Living in Lisbon – My Favourite Spots
Living in Lisbon – My Favourite Spots
As so many of you have asked me questions about Lisbon, where to go and what to do, I finally managed to capture some photos of my favourite spots in the city and write a post about them. A little disclaimer on my side: I’ve been here for about a month now and there’s a vast number of beautiful places to still explore for me, too, this is just a teeny, tiny selection of my most favourite things to do, for now.
Bairro Alto – Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
When I first arrived in Lisbon, I was staying in a hostel just a few meters from the spot I shot the photo below. Bairro was the first neighbourhood I got to know here, which was pretty awesome. Basically, it’s the restaurant/bar/club area of the city, where young people bundle around for beer and wine for a euro each. There are some pretty awesome bars here, playing life music at certain hours of the night. One of my favourite ones is Spot Bar, but there are many others just around the corner. During the day this area is pretty empty, at night though, it’s always crowded until around 2/3pm.
Largo do Chiado – In the Middle of Everything
Connecting Bairro Alto and Chiado, Largo do Chiado is probably the most center square in Lisbon. Apart from being a picturesque spot to hang and chill, it’s also the perfect location for reaching anything by foot. Although Lisbon has a pretty decent metro line, the city center is quite dense, making it unnecessary to use the sub. Largo do Chiado definitely isn’t the cheapest place to stay, but location-wise you can’t get any better. It’s the perfect place to start exploring the city and soaking in the atmosphere. At 10, 12am and 2pm respectively, you can join free walking tours from here (highly recommended). Plus, just a few meters away, in front of Baixa Chiado metro station, there is always some street artist performing for some extra coins, making it a very joyful and lively corner of the city.
Pastéis de Belém – The Iconic Portuguese Pastry
If you’re ever in Portugal or Brazil for that matter, there’s one thing you can’t miss tasting – Pastéis de Belém. Rumours tell that the best Pastéis are the ones sold in Antigua Confeitaria de Belém, where many tourists end up visiting the famous Jerónimos Monastery. In my opinion however, the best ones are the ones at Manteigaria. In case you want to argue, feel free to shoot me an email, but make sure to give these babies a try!
More Food – My Favourite Ice-cream Places
Although this place is a chain store, this is one of the best ice-cream places I know outside Italian borders – Amorino! Once again, Portuguese people claim Santini is the place to go. However, if you like chocolate as much as I do, Amorino definitely wins over Santini big times, in consistency as well as in taste. My favourite flavors include nut&fig, dark chocolate sorbet, yoghurt and pistaccio!
I like to shop around Baixa-Chiado metro station, however, the stores here in Lisbon are pretty standard. Zara’s, Massimo Duttis, H&M’s, etc., you get the point. The only recommendable place is a bikini store I stumbled upon just recently, named Cantê. The store is located in a cute, little backyard in Chiado, where they sell some eye-catching bikinis and swimsuits. Their motto: it’s always bikini season somewhere in this world. I agree!
On to Liquids – My Favourite Bars Around the City
The photo below pictures the rooftop bar, where I spent my first evening in Lisbon, featuring an epic view over the city and the Tagus river. It’s located on the top floor of Hotel do Chiado. It’s on the pricey side, but definitely worth the money. Another rooftop bar with a great view, a few hundred meters further west, is Park Bar. Always crowded, always fun, park bar gathers many young students to drink cocktails, wine or beer and plays some decent music inside, too. During the day you can also enjoy some smaller meals here, but I’d recommend coming here for a pre-dinner drink to enjoy the sunset. Saving the best for the last, my absolute, absolute favourite bar here in Lisbon is BytheWine. It’s a rustic building where old wine bottles decorate the ceiling and a big chunk of ham is waiting to be cut behind the counter. It’s insanely cheap, especially if you take into account the high quality food, service and wine. A must go!
Tourist Attractions Not to Miss
As you might have noticed, I’m the kind of traveller who’s focused on places to chill, mostly that involves food or drinks. But this post wouldn’t be quite complete, if I hadn’t included some of my favourite sights in Lisbon, too. There’s the Elevador for example, a giant elevator in the middle of the city, connecting the city parts Baixa and Chiado/Bairro Alto. I like it because I’ve never seen anything that resembles this elevator by any means, it’s mesmerizing. On the next picture you see Praça de D. Pedro IV, another beautiful square here in Lisbon. Then of course, there’s Praça do Comércio and Arco da Rua Augusta, which you might have seen on some Instagram feeds or postcards.
Seafood, Seafood, Seafood!
Let’s talk about food again, because you shouldn’t leave Lisbon without having some decent seafood! The place to go for that matter definitely is Cervejaria Ramiro, which apart from epic seafood, serves nothing but garlic bread, bear and wine. I like! It’s known all over the city and unites foodie tourists and locals around small, white clothed tables. It’s simple, but in an elegant way. Another hot tip (I haven’t personally tried out yet) is SEAME. Let me know what you think about that one, in case you decide to go there.
Intendente – Former Red Light District
That’s right, Intendente used to be the drug and red light district in Lisbon. Eager on changing that, the city managed to transform the area into a funky neighbourhood, where many students, including me, live now. Right around the corner of my house, there’s a square called Largo do Intendente, where super cool concept stores meet cool cafés and bars. At night, you should definitely come and check out Casa da Independente, an old villa transformed into a super cool bar/club/concert/backyard place. My favourite café here is Das Joanas, a café/bistro where you can enjoy home-cooked food made by the two lovely sisters running the place.