There’s plenty to do in the incredible and inexpensive city of Lisbon, Portugal but we’ve chosen to must-not-miss highlights to get you started.
1. Walk up to Castelo de São Jorge
For sweeping views of Lisbon, walk your way up to Castelo de São Jorge. Navigate the stone ramparts and pine-shaded gardens of the 11th century hilltop fortifications, overlooking the terracotta-coloured roofs of the city below.
2. See Torre de Belém and Jeronimos Monastery
Marvel at the intricate stone work of Torre de Belém and the views it offers over the Belém area and the river. The 16th fortified tower played a huge role in the Portuguese maritime discoveries during the Age of Discoveries. While you’re on this side of town be sure to see the jaw-dropping Jeronimos Monastery. Impressive in size and stunning in its ornate details, the UNESCO World Heritage listed structure is a beautiful example of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture.
3. Wine and dine in Bairro Alto
This bohemian district is one of the best spots in the city to eat and drink. Lining the warren of cobblestone streets are an endless array of bars and restaurants to choose from like Pap’Acorda (order the acorda, a shellfish stew), Adega Machado (for the fado performances), Tágide (for the high-end tapas) and Pharmacia (for its uniquely awesome interior).
4. Treat yourself to Portuguese sweets
You’ll practically trip over a pastelaria at every turn in Lisbon. These bakery/cafe/pastry purveyors are where the locals head for a morning coffee and a sugar hit, and are the best spots to sample some of Portugal's renowned sweet treats. Pasteis de Belém is a famous Lisbon institution baking up the goods where you have to try a Pasteis De Nata, the famous egg custard, cinnamon coated tart but be sure to get stuck into Bola de Berlims (custard stuffed doughnuts, sensing a trend here?), Fios de Ovos (eggs drawn into thin strands and boiled in sugar syrup) and Bolo de Bolacha (a biscuit and condensed milk based cake).
5. Take the 28 tram
This well-known tram ride is an inexpensive and truly unique way to see the highlights of Lisbon. Because of the undulating route, only the vintage Remodelado trams that were originally commissioned in the 1930s, are able to conquer the twists and tilts of the track.
6. Visit the Oceanário de Lisboa
It’s the largest indoor aquarium in Europe and, arguably, one of the world’s best spots to see marine wildlife. Located in Parque das Nações (worth a stroll through on its own) the aquarium is home to a huge array of sea creatures and exhibits both entertaining and educational.