Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and welcoming cities I have ever been to with a magical combination of architecture, history, food, culture, weather and humility.
I think you would have to be dead inside to not find something appealing about this beautiful place. I can never put my finger on exactly what it is that draws me to it, but perhaps it is a little bit of everything all at once.
My two experiences in Lisbon have been different but equally rewarding: the first being my honeymoon and the second being a trip with 12 of my closest friends. Whatever your reason for travel, you will be inspired by this beautiful landscape and be pleasantly surprised at how much you get for your hard earned money.
Epic Sana Hotel
5 star hotel, with exceptional service and value for money. There is a rooftop bar (with infinity pool), which is listed as one of the nicest rooftop bars in Lisbon. There is also a spa which offers relaxing treatments (I think I fell asleep during my couples massage). This is a great place to feel pampered if you are looking for a more high end experience.
Air BNB Host – Gonçalo
This host has a number of listings in the Alfama area, which is, the oldest and in my opinion, the most beautiful part of Lisbon. The houses are all connected, with laundry lines criss crossing above the narrow streets from window to window. It feels like a different world, a movie set, and staying in that area could inspire a writer or two.
As for the host, he is most helpful and gracious, and goes above and beyond with recommendations and hospitality. He said that we left not as guests, but as friends.
The area is the oldest part of Lisbon. Spend a day there walking around, and chilling, watching the world go by.
Castelo Sao Jorge
For an extraordinary view of the city, visit this Moorish castle that is in the Alfama area.
A spectacular example of Gothic architecture.
Praça do Comércio
It is hard to avoid this city centre staple by the water.
Take a day trip to visit the Pena Palace, which can only be described as an eyegasm. Don’t go on a weekend if you can help it! Take a tuk tuk or cab up to the palace and the Moors Castle, but consider taking the walking path down the mountain, which will take you straight back to the train station.
This simple but stylish eatery in Alfama has yummy food, delicious wine and even gelato. Great for after exploring the Castelo Sao Jorge
This place is super popular and on all of the tourist guides, with queues going down the street, but honestly it is worth it.
Restaurante Adega Das Gravatas
This place is 100% local and authentic, and you will most likely be the only foreigner in there. I dined there with a group of 12 with no issues (but we did make a reservation!) and we fit right in along with the other large Portuguese families there for a Sunday dinner.
Restaurante Sabores do Rato
This is another very authentic spot that is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. When I went, it was full of grandmothers having their daily gossip session. You will get a massive serving of a typical plate for a lot less than you would expect to pay.
Pastéis de Belem
This is another tourist staple as they boast the best custard tarts in town. A little tip to avoid the large queues that circle down the block: just walk in and maneuver your way to the counter. Loudest order usually wins the race, so leave your modestly outside.
Hip Hop Club Around 92 Rua da Atalaia, Barrio Alto
Barrio Alto is definitely the area to party, so if you find yourself there, you can walk around and follow the music. We found ourselves in a very very small room that was pumping out some serious Hip Hop beats. I would highly recommend it if you are with a group of friends who like to make their own party.
This bar is on the roof of a parking lot. A very unassuming parking lot. You have to go into the lot, and walk up the grimy staircase until you reach the top. There you will find a sanctuary with beautiful views, delicious Aperol spritz’ and yummy pub fare.
Lux is the hottest club in town if you want a full on club experience, but, be cool. Seriously, if the bouncers think you are an annoying drunk foreigner, they will charge you 200 € at the door just to be dickheads.