Travel Tips & Places: Magical Lisbon


Lisbon is one of my favourite weekend destinations. The best part about living in Europe is that it is easy to travel around and with cheap airfares too – I took advantage of this by going to Lisbon for 3 days just before Christmas last year.

This was the first time seeing this city in Winter and I was worried that the weather would take over and cause misery to this short stay. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

It was magical to walk by the water and explore the city 🙂

Winter in Lisbon

Some tips for exploring Lisbon

Wear comfortable walking shoes

Trust me, you will thank me for this tip! On my first trip, I wish someone had told me this. Sure, I read ahead of time that there were many hills and uneven pavements – but when I got there, I realised what they really meant! Forget any high-heeled shoes, seriously 🙂

Lisbon has beautiful tiles and cobblestone streets. It adds so much character and beauty in this city… but it can be tricky to navigate, especially if you are on foot all day long. So be prepared to sweat, walk and take mini breaks in lovely local cafes 🙂

Always carry your umbrella and a warm jumper/jacket (even in Summer)

This city’s weather seems to be much more wet, than cold – even in Winter. Coming from London, I found my Self removing layers at times during the sunny patches as it really wasn’t all that cold, compared to other countries in Europe.

The same goes with Summer – it may not be cold, but it will get breezy and wet at times. So for the evenings in Summer, still bring something warm for the busts of wind and an umbrella to combat the rain.

Check out Trip Advisor’s Tours for cheap and easy city tours

More and more, I am loving the Trip Advisor app and maps… allowing me to easily navigate through the city. And for Lisbon, they have some great ideas of what to do [Click here] – Take a walk around the city using these easy to follow tours.

English is no problem!

Out of many of the mediterranean cities I’ve visited, Lisbon seems to be the easiest to ask questions and get answers in English. I asked a friend why this was and she said that the TV always had original languages shown with portuguese subtitles so people are used to hearing different languages.

One tip I did notice is that speaking in Spanish (which is no problem for me) is not appreciated! Trying to speak in broken Portuguese will mostly always get a friendly response with an English answer back 🙂

Keep your Metro ticket at all times

Unlike other cities, like Madrid, you will need your metro ticket to check into the system and out again. I assumed that I wouldn’t need it to leave the metro and chucked mine away, only to find that I needed to pay to get out again! So, keep your metro ticket with you at all times – and keep the recipe incase you damage your card.

The metro (Metropolitano de Lisboa) is much more relaxed than other similar systems in Europe (definitely compared to London’s tube!) – and it is much simpler with only 4 lines. Personally, I only ever use it to get to/from the airport into Central Lisbon. I didn’t need to use it at any other time as walking was my preferred option!

Try the trams!

Lisbon is the city of trams, handy for the steep parts of town. Tram 28 is probably the most popular and touristy one to try! In fact, it only seems like tourists use these trams. Out of all the other parts of the city, this is the place to be careful with your bags – pickpockets are all around. other than that, it’s a good way to see the city when your feet get sore 🙂

Let’s get creative in Lisbon! 5 great spots to check out…

LX Factory – A super creative zone, a collective of shops, bars, restaurants, by companies that work together to form some great things to explore! This is the perfect spot to relax in – don’t miss their open days too :)

Barrio Alto – This is the place to go… lively, full of action (especially at night) where there are outdoor cafes and bars. A Portuguese friend of mine says that locals begin their night from the top end and make their way down the hill with the bars as the hours go on.

Teraa Restaurant – There are many veggie spots in Lisbon, but this happens to be my favourite! Terra, meaning Earth, offers up some yummy veggie options with a great energy.

Portuguese Soul – Fado – Experience true culture by tuning into Fado – this music is definitely the soul of Lisbon, a beautiful music that I think can only be appreciated with a live show. A great place at the heart of Lisbon is Fado in Chide 🙂

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the pastries! And oh, the pastries are divine! I’m saying no more… see it for your Self when you get there. Indulge and treat your Self, you will be sure to walk off the calories afterwards anyway 🙂 One of the most famous  cafes is Casa Pasteis De Belem. This place is said to have many secret recipes, so watch out for them 🙂

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