If you only had 24 hours to visit the capital of Portugal, my first tip would be to rearrange your schedule. You should allow yourself to visit Lisbon for a number of days that both the city and you deserve!
But if you’re just passing by or staying longer is truly not possible, here are some ideas on how to spend an epic day in Lisbon. Make yourself at home at one of the many Lisbon hotels and start exploring!
A Monumental Stroll in Belem
Start your day in the most historical of Lisbon’s neighborhoods: Belem. This monument-packed quarter takes us back to the times when the Portuguese led expeditions to all corners of the World.
Jeronimos Monastery dominates the landscape in an area otherwise known for the “monuments of the Discoveries.” Padrao dos Descobrimentos marks the spot from which ships departed to explore Asia back in the 15th century, while Torre de Belem was a defense tower over the Tagus River.
A Historic Coffee Break
Thankfully, history has also come up with something sweet in Belem. When you see people lining along the cobblestone sidewalk, you’ll know you have reached the popular Antiga Confeitaria de Belem. This bakery is the original home to the beloved Portuguese custard tarts “Pasteis de Belem,” best enjoyed with a bica (espresso).
A ride aboard Tram 15 will take you to Baixa, the downtown area. A trip around Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without walking past the magnificent sights that were renovated after the earthquake of 1755.
Start by soaking up some sun by the river…
…take your time around Praca do Comercio…
…explore Rua Augusta, and feel the grandeur of the town squares. If you’re interested in architecture, Baixa is your spot!
For lunch, head to Maria Catita, a restaurant that combines the best of traditional Portuguese cuisine with a cute contemporary atmosphere. My advice? Don’t order an individual dish. Share a couple of entrees or order petiscos (small portions) to try as many things as you can. I would recommend treats such as Octopus Salad, Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato (clams in white wine sauce) and Risotto de Bacalhau (cod is very important in Portugal and this modern take on the salty fish is a good introduction to the cuisine).
A Picturesque Stroll
After lunch, hop on Tram 28! The most popular tram ride in Lisbon will take you on a quick (and cheap!) tour around some of the most iconic areas. Disembark in Alfama and take it easy exploring the hidden corners of this typical neighborhood.
Then head to the numerous view-points that afford incredible vistas of the city terra-cotta rooftops, the river, and beyond.
Dinner & Fado
At dinner time, head to Pateo 13 and enjoy a classic outdoor dinner of fish grilled on charcoal. The fresh seafood and down-to-earth atmosphere, always made happier with Portuguese wine, will win your heart.
Dessert and post-dinner drinks are best enjoyed at a bar with Fado performers, showcasing one of the most melancholic of music genres in the world.
This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.
If you have 2 days in Lisbon, this is what fellow travel blogger Christopher from Rudderless Travel suggest you see and do!
Anne from Anne Travel Foodie also has some Lisbon tips for you, specially if you are a vegetarian or vegan!