I have been to Valencia a few times, but never for more than a week.…
So, you’re in the capital of Portugal. You did a day trip to Sintra, you’ve spent a beachy day at Caiscais, now you’re looking for some things to do in Lisbon itself. Here are my top five things to do in the city:
1) Free Walking tour
I am not sick of writing it, I am not sick of doing it, free walking tours are the best activity one can do in any city. SANDEMAN’s New Europe free walking tours are some of the best free walking tours I have ever done (and I proudly say this with no compensation from the company). The tour guides are so well informed about the history of the city, and so clearly love this place, it is hard not to fall in love yourself. They work on tips, so you decide how much the tour was worth at the end. I generally stick to €5-€10, because I am on a crazy budget, but you tip whatever you feel!
Cost: €5 (-€10 if you’re not a cheapskate)
2) Get the view of the city from St George’s castle
You can take an elevator for €7 up most of the way to this observation deck, OR if you find the monastery, there is a little pathway beside it on the right. Follow the path and you will find the top of the elevator. You just saved €7, my friend! You still pay €3 to walk up the stairs all the way to the top of the lookout point and the view is spectacular. I would say it may even be worth €7 for the elevator as well as the €3, but then you will drink those two beers you bought with that €7 and you’ll thank me.
Cost: €3 if you take the shortcut!
3) Get Lost in Alfama
The streets of Alfama were built to make enemy soldiers get lost. It was some of Lisbon’s greatest defense! I can see how one could get lost… Turn a corner, and you’re at a dead end. All of a sudden, the only way to get home is by climbing a super skinny, dark, steep staircase. Streets are only as long as 100m until they turn or end. Go, wander, bring some water just in case. You can continue making your way uphill and find the Miradouro das Portas do Sol Observation Deck for a view of Porto you won’t quickly forget!
Cost: Free. €1 if you buy a shot of Ginginja…
4) Eat dinner at Time Out Market
The Time Out Market, located a quick walk from old town, is a restaurant market full of many different vendors selling many different food and drinks! It’s the perfect night out, because everyone can get something different! I had delicious croquettes from Croqueteria Está Aquiz, tried some Oysters from Monte Mar, and split a bowl of Poke from the Hawaiian fusion place. Come here to drink beer, eat a delicious meal, and people watch.
Cost: Whatever you want it to be!
5) Eat a pastel de nata at Manteigaria
A Pastel de Nata is an incredibly delicious, creamy, custardy Portuguese pastry. In Lisbon you can get one from any bakery, but the best Pastel de Nata is from Manteigaria. When you are walking through the streets of Lisbon and you hear a bell toll, no, it is not a church bell (well it might be, there are a lot of churches in Lisbon) it is the bell of bakery Manteigaria signifying you that a fresh batch of Pastel de Nata has just come out of the oven! RUN there. Do not walk. The most amazing custardy tart awaits you!
Cost: €4.50 for two tarts, a coffee, and a tea
Looking for some more inspiration? Read about my day in Lisbon here!
Heading to Porto? Check out out my fave six things to do in Porto here!