10 Musts When Visiting Lisbon
Walk everywhere! Lisbon may feel like a spread out city at first, but once you get walking, you realize that it's really not as big as it seems. Our Uber driver (okay we didn't walk EVERYWHERE) referred to it as "big-small" and I have to agree. My first day there, I walked all over the place, which I totally recommend, because it was the perfect way to get the lay of the land and be able to visualize the city for the rest of the trip. While walking, be sure to keep an eye out for all the amazing, beautiful tiled buildings and the famous yellow trams. It's hard not to stop every few feet for a photo!
Go to São Jorge Castle. As you stroll around the city on foot, make your way up to the historic castle on the top of the hill. Tickets cost €8.50 for adults (€5 for students and free for kids) and it's definitely worth it, especially after you've walked all the way up! The gardens and views from inside are gorgeous. There are even picnic tables scattered throughout, so this would be an awesome place to bring a picnic lunch along to enjoy while taking in the scenery. You can also climb around the old castle walls, which is pretty cool.
Sit in a cafe, people-watch, and eat Pasteis de Nata. The cream-filled Portuguese pastries can be found all over the place and definitely live up to the hype. Pair with an espresso and a seat with a view.
Admire the street art. Lisbon is renowned for its urban art. Around every corner is another colorful, interesting piece.
Check out LX Factory. This up-and-coming mini neighborhood of Lisbon is located outside of the main area and is definitely worth a visit. It's basically one street lined with ultra-trendy restaurants, hip art galleries, and small businesses and a mecca for anyone who loves good design. Step into the bookstore for walls lined with books and grab a margarita and some snacks at Mez Cais LX, a wrestling-themed Mexican restaurant, complete with a ring in the middle featuring a table at which you can sit. Peruse the little shops, including a magazine stand that's inside of a shipping container. This is another excellent place to view some awesome street art.
Drink the fresh juice. The oranges here are THE best I've ever had. You can find fresh juice all over the place, including the grocery stores, so make sure to pick some up!
Take in the views from at least a couple of the miradouros (viewpoints). My personal favorites were Miradouro de Santa Luzia (also a good place to see some more azulejos - decorative tiles), Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara (so nice I went there twice), and of course, São Jorge Castle.
Walk through Jardim da Estrela. This lush and lovely park can be found right next to Estrela Basilica. It is full of tropical trees, nice walking paths, a cute café, and (my favorite) a duck pond. But it is not only a duck pond - it is also home to many turtles, sunning on the banks of the pond or just floating around with their heads above the surface. Maybe this doesn't excite you as much as it does me, but I spent an unusually long amount of time (like seriously probably 40 minutes) hanging out at the perimeter of the pond observing and documenting. There were even some geese that decided to join the party (through their own goose-sized entrance holes in the bushes) once people started throwing some bread in. I could continue on in embarrassing detail, but why don't I just share some photos instead.
Day trip to Sintra. Now, when you share that you'll be visiting Lisbon, everyone will tell you that you must take a day trip out to Sintra. And everyone is right. This was one of my favorite days of our visit. Read more and see lots of photos in my Sintra post!
Drink wine. Guys, a glass of wine in Lisbon can be found very often at the price of $3. And it's GREAT wine! I learned on this trip that I thoroughly enjoy a full-bodied red from the Alentejo region of Portugal.
If you have any questions or want to add your own favorite things to do in Lisbon, feel free to comment below!