A City Guide To: Lisbon
Oh Lisbon, the city I’ve well and truly fallen for. The Portuguese capital popped up on my radar last summer, and was somewhere I just knew I’d love. I finally persuaded Charlie we *needed* to go and we managed to bag some pretty cheap flights with Easyjet. We booked in at Baixa House under Lindsey’s recommendation, but more on that soon (spoiler: it’s amazing there).
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Length of Stay: Three Nights
Vital Info: Pack your comfiest trainers, sandals aren’t advised!
Where To Stay
As I touched upon, we booked in for 3 nights at Baixa House which was a TOTAL DREAM. Seriously Pinterest worthy interiors, an excellent central location and so many cute touches made this the perfect base for exploring Lisbon. I’m going to put together a post on Baixa House so in the meantime, a little sneak peek…
What To Do
There are tonnes of places to explore and sights to see in Lisbon that could definitely keep you busy for a full week. As we only had 3 nights in the city we had to carefully plan what we wanted to do, and where we wanted to go. To make it easier, I’ll break it down into the different of areas of Lisbon we explored…
We first landed in Baixa as funnily enough, that’s where Baixa house is located. This area is located in the heart of Lisbon and offers grand plazas, shopping (hello giant Mango), cafes and bars. It’s very atmospheric and quite a buzzy area, we enjoyed a stroll around Baixa on our first morning and also stumbled across the neo-classical Elevador Santa Justa which you can take a ride in. I hate lifts as it is, so this one was a no from me, I admired from the safety of the floor.
It’s an ideal location for a little retail therapy and features high street favourites as well as an avenue of designer boutiques including Louis Vuitton and the like. Oh and how could I not mention Hard Rock Cafe, Charlie buys a new cap in every one we visit which if you’ve watched my California Vlog you’ll be very aware of!
Beer is also quite cheap in Lisbon which thrilled Charlie no end. Around 2 euro for a standard and 2.50/3 euro for a large which is more of a pint size which we’re used to in the UK.
For people watching, drinking and munching head to Praca Do Comercio (pictured below) and Rossio Square.
Our first full day began with a leisurely stroll in Baixa after breakfast, we then jumped in a cab (taxis are so cheap in Lisbon!) and headed to the MAAT which is based in the Belem district. This is a beautiful part of Lisbon and a must-visit for all tourists.
The MAAT itself is a stunning building, an architecture buffs will love it! Entrance is around 5 euros (cheaper if you’re a student) and I loved the giant gallery wall. There were some exhibitions I just didn’t really ‘get’ but it was interesting nevertheless.
Once we’d explored the MAAT we decided to walk up the river, the sun was beaming down and it was a gorgeous day. We stopped for a beer, sprite and chips before meandering down to view the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon. A little further down and you’ll stumble across the Torre de Belem (also see below), once used to guard the city from sea attacks.
On our second full day in Lisbon we headed over to the oldest district in Lisbon, Alfama. A maze of narrow cobbled streets (trainers needed), old tiled houses and the Sao Jorge Castle. There are steep hills walking up to the castle, and you might want to take a bottle of water with you especially during the summer months! There was a fair queue to get into the castle but don’t let that put you off, it goes down super quick and we only waited around 20 minutes. Entry cost 8.50 and it’s a fabulous way to gain an insight into the history of Lisbon. The castle also offers a fantastic view over the city, and it has to be said that Alfama is very Instagram friendly – hello pastel walls errrrywhere.
Other points of interest include The Se Cathedral, Saint Anthony’s Church and The National Pantheon.
Chiado & Barrio Alto
We also spent some time discovering Chiado and Barrio Alto. Both very cool neighbourhoods with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy. Chiado had a lot of your high street culprits such as Zara whereas Barrio Alto is home to vintage homeware shops and quirkier concept stores. Both are within easy walking distance from Baixa and well worth a visit, I hear Barrio Alto comes alive at night time but unfortunately we didn’t have time to spend an evening there.
Whilst in Barrio Alto we came across the University Botanic Gardens which we had a lovely walk around. It’s small but entrance fee is only 2 euros or in our case free as the guy at the desk just let us walk in. Cactus goals!
Where to Eat
I’m going to put together a blog post including the best places to eat vegan in Lisbon, so keep an eye out for that! In the mean time a few recommendations include Organi Chiado for delicious plant based meals (the menu changes every day!), Pharmacia for cocktails and Nicolau for a cool vibe avec pancakes. The vegan options were endless in Lisbon and I can’t wait to share my favourite eateries with you!
What I Wore
With all the colour buildings and sunny days I couldn’t help but bring out a little colour for Lisbon! Floaty dresses and trousers teamed with trainers are ideal for lots of walking and keep cool.
I hope this guide was helpful for anyone thinking about heading to Lisbon, you certainly won’t regret it! Watch out for my post on Baixa House and places to eat vegan coming soon…