19 fun things for you to do in Lisbon
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is one of those European cities with lots of fun things to do! From tasting a delicious pastry at a pastelaria (pastry shop), cruising on an e-scooter at the Tagus river or sipping on a drink while staring at a mesmerizing miradouro (viewpoint).
This city has positively surprised me by it’s idyllic (and steep!) cobblestone streets, colorful squares, the numerous historical sites, romantic parks, diverse shopping districts, and tasty restaurants. I can’t wait to share my list of 19 fun things to do in Lisbon with you!
1. Relax at the Tower of Belém
The gorgeous Tower of Belém is one of those iconic symbols of Lisbon. The tower was originally constructed to serve as a fort, but it has been altered to serve different purposes. It was used as a lighthouse, a customs house, and even a prison. That last role wasn’t really a success because the lower floor kept flooding leaving prisoners in water up to their waist. Nowadays, the tower is open for visitors and it received World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1983.
Admire the beautiful tower from the outside by chilling on the tiny beach, the staircase or from the nearby Jardim da Torre de Belém. Michel and I spent most of our time sitting (bring a blanket!) by the water with our feet in the Tagus river, soaking up the sun, listening to the waves, and staring at the tower and people around us.
Initially, we wanted to climb the tower to see the view but we were a little taken back by the long queue. After doing online research we decided not to visit the tower. There’s not a lot to see inside and the view didn’t seem that spectacular (this is the main terrace view). If you do want to climb the tower, I would suggest to go early in the morning. Check the official website for admission and opening hours.
2. Admire the Padrão dos Descobrimentos
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos represents the Portuguese Age of Discovery. It has the shape of a sailing ship that looks like it’s sliding into the river! Admire the impressive monument from up close and discover the cool pattern of the entrance and head inside for a panoramic view of Lisbon.
I felt so small standing below Henry the Navigator and the other huge 3D figures! I could totally imagine these men come alive in a Night at the Museum movie, lol! Besides the beautiful carved historical characters, I loved the pavement at the entrance. It has a cool pattern including a compass and world map. On the map, you can see ships and dates marking the main routes of the Portuguese travelers in the 15th and 16th century. I thought that was a nice reference to the Portuguese explorers.
To get a clear overview of the entire pattern, head inside the monument and make your way to the top. We skipped going inside because it wasn’t that crowded yet and we could see the pattern just fine! Inside you can also learn more on Lisbon’s history (there are various temporary exhibits) and the panoramic view is waiting for you at the top (this is one of the viewpoints including the historic Belém district, Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and the opposite shore). Check the official website for admission and opening hours.
3. Fool your friends at the 25th of April bridge
The 25th of April bridge really looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! And there is even a small link with this US city because it was built by the American Bridge Company who constructed San Fran’s Oakland Bay Bridge. Michel and I sent an iPhone selfie to some of our friends who then thought we were in San Fran. I challenge you to do the same and let me know if it worked!
The bridge is named after the date of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution: 25th of April (1974). It crosses the Tagus river and connects Lisbon to the municipality of Almada. We didn’t cross the bridge and kept walking on the neat cobblestone pedestrian path next to the river. During our stroll we noticed quite some fishermen trying to find a great catch. Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much action! However, it’s really relaxing to join them on a bench while feeling the river breeze on your skin and staring at all sorts of boats and ships coming by.
4. Rent an e-scooter in Belém & Alcântara
The smooth and flat pavement next to the Tagus river is ideal for an e-scooter ride. I developed two fun e-scooter routes for you to follow! Renting an e-scooter is a pretty cheap and fun way to explore the city! They are located throughout Lisbon and there are several brands (Lime, Flash, Hive, Tier, Wind, etc.) for you to choose from.
The first route in Belém
This is the first route we took in Belém. Our route starts at the Tower of Belém and follows the cycling path towards the 25th of April bridge. On the video below, you will get a sneak peek of our route. As you can see the path is smooth and flat and offers nice waterfront views.
