If you are planning a trip to Lisbon, you probably have an idea of what you want to see! However, there are some gems that you might have missed out in your itinerary preparation that you should definitely make time for!
Visit the most picturesque districts of Lisbon!
First of all, be sure to wander around the most picturesque parts of the city to get a real feel for what Lisbon is all about!
Alfama is one of the oldest and most picture-perfect districts in Lisbon and, interestingly, one of the only neighborhoods to survive the earthquake of 1755. This means that Lisbon has kept its authentic medieval Lisbon appearance. Wander through the tiny narrow streets, decorated in beautiful azejulos and enjoy the breath-taking views over the terracotta rooftops all the way to the Tagus river!
Mouraria was where the Moorish community were confined to, just outside the city walls! Nowadays, Mouraria is known as a multi-ethnic community full of rich history and culture. Also, this is where you should go to learn about the roots of Fado as it is where Fado and Maria Severa were born so you can even find her house there!
Bairro Alto and Chiado are districts that were entirely destroyed by the earthquake and had to be completely rebuilt. It is the bohemian heart of Lisbon full of culture and history about politics and literacy, but now is most known for its vibrant nightlife where you can have the best night ever that you likely won’t remember completely.
If you don’t have time to get lost and want a bit of guidance, join a free walking tour to save some time and get straight to the best parts! Book online here!
Spend a day in Sintra!
If you have enough time, even maybe half a day, go to Sintra! It is a mountainous area, home to Kings and Queens, scientists and secret organisations.
You can explore the quaint streets of the town centre of Sintra and taste the famous pastries from there! The Queijada de Sintra, a small cinnamon cheesecake pastry, and the Travesseiro de Sintra, literally translated to the pillow of Sintra, are the most famous one from the area and alone are worth the 40-minute train journey from Lisbon!
Go explore the castles on top of hills in Sintra to admire the views of the surrounding landscape and explore the extraordinary variety of palaces you can find there!
Photo by essuera, Pixabay
Sintra is also known for its beautiful coastline, perfect for surfing, chilling on a beach and spend romantic evenings admiring the cliff-side towns!
Also, did you know that the westernmost point of Europe is Cabo da Roca in Sintra? You can get a bus from Sintra to this beautiful point to see the dramatic scenery at the end of Europe! Why not go for sunset time and have a picnic to make it a cute romantic date?
Photo by pcdazero on Pixabay
If you wanted to spend a more typical Portuguese night, why not go to a Fado show?! You should head over to the neighbourhoods of Alfama and Mouraria to one of the many Fado houses where you can enjoy the music and have snacks and wine. During Fado shows, the singers and musicians play throughout the night with little breaks in between every few songs!
This can be very expensive so if you were looking for a low-cost version of the experience book online here!
You will be able to have the same experience with snacks and wine included and a guide to give you more insight into the meanings behind the songs performed and the history of Fado!
Go to Belem
Explore the district of Belem, where all the Portuguese discoveries were launched from! As well as being such a beautiful area of open parks, river views and colourful architecture, it is also home to the original Pastel de Belém! You can visit the monastery where it came from and you can even buy one from the original shop right next to it! Go try one for yourself to see if you prefer the Pastel de Belém in Belém or the Pastel de Nata in Lisbon.
Also, make sure you visit the landmarks in Belém. The Torre de Belém us so beautiful and has a really interesting past; it acted as a lighthouse during the Discoveries period – it was the last thing discoverers saw when they left on their ships and the first thing they saw when they came home!
Photo by Hannah Bugeau