Immerse Yourself in Lisbon, from Food to Fortresses
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Lisbon is a city layered with time and tradition, but also boasts a modern, international appeal. You'll be awed by the majestic Castelo de S. Jorge and Torre de Belém which tell stories of Lisbon's grand history. Don't forget to try the incredible local cuisine, which beautifully showcases Portugal's spirit of freshness, simplicity and authenticity in every bite. With its rolling hills, ancient fortifications, delicious food and beautiful scenery, Lisbon is truly a place that will inspire you.
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Where to stay
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Mid-century stunner with all the finery and standout service you’d expect from the Four Seasons.
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Memmo Alfama Hotel Lisboa
Experience the allure of Lisbon from the Memmo Alfama Hotel, where contemporary elegance, breathtaking views of the historic Alfama district and warm Portuguese hospitality combine to create an unforgettable stay in the heart of the city.
Valverde Hotel Lisboa - Relais & Châteaux
Valverde Hotel Lisboa - Relais & Châteaux is an elegant boutique hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, renowned for its luxurious accommodations, charming atmosphere, and commitment to providing a unique and unforgettable guest experience.
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Day 1: Eat your way through the city
Kick off your day at the local treasure Pasteis de Belem, where you'll indulge in the legendary custard tarts, a delight that's not to be missed! You will find pasteis de nata all over the city, so trying them all to discover your favorite is encouraged. Once you've had your fill, a leisurely stroll leads you to the stunning Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stands proudly by the Tagus River. It's a chance to soak in the incredible architecture and the magnificent views it offers.
Up next is the impressive Jeronimos Monastery, an architectural marvel that brings Portugal's Age of Discovery to life. Once you've explored its sprawling halls and tranquil cloisters, make your way to the nearby Museu Coleção Berardo, a haven for anyone with a keen eye for modern and contemporary art. Its diverse collection is sure to keep you captivated. As the day draws to a close, pause for reflection at the Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar, a stirring tribute to Portuguese soldiers who served in Africa.
Round off your day by treating yourself to an exquisite meal at O Frade, a charming eatery tucked away from the city's bustling streets. Highlights include the aged beef tartar, Iberian smoked ham, cheese selection, tuna “muxama” salad and the monkfish.
Day 2: Castelo de S. Jorge & Lisbon Cathedral
Your second day begins with a hike up to the iconic Castelo de S. Jorge, crowning the city with its sturdy ramparts and stunning vistas. The castle, an imposing monument with a rich history dating back over 20 centuries, promises sweeping views of Lisbon’s bright red rooftops and the sparkling Tagus River.
Next, head down towards the heart of the city to visit the Lisbon Cathedral, also known as Sé de Lisboa. This Romanesque structure has stood firm through earthquakes and time, offering an authentic glimpse into Lisbon's past. A stone's throw away lies the grand Praça do Comércio, an immense square that opens towards the river, symbolizing Portugal's powerful seafaring past.
Continue your exploration with a visit to the Arco da Rua Augusta, an impressive archway offering panoramic views of the city and the square below. As the sun starts to set, head to dinner at Prado. