As most of you guys know, in January Rob and I went to Portugal and Paris. Our first stop on the trip was Lisbon—guys, it was beautiful! Both of us studied abroad in Madrid, Spain in college and did some traveling around the country, but never made it to Portugal. We’d been talking about making a trip there for years and finally booked it.
Lisbon was insanely beautiful and sunny the whole time we were there. I loved all the gorgeous tile work and colorful buildings. It’s seriously a color-lover’s dream! We were only here for about four days, but we were able to explore quite a bit of the city within that time. We ate so much delicious food and drank amazing wine while we were there too. I think we had seafood for nearly every meal and it was all so fresh and delicious!
Portugal is a little bit harder to get to and we couldn’t find a direct flight from Chicago, but once we got there, it was totally worth it. Another reason you should add Portugal to your list? It’s insanely affordable! Our AirBNB was only $90/night and meals and drinks were always really cheap, which was crazy because it was all so yummy! I rounded up a few of our favorite spots including some of the best places to eat in Lisbon that are worth checking out on your trip!
Where to Eat
Príncipe do Calhariz: After checking into our AirBNB, we went on the search for food before taking a nap (jet lag was already starting to hit). We walked into this place that was just around the corner from where we were staying and the fresh aroma of garlic & grilled meat hit us hard when we walked in the door and my mouth started watering. The place was completely packed with locals on their lunch break which is always a good sign! We ordered a bottle of wine (for €9), grilled cod that came on top of grilled potatoes, onion, fried garlic and onions, and steak topped with a fried egg served with rice and frites. We split everything and could barely finish it because there was so much food, but it was insanely delicious and got me really excited about what else we’d eat on this trip!
Santa Rita: After touring the castle grounds one afternoon, we popped into this place because it had great reviews on Google. We both had grilled sea bass that was served with potatoes and vegetables. It was yummy and the perfect spot for an afternoon break!
Kaffehaus: We popped in here for a late brunch during our stay. We’d walked by it the day before and there were a ton of people waiting outside for a table, so we knew it had to be good! It was a nice day, so we sat outside and had scrambled eggs with pesto and cappuccinos. It was the perfect way to kick off a day of exploring!
Oishi: This was definitely not the most happening place, but the sushi was incredible! We came for dinner, but it’s probably better for a quick lunch stop. The sushi chef gave us fresh Portuguese oranges that we had for breakfast the next day too!
Taberna de Rua do Flores: This was definitely the most unique spot we ate dinner at. It’s small, so I recommend going early and putting your name on the list! It’s small, creative and worth the wait. There was a wine bar just done the street at a place called By the Wine, which was a really cool bar. The people sitting by us were eating a really yummy charcuterie board—definitely worth a stop too! But back to the restaurant. This was Rob’s favorite meal of the trip! I loved it too, but my favorite was the next restaurant.
Stasha: This place was also near our AirBNB. We ate here on a Sunday night and it was still packed, even at 9! I ate the best salmon I think I’ve ever put in my mouth here. We also split a caprese salad and wine—again, everything is totally affordable!
Sacramento: On our last night in Lisbon, we went to this spot. It was a little bit fancier and more expensive, but the food and service were really wonderful! Definitely a good spot if you want a fancier night out!
Pasteis de Belem: This spot is famous for their pastries and everyone we met recommended we go, so naturally we had to check it out. The place was so cute and HUGE on the inside. You can take them to go, get a table or stand at the counter. We ordered two pastries and two coffees and stood at the counter! The pastries were good, but I’m not a big sweets fan—I’d prefer a croissant or something savory, ha! But if you like sweets, you’ll love them!
Where to Drink
Duque Brewpub: We stumbled across this little spot on accident, but it ended up being one of our favorite spots. We had drinks here several times during our short stay in Lisbon. They had a bunch of local craft beers from Portugal and it had a really relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Paginas Tantas: We went to the jazz bar in Bairro Alto on one of our first nights here and it was okay. Honestly it was pretty smokey inside and there wasn’t any live jazz music. If you decide to check this spot out, make sure there’s actually live music playing because I think that would have made it a lot more fun.
Sidewalk Cafes: We sat outside at a sidewalk cafe one night and it ended up being one of my favorite nights. There were street performers playing really great music and it was perfect for people watching. Definitely do this once during your stay!
What to See
When it comes to what to do, we relied on Google, but a few things we really did love are these…
Castillo de San Jorge: The old castle athe the top of the hill was really cool and a great lookout point! You could see so far! There were a bunch of peacocks up there which everyone was trying to get pictures of, ha!
Church of Santa Engrácia: This building was originally a church, but it now the National Pantheon. Important Portuguese figures are buried here. You can climb to the top and get another great overhead view of the city and the water. The building itself was also gorgeous!
Monastery of São Vicente de Fora: Not far from the Pantheon, this place was beautiful too. We wandered around the grounds a bit before trying to get back to the city center. The streets over here are a tangled maze, so make sure to have a map or data for finding your way back!
Have you been to Lisbon before? Is it on your list of places to go?
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day, what are you doing tonight to celebrate?!