Artsy, relaxed, filled with good food and drinks, beautiful views…there are so many reasons why Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in Europe. Lisbon is a relaxed city, yet buzzing with creative energy – which is exactly why it is a Fiery Favorite! The perfect city to wander and lose your way – all the while discovering small restaurants, fantastic street art and entering bars for a drink. Sigh, I do really love this city!
Read on for the Fiery Explorer’s guide to Lisbon!
#Artsy guide to Lisbon
Art overflows in Lisbon! My favorites are definitely some of the museums and the street art that is found everywhere!
- LX Factory: There is a strong artsy, industrial atmosphere at LX Factory, an old fabric factory that has been transformed into an area filled with shops, cool restaurants and tons of street art. Also houses one of the best rooftop bars of Lisbon!
- Museum Arte Antiga: A museum housed in a beautiful building, its collection consists of art from the Middle Ages – 19th century, with a strong focus on Portuguese art. It has a nice garden with a great view of the river! Visit the bar Le Chat after for a sunset drink overlooking the river afterwards.
- Street art in Alfama: Lisbon is filled with street art, but the old neighborhood of Alfama boasts some of the best pieces! There are several tours that you can do to discover the street art in Alfama. However, my recommendation is to take the tram to the top of Alfama, and spend an afternoon walking down the small streets, exploring and discovering as you go along! A more detailed blog post coming soon!
- Museum Calouste Gulbenkian: This museum is on my wishlist for my next visit to Lisbon! The collection ranges from ancient art (Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Persian, etc.) to pieces by masters such as Rubens, Rodin, and Monet.
Discover the countless bars in Lisbon! If you like Fado (traditional Portuguese music) there are many bars with live music – it all depends on your preference. I love cozy cocktail bars, tiny crowded bars and places with a great view!
- Park Bar: Best surprise you’ll find on top of a multi-storey car park: a cool bar overlooking the Tejo river with one of the best views of the city. Grab a drink, find a lounge chair and just enjoys the views and sounds of Lisbon. Getting there: find the car park on the corner of the address – take the elevator to the 5th floor, and walk up to the top.
- Pensão Amor: Located in a former brothel, this cocktail bar stays true to it’s past with lush velvet seats, dark furniture and cheeky decorations. Try their signature house cocktails – my chocolate love cocktail was delicious. In addition, they also host burlesque shows on some nights!
- Cinco Lounge: Known for its fantastic cocktails, Cinco Lounge is known to be perfect for a stylish, relaxed night out, sampling their 100 (!!!) drinks menu.
- Bairro Alto: This neighborhood has one of Lisbon’s liveliest nightlife and is filled with many great bars. Some of them include Cine Bairro, the Bali Bar and Pavilhão Chinês. However, the best way to explore is to walk the (steep!!) streets and make your own bar tour!
- Rio Maravilha @ LX Factory: The gastropub Rio Maravilha, with sweeping views of the river is known for its food, drinks and relaxing atmosphere – don’t miss it!
A foodie’s guide to Lisbon
It’s difficult to give recommendations for Lisbon, as there are so many great restaurants! Below are some of my favorites and recommendations, but being honest – I will write a whole separate blog post on just the food!
- Favorites: One of Portugal’s most famous chefs, José Avillez has ten restaurants in Lisbon, ranging from two Michelin star restaurant Belcanto to a pizzeria. I’ve visited three so far, and every time the food is delicious and the wine unforgettable! His restaurants are more expensive than average in Lisbon but definitely worth paying a visit!
- Seafood: For world-famous seafood visit family-run Cevejaria Ramiro – take care there may be long waiting lines. However, if you cross the river by ferry to Caclihas, and you are awarded fantastic views of the city and super fresh, and less expensive seafood. A local favorite is Ponto Final, recommended by my last Airbnb hosts!
- Breakfast: During my last visit to Lisbon, I discovered two gems to get breakfast and good coffee! Heim is located outside the ‘center’ and I found it on my way to the museu Arte Antiga. Delicious pancakes, toast, and eggs! The Mill is located near Park Bar and offers a cozy place to get great coffee and food, watching Lisbon life walk and drive by.
- Other great restaurants I have visited and enjoyed: Bica do Sapato has great views of the river and serves excellent seafood in a beautiful surrounding. Fumeiro de Santa Catarina serves petiscos (tapas) of delicious Portuguese food, focusing on smoked meat and fish. They serve great wine too!
Lisbon’s best views
Being a very hilly city, Lisbon has some great views! Below are some of the different places throughout the city you have a great view & photo opportunities!
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara: a large terrace viewpoint with sweeping views of the city.
- Largo Portas do Sol: this large terrace in Alfama looks out over the river and Alfama. Grab an ice cream from one of the sellers on the square and enjoy!
- Miradouro da Graça: also known as the viewpoint Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. This is my favorite spot as you can see the entire city from here; the main square, Alfama, all the hills and the river.
- Bars: For fantastic views, while sipping a drink, check out Park Bar, Noobai or Rio Maravilha.
Sightseeing guide to Lisbon
You can’t be bored in Lisbon! Below are my recommendations for a visit to Lisbon, which you can fit into a three or four-day visit!
- Sintra: If you have the time, visiting Sintra is an absolute must do! Located an hour outside of Lisbon, this town is full of dreamy, pastel-colored palaces and fairytale-like gardens.
- Mosteiro dos Jerõnimos: Located in Belém, this former monastery of over 500 years old is worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and the church next to it. Pay attention to the gorgeous detailed work inside!
- Rainy day: I’ve been in Lisbon when it was raining non-stop, luckily there is still enough to do! My favorites are the museums (see my #artsy recommendations above) or the Oceanãrio.
- Convento do Carmo: The Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a former-Roman Catholic convent. Visit it for learning a part of Lisbon’s history and the museum housed inside. Afterwards head over to find a spot at the kiosk on the square in front of the convent, buy a wine for €2.25 (!!!) and watch Lisbon life pass by.
- Alfama: A neighborhood with a lot of history and character! I won’t share a step by step guide, except my recommendation to take the tram 28 all the way to the end. Walk over to the viewpoint da Graça, and head down the winding streets from there. It will prove to be a walk full of surprising bars, restaurants, and cool street art!
If you’re interested in more Fiery Lisbon recommendations, I will soon also be sharing more articles about Lisbon! These include a food tour, more #artsy recommendations and what you can skip – and what to do instead! Keep an eye on the Travel – Europe category for upcoming posts!