Cost: ££ – reasonably priced
Rating: 7/10 – worth a visit
Trip length: you can see it all in 2/3 nights
We stayed in 2 different places during the 6 nights we had in Lisbon – both were incredible in their own ways.
Apartment 1 was a gorgeous AirBnb with the best view of Lisbon! The flat was modern and clean and the view was spectacular. We paid £379 for 2 nights / 3 = £126.33 per person!
Apartment 2 I booked on booking.com because it has a swimming pool. The apartment itself was brand new, the pool was great (although a little cold) and wasn’t busy at all during the day. A downside was that there was a lot of work going on renovating the area so it was noisy when they were working. Also, 2 different Uber drivers who dropped us back said that it wasn’t a nice area of Lisbon and told us to be careful. If you’re a group of girls staying, I honestly think it’s fine during the daytime, but make sure you get an Uber if you’re coming home late.
We paid £911 for 4 nights / 3 = £303.67! *READ THE SMALL PRINT* we missed this and were surprised that we had to leave a EUR 100 safety deposit in case of any damage.
In total on accommodation for 6 nights we spent £430 each… £71.67 per night per person. We did stay in swanky apartments so you could definitely find cheaper places on booking.com / AirBnb.
Currency is the euro. Check conversion rates before you go!
Uber is available and cheap in Lisbon. The city is pretty small so we mainly got around on foot. It is very hilly so if you’re not super active you might want to use public transport: tram / metro / bus / train / taxi – they’re all available so take your pick.
What we did…
1 – Castle Sao Jorge
Probably the most touristy thing to do in Lisbon, Sao Jorge is a Moorish castle on the city’s highest hill. Some fort ruins date back to even 6th century BC! The actual castle was founded in 10th / 11th centuries. In 1910 it was declared a National Monument so renovation work was carried out to make it the castle we see now.
You can buy tickets to enter the castle grounds for EUR 8.50 / £7.55. Walk the castle walls and get a 360 degree view of Lisbon.
2 – Estrela Basilica
Basilica finished in 1790 and the first church in the world dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A car park surrounds it which is a bit of a shame.
3 – Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
We visited this monastery which is apparently one of the most important monasteries in the country; however, we didn’t take a picture as we weren’t majorly impressed. If you’re religious / into monasteries then you might want to check it out.
4 – Lisbon Cathedral
Roman Catholic church – not majorly spectacular but worth a visit.
5 – Praca do Comercio
We watched England v Sweden world cup (which we won) in this square which is located right by the Tangus river! Pretty square with monuments and restaurants surrounding it.
6 – Rossio Square
Square in the ‘Pombaline Downtown’ of Lisbon (centre point pictured in middle below). Apparently it’s a key place for celebrations / festivals / protests in Lisbon. Again, many restaurants surrounding it.
7 – Bairro Alto
Central district in Lisbon known for its bars and nightlife, it’s dubbed the ‘bohemian district’! Good for cheap drinks, but doesn’t get going until late.
8 – The beach!
If you have long enough in Lisbon, you might want to get out of the city to visit the beaches! We hopped on a train to Cascais to spend the day on a beach. In all honesty, the beach was quite small and absolutely rammed with tourists (which isn’t surprising as we went during school summer holidays!) You could hire a car and drive a little further out, but I imagine all beaches will be busy in peak season.
A friend recommended we went to Monte Mar for lunch / go to the Hotel Albatroz for fancy drinks on the veranda overlooking the beach if you have the time.
There’s not actually a massive amount to see in Lisbon. We ticked off all ‘sight-seeing’ (apart from the beach) on the first day and spent the rest of our time relaxing by the pool / eating / drinking our way around the city…
Here’s what I would recommend…
Places for drinks…
– Hotel Mundial
Swanky bar for rooftop views of Lisbon! Bottles of wine are very reasonably priced.
A very cool restaurant / bar in a garden terrace on the top of a car park in Bairro Alto.
Another very cool rooftop bar in Lisbon. Smaller than the 2 mentioned above.
– Pavilhao Chines
This is a very famous bar and apparently one of the best in the world. I am assuming that’s because it’s so unusual – you’re basically having drinks in a museum. It smells musty and lacked atmosphere when we were there… unfortunately pretty much sent us to sleep after a day of drinking. Cool to see, but won’t get you going for a big night out.
– Wine Tasting
We went on a wine and food walking tour of Lisbon on the second night which was really good as it gave us ideas for the rest of the week.
It’s a 3 hour tour which cost £40 per person! We tried different foods and traditional Portuguese drinks, including Ginja which became our favourite. It’s very sweet and strong, based on wine infused with Ginja cherries and a hell of a lot of sugar!
Places to eat…
We picked up breakfast each morning from one of the many patisseries you’ll find in Lisbon. Pastries and the amazing Pastel de nata (custard tart) which Portugal is famous for, are very reasonably priced and taste delicious.
– Palacio Chiado
The restaurant is absolutely stunning with high ceilings and paintings on the walls. The food choice was good and the main I chose was delicious (king prawn spaghetti). It was busy so we waited for a while at the bar – perhaps worth booking a table if you definitely want to eat here.
We absolutely loved SeaMe. Tried to walk-in the first night but no availability so make sure you book in advance. Tons of fresh seafood on the menu… you can even go and choose the fish you want to eat. It was quite an expensive dinner but worth it.
Popular restaurant on the river front. My truffle pizza was AMAZING. Book a table / get there early… there was a massive queue when we left.
– Fauna Flora
This was a great little find for brunch! Lots on the menu and reasonably priced.
– Time Out Market / Other…
The Time Out Market came highly recommended and is cool if you have a limited time in Lisbon and want to try lots of different foods all in one place. However, it is basically a busy food court and lacks the charm of a restaurant.
There are plenty of restaurants you’ll see as you walk around Lisbon! I’d suggest choosing places down little side streets rather than in the main touristy areas to avoid high prices for low quality.
There are lots of other places which were sent as recommendations which I will list at the bottom of this post.
Lisbon is lovely and definitely worth a short trip. I wasn’t as wowed as I have been by other cities, largely because it’s quite dirty and covered in graffiti (although I suppose that adds to its character).
We also spent a lot of money on this 1 week break… considerably more than I have done on other trips of this length. This is mainly because we forked out on expensive accommodation and also because we ate / drank our way through the trip…
Cost per person
Flights – £135
Accommodation – £430
Spend – £470
Total – £1035
Other recommendations we were sent from someone who lived in Lisbon:
Noobai – was suggested for breakfast
Cafe Royal – was suggested for breakfast
Cha do Bairro– was suggested for breakfast
Vertigo – was suggested for breakfast
Restaurante Tapisco – amazing Tapas in buzzy setting
1 de Maio – was suggested for dinner
Sinal Vermelho – was suggested for dinner
Papa Acorda – was suggested for dinner
Taberna Ideal – was suggested for dinner
Pizzaria Esperanaza – was suggested for dinner
Bica do Sapato – was suggested for dinner
Papa Acorda – was suggested for dinner
Miradoura Nossa Senhora – was suggested for dinner
Bairro Alto Hotel
Lounge – small bar with good djs
Lux – real club along the front (although terrible tripadvisor reviews!)
Things to do:
Torre de Belem – famous Gothic tower
Jeronimos Monastery – Gothic monastery
Padrao dos Descobrimentos – statue on water
Christ the King – inspired by Christ the Redeemer (across the river… you can see it from the castle)