Portugal is one beautiful, vast country. Jamie and I stayed last summer with hopes of taking a day trip to Lisbon, only to realise it would take us more than that to arrive via public transport *doh*.
We’d decided, then, that it would be our top place to visit for 2017 and in late March we did just that. We packed as much as we possibly could in to our two days and for what it’s worth, I’d certainly recommend staying a little longer if you’re able.
Today, I wanted to share my top places to sleep, eat and see whilst you’re there – a jam packed City Guide to one of the most amazing, cool, laid back Cities – Lisboa.
Residentas Apostolos – a unique, luxury apartment building in the heart of Lisbon. Its location is perfect, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city noise but central enough to be able to experience this beautiful place on foot. Each room is elegantly designed and is guaranteed to make your stay feel even more special. The staff go above and beyond to ensure you get the most out of your time there, and will even offer free of charge transfers to and from the airport when you use my cheeky discount voucher listed at the end of this blog post!
Principe Real, If I learned one thing from my time in Lisbon is that it is steep. March-April are definitely preferable months to visit, you get all of the beauty without any of the sweat patches from blistering summer heat. Those hill climbs are certainly worth the pay off though – the views from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara are so beautiful and offer a relaxing, subdued environment to soak up the stunning sights, and relax those burning thighs.
If you find yourself with an afternoon to spare, I would totally recommend a train ride to Sintra – a small town only thirty minutes and €4 return from central Lisbon, it really is a wonderful day out. We rode a tuk-tuk to the very top of the mountains (quite possibly the scariest journey of my life), where Pena Palace is prettily perched. You can simply wander the grounds or explore the museum housed inside, it is without doubt one of the most stunning pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking to source all the local cuisine look no further than here – a street style, sit-down food market hosting delicacies such as sushi to pizza and seafood to jerk chicken it’s not one to be missed. It differs from your typical street food on the basis that it caters for all – if you’re looking for a quick snack, great they’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a sit down three course meal, amazing, they’ve got that too. It provides for the masses and does it with elegance, ease and affordability. Perfect.
The vegan food project. Now, I’ve never eaten vegan before now and so I have very low expectations for what a good vegan meal looks like but Oh. My. Regardless of your dietary preferences, this restaurant is a must. Super affordable, beautifully designed and incredible food with flavours that are absolutely insane you’ll wonder why you even bothered eating meat in the first place.
Pastel De Nata – aka the most delicious custard tarts you’ll ever experience. Manteigaria is the place to get them – a shop come cafe where they make the tarts before your eyes and let you grab a coffee at the same time. They’re a mere €1 each and I would be lying if I said we didn’t eat these at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We sampled some other incredible restaurants, that I wanted to keep away from the camera just to enjoy the experience, but that are certainly worth checking on your stay:
Cantinho Do Avillez – Jose Avillez is a michellin star chef and owns some of the most highly recommended restaurants in Lisbon. Cantinho is one of his more affordable, with an intimate setting and a menu that lets you feel like you’re spending a million dollars euros, without actually having to.
The Insolito – Boasting the best views of Lisbon, you can either come here for dinner or to sample one of their famous (mock)cocktails – travel up to the top in the first ever lift built in Lisbon and be prepared to never want to come back down.
City breaks are fast becoming my favourite way to experience the world, but with travelling comes responsibility and budgeting for such trips becomes essential the older we become (wise words, Megs). So if you’re looking to see more of the world but are keen to know exactly how much it’ll cost you, have a quick look at the Post Office website and their City Costs Barometer for this year -its a hidden treasure and should be your one stop shop for City travel in 2017.
Our time in Lisbon was short but sweet and so I’d love to hear your recommendations for what to do in the comments below for me and other readers, too.
Oh, and if you’re visiting this year, make sure you use my 5% discount for your booking at Residentas by using code ‘APO2017MEGS’ at checkout – you’re welcome 🙂