6 tips for city trip to | Lisbon

To be perfectly honest, Lisbon was not very high on my list of yet-to-be-taken city trips. I attribute this mostly to the fact that I have more feeling about neighboring Spain. But how wrong a person can be. How fun Lisbon is! It is a city with many faces. Here are 6 tips in advance for a successful city trip to Lisbon.

1. Sleeping & traveling to and in Lisbon

We booked a ticket to Lisbon outbound with Transavia and return with Ryanair. Sometimes it is cheaper to fly with two separate airlines. For us it was more convenient because of more convenient flight times. We slept in Lisbon at our host Joao’s house in the Barrio Alto neighborhood. Strange snout, but very hospitable. Are you also going to stay with him in Lisbon? Then set yourself up for strong stories, weed smells in the house and a fantastically sweet musical cat “Cow. If you prefer a different spot to sleep, check out Airbnb’s great offerings. We do recommend Barrio Alto. This is one of the liveliest places in all of Lisbon. If you do want to get some sleep, bring earplugs and an eye cup. You’re good to go then!

Have you never booked through Airbnb before? Ask if anyone already has an account. This person can then invite you. You will then receive a discount code of 22 euros. And so will whoever invites you.

If you are going to travel by public transportation in Lisbon, it is convenient to get some kind of ov card. You can recharge these just like the OV-chip. Just note that paying with paper money is not possible at many stations. So bring plenty of coins.

2. Drinking and partying in Lisbon’s Barrio Alto

The Portuguese can do this well. Most go wild in Barrio Alto. Unfortunately, in the summer you see very, very many tourists. So if you would like to interact with the locals, the summer months may not be the best option. The Portuguese told us it’s best to come to Lisbon in May or June. For tourist influx. Or just after the summer. Tourists or not, you can have fantastic drinks at all kinds of wine bars, cocktail bars or just a simple beer on the corner. In all the streets, though, it is cozy. Especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


3. Free Walking Tour in Belém Lisbon

After Bogota, I was very excited about Free walking tours. That’s why we also sought out a tour in Lisbon. We did it in Belém. A Portuguese student enthusiastically told us all about her Portugal. About her Lisbon. About Vasco Da Gama. Did you know that Portugal used to have an awful lot of colonies? And that they were the first to have India as a colony? Later, they gave Mumbay to the British as an exchange. Despite Portugal not being known for its wealth today, King Manuel 1 was made one of the wealthiest men in all of Europe by Vasco da Gama. You do wonder where Portugal went wrong. As our guide said, “Portuguese people are great strategists, but they are not good with money. Not back then, and not now. We always spend our money”. In Belém, by the way, you can also get the most delicious special Portuguese pastries at Pasteis de Belém. Crunchy, sweet and very soft at the same time. We could keep eating it. What a treat! Also participating? They gather at 11 a.m. at Museo des coches. The idea of a Free walking tour, is not that it is free. You always give an amount at the end. Usually it is something between 10 to 20 euros per couple. The “tour guide” theoretically does it for free. Because they like it. So the amount you pay is a kind of tip. You can also do the free walking tour in Alfama. We just walked around there ourselves. Looking at all the laundry hanging outside to dry and old men walking up without any effort.

Don’t feel like walking? There is also a nice free museum and a lovely garden “Jardin Botanical” where for 2 euros per person you can lie quietly in the grass, enjoying the shade.

Lisbon-belem building



4. Vegetarian restaurants in Lisbon

There are several options for eating as a vegetarian in Lisbon. Fortunately, my friends often eat vegetarian too, so hup on out. We didn’t get to try out all the vegetarian restaurants. But I will give a list of recommended restaurants (by locals in Lisbon):

  • Terra, Lisbon. Here we have been ourselves. Delicious food and good quality. In buffet style.
  • Bengal Tandoori. Indian, Lisbon. Were very friendly and nice choice for vegetarians. Vegans can opt for Aloo Gobi. Or the dishes without Paneer. Did you know that Paneer always has vegetarian rennet?
  • Jardim do Sentidos, Lisbon. Entirely vegetarian restaurant. Didn’t go to eat because they were closed on Sunday, but the reviews are favorable. As a result, we went to Bengal Tandoori. Wrong.
  • PSI, Lisbon. On the recommendation of our free walking tour host. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to eat here.
  • Lostin, Lisbon. On the recommendation of a Portuguese. Has a nice view of the city. Sit in Barrio Alto. Is closed on Sundays.
  • Restaurante Principe Calhariz, Lisbon. Our host Joao took us there. Don’t go here as a vegetarian. It can be done, but all you get is simple salad and beans. Not highly recommended. Cheap, though.

Saving money in Lisbon? We went out to dinner every night except one. But we always made sure to bring our own lunch. When you stay with an Airbnb host in Lisbon, you can often cook, and with any luck your host will have tupperware. So we made couscous, spaghetti and took tasty avocados.

5. Sintra: castles and beautiful surroundings hours outside Lisbon

A day away from Lisbon? We caught the train to Sintra from Rossio station. On the recommendation of a girl who came from Sintra. We met her in the supermarket and got talking. It is about an hour and a half away by train from Lisbon. There are many castles in Sintra. We visited one and the beautiful garden, took lunch with us and had a wonderful time. Then walked around and visited the castle. Nice day out of the big city. Recommended. Should you have more time, there is also a large national park. Seems to be very beautiful!




6. Bikini, check? Sunglasses, check? Off to Cascais!

Lisbon is not known for its beaches. There is a beach nearby where you can go by boat. But we went to Cascais. Just by train from Cais do Sodre. A train station where the subway also comes. Cascais seems to be the place for all the wealthier Portuguese from Lisbon and the surrounding area. And tourists. Fortunately, the crowds in themselves were not too bad. Not comparable to a beach day in Holland where you sit hut to hut. Do score a bed and an umbrella because you’ll burn in no time. Want to get in the water? Be prepared for a fresh dip then, though. Surely the Atlantic Ocean is tad colder than the warm Mediterranean.


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