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Lisbon – the capital of Portugal – enjoy pastel de nata 🍰, Fado🎼 and castles 🏰

An all-encompassing city! Lisbon has beautiful places to visit and a lot of things to do. Looking for a European city with good weather and a relax vibe to it? Undoubtedly Lisbon, or Lisboa in Portugese. Without doubt, from shopping and history to eating delicious pastry’s and ice-cream, visit Lisbon - the capital of Portugal. Due to the location, the weather is much better than in Lisbon’s more northern European siblings. Lisbon has the most beautiful places to visit and things to do. To rephrase it: experience different areas of the city, get impressed by the traditional fado music, enjoy fishy dishes and – although not in Lisbon but close – I recommend a daytrip to Sintra: castle paradise in Portugal!

Travel to Lisbon

Evidently, Lisbon is located at land in the south west of Europe, in Portugal. You can travel to Lisbon by bus, night bus, by car, or plain and Lisbon has a lot of beautiful places to visit. Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal offers a lot of attractions and multiple places for sightseeing.

Fly to Lisbon airport Portugal

For the most part, flying will be the answer on how to go to Lisbon. It’s often cheap for short distances within Europe and won’t take much time. The airport of Lisbon is located very closely to the city, hop on the metro and you’re in the city centre. Airlines that fly to Lisbon are e.g. Tap Air Portugal, Ryanair, Vueling, Transavia and EasyJet.

Get to Lisbon by train

Considered the train? After all, when you try to minimize your footprint on the world taking the train to Lisbon is a great alternative. Traveling by train in Europe is comfortable and well-organised. For the best details about taking the train please take a look at the website of Seat 61. Credits for this website go to Mark Smith who by all means helped a lot of train travellers with his detailed website.

Get to Lisbon by bus

Bus is the often-cheaper alternative, but can be time consuming. Prices and times differ of course depending on where you come from. For instance, look at the website of Flixbus and Eurolines. Also, the website Rome2Rio is a good one to check what travel options you have between cities.

Things to do in Lisbon: Places to visit in Lisbon

Lisbon, the city in Portugal that is built on 7 hills has a lot for you to offer! Lisbon has great places to visit and a lot of things to do. You really will have a rich city trip experience. I will tell you more about the places to visit in Lisbon and things to do.

Attend a Fado night

Fado is the melancholic Portugese music, where the longing or feeling of a loss is sung. Fado is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, so a must see/feel when in Portugal. A man or woman is the passionate singer accompanied by two people playing the guitars, that is, one Portuguese guitar and one classical guitar.

Where to see the Fado

There are a lot of – touristic / expensive – Fado houses. You can find them by Googling. I won’t say they are bad, but too expensive for our budget (they often have minimum table charges).

We managed to find one that wasn’t too touristy or expensive and we had such a great night! The name of the place to visit in Lisbon is: Estaca Zero. You can find them on Google Maps, they don’t have a website but I recommend calling to make a reservation. We spent 45€ for 2 persons for dinner including dessert and drinks. The lady who works there is só kind, and the ambiance is stunning.

A guided tour: see the best places to visit in Lisbon with an experienced guide

Above all, I would recommend doing a tour with a guide, to experience Lisbon in all it’s glory ánd know what history there is. During the tour they will show you the best places to visit in Lisbon. I would recommend picking a tour where different neighbourhoods are included, so you really learn what Lisbon is made from. I can recommend pay-what-you-wish Lisbon walking tour from Tours of my life. It’s a free tour but at the end you pay the guide what you thought it was worth. A pastel de nata (pastry) is included in this tour 😊<3

Thé highlights of Lisbon

When you do a tour these will probably be included or referred to. Make sure you check all these places to visit in Lisbon!

Stunning old elevator
But make sure that you take a look at the old elevator in Lisbon that is called the Elevador de Santa Justa. Taking the elevator, you will be charged, but you can walk (just follow the road) to the top of the elevator and take good view photos from there 😊

Monastery of Jerónimos
UNESCO obviously doesn’t protect for no reason; the most beautiful sights are included. One of them is the Monastery of Jerónimos. It’s a beautiful big monastery, a landmark not to be missed. It is close to the Tagus river.

Torre de Belém
This big beautiful tower at the Tagus river was built in the 16th century, just imagine what this tower has ‘seen’ during all these years. The architectural style is interesting as it has Moorish, Gothic and Romanesque influences to it.

Take a daytrip to Sintra
When you visit Lisbon, make sure to include one day for a trip to Sintra, what undoubtedly is castle paradise. Just take the train from Lisbon. I’ve written an article about Sintra to make the most of your one day, make sure to check it out.

St George’s Castle
Yes, this is thé castle in Lisbon that you can see from all throughout the city. It’s located in the old Alfama district, so some climbing is included 😉 If you are into beautiful castles, sure check this one out.

Experience various neighbourhoods of Lisbon

Baixa and Rossio make up the city centre and you will probably unintendedly end up in this downtown area.

Bairro Alto is the restaurant, café and nightlife area of the city. In the morning you won’t experience much here, but at the evening the bohemian vibe will come alive.

Alfama is the oldest part of Lisbon, it reminded me of the medina’s in Arabic countries, with its narrow medieval labyrinths. Definitely go here to experience a great vibe. Also, the most Fado houses are located here.

Walk along the riverside - Praça do Comércio & Mercado da Ribeira

Undoubtedly you will end up strolling the Tagus riverside. To begin with, look at the beautiful building and statue at Praça do Comércio. You will also see a tiny beach at the Tagus with some sand art. Strolling further to the west you encounter the Cais do Sodré train station where you can also take the boat to the other side of the Tagus. It’s fun to check out the Mercado da Ribeira, a big market hall where you can also eat.

Where and what to eat in Lisbon

Lisbon has a lot to offer in terms of good food, and drinks of course. Don't skip the pastel de nata / pastei de nata and other delicious pastries. Also make sure to taste some wines, ginjin and surely eat sea food.

Pastel de Nata – thé Portugese pastry

Even if you only visit Lisbon for a quick trip – please, promise me – you need to try the Pastel de Nata. Pastel de Nata is a sweet little custard cake and it is só good! Under those circumstances, make sure to set a personal pastel maximum a day, ha-ha, because they are really delicious. Best place to buy them is just outside the tourist area at some little bakery. These bakeries are called Pastelarias.

Dishes with fish

I learned in Portugal that Portugal is the 3th country in the world with regard to fish consuming! To illustrate, only in Japan and Iceland they eat more fish. The love for fish is reflected in the menu of every restaurant. Bacalhau, codfish, is one of the countries favourite dishes. Therefore, make sure to try this.

Wine and Ginjin

As Portugal produces a lot of wine, you of course need to do some wine tasting. A place I can recommend for this is ViniPortugal, rather located closely to the Praça do Comércio.

Ginjin isn’t really something to go looking for, as you will find it at every street corner 😉 Make sure to taste is. Sip it! Don’t shot. It’s like a sweet strong red wine.

How to travel in Lisbon

We did almost everything by foot and metro, the most places to visit in Lisbon are closely located to each other. There are also busses and trams that you can use. Also, it’s great to take pictures of the historical trams 😊 Number 28 is thé city tram, it’s fun to see when the driver needs to change the tracks of the tram, as this is done manually!

Use the metro in Lisbon

In either case, taking the metro inside Lisbon to visit various places is easy and straightforward. Everything is well taken care of. You can plan your route online on Google Maps or otherwise with a map of the metro network (which is at every metro station). To buy a ticket just head to one of the metro stations, use the machine, and pay by card or cash, it’s easy as that.

Get from Lisbon to Sintra

I really recommend to go to Sintra – castle paradise! – for one day. To get from Lisbon to Sintra take the train. In about 40 minutes the train takes you to Sintra. Use Google Maps (online) to plan your quickest train route to Sintra. Most tourist take the train from the beautiful Rossio train station, but we actually took the train from a smaller train station called Roma-Areeiro. The train to Sintra that comes through Roma-Areeiro starts at the other big train station called Oriental. Just look at Google Maps what Sintra-serving train station is easiest reachable from your hotel. To buy the ticket just use the – again: very straightforward – ticket machine at the train station. On the ‘quick screen’ Sintra is indicated. It can get very busy especially in weekends at the Rossio train station, so be on time if you need to buy your ticket (there can be long queues).

The traffic in Lisbon

The traffic in the centre of Lisbon consists of mostly pedestrians, trams, busses and cars. There are traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. In general, the cars stop for the red sign, but it’s always good to look twice 😊 Some areas in the city centre are pedestrian zones with the usual street vendors and street artists. All in all, the traffic can be compared to other bigger European cities.
Sintra! Check out my other post about Sintra 🏰💓 Great daytrip: 40 minutes by train from Lisbon

Sintra! Check out my other post about Sintra 🏰💓 Great daytrip: 40 minutes by train from Lisbon

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