If you haven't considered Lisbon yet as your next travel destination, this article may help you change your mind.
A few weeks ago, I went to Lisbon for the first time, and it was mindblowing. Not to mention that we were quite lucky with the weather. Not gonna lie, a game-changer.
5 reasons to visit Lisbon
If I had to list 5 reasons to visit Lisbon, this is what I'd say:
Proximity with Belgium
There's no need to travel the world to find beautiful places (yes, I said it). Traveling to Lisbon takes barely 2 hours by plane from Belgium, which means that if you land in the morning, you'll still have the entire afternoon and evening to make the best of it. That's pretty cool.
Contrarily to many destinations, no need to break the bank to stay in Lisbon. We rented an Airbnb downtown Lisbon, and it was quite cheap (80e/pers for 3 nights). Plus, the food and beverages are very accessible in terms of price without compromising on quality! It's clearly a great opportunity to taste local food such as the traditional Pasteis de Nata, fresh codfish, and so much more. 🥰
Breathtaking & changing
It's fascinating how close we can be from one country yet have such a different panorama. Lisbon reminded me a lot of San Fransisco (Ok, never been there yet, but it was super hilly like in the movies, without forgetting the Golden Gate 🙈.). What charmed me the most was all those little colorful houses and the paved narrow streets all around the city.
From the sea to the viewpoints including old and historic areas as well as great bars and clubs, there's a bit of everything for everyone in Lisbon. You can stroll along the sea and let your imagination go wild, have a night out with your friends and have some fun, or simply get lost in the beautiful streets of the city, you'll never get bored.
3-day planning in Lisbon
If like us, you arrive early afternoon, I recommend you first have a nice lunch at Time Out Market, this is a food court with lots of different food. It's friendly and quick so you won't waste too much time eating.
Then, dilly-dally along the coast, admire the view and stop by Place Pedro IV before heading to St.Jorge Castel for a beautiful view overlooking the city. To visit the castle, you have to pay 10 euros, but it is definitely worth it. Plus, Lisbon is not the richest city, it counts on tourist activities to develop its economic power, so we can clearly contribute. :)
If you like rooftops, you should try Topo Martim Moniz to enjoy the sunset and some cocktails.
For dinner, I suggest you try the Ponto Final. It is a tapas bar with a beautiful view over the bridge. I wish I could have tried this one.
To finish strong, you can go out to Bairro Alto. This spot reminded me a lot of le carré in Liège, but more friendly. :)
Wake up early and head off to Hello Kristof for a delicious breakfast. Note that, this spot is more trendy than local. You can order a healthy breakfast bowl, some toast, or pastries with a warm drink. If it's not your cup of tea, simply put yourself into the locals' shoes and eat some Pasteis de Nata for breakfast.
Thereafter, you can reach the Botanical Garden of the university. It's a beautiful park where you can resource away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Once again, you'll have to pay for the entrance. If I remember correctly, it cost 3 euros...
If you need some inspiration for lunches, you can try Rafael Cellar. It is a real gem!
After that, you can go to Alfama, which is actually very close to the restaurant. Alfama is quite lovely, with lots of narrow paved streets, the famous 28 tramway, and you can even come across singers singing and playing guitar in the streets.
As for dinner, the Lost In is a good option. It is an Asian restaurant overlooking the city. The food is so refined and made of fresh fish. I loved it. In comparison to the other restaurants, this one is a bit more pricy.
If you have time enough, you should definitely go off-center and visit Sintra and Belem (even Cascais).
Start by Sintra in the morning and stop by Saudade Café for a yummy and filling breakfast (the apple scone was AMA-ZING).
Then, cross the city to access Quinta da Regaleira, an old prestigious castle, which is definitely worth the walk.
After the tour, walk back and take the bus to Belem (45 min). It's in the direction to go back to Lisbon. In Belem, you'll find the beautiful Tower of Belem, the bridge, the Monastery of Jeronimo, and, overall, the Pasteis de Belem (apparently the best ones).
By late afternoon, stop by Park Rooftop Bar to admire the sunset with a couple of drinks and some music. The atmosphere is very nice as well as the view.
If like us, it is too crowded, try The Pharmacy. It's an old pharmacy converted into a bar/restaurant, very atypical and quieter.
Finally, for dinner, we ate at Alfama Cellar, a small and charming restaurant in Alfama. The food is once again local and the wine is delicious too. If you ask, you can even get a drink for the house. 🙈
So, ready to pack?!
Psst: Find my latest travels here.