Without any stops and crowds, this route will probably take you 15 minutes. At the Tower of Belém, we rented a Lime scooter (we don’t prefer one brand over another though) and 15 minutes cost €3,25 (€1 to unlock + €0,15 per minute).
The second route in Alcântara
This is the second route we took in Alcântara. If you want, you can easily combine this route with the previous one. This route starts where the first route ends. The second route ends at the Ribeira das Naus (boulevard). This upcoming trendy district has cool shops, cafés and bars. Park your scooter at the boulevard at the end of your tour and get lunch at the Time-Out Mercado da Ribeira. Locals gather here to enjoy their break too! Doesn’t this view look zen?
Without any stops and crowds this route will probably take you about 15 minutes as well. Using Lime this costs €3,25 (€1 to unlock + €0,15 per minute). Or €5,50 in total if you combine the first and second route at once.
Tip: Join a guided e-scooter tour
If you want to learn more about the Portuguese culture and traditions through the eyes of a local, then join a guided e-scooter tour. A guide will get you familiar with Lisbon’s neighborhoods and all of its hidden gems. And the best thing is you won’t have to worry about figuring out a route. Just let yourself be surprised along the way.
5. Explore the LX Factory
The LX Factory is a funky and hip complex filled with trendy restaurants, innovative shops, snap-worthy street art, and more! It’s not just a single building, but the area (which feels like a mini neighborhood on its own) has several buildings, as well as outside patios and green spaces. The history of the industrial complex dates back to 1846 when a threads and fabrics company ran their business here. The complex received a make-over and now serves as a meeting point for both locals and tourists.
I found out about the LX Factory through Instagram when I saw a picture of the cozy Ler Devagar bookshop. This shop, filled with books up to the ceiling, is a paradise for book (and photography!) lovers. They sell a wide range of Portuguese books but they also have English language books. When you enter the store, you are greeted by a huge white bicycle sculpture floating above your head! Besides books, you can find an old newspaper printing machine, a coffee shop, a candy shop (Bolo da Marta – a must for meringue lovers), and a permanent exhibition of Pietro Proserpio.
Pretty much all the stores in LX Factory are worth a visit. Every place is unique and the business owners really seem to have a passion for their craft. Some places were still empty or renovating. For a current list of stores and opening hours, check the official website.
Besides the shops, there are many lunch spots to choose from. We ended up sitting outside at one of the wooden picnic tables of Café na Fábrica (because of finger-licking food pics on their Facebook page!). The staff was super friendly and all their dishes seemed freshly prepared. All the other restaurants are mentioned on the LX Factory website.
There are two things that maybe you should know before visiting the LX Factory. The complex lies in a rougher industrial area. We walked to the LX Factory and a (drunk?) guy followed us around and kept asking us for money. Although nothing happened, the area didn’t look like the safest. I think taking the bus, tram or train is probably better than walking like we did. Second, the roads in LX Factory are still open to traffic. The streets and sidewalk are narrow and it can be pretty noisy at times.
6. Visit a park
Whether you are looking for a picnic spot, a place to sunbathe or to admire exotic plants Lisbon has got your back. The city offers several parks and green spaces for you to choose from. Below I listed some of my favorites.
Jardim Botânico Tropical
If you are looking for peace and shade while wandering in between tropical species the Jardim Botânico Tropical is worth visiting. This botanic oasis started as a study location for agronomy and veterinary students at the beginning of the 20th century. This makes total sense because there are more than enough species to discover.
Luckily you don’t have to be a biologist to find out which 500 species and subspecies can be found at the park. Nearly every tree, bush or plant has a name tag. Super handy! Besides exotic flora, the garden is home to several turtles, ducks, herons, and parakeets.
To visit this park there’s a small admission fee of €2. I don’t think this is much considering there’s enough to see (sneak peek in Google Maps) to keep you busy for at least an hour. The park looks well maintained but some places, like the bathrooms and some of the statues, could use upgrading. Check this website for admission and opening hours.
