Portugal: A Perfect Getaway to Lisbon and Porto

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Curated By

Kim Reynolds

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  • Porto

  • Lisbon

  • Portugal

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Babymoons

  • Bachelorette Party Destinations

  • Bachelor Party Destinations

  • Local Food

  • Local Culture

  • Sightseeing

A yellow tram near a yellow building on the road during daytime.
Curator’s statement

To me, Portugal is perfect. Within five minutes of being there, I never wanted to leave. I visited Lisbon and Porto with a friend for a getaway in 2021 and I loved both cities equally. It is a photographer's dream; everywhere you look is a postcard. Both cities have some of the best food of any destination I have ever been. In fact- I recently booked a long layover in Lisbon on the way back from a trip to Morocco JUST to have this sandwich I have not stopped dreaming about since my trip back in '21. So whether this is a solo trip, a friend's getaway, or a family vacation- you must consider Portugal! I can't wait to go back.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Portugal

Memmo Príncipe Real

Polished hillside property in the heart of Lisbon with chic rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • Special amenity or experience ($50 / $100 value).

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Torel Palace Lisbon

Located in the heart of Lisbon, Torel Palace is an oasis within the city, featuring a refreshing plunge pool and unique Portuguese gastronomy.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary drink and bottle of wine.

  • Welcome fruit plate in room.

  • Upgrade to next room, based on availability.

Torel Palace Porto

Located in the heart of Porto, Torel Palace is an oasis within the city, featuring a refreshing plunge pool and unique Portuguese gastronomy.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary drink and bottle of wine.

  • Welcome fruit plate in room.

  • Upgrade to next room category, based on availability.

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Unlock perks by contacting Kim to book your trip.

Things to do in Portugal

The image depicts an ornate, wooden staircase with a vibrant red carpet in the center of a beautifully decorated bookstore.

Most important tip: Bring sneakers! The hills in both Lisbon and Porto are no joke. It makes San Francisco look like a flat land. Comfortable walking shoes are a must!

Lisbon:

  • Just wander! Lisbon has so many cool neighborhoods to explore. From the old streets of Alfama to neighborhoods like Barrio Alto and Chiadao- walk everywhere! So much beautiful tile everywhere!

  • Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery- check out Belem Tower, one of Lisbon's most iconic sights followed by a quick walk over to the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery. Make sure to stop by Pasteis de Belem (right next door) for their famous pasteis de nata. If there is a long line- stick it out. It moves fast.

  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia- the best spot for a Lisbon sunset.

  • LX Factory- a cool historical industrial complex that houses a bunch of shops and restaurants including one of the coolest bookstores ever- Ler Devagar.

  • Pink Street- snap the perfect photo at Lisbon's famous Pink Street. Tip: go early in the morning.

  • Tram #28- take a ride on the most histroic tram ride in Lisbon.

Porto:

Tip: Take the train from Lisbon to Porto. The train journey is around 3 hours.

  • Livraria Lello- the most BEAUTIFUL bookstore in the whole world! You need to book tickets in advance and the line can get quite long so I suggest going first thing in the morning or book for later in the day.

  • Porto has of the most gorgeous blue and white tile. Here are my suggestions of the tile you must see!

  • Capela das Almas
    Rua de Santa Catarina, 418.

  • Igreja do Carmo
    Rua do Carmo.

  • The S. Bento railway station.

  • Igreja de Santo church.

  • Ribeira neighborhood- walk around this neighborhood for one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Porto. Stop down by the Douro River for beautiful views of the city.

  • Parque de las Virtudes - check out this park for sunset. All the locals come here. Grab a drink at one of the bars next to the park while you wait.

  • The alleyways around Largo da Pena Ventosa. A gorgeous picture everywhere you look!

Day Trips:

  • Book a day trip to Sintra and Penace Palace.

Places to eat & drink in Portugal

The image captures a scene outside a shop with two people standing at the entrance.

Lisbon:

  • Food Tour! I have done a lot of food tours in my day but this one ranks among the best. Ruthy gives you a day you will never forget with over 18 tastings of classic Portugese dishes with plenty of wine pairings to boot. Tip: You must try Green Wine while in Portugal! Not only do you get a food tour, but this also doubles as a walking tour of the Alfama neighborhood.

  • Time Out Market- remember that sandwich I mentioned? It is in the Lisbon Time out Market. It is the classic steak sandwich at O PREGO DA PEIXARIA. It is literally one of the best things I have ever eaten. The Time Out Market has some of the best dishes in Lisbon and is a great alternative if you are feeling overwhelmed and want the best of the best all in one place. From the croquettes, to the cheese to even the pizza stalls- you cant go wrong here. They even have a designated Aperol Spritz bar! my dream!

  • Augusto Lisbosa for Brunch- the most delicious (and beautiful) avocado toast!

  • I mentioned Patel de Belem for pastel de nata- but you also must try Mantigaria. These were my personal favorite.

  • Ramiro's for Seafood. This is an Anthony Bourdain rec. Need a reservation!

  • Ponto Final- also one of the most famous and picturesque restaurants in Lisbon. It can be hard to get a table so book in advance.

  • Hello, Kristof- another great brunch spot in Lisbon.

Porto:

  • Casa Guedes- Traditional for the most incredible pork sandwiches! So delicious!

  • Cervejaria Gazela- another Bourdain rec for Portugese hotdogs- called Cachorrinho. I went to the original location.

  • Fabrica Coffee Roasters- delicious spot for coffee and breakfast.


Need to Know

I would love to help you book your Portugal trip!

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A solo trip through Vietnam.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.

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Travel Advisor

Kim Reynolds

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