This June I made it for the very first time to Portugal and I couldn't help but keep asking myself, how come only now?! I had no idea that this country was so beautiful, well more precisely Lisbon, as that's the only city I've seen, but as the saying goes, It's never too late, right? I'm so happy that I finally visited this stunning city. Four days with a group of 11 girls aka fabulous hen party for our friend Pauline and four days with my husband (who joined me after), was perfectly enough to get to know the city a bit, enjoy a few days on the beach, eat some delicious Portuguese food and drink enough wine. At the end, I'm able to write a little Lisbon guide for those of you who will visit the Portuguese capital anytime soon and might want a few tips. I hope you'll enjoy them and find them useful.
I went to Lisbon completely unprepared, without any tips or any knowledge whatsoever what to see or do. As the main reason was a hen party, I was following the perfectly planned program for the four days. Only when my husband arrived to Lisbon did we go to the beach (if I was prepared for this trip in advance I would've known that Lisbon isn't actually on the beach!). Nevertheless, there are plenty of beautiful beaches that you can easily access either by a car or a train within 30-40 minutes. We loved Cascais (took the train from Cais do Sodre for around €5 return!) and spend two days lazying on the beach, well I did, to be honest. My husband loves to surf and so I should say that I was lazying on the beach while he was surfing the waves, Quel bonheur!
Places to visit
First things first, Pastéis de Belém, the famous sweet Portuguese pastry filled with cream, so yummy! Don't be afraid of the queue and walk inside as there's a huge dining area behind with a little garden at the back. Order a few of the pastéis as one is definitely not going to be enough (one cost only 1€), with a cup of coffee you'll never want to leave this place!
We loved the GINJINHA, a little bar where everyone orders a sweet cherry-like liqueur and drinks it outside on the street while chatting with friends.
Park Rooftop, an actual rooftop parking lot! for a stunning view at any time of the day. We went with the girls for cocktails in the evening and I went back with my husband during the day for a glass of rosé and something small to eat.
Memmo Alfama Hotel, another terrace but this time on top of a trendy hotel. We went for a sunset with my hubby and enjoyed a few cocktails with a stunning view over the river.
Sailing Yacht if you have the time! One part of the hen party was a full afternoon spent on a sailing boat and if you don't have motion sickness I can only highly suggest this activity (especially if you're a group of friends). We've had the best weather and time together and seeing the city from the other side was definitely a unique experience.
Gelados Santini, all I need to say!
And for the rest, just stroll. Walk around and everywhere, or take the tuk-tuk. We decided to take two tuk-tuks with the girls as it was more convenient for us to see a lot in a short time and it also took us to places where for example trams don't have the access to, as the city is very steep). With my husband we simply walked everywhere, one of my favourite places to go to was Calçada do Duque! Lot's of steps but the view is worth it plus there are plenty of restaurants and cafés. I've heard that the Lisbon tram 28 is a must, the longest route in Lisbon will probably take you everywhere. I'll have to try it next time.
Where to stay
Hotel Valverde was a fabulous find thanks to my favourite Grand Luxury Hotels. I've been traveling with Grand luxury quite a few times now and their selection of hotels never disappoints me! Hotel Valverde is a small boutique hotel right next to a metro stop Avenida on a beautiful tree lined boulevard. I'm not sure what the actual center of Lisbon is but I'd say this hotel was pretty much in the center of everything. We loved walking down to Rossio train station passing hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars, the atmosphere on the streets is fantastic! Breakfast is served in the courtyard and we also had the most delicious lunch at their restaurant called Sitio!
Sweet Inn is another fabulous way to stay in the city. If you prefer a place where you can cook your own meal and feel more like at home, this place is for you! We loved this apartment and it felt great to come back "home" and prepare a small apéro for the two of us with a bottle of red wine. The location was great and the place was clean and bright, even the slippers and cosmetic products where available!
As I said, stroll around the city and get lost in the little streets. That's the best way to find your own future travel tips that you can hopefully share with me at some point as I'm definitely going back to Lisbon! Have a great week everyone. xx