48 Hours in Lisbon
Delicious food, buzzing nightlife, stunning architecture and friendly locals. Lisbon is the perfect weekend getaway only 2 hours by plane from London. Read on for an insiders guide into this great city and see why this place is my top European city break.
Warehouse units converted into chic trinket stores, achingly cool portuguese restaurants and hipster coffee shops spill out onto the cobbled street making this little part of Lisbon feel like NYC’s West Village.
LX is located at an old factory site under the 25th of April Bridge and has been transformed from an old piece of wasteland into a cool hangout zone.
Not far from Jeronimo’s Monastery, Padrão dos Descobrimentos and Pasteis de Belem take the number 15 tram west of the centre and spend a day discovering this part of Lisbon.
A place you couldn’t be more spoilt for choice. Pretty much every local food joint in Lisbon has a residency in this indoor market.
Open from breakfast right through until late evening this place is a social hotspot at any time of day. Enjoy all of Portugal’s finest food and drink under one roof.
To read more about the market check out my Lisbon Top 5 Guide for eating your way around this gastronomical delight of a city.
With its many hills, Lisbon has some incredible views. Make sure you stop to take it all in.
Look out for signs that say Miradouro, this means there’s a great view just around the corner. A favourite viewing point from my weekend in Lisbon was the Miradouro Alfama.
Looking out over the Moorish architecture, red roofs and hand painted wall tiles of the old town. It really is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods.
We meandered through the tiny, cobbled streets following the Miradouro Alfama signs until we came across the stunning panoramic view of the city.
Another classic view of Lisbon is the Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo.
A little tram makes its way up and down the hill every few minutes giving you that picture perfect shot of Lisbon.
For a view a little higher up head out to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries) which gives you a 50 metre look out over Lisbon and the famous red 25th of April bridge.
Eat and Drink:
It may have taken me 27 years, but I think I have finally found the greatest city to dine out in. Lisbon is bursting full of so many great quality and reasonably priced eateries.
It would be a sin to leave here without having dined at Taberna Rua da Flores or Sea Me. Both restaurants boast creative menus, using the freshest ingredients in interesting, melt in your mouth dishes. Seriously chic but overwhelmingly unpretentious and all priced very reasonably.
For something a little more rustic, Ramiro is the place you want to sink your teeth in to butter drenched grilled lobster, garlicky clams and the fresh bread to mop up all that juice. These restaurants all made it into my Top 5 Lisbon Restaurants post. We found that the majority of the smaller, taberna style restaurants had a no reservations policy. This conveniently meant we could try out bars in the surrounding areas whilst we waited for a table each night.
Try Jose Maria by Wine on Rua da Flores if a ridiculously good value wine bar is your kinda thing. If you would rather not plan the evening and alternatively chose to stumble into a little taberna, you will be spoilt for choice in the Chiado and Barrio Alto districts with great restaurants and bars everywhere you look.
Passport Hostel, Barrio Alto.
Like everything we seemed to come across in Lisbon, the hostel we stayed in was extremely good value. We shacked up in the heart of the Barrio Alto/Chiado area, which couldn’t have been a better location for us.
The double room overlooked the Praça Luís de Camões main square where crowds of people hang out in to the early hours of the morning. If you’re seeking a quieter stay maybe this isn’t the place for you, but for under £100 for three nights it’s an absolute steal.
Passport Hostel isn’t like a regular hostel, it almost feels more like a chic city apartment rental. If there appears to be no room at the inn, try out Independente Hostels for accommodation. They offer equally as cool hostel rooms at just as affordable prices.
Doing some pre Lisbon research, Tram 28 seemed to be a popular recommendation and an absolute must do activity. What used to be a regular public tram meandering its way through Lisbon is now dominated by tourists crammed in like sardines hoping to catch glimpses of famous landmarks – Lisbon Cathedral, Miraduomo Alfama, Barrio Alto etc.. It seems like a great idea in theory – pay 2,80 euros for quite possibly the cheapest tour bus in history. In reality the 300 strong crowd of people waiting to get on a tram that only shows up every 15 minutes is fairly off putting.
We weighed up our options and decided to walk the tram route on a beautiful spring day in Lisbon.
Purchase a Viva Viagem card for €0.50 and then top it up whenever you want to travel. A €6 hour day ticket gives you use of the Metro, Bus and Tram for 24 hours. This is the best option for 48 hours there as the next option up is a a five day ticket. Public transport is very reliable in Lisbon, however the best way to get around is by foot. It’s free and I’m a big believer in that you see and take in more whilst walking.
Thanks for reading! Keep updated with my travels at @thelayoverlife_ on instagram.