I caught the the Lisbon bug that has been going around and let me just say that there is a reason it is contagious! I completely fell in love with this city from the cobbled steep streets to the vibrantly colourful buildings there is a contrast of old and new that runs throughout the whole city that is truly magnificent.
We spent 3 nights in Lisbon in May and it was the perfect amount of time but also left me wanting to go back for more…
If you are planning a trip to Lisbon check out my guide below on where to stay , what to eat and do during your visit.
Where did we stay?
We decided to stay at The Cheese and Wine Suites due to it’s amazing location but also the apart-hotel feel. When I go away I often like to stay in apartments as I feel it helps to immerse you in the culture, but I also like feeling like I am on holiday by having a clean room and free delicious breakfast…which is exactly what the Cheese and Wine Suites offered.
Upon arrival we were even greeted by a bottle of wine and some cheese whilst one of the lovely staff members talked us through local hotspots!
The trendy room was much larger than we could have afforded if we were to pay for a classic hotel room in the same location, which was all of a 15 minutes walk from the heart of Bairro Alto.
This cool and charming property was the ideal choice and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
What did we eat?
Prior to visiting Lisbon I would have never associated great food with the city. How wrong I was, the city is packed full of some amazing restaurants and cool bars. Lisbon is a foodies playground and I will 100% be returning for the food.
Before going to Lisbon a few friends had recommended that we visit A Cevicheria as it was a true gastronomical gem of the city. I took this advice on board and on our first night we strolled to the restaurant as it was within walking distance of where we were staying.
We immediately knew we were at the right place by the crowd of young, buzzy cool people forming outside. You will have to wait for a table, it’s just something you need to accept and get on board with. But not to worry the bar opens up onto the street so get drinking…
We went for the 7 course tasting menu as it seemed like too good of a deal to turn down! We were not dissapointed, fresh and flavoursome are the words that come to mind. The flavour combinations were unique but not alienating, what a delight!
This Peruvian restaurant is the brain child of Chef Kiko, my new favourite chef! In fact we loved it so much that on our last night in Lisbon we visited another one of his restaurants, O Asiático. This restaurant was much larger and more stylized, it felt like it was straight out of a trendy neighbourhood in LA. We even had a spotting of the chef himself on the night.
The menu was a journey across Asia but with ingredients true and local to Portugal. It was exceptional, please can I go back!
What we did?
We did a lot of walking and riding trams as Lisbon is a very hilly city! The height however means that there are many amazing view points across the city where you can look out at the glorious sea of red roofs. So my number one suggestion is to pack a good pair of shoes and be prepared to walk…
On our second day we caught the train from the center of Lisbon to Sintra, a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra mountains, the journey was all of about 45 minutes.
Arriving in Sintra is like arriving in Disneyland for adults. This picturesque town is set in the hills and boasts many fascinating historical buildings. We hired a tuk-tuk driver to take us on a whistle stop tour of Sintra and listened to his recommendation of not paying to go into Pena Palace but instead going to see Quinta da Regaleira.
It was magical, enchanting and fun to explore. I would highly recommend this day trip!
I would also recommend venturing to the LX factory for lunch whilst in Lisbon. This industrial complex, located on the slight outskirts of the city centre, houses an array of arty retailers and individual restaurants.