Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Guide to Lisbon

During our time in Lisbon we learned and discovered a lot about the city and the best ways to see the sights. I have put together some helpful tips for you guys and divided them into different categories.


Part of Lisbon airport is new and they have a lot of great shops there and a Starbucks as well. So if you want to do a bit of shopping before you leave, you will definitely find something. When you arrive in Lisbon it is the easiest thing to take the AeroBus into the city centre. The bus has several stops and you can even find a list of hotels and their closest stop. The ride is not expensive at all. Make sure you take bus #91, because that’s the only one taking luggage. Don’t take a taxi into the city centre, it can cost you up to 40 euros. The drive is not that long and the taxi drivers just take advantage of you being here for the first time.


Taxis in general are not that expensive. The drive back to the airport is around 20 euros, but just take the bus. For short rides the taxis are definitely ok. Our guide recommended taking an Uber though. It’s cheaper and easier. Some taxis drivers offer you tours and tell you it’s better to take them when you go to Belem for example. Don’t do it! There are better ways to get from place to place.

Public transport

Lisbon has a metro system. We never used it, but it’s easy to get to the Benfica stadium for example. Other than that there are buses and trams. Tram #28 is the most popular, because it takes you across the city and stops at every great sightseeing place. It’s usually very crowed though. Tram #15 takes you straight to Belem which is fab. If you plan to use a lot of public transport on one day, buy a daily ticket for around 6 euros. There are also the tuk tuks, you can book whole tours with them. The electric ones are the best.


Tours in general are always a question in a new city. I actually like discovering a city first in a hop on hop off bus tour, but they are not good in Lisbon. It’s much better to book a tuk tuk tour, where your driver is also your guide or you explore the city yourself. It’s easily done by foot and tram and you can see a lot in two days.
There are lots of great places out of the city, like Sintra, Cabo da Roca etc. For this I’d recommend a guided tour as well. The guide picks you up and explains a lot during the drive and takes you to the places. The guides know a lot and they also know the best ways to avoid long waiting times. Another advantage is that you don’t have to hire a car and you don’t have to drive.


Our hotel was the NH Collection Liberdade, right on the Avenida Liberdade, one of the main streets of the centre. It’s not directly by the street, so it’s quiet and it has a great roof top with pool. There are lots of hotels located on this street, which is a great area. It’s a 10 min walk to Rossio, one of the main squares. Right by Rossio there are a lot of hotels as well. Their location is good for sure, but it’s in the middle of everything, which I wouldn’t recommend. The Bairro Alto is also a great area for hotels. I wouldn’t recommend Belem as a hotel area, it’s too far away from the city and Belem has a weird structure.


There are a lot of tourists traps in the centre, especially on Rua Augusta and around Rossio. A lot of waiters stand on the street and try to show you their menu, which is just annoying, don’t go there. It’s always good to have a look, which restaurant actually has guests. Also look at their plates. A lot of restaurants also use photographs on their menu, that’s usually a bad sign. In the busy area we found one great restaurant: Il Mulino, it’s Italian, but they also have a Portuguese one next to it. The food there was great and the staff was really nice. In Bairro Alto there are a lot of great little restaurants. We went to a fab one, they had Tapas style food and the restaurant chain is called Fullest. Funnily enough we went to another restaurant by Fullest on the same day. It’s called Bellalisa and it’s located right by Elavador Santa Justa, you have a great view up there and the food is delicious. The Time Out Market is also a great place for food. You have little stands and they all have different kinds of food and drinks, definitely worth going. The restaurant by Cais do Sodre and also Praca do Comercio are also a good choice. Another option is always a hotel restaurant, you may have to pay a bit more, but the food is definitely good.


A trip to Belem is a must when you like discovering the sights. Belem is part of Lisbon, but it’s about a 10 – 15-minute drive with the car. The best thing to get there is tram #15. It stops right by the Jeronimos Monastery, one of their main sights. The monastery is one of the prettiest things I have ever seen, a definite must see. You can buy a combined ticket for the tower of Belem as well, that saves time and you can go straight in. The sights in Belem are not too close together, so be prepared to do some walking. You can also buy the combined ticket at the tower and do that first. It’s good to be there early, the sights open at 10.00 am, be there before that time. Another great sight of Belem is the discovery monument. It’s so impressive and pretty, you have to see it. You can also find a hige world map on the floor, which is wonderful to look at.


Pasteis are a Portuguese egg tart pasty, a traditional yummy desert from the area. We tried the Pasteis de Belem and the Pasteis de Nata (S. Antonio). Everyone talks about the ones from belem, but to be honest I liked the other ones better. Just make sure you try them, when you are there!


These are the viewpoints of Lisbon and let me tell you one thing: Lisbon has lots of them! A lot of them are located right by the #28 tram line: Santa Catarina, Santa Luzia, Graca and Senhora do Monte. We went to all four of them and I liked them all. Senhora do Monte was my favourite though, because you can see the whole city, the 25th April bridge 8Golden  gate bridge) and the Cristo statue. At the castle Sao Jorge you’d also have a great view, but you need tickets to get into the park. Get them before hand or early in the morning! A bit of a disappointment was the Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara. You can’t see the water and they were doing some work there, which was a pity. Last but not least, there is the Elevador Santa Justa, an elevator in the middle of the city. You don’t have to take it though, because you can also walk up and enjoy the view as well.

Rio Tejo

That’s the river in Lisbon and it’s definitely worth going down to the water. You can do that at the Praca do Comercio and the Cais do Sodre. Do both, I loved both places. The tower of Belem and the discovery monument are right by the water too and you can see the bridge, as well as the Cristo statue. A river cruise would definitely be nice too, we didn’t do it, we just didn’t have enough time.

The other sights

Lisbon has so much to offer and I already mentioned lots of great places, I will not repeat them here and just add things. There is the Lisbon cathedral, as well as other lovely churches. The Eduardo VII park. In general Lisbon is just pretty to look at. The houses have great colours and some of them are full of pretty tiles. Great areas are for sure Alfama, Bairro Alto and Chaixa and Chiado.


Personally, I wouldn’t recommend the Lisboa card. You get to use the public transport for free, but other than that. Yes, you can get into a lot of museums for free, but the main sights are not included. At the Tower of Belem for example people with the Lisboa card had to stand in line, like we did. If you are interested in museums, yes get it, but otherwise… To avoid standing in line for the whole day, get to the sights early, before they open and you’ll be one of the first to get in. If you can get a ticket beforehand, at home.

Are there any other things you’d like to know?! If you haven’t read my Lisbon Travel Diary yet, here is the post: Lisbon - Travel Diary

Travel Vlog

No comments:

Post a comment