A wanderer’s guide to the best things to do in Lisbon including Tram 28 and a trip to Belem.
Tram 28 / Alfama
A definite must do when you visit Lisbon is a ride on the number 28 tram. The tram route passes through many of Lisbon’s finest districts including Baixa Graca, Alfama and Estrela. Get off at the Alfama district to see the beautiful pastel coloured houses.
Sao Jeorge Castle
Visit the Sao Jorge Castle located on a hilltop overlooking the City and Tagus River. To be fair all that you have left is the ruins of the Castle, so not much to actually see when you get in but good to visit nonetheless.
Igreja de Sao Roque
One of the most exquisite and decorative churches I’ve ever seen and Lisbon has definitely got a couple. The Igreja de Sao Roque is one of the earliest Jesuit Churches in the world!
Carmo Archeological Museum
One of my favourite pieces of architecture in Lisbon! The Archeologica Museum is sheltered in a 1389 Convent, in the Chiado district of Lisbon. The monastery itself is a sight to behold. The museum itself seemed all of over the places and I kept wondering why certain things were in Lisbon of all places, although, a few royal Gothic tombs to see!
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
I chose to visit Lisbon partly for the Architecture and the Jeronimos Monastery, located in the Parish of Belem delivered this. The 15th Century Manueline monastery and UNESCO heritage site was built to commemorate Vasco de Gama’s discovery of India. The main thing to see here is the delicate Gothic Chapel that leads to the monastery in which some of Portugal’s historic figures are laid to rest.
Make sure you stop at the iconic Pateis de Beleim which is where the custard tart originated from in 1837! They really are a treat…
Torre de Belem
A must see when in Belem! Standing on the waterfront of the River Tagus and one of Lisbon’s most iconic sites, the Moorish tower was commissioned as part of a larger defensive bulwark by the then King.
Make sure you take a day out to visit the neighbouring beach towns of Cascais/ Estoril. Although these two beaches can get pretty busy due to their popularity with tourists. Head 15mins to Guincho, one of the best beaches in Lisbon. Guincho beach is great for surfers and water sports junkies and great if you want to get away from the tourist hotspots and enjoy a beach with a dramatic scenery.
Where to eat
Portugal is renowned for its sea food and custard tarts! You really can’t eat too much shell fish when in Lisbon!
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, Cais do Sodré
The Time Out food court has become a favourite amongst tourists and locals since its opening. With 35 permanent food kiosks and 5 from Lisbon’s top chefs, you really are spoilt for choice.
Cervejaria Ramiro, Intendente
Known as the Seafood temple and visited by tourists and locals alike. The queue to get through is no joke but absolutely worth the wait. This place is Lisboa institution and you can see why. Feast on the most delicious and the freshest crabs to giant prawns! Worth the visit.
Cantinho do Avillez, Chiado
Cantinho do Avillez is one of six of Jose Avillez’s restaurant, Portugal’s most famous chef. If you can’t secure a reservation at the Michelin- starred Belcanto, this is a great alternative. Laid back vibe and amazing food.
Red Frog Speakeasy Bar
Hit the Red Frog Speakeasy bar, a cool and discreet bar, reminiscent of the prohibition era. The bar is located on Rua do Salitre and there is no signage. Simply look out for the Red Frog on the wall, ring the bell and you will be let in to a sleek lounge with expert bartenders and mixologists who really do know their stuff! Order the Spiced Rusty Cherry!
Where to stay!
I stayed at the amazing InterContinental Hotel in downtown Lisbon. The hotel was really close to everywhere which meant that I could pretty much jump into a cab for nothing on my lazy days! The Concierge at the Hotel were fantastic in helping plan my daily itinerary, which helped a lot! Highly recommend this property! Average daily rate $150 – $350.