'll also find another funicular in Lisbon called Bica which takes you up to the Bairro Alto and Bica neighbourhoods, if you want to save your legs! Or pop by and snap a quick picture, which is what we did. Along with Lisbon's colourful yellow trams, these are an infamous part of Lisbon's DNA. 

Make sure you visit the rather vast Rossio Square to check out its monuments, fountains and museums - and if you're there, you're right by Lisbon's main shopping street, Rua da Prata. Off Rua da Prata you'll find the Elevador de Santa Justa which certainly stands out with its wrought-iron neo-gothic appearance.


If you take it (you have to pay), you'll emerge at the back of the Carmo Convent - the Carmo Archaeological Museum is one of my recommended museums to visit - but if you've been in Lisbon a day or two at this point, you'll probably have noticed that you're much quicker at navigating up and down Lisbon's hills and steps so might not mind walking up. Maybe!

      
Finally, visit Pink Street on Rua Nova do Carvalho which, once upon a time, used to be part of Lisbon's red light district. As you might have guessed from the pinkness, it's a lot more family-friendly nowadays but still a good place to go to for a night out. I love all the contrasting bright colours here.

Where to eat: 
The other posts also have a few places where you should eat, but these places also deserve your consideration. First up, if you're at Pink Street, you're really close to Time Out Market, the first ever one. We ate there twice - once for lunch, once for dinner - and had super yummy dishes. Stand-out dishes for me were the hipster prego from O Prego da Peixaria, bifana de leitao crocante P'King from Henrique Sa Pessoa and croquettes from Croqueteria. 

      

Recommended by Rick Stein, A Valenciana is more of a locals' restaurant but it's the place to go to get yummy piri-piri chicken in Lisbon. Ridiculously cheap there, too. We went to Maria Catita for some excellent seafood, which included their seafood cataplana with lobster. And whilst they're not as scrumptious as the ones in Belem at Pasteis de Belem, Fabrica da Nata is still a very good shout to enjoy some pastel de nata in Lisbon. 


      
Finally, we had our best meal at A Nossa Casa in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood of Lisbon. You will need a reservation - and you will need to phone them or pop in to make it - but it's well worth it. A Nossa Casa serves up Portuguese Brazilian sharing plates, and the flavours are beautiful. Shout-outs especially for the octopus, prawns, bacalhau a Nossa Casa (their take on the traditional Portuguese sauteed onion and codfish dish) and pork cheek tacos dishes - but it was all yum! 

      

Anything else?
One last thing, if you're planning a trip to Lisbon and have decided to add Sintra on as a day trip as it's in Greater Lisbon and only takes 40 minutes on a train to get there, don't! My round-up post about Sintra explains exactly why you need to spend a few nights there. You won't regret it! x

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