When people talk about Lisbon they mention the amazing light. Maybe it’s the seemingly endless deep blue skies or the way the sun’s rays bounce off the gleaming tiled buildings, washing the streets with a soft glow. Either way, Europe’s second oldest capital city (after Athens) certainly charms.
Those that take the chance to leave the city limits will discover a region jammed with stunning nature, some of Europe’s best beaches and history like no other. From fishing villages to castles and UNESCO gems, a day trip into the Greater Lisbon region might take you to magical Sintra, Ericeira, Cascais, Costa da Caparica, Sesimbra, Setúbal and Palmela.
Spend a few days catching trams, eating pastel de nata and snapping tiles in the city of seven hills.
The UNESCO heritage town features half a dozen palaces and a Moorish castle nestled on a mysterious mountain microclimate, 40-minutes from Lisbon.
The further south you go, the nicer it gets. The beaches of Costa da Caparica are a favourite among Lisboetas, but my favourites are within Arrabida Natural Park.
Home to Portugal’s official World Surfing Reserve, this cute white-washed village is all about excellent seafood, cool cafes and yoga.
Sunset tip… Lisbon is the city of seven hills and every peak seems to have a viewpoint or park. Take advantage of Lisbon’s brilliant weather and make one of its 30+ lookouts your spot for sunset. My favourite is Miradouro de Santa Luzia… and I’ve rounded up a list of the best viewpoints in Lisbon here.
In Lisbon it’s more about where not to stay. If you like to sleep before 4am, avoid the suburbs of Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodre. Historic neighbourhoods like Alfama and Mouraria are super cute, but be prepared to carry your suitcase up cobbled staircases (not fun). Places like Chiado, Principe Real and Avenida Liberdade make a good base for exploring. It’s easy to use downtown Lisbon as a base to explore the city and surrounding destinations like Sintra and Cascais on day trips.
Lisbon is a brilliant city for eating. While here you absolutely must try some of the city’s great Portuguese modern restaurants, cheap tascas and cool hangouts. Of course, if you’re travelling around the country and are craving international flavours, Lisbon is where you’ll find that. I’ve written an article covering my favourite restaurants and tascas in Lisbon here.
The public transport system around Lisbon uses the same Vive card. You can purchase one for 50c using the machines at metro or train stations. Top it up with ‘zapping’ credit. The metro, bus or tram cost approximately €1.30-50 per ride and trains or ferries are more expensive, depending on where you are going. Trains will take you to the beaches along the Cascais line or out to Sintra. South of the river is technically no longer Lisbon and they use a different transport card and system.
Everything you need to know about beautiful Lisbon
Second-hand or vintage shopping is always fun in Lisbon. There’s the thrill of not knowing what you’ll find, the highs and lows of finding something does (or doesn’t) fit, the feel-good fact that you’re stopping an item from going to […]
Souvenirs don’t have to be tacky fridge magnets or novelty mugs. Take home gifts with a little more heart when you visit Lisbon. From ceramics made in Portugal and works by local artists to traditional brands and objects, here are […]
If I have a free Saturday morning in Lisbon I love to venture over to Alfama and kick around the Feira da Ladra market. You never know what you’ll find at Lisbon’s oldest flea market – it’s been in existence […]
Every June the smell of sardines and sound of pimba music ricochets through the narrow cobbled streets of the city’s most traditional neighbourhoods. The start of summer is a wild and wonderful time to be in Lisbon. In late May […]
They say Lisbon is the city of seven hills, which is a lie. There’s more than seven, a fact you quickly learn while walking up what feels like non-stop staircases on your first day in the city. But many hills […]
A perfectly salted fish cooked over coals. A juicy tomato plucked in the peak of summer. The crunch of a pastel de nata, still warm from the oven. Portuguese food is a lesson in perfectly executed simplicity.
How many pastéis de nata could you eat in a holiday? Our friend Jayden smashed 30 on his trip to Portugal, but I will say that not all of them were prime pasteis. The man was on a mission to […]
Once a year Lisbon Open House swings open the doors to some of the city’s most interesting and exclusive buildings for one weekend. Today’s #tileoftheday takes us to Convento de Chelas.
From castles to the coastline and vineyards to villages, here are the best day trips from Lisbon.
May 21, 2020