Are you fully prepared for your trip to Lisbon? Read our top 15 tips to make sure you are ready to make the most of your time!
Tip 1: Embrace the local culture
The first and most important tip is to live, eat and breathe Portuguese; make the Portuguese culture a part of your own! Give yourself time to enjoy, relax and relax some more. Drink a glass of wine on a sunny terrace and take the time to totally embrace the chilled-out culture.
Tip 2: Explore the old neighbourhoods
Lisbon consists of multiple areas, so there is so much to discover in this beautiful city, full of the most incredible hidden gems! Climb up the hilly narrow streeps in the medieval districts of alfama and Mouraria to get a feel for the authentic Lisbon atmosphere!
The best way to discover the city is by joining a free walking tour – you won’t miss anything out this way!
Tip 3: Eat Portuguese food
The Portuguese cuisine has something for everyone so dive in! The Portuguese are predominantly known for fish and seafood dishes. Naturally, you should taste the local favourite – the Bacalhau! You will see Bacalhau (codfish) in many different forms and all over the city – they say there are 365 recipes of bacalhau, one for each day of the year!
Tip 4: Experience the bairro alto nightlife
If you are walking through Bairro alto, where the nightlife of Lisbon starts after 10 pm, you will notice the huge amount of bars and cafés! Quite a few things will surprise you in this vibrant district, from the low prices to the dancing and drinking in the streets!
Tip 5: Jump on the iconic tram
In spite of its impracticality, you should take the iconic yellow tram at least once for the authentic Lisbon experience! Plus, it will mean less hill climbing which is always a bonus!
Fun fact: these traditional trams were introduced in the 19th century, imported from America and locally known as the “Americanos”.
Tip 6: No high heels
As mentioned before, Lisbon has huge hills in the city centre. It is good for your legs, however not so much for your heels. But this is actually a great thing, right? You can get away with wearing comfortable shoes day and night!
Tip 7: Visit museums
During your stay in Lisbon, be sure to visit some museums to get to know the history of the city, art, architecture and everything else you want to learn about! Search for a museum of your taste, because Lisbon has a huge variety to choose from – there’s something for everyone!
Don’t know which museums to visit? Read our blog post to help you decide!
Tip 8: Mix history & culture on walking tours
If you are not a museum person, there are so many different ways you can get to know the city and its history! One of the best ways to learn about a new city is by joining a free walking tour! You will get all the facts, be shown the best views and even meet more like-minded travellers!
Tip 9: Taste the sweet treats!
If you stand in front of a bakery, you will be surprised by the amount of delicious looking treats! The Portuguese love everything sweet so, as you’re living, eating and breathing Portuguese, why not taste all the ones that you fancy?! Of course, the first and most important one to try is the Pastel de Nata!
Tip 10: Visit a rooftop bar
With all the amazing hilltop views and gorgeous weather in Lisbon, could anything sound better than relaxing with a nice refreshing drink?! Head to the closest skybar to wherever you have reached on your adventures, order yourself a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy the view over the terracotta rooftops all the way down to the Tagus river!
Tip 11: Chill out in the parks
If you want to chill, don’t waste your time in your room. Instead, get your blanket, some food and drinks and go to one of the beautiful parks in the city! Relax, enjoy the fresh air and escape the crowds in a beautiful green area! Some even have amazing views over the city!
Tip 12: Go into the churches
A lot of churches in Lisbon are very modest with plain, inconspicuous facades, hiding the most incredible interiors! Some churches hide unbelievable art and gold away from people passing by whereas some conceal a rather dark history. In the locally known ‘cursed church’, you can see clear traces from the disasters that took place here!
Tip 13: Wine tasting
The best-known Portuguese wine in the international market has got to be Port wine. However, if that is the only Portuguese wine you have tried so far, you are in for a treat! There are so many wines from all over the country, including Vinho Verde which translates to Green Wine! This wine is not actually green, it is made from very young grapes and does not store well so it must be consumed within a short time. It is a fresher-tasting semi-sparkling wine.
If you are interested in trying food and wine from different regions of Portugal, why not join a history & flavours tour? Join us on a restaurant crawl type adventure and taste culinary specialities from three different restaurants and, of course, their wine!
Tip 14: Don’t just stay in Lisbon
Lisbon is so well connected to its surrounding areas, it would be a shame to miss out on these gems during your trip!
Sintra, recognised as UNESCO world heritage site, is just a 40-minute train ride away and has the most incredible palaces on top of mountains! It is a perfect place for adventurers out there keen to escape the city and wanting to see more of the nature the country has to offer!
As it is such a huge place, you may be interested in joining a tour to Sintra which picks you up directly in the centre of Lisbon?
Tip 15: Visit the coastline
Also, if you are planning to visit the beach in Portugal, Algarve is not the only option. There are a lot of nice beaches near Lisbon. Sintra has some of the most dramatic rocky coastlines and hidden beaches, not to mention the westernmost point in Europe!
Unlike most capitals, in Lisbon you really can mix city sightseeing, adventuring and chilling on the beach!