Insider tips: Planning a trip to Lisbon
Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Lisbon.
What should I do on my first trip to Lisbon?
One of the nicest places to visit in Lisbon is the historic Alfama district, with its labyrinth of narrow streets, traditional architecture, and very cozy, local atmosphere. Here, you will also find some of the best viewpoints of Lisbon and lots of local restaurants where you can enjoy Fado performances in the evenings. Other must-sees include the area around Praça do Comércio, Elevador de Santa Justa, and the historic Belém district with the beautiful 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery.
What are some hidden gems to see in Lisbon?
Lisbon is a hilly city, with countless viewpoints offering amazing views. Some of the nicest lesser-known viewpoints include Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara and Miradouro Santa Catarina. Another really nice local area is LX Factory, a former industrial complex that has become one of the coolest places in the city. Nowadays, it's a bustling place with cool street art, artsy shops, cozy cafes and restaurants.
How much time should I spend in Lisbon?While you can see some of the main landmarks of Lisbon in a day, ideally, you plan at least 3 days in the city: one day for the city center, another day for the Belém area and to get a bit off the beaten path, and the third day for a visit to nearby Sintra, which is a must-see in Portugal.
What food is Lisbon known for?
No visit to Lisbon would be complete without tasting Pastel de Nata, a traditional Portuguese custard tart. One of the best places to try this delicacy is Fabrica de Pastéis de Belém that's been baking traditional cakes since 1837. They use a secret recipe that was originally created by the monks of the Jeornimos Monastery, just next door to the bakery.
What is the best way to get around Lisbon?
The best way to explore Lisbon is by a combination of walking, tram (be sure to ride the iconic tram 28), or taxi, which is surprisingly affordable and very convenient when you have to cover bigger distances in this hilly city.
What are the best months to visit Lisbon?
Lisbon can be visited the whole year round, but for the most pleasant weather and not too many crowds, visit in April-May or in September-October. Avoid the warmest summer months, when it’s often much too hot to truly enjoy everything that this beautiful city has to offer.
What are the best neighborhoods for food?
One of the best places for food in Lisbon is the Time Out Market. It's a food hall with more than 20 restaurants, featuring various cuisines from all over the world, including the best traditional Portuguese dishes. In addition, there are also several bars, shops and a high-end music venue here. LX Factory is another great place for food, with lots of unique restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Lisbon?
One of the best neighborhoods to stay for sightseeing in Lisbon is the area around Rossio Square. It’s centrally located and you can easily walk to the most popular attractions and popular areas in the city center. There are lots of restaurants and nice hotels for various budgets here. In addition, this area has good public transport connections, making it really easy to explore Lisbon and its surroundings.
What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Lisbon?
If you are visiting Lisbon with kids, don't miss the Lisbon Oceanarium. This is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, with hundreds of different species of sea creatures. It's very impressive and fascinating for adults and children alike. Another nice thing to do is taking a sailing cruise on the Tagus River. It's a nice and relaxing way to see more of the city without having to walk much - perfect for families.