Parque Eduardo VII
The main reason why you want to visit Parque Eduardo VII is the top view you get on the Tagus river and the statue of Marques de Pombal. It may seem like quite the climb but the pedestrian path goes gradually up. During your walk, you will come across several smaller entrances but my suggestion is to head towards this observation deck (which is where we made the photo and video below!).
Inside the park, there is a monument remembering the 25th of April Revolution, a café and a pond. When we visited there was nothing else to see. However, several events take place in the park throughout the year (such as Lisbon’s annual book fair, various concerts, and exhibitions).
Jardim de Belém, Jardim da Praça do Império, and Jardim Afonso de Albuquerque
Visiting the Jardim de Belém, Jardim da Praça do Império, and Jardim Afonso de Albuquerque is easy as all three parks are situated next to each other. They are ideal for picnicking, sunbathing, napping or to people watch. Enjoy waterfront views or city views.
7. Spot different types of trams
Lisbon is built on seven hills and the city offers several solutions to tackle those. Taking the tram is one of those options and using them is cheap. Did you know Lisbon has two types of trams?
The Remodelado trams
The yellow “Remodelado” trams are the old trams you will hear rattling through the narrow streets. Tram 28 is considered to offer the most scenic route crossing the Alfama district. We didn’t try this route because of the long queues. Besides that, tram 28 looked packed and being squeezed in didn’t seem comfortable.
Therefore, we decided to partially walk the tram 28 route, which is just as fun (if not better!). In Time Travel Turtel’s article, you will find a handy tram 28 walking route. If you do want to try tram 28, please see Tripsavvy’s blog post on tram 28 tips.
Besides walking the tram 28 train route, we had a lot of fun spotting these old trams. No other city in Europe uses such old trams any more, which makes seeing (and mainly hearing, lol!) them kind of a unique experience. The city still uses the old trams because of the steep, narrow and tight roads modern trams can’t handle.
The Articulado trams
The newer models are called “Articulado” trams. These trams provide a higher passenger capacity and are confined to the flat sections of Lisbon. Traveling with the newer trams seemed less crowded and more comfortable.
Tip: Get a day-pass
If you plan to take more than five trips on any given day, this best and easiest choice is a day-pass. This ticket allows you 24 hours of unlimited travel on trams, buses, ferries, metros, and funiculars (Elevador da Bica, Elevador da Gloria, Elevador da Lavra and Elevador da Santa Justa). A day-pass costs €6,40 and is charged to a Viva Viagem reusable card, which costs €0,50. Check out the official Carris transportation Lisbon website for the most updated info.
8. Stare into amazing viewpoints
After all the free work-outs, climbing up or down the streets of Lisbon, there is a fine reward: staring at one of the amazing miradouros (viewpoints). Try to see a sunrise or sunset to grasp all the beauty!
Observation deck Elevador de Santa Justa
The Elevador de Santa Justa has been part of the city’s public transportation system since 1902. Before the lift existed it was very difficult to get from the Baixa neighborhood to the Bairro Alto district. The elevator turned out to be a huge success and 3000 tickets were sold on the first day! Nowadays, its purpose changed into a tourist attraction that leads to a pretty awesome view.
The elevator is 45 meters high and its Gothic style and structure looks a bit like the Eiffel tower. This is no coincidence because the architect, Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard, was an admirer of Gustave Eiffel! Raoul applied the same techniques used in some of the funiculars in France during that time.
A return ride on this elevator is quite expensive (€5.30). If you have a day-pass admission to the elevator is included though. However, I would suggest skipping the elevator ride because there is not much to see, it’s short (about half a minute), and crowded. Also, be prepared to wait for a while because the lift can only carry 29 people at once.
Once you have reached the top deck, you can get even higher! For €1,50 spiral staircases lead you to the panoramic observation deck. In my opinion, this small fee is totally worth it! Only 29 visitors are allowed on at once, so it never feels too crowded. If you have taken the elevator before, you also have to pay €1,50 to get to the observation deck.
The observation deck offers several incredible views on the Rossio and Figueira Square, the Baixa district, the Castelo de São Jorge, and the Carmo church and ruins.
Taking snaps here is a lot of fun. Look at all those terracotta rooftops! I bet it’s even more beautiful during a sunset.
Miradouro das Portas do Sol
Another cool viewpoint is the Miradouro das Portas do Sol from where you can see the Tagus river and several churches such as São Vicente de Fora, São Miguel, and Santo Estêvão. We grabbed a refreshment at the nearby kiosk and enjoyed the view and the passage of the famous tram 28 (a stop is located in front of the kiosk).
There are many other idyllic panoramic views in Lisbon that are just as colorful! If you are interested to visit more views, this article with the 31 best views in Lisbon (free and paid) by Tripper is very helpful.
9. Rent an apartment (with a view!)
Speaking about views…Another tip I have is to rent an accommodation with a view. This allows you to enjoy lush views whenever you want! Whether it’s in your pajamas while eating breakfast or seeing a romantic sunset during dinner together with your significant other.
Before Michel and I headed off to Lisbon, we put a lot of time and effort in finding an accommodation located in a cozy but not-so-touristy neighborhood, nearby shops and restaurants, and which was budget-proof. Our search led to the cool Príncipe Real district. It’s tiny, colorful pastel alleys and the presence of multiple trendy shops filled with fashion, food, and art make it a pleasurable area to stay.
We are no fans of massive all-inclusive hotels and usually go for an accommodation that feels a bit more authentic. The location of our apartment (Feels Like Home Príncipe Real with View) turned out to be really convenient because it was close to several amenities and points of interests:
- A local supermarket (Minipreço Supermarket) with friendly staff where you can get all your basic groceries.
- A fishmonger (Peixaria Centenária) which sells delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price (get a glance at their shop and the types of fish they sell on their Facebook page).
- There is a local butcher (Armando & Nuno Lda) which sells all types of meat.
- A romantic city park, the Jardim do Príncipe Real, where the locals go. On Saturday’s there is a biological market with fresh fruit and veggies. And every last Saturday of the month there’s a market with handmade products.
- The Embaixada, situated in the Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, is perfect for a unique shopping experience. If you are looking for an unusual piece of Portuguese craftsmanship this is the place to go. Or simply grab a bite at one of the restaurants or drink a bica (espresso) to reload during the day.
The Feels Like Home apartment turned out just as cute as we had seen on Booking.com. All the rooms looked spacious, neat, and were definitely clean. The apartment includes a fully furnished kitchen, so you can prepare your meals whenever you feel like it. We ate breakfast (with a view!) in our apartment and we prepped dinner here twice.
The awesome location, stunning views, and hip-styled rooms made our stay really enjoyable. For more info, photos, reviews or to book this apartment, check out this affordable accommodation on Booking.com.
10. Taste a Lisbon pastry
Lisbon is filled with pastelarias (pastry shops) that serve a great variety of delicious pastries, cakes, and sweets. Most of these shops open at 8:00 am and close at 10:00 pm. Locals will stop by to enjoy a pastelaria in the late afternoon (after 5:00 pm) because dinner is usually eaten between 8:00-10:00 pm. That’s the perfect excuse to eat a sweet snack in between if you ask me!
Some of Lisbon’s pastries have funny names such as Papo de Anjo (angel’s double chin) or Toucinho do céu (bacon from heaven). Most of these names date back to when Portugal’s nuns and monks pioneered the country’s sweets in the 15th century. Portugal dominated global trade routes and the colonial sugar industry boomed. Centuries later, more than 200 types of delicacies are prepared according to their original recipes. Which one would you pick?
The main ingredients in most Portuguese sweets are egg yolks and sugar, in addition to flour, nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, and other spices. I’m not the biggest sweet fan out there (except for chocolate!), but I had to try the Pastry of Belém. This classic small cream cake tastes best when it’s still warm. It’s usually served with powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. This pastry was absolutely delicious! They are crisp on the outside and incredibly soft on the inside. And the good thing is, you can get them pretty much everywhere and they cost around €1-1,50.
Lots of pastry shops proudly display their goodies in their shop windows. If you’re looking for a proper one look for signs that read Fabrico Próprio (homemade), so you are sure to get a freshly made treat! If you want to know more about Portuguese Sweets, the 12 must-eat Portuguese sweets (and where to find them) by Eater is a good read.
11. Train your legs by using the staircases
After trying those pastries you might feel you need an extra gym session when you get home. However, this is NOT the case when you walk during your entire Lisbon trip. Before I visited Lisbon, I had never seen a city that has so many staircases! I bet you will lose those calories in no-time. After one day my legs already felt sore, lol.
Some staircases even have an escalator next to them! This was the first time I had seen an escalator outside. While Michel and I took the steps, an older couple took the escalator, which seemed like a smart solution.
And whenever I got tired of taking the stairs (my calves even felt sore walking down) I sometimes used the rails to slide down. Of course, please always be careful when you try out silly stuff like I did!
12. Take a street art tour
Go on a regular stroll in Lisbon and I bet you will bump into street art and graffiti at some point. Some are really good, some look like quick scribbles. Of course, this is totally personal.
Where to spot street art?
We saw street art in the streets of the Ascensor da Glória and the LX Factory. We also found some cool street art at Beco do Maldonado. This narrow alley looks a bit rough and dirty, but there are some neat pieces such as the wall full of eyes. They seem to follow you around as you pass them! Want to see more? Please see this list of interesting individual art pieces by the Culture Trip.
Tip: Join a guided street art tour
If you’re interested to learn more about Lisbon’s urban art scene join one of Lisbon’s street art tours. In 3 hours, a guide shows you artwork in different neighborhoods and tells you all about them!
13. Join a music event
The Portuguese love music. Their traditional music genre, Fado (meaning destiny/fate), is often performed at pubs, cafés, and restaurants. A fadista sings with lots of emotion about the struggles of life. Joining a performance feels like an emotional experience, even if you don’t understand the lyrics (I don’t speak Portuguese!). If you’re interested to see a performance, here’s a list of 10 best places for Fado music by Condé Nast Traveller.
Besides joining a Fado performance, Lisbon offers a lot more festivities such as carnival, jazz events and big concerts, and music festivals. Find out what’s currently on!
Regular street performances may pop up in and around Lisbon’s parks. We bumped into a live performance at Jardim António Nobre. In the weekends, there is usually live music accompanied by street food. Michel and I enjoyed a tasty local platter filled with ham, sausages, cheese, and bread. And while listening to a nice tune we watched the sun go down. Joining a music event in this park is free, but if you want you can tip the band later on.
14. Snap a photo at Pink Street
Decades ago Cais do Sodré was Lisbon’s red-light district, a rough area filled with brothels and drunken sailors. In 2011, this area and its main (Pink) street (the official name of Pink Street is Rua Nova do Carvalho) received a make-over. However, you can still find some elements remembering the old days such as a lingerie store and an erotic bookshop.
Nowadays, this neighborhood is well-known for its lively nightlife, bars, food spots, and (burlesque) clubs. During the weekend, Pink Street is filled with locals eating outside, but during the day it’s pretty quiet. So take a photo on Pink Street early in the morning! This street doesn’t look as clean and vivid as I had seen on Instagram. But the combination with the yellow bridge and the blue building in the back makes up for a colorful photo spot!
15. Chill at Lisbon’s squares
Lisbon is home to lots of squares, from old to more modern ones. Taking a break at one of the beautiful squares is the perfect excuse to enjoy an ice cream or figuring out your route.
Praça do Comércio
The Praça do Comércio is also known as the Palace Square where the luxurious Ribeira Palace used to stand. Sadly, it got destroyed during am earthquake in 1755. The square got rebuilt and reflects the wealth of Lisbon. Back in the day, financiers, merchants, and captains would plan exciting sea-voyages or trade goods at the square.
This square is a great place for a short break while soaking up the fresh air of the Tagus river. On the weekends, you can often see various events or watch street artists.
The best way to get to this square is by entering the gorgeous 30-meter triumphal arch (Arco da Rua Augusta). The arch has six columns and is decorated with statues of various historical figures. Oh, and there is a clock in case you have completely lost track of time! When you are standing in front of the arch, you can see a glimpse of the bronze statue of King José sitting on his horse.
I really like how the impressive arch leads you to the beautiful square from where you have far stretched views on the Tagus river. The square itself is surrounded by yellow architecture (I called it the ‘yellow square’, lol), bars, shops, and restaurants. The oldest café-restaurant (founded in 1782), Martinho da Arcada, is located at Praça do Comércio.
Tip: Visit viewpoint at Arco da Rua Augusta
Enter the arch for a stunning 360º view of Lisbon, the beautiful square, the Tagus river, and the 25th of April bridge. The viewing platform is open daily and costs €2,50. Get a sneak peek of this amazing view!
Praça dos Restauradores
At the Praça dos Restauradores, you are surrounded by fancy buildings like the pink Palacio Foz and the art deco Eden Theatre (which has been converted into an exclusive hotel). You will recognize the square by the huge obelisk, which represents the independence of Portugal from Spain. While exploring the square, don’t forget to look down at the typical pattern (sneak peek!) of the cobblestone pavement.
Praça do Rossio
The vibrant Praça do Rossio is surrounded by restaurants and bars making it the ideal place for outdoor sitting while sipping on a drink. The art-deco Café Nicola is the most popular one and serves local dishes such as “Bife à Nicola” and “Bife à Café”. Watch a mix of tourists and locals relaxing on the baroque fountains or admiring the 27-meter high Dom Pedro IV monument.
16. Stroll in cute neighborhoods
There are many different neighborhoods and each has its own unique vibe. These are some of my favorite areas:
- Príncipe Real: We stayed in this area and loved its relaxed vibe. Enjoy a morning coffee at the delicious Bettina & Niccolò Corallo Chocolate & Café (try their amazing chocolate), eat your lunch at the romantic Jardim do Príncipe Real city park, shop unique items at Embaixada and go see a sunset at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
- Alfama: Wander around in a labyrinth of old narrow steep streets and taste delicious Portuguese food along the way. Stop to listen to Fado at one of the Fado houses or visit the Fado Museum. Visit gorgeous sites such as the Sé de Lisboa (cathedral), São Vicente de Fora (church and monastery), Panteão Nacional (church), and stunning lookouts Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
- Baixa: Enter gateway Arco da Rua Augusta (or climb!) and go shopping in Rua Augusta or other nearby streets. While shopping admire the beautiful mosaic pavement! Other worthwhile sites are Parque Eduardo VII, Elevador de Santa Justa, (visit the observation deck!), and Ascensor da Glória. Also, visit these beautiful squares such as Praça do Comércio (the “yellow square”), Praça do Rossio and Praça dos Restauradores. Looking to cool off during a hot summer day? Grab your beach towel and head towards Ribeira das Naus.
- Bairro Alto: See a sunrise at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, have a typical Portuguese lunch at a Tasca (inexpensive, tiny restaurant), stroll in boutiques in Rua da Atalaia, Rua do Diário de Notícias, and Rua do Norte. In the evening, enjoy the Bairro Alto nightlife in one of the hundred tiny bars. Most people stand outside, chat, and have a drink from a plastic cup.
- Cais do Sodré: There is more to see in this area than Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho)! Foodies can make their way to the popular Time-Out Mercado da Ribeira, try a tasty ice cream at Gelato Davvero (many flavors and toppings) or eat Portuguese sweets and pies at bakery Tease. Head back to the main (Pink) street for shopping and enjoy live music, eateries, and bars in the evening.
- Belém: This is my favorite area (it’s actually a suburb). Chill by the Tagus river and walk to monumental sites such as the Tower of Belém, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, and the MAAT museum (go see the free view!). If you don’t feel like walking, I can recommend renting an e-scooter or joining a guided e-scooter tour. End your day by watching a sunset from one of the parks (such as Jardim de Belém, Praça do Império, and Jardim Afonso de Albuquerque).
17. Discover azulejos (Portuguese tiles)
I liked spotting azulejos, which come in all sorts of different colors because they remind me of Delft Blue tiles. These tiles still can be found in some old Dutch homes (I’m from the Netherlands) and they get sold as a typical souvenir in shops (mainly in Delft).
The word azulejo stems from Arabic roots, meaning ‘small polished stone’. The origin of these tiles date back to the 13th century when the Moors invaded the land that now belongs to Portugal and Spain. King Manuel I of Portugal, brought azulejo from Seville (Spain) to Portugal, during the 15th century. Now they are a dominant feature in many Portuguese towns. In Lisbon, you’re able to discover countless examples of them!
Where can you find azulejos?
You can find these beautiful ceramic tiles pretty much everywhere! Especially, when you are visiting a church or cathedral (interior and exterior). You can also spot many of them in restaurants, bars, homes or as a decoration used on walls and benches. Other beautiful tile-mania worthy sites are:
18. Go (thrift) shopping
I didn’t do much shopping in Lisbon because my suitcase was fully packed and I traveled with hand luggage only. However, all you fashionista’s can have a great time shopping, because this city has something for any budget:
- Avenida Da Liberdade: This street is great when you are into luxury shopping for designer items from Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Guess, Burberry, and many other brands.
- Rua Augusta: Go here and explore nearby side streets to shop at commercial stores, like H&M, Mango, and Zara as well as smaller local clothing shops.
- LX Factory: Funky and hip complex filled with innovative shops and artisanal products. Every place is unique and the business owners really seem to have a passion for their craft.
- Embaixada: The location (in the Ribeiro da Cunha Palace) makes up for a unique shopping experience. If you are looking for an unusual piece of Portuguese craftsmanship this is the place to go.
Lately, I have been loving shopping at thrift stores. Although there wasn’t any space in my suitcase these are some awesome thrift stores; A Outra Face da Lua (Baixa), Ás de Espadas, Feira da Ladra, HUMANA, and Retro City Lisboa.
Individual (special) stores
- A Vida Portuguese: This shop used to be a perfume factory and now it’s a heaven for those seeking vintage packaging (or a gift!). The store offers over 1000 products made by Portuguese manufacturers. You can find anything from books, stationery to food, ceramics, toys and even jewelry.
- Caza das Vellas Loreto: This shop sells all kinds of candles and was opened on the day of the French Revolution (1789). It has been in the same family for 7 generations already! The dark wood interior and the wood-framed glass cabinets reminded me of an old library.
- Loja das Conservas: I had never seen a shop, besides a supermarket, which sells that many canned fish. However, this shop presents them so nicely. The colorful packaging turns them into a fun souvenir to take home.
- Ourivesaria Aliança: This amazing 6-floor Belle Époque-style jewelry store (now called “Tous” but the original name is still visible above the front door) is just stunning. The indoor decoration combines beautiful frescoes with gold gilded mirrors. For me, it was window shopping only by the way!
- Silva & Feijóo: There are several locations of this store, but the original one (located here) is really a unique visit. As soon as you arrive, you will recognize this story by its old-fashioned façade with gorgeous details on the windows. The inside looks like a mini-museum full of tasty goodies (olive oil, canned sardines, Port, and more.)
19. Plan a day trip to Sintra
Combine your visit to Lisbon with a fairy tale day trip to Sintra (this blog post includes practical info and sites worth seeing + how to travel from Lisbon to Sintra). This city is only a 40-minute train ride away and the perfect mix of breathtaking sites and views, luxurious villas and gardens, and unique fauna and flora. All of these treasures are placed in the Sintra Mountains with views on the blue Atlantic.
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its high standards of living. No wonder even Madonna bought a house in Sintra (look at her fancy crib)! In my Sintra blog post, I will take you along in the historical center of Sintra, the quirky Quinta da Regaleira, and the colorful Pena Palace which are easy to combine in a day trip from Lisbon.
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