// places to eat //
Tasca da Esquina: Such a good vibe here! It's simple tapas food, good for a late lunch or snack in the day. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and chance to chill out for a meal during the day.
BOCCA: We needed to do a traditional Portuguese meal, and Bocca was the perfect place for that. The menu is fairly affordable but seemingly upscale with tons of dishes good for a late meal. I loved the decor here too, probably the best out of anywhere we went in Lisbon, its like modern hot spot in the city.
Salsa & Coentros: Super small, definitely a locals spot. Salsa & Coentros is very popular so make sure to book in advance. They have a huge wine list and the staff is super helpful and accommodating.
Jose Avillez CV: I learned that Jose Allivez is a popular Chef in Lisbon who has created multiple restaurants around the city you can explore. We choose 'Cafe Lisboa' for its proximity to us, and really enjoyed our meal. We choose to have an early dinner here, split some dishes to share and a few bottles of vino.
// things to do //
Meander through the Alfama District. (I was into photography for two days and those days occurred in Portugal, so I took so many pictures of the beauty in this area! I kept thinking if I was a designer I would be 'SO INSPIRED'!) There is so many gorgeous tiles, buildings, color and vibrance to see. It's a good walk around place to just explore and see the city. I even had a day to myself and enjoyed a solo brunch/photography day which was lovely.
Arco de Rue Augusta which was right outside our hotel at the Lisbon Short stay. It’s a popular spot to see, and the arches are beautiful. This is also a central shopping area for tourists. Camoes Square is right near by, called the 'meeting place for the city'.
Princpe Real Square is cool - there are good art galleries but also its touristy. The park here is gorgeous, full of mature willow type trees and wonderful places to sit and relax.
Saint George's Castle dates back to the 6th century, and remains to be one of the most peaceful places in Lisbon. You can walk through the tours, along the ramparts and enjoy the gardens where peacocks, and other birds strut around :).
Something active you can do, is to go kayaking here if it's warm! We were set to go but it was a bit chilly, either way this is a good place for Kayaking excursions.
Take a train to Cascais where you can take a free bike, available opposite the station. Then bike along the coastline to the surfing area of Guincho, five miles away. I think I've talked about how biking on vacation is the best, but this is sooo fun.
Make sure to do the sunset ferry ride on the Tagus River which is totes romantic. To find the meeting spot for the tour you can make your way to the cais do sodre ferry terminal to begin this lovely adventure. It costs around $60 dollars per person, but totally worth it.
The best thing about Portugal, besides the distinctive culture and kind people would be the landscape to hike on. There are so many different routes and experiences you could see, and one of the best places to look for inspiration is from REI's tour of Lisbon. Which is detailed here. (Side note I'm doing one of those in the next two years, bible, so let me know if one of those really catches your eye!)
// places to stay //
Lisbon Short Stay: This place was really ‘hip’ and centrally located in the city. We could basically walk anywhere. There was an amazing rooftop with views of the city at this hotel. It’s reasonably priced too.
Browns Downtown: I sort of hate the hotel name, but the place itself is super trendy and hip. It felt like the most American of all the places, and the rooms are set up in loft like apartments. Highly recommend.
Sofitel Lisbon: We didn't stay here but I am a huge fan of Sofitel's, and people we met on our trip recommended this 5 star stay.