Here we are! Again! This time with one of the most beautiful cities we have ever visited- Lisboa! A city you will fall in love with. No exaggeration there. We hear it all the time about Lisbon. Its magical, gorgeous, soaks you in no time but you obviously only experience this once you are there. Then you feel it was all true and that why did you wait so long to come here! A city bustling with mythical aura, neighborhoods filled with azulejo clad buildings, staggering views from the numerous miradouros and the trendy night life; there is so much character to Lisbon, just doesn’t let you down, in fact it surprises you more and more. The deeper you dig, the more interesting it gets and yet the more you feel at home. That is the charm of Lisbon.
We reached Lisbon on a sunny afternoon and were greeted by our perfect hosts at The Lisboans. Marta and Isaac proudly showed us around, and Marina loaded us with her recommendations for Lisbon. What fascinated us the most was their story which begins when they found a gem in an old and abandoned factory building in the heart of Lisbon. We immediately felt at home and our apartment was the cosiest ever. Their fresh breakfast idea is so thoughtful; can you imagine, fresh bread and juice every morning at your doorstep? We simply loved our stay here; the icing on the cake is their location! We can absolutely recommend it if you’re in Lisbon.
After settling down a bit in our new home ;) and after Marta told us about the panoramic view that you get from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, we headed straight out towards it. The viewpoint is the summit of Graça, which is a residential neighborhood located in one of the city’s steepest hills. The vibe at this terrace is trendy and hip. Friends chatting with a pint of beer, band playing live music, all catching up the breathtaking sunset view of Lisbon. The castle, the river, 25 de Abril bridge and the whole city of Lisbon are all framed in one picture. We stayed here for much longer and soaked in the great atmosphere! Also, be sure to visit Sé, the Lisbon cathedral while on the way to Graça.
We started the following day by taking a ride to Belém. Belém is a bit far from the main city centre of Lisbon, but taxi isn’t too expensive in Lisbon! You can even opt for taking the public transport. Belém has a lot to offer. The ornamental Jerónimos Monastery, crossing the street to Padrão dos Descobrimentos, and walking along the coast to Torre de Belém. Last but not the least, grab a Pastel de nata, a Portuguese custard tart at the very famous bakery Pasteis de Belém.
After the delicious tart, we were pepped up to walk along the Belém coast towards MAAT Museum. Unfortunately we couldn’t visit the newly opened museum as it was closed down for renovation works! If you’re in this area we can also recommend going to the Museu Nacional dos Coches, museum of coaches.
25 de Abril bridge
The glorious 25 de Abril bridge is the highlight of Lisbon skyline. A look alike of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, the red bridge is a perfect backdrop for nice pictures!
While our time in Lisbon we visited the LX Factory, a group of abandoned factory and industrial buildings which is now used as a arts, design and advertising cultural centre. The buildings are now adorned with street art and graffiti. Like us, you would be in luck if you visit this place on a Sunday, when there is an open-air flea market and the place is bustling with exhibitions, live music, hand made products by Portuguese designers and other activities. We also visited a bookstore which is housed in an old printing shop. Make sure you go upstairs, go around the golf printing machines, and grab a cake in the cafe where the staff is just so wonderful!
Bairro Alto is a colorful neighborhood with a network of steep cobbled stone alleys. Hugely popular for its vibrant nightlife, this is the best place to find some trendy bars and local restaurants and Fado houses!
Praça do Comércio
Next to Bairro Alto is the shopping district of Lisbon, Baixa. The streets are packed with chic boutiques, shops and cafes. Walk along on Rua Augusta, past the triumphal arch, and head all the way up to the riverfront while you pass through the majestic square Praça do Comércio.
The best part about Lisbon is that there is no particular monument or landmark that you are after. There are several districts that just require you to walk through them, more like get lost in them. Apart from Bairro Alto and Baixa, Alfama is one of them too and I would say the most rewarding one. We winded down the stairs next to Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Being the oldest district has its own perks I guess. Alfama is like a tiny village within Lisbon. Narrow streets lined by crumbling houses with wrought iron balconies and drying laundry! Get lost in the tapering lanes of Alfama and stroll along for a walk back in time!
Trams in Lisbon
Trams in Lisbon still retain their vintage character from the good old days. The famous tram 28 is a must hop on for quickly catching up all the sightseeing spots in the city. Although be very careful, as it is also famous for pickpocketing! It is no uncommon to see people clicking pictures with the graffiti ridden trams.
We had the time of our lives in Lisbon, it has been two months since our trip to Lisbon and we have been reminiscing ever since. Lisbon is just the best package- gorgeous city with roots deep engraved in history, delicious food, great wine and the best music. Everything send your spirits soaring higher! I am so glad we made this trip and I hope this post helps in your visit to Lisbon! Happy traveling!
Did I miss your Lisbon favourite? Lisbon has a lot to offer, please share it in the comments section below. We would love to hear about it :)