You could easily spend four or five days exploring the city by foot and riding the train to visit its surrounding historic sites. Whether you’re heading to Lisbon soon or still planning to, here are 15 travel tips for your first trip to Lisbon.
1. Join a free Lisbon walking tour
There is no better way to explore a city rich in history and culture than being guided by a local. Hearing the stories from a professional guide makes you feel more connected!
You can join free walking tour during your first day in Lisbon so that you would have an idea on the locations you would like to revisit after.
2. Explore Alfama
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods. Its narrow cobblestone streets and tall historic houses give it a romantic vibe.
3. Order Bacalhau for lunch or dinner
Bacalhau or salted codfish is one of the main dishes in Portugal. They serve Bacalhau in different ways (for example, Bacalhau com Natas).
It is a rich, heavy and creamy baked dish with potatoes and codfish. Another example is the grilled Bacalhau with garlic, olive oil, and potatoes, its simple and focuses on the taste of the codfish.
4. Eat lots of Pastel de Nata
A Lisbon trip wouldn’t be complete without eating an authentic pastel de nata or Portuguese egg tart.
Once you’ve taken a bite, you would have a hard time limiting yourself in eating this heavenly dessert! There’s a light crunch as you eat the buttery, crispy crust. Its creamy filling is even more satisfying as it melts in your mouth.
Usually, they add powdered sugar and cinnamon on top of the Pastel de nata!
5. Visit the Time Out Market
Time Out Market offers an overwhelming variety of food!
This enormous indoor food market has numerous stalls that serve different kinds of dishes, desserts, and drinks.
Time Out Market is popular to tourists so, despite the big space, you might have a hard time finding a seat. Prices are not cheap and they are comparable to restaurant prices, but at least you have a lot of options to choose from.
6. Listen to Fado
Fado is a piece of traditional folk music in Portugal. Many restaurants in Lisbon have Fado performances but the Alfama neighborhood is best known for Fado.
7. Visit Castelo de Sao Jorge
Ride the tram and visit Lisbon’s Moorish castle. Spend at least an hour at Castelo de Sao Jorge and climb its stairs and towers. Aside from the main attraction of exploring the ruins, Castelo de Sao Jorge is situated on a hilltop and gives amazing views of the city. Visit it during the afternoon so that you can watch the magnificent sunset over the city.
8. Drink a shot of Ginja
This Portuguese liqueur is a traditional drink in Lisbon. Its thick and sweet cherry flavor get contradicting opinions from its visitors. Some like it, some don’t, but it’s something you should try when in Lisbon! 🙂