A citybreak in Lisbon, Portugal, was just the great idea of the month! First, to take the sun while it’s raining in PAris, Second, to get some revigorating energy. Lisbon is a city full of color, life and peace at the same time. Here are a few tips to spend 4 wonderful days in Lisbon
Booking and preparing
We booked the trip only a few days before the departure through the French booking site Voyage Privé, which is fast and efficient.
Our hotel was the Lisboa Carmo Hotel, at the heart of the city (Rua da Oliveira ao Carmo 1-3, Subway station Baixa or Rossio). It is located on the Place do Carmo opposite the Convento do Carmo – and at night there were not much noise. I recommend it as everything was perfect: the service, the room, the water bootles and nespresso offered in the room, the dinner for two offered with live music, the complete breakfast. Well, a very beautiful hotel that is comfy, quiet and near main activities in Lisbon.
Day 1 : Mercado da Ribeira and Belém
Arrival: 9AM at the airport, going to the hotel by subway. You’d rather purchase the transportation card “Zapping” and add money onto it anytime you need (5€ minimum) because it can be used on all means of transportation – subway, bus, tramway, train – on the contrary to other to other cards that are unlimited for a few days but limited to specific means of transportation.
Lunch:12PM, au Mercado da Ribeira also called Time Out Lisboa Market (Avenida 24 de Julho – Cais do Sodré subway station).
In the section of Portuguese chefs, we choose Miguel Castro e Silva and test the sardines, salt cod and potato mash, which are great! A nice introduction to Portuguse cuisine.
Afternoon: walking around Belém in order to see the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the Torre de Belém and taste the famous Pastéis de Belém from the pastry with the same name (Rua de Belém 86-88). Before the snack, we take a break under the sun near the harbour and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument. When you leave the tower and go back to the station, take the small, cute streets instead of taking the main avenue!
Dinner : at the restaurant of the hotel called Maria do Carmo. Dinner and live music are offered by the hotel, we just can’t refuse this! Sardines, cod, beef, white chocolate mousse and soul music. This first Portuguese dinner is wonderful
Day : Castelo, Alfama, Graça neighborhoods and the city of Sintra
Morning: our tip – walk up to the castle instead of taking the tramway number 28 – you’ll have many other occasions to take it and the waiting line from Rossio is often very long. By walking, you will cross small streets, meet people from Lisbon, and get closer to the real life.
Lunch: after we walked through the small streets around the castle and got to have amazing views on Alfama neighborhood, we go to Alfama neighborhood and stop in the wonderful courtyard of the restaurant Santo António de Alfama!
Afternoon: we get into the tramway number 28 by crossing Graça neighborhood in order to reach Rossio train station.
From there, we head to intra in order to visit its National Palace, that has maure origins and is part of Unesco World heritage. Departure from Rossio station, 50 minutes, 2.80€ per one-way trip. We are in the heart of a forest and it looks like a fairy tale. We spend only a few hours in the city so we’ll visit the other Palace called Pena next time
Dinner: we go to the chic restaurantLisboa A Noite – around 40€ per person, with drinks.
Day 3: Bairro Alto
Morning: we start the day with the Elevador da Glória (on the left on the picture below) and the Avenue da Liberdade. We then go up to Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara. A small, nice market and benches with a beautiful view on the castle.
Lunch: hanging out in Dom Pedro with several concept stores. Lunch in a bakery from the street.
Afternoon: discovering a bit of Estrela neighborhood, its basilica and its garden. Then we go back to Bairro Alto to hop on the Elevador da Bica with a view on the Tage (picture above).
Dinner: one of the bars from Cais do Sodré, the Sol e Pesca, where you get to choose the sardines and mackerels you wanna eat as appetizers.
Day 4: Baixa and Chiado
Morning: this is our last day in Lisbon, our flight is at 7PM. Our hotel being in Baixa / Bairro Alto / Chiado, we got to hang out a lot in these super nice neighborhoods but we decide to spend this day there to get to know more about them. Some shopping and here we are in Praça de Comércio, this beautiful place near water.
Lunch: sandwich time at the Nova Pombalina (Rua do Comércio 2). 3,50€ per sandwich. The service is very fast (60 seconds to mkae these small sandwiches that are perfect for a light lunch).
Afternoon: Garett street for its boutiques and then we go to a terrace near our hotel for a sunbath, Topo Chiado. Special tip: to reach the terrace, go to Convento do Carmo but don’t clim the stairs up to the restaurant near the Elevador. Instead, take the stairs down on the left. There are two terraces. You will be much better in those as the tourists won’t go through them to reach the elevator.
Two hours under the sun on the terrace before we go back to rainy Pairs – thank you Lisbon for this dose of vitamin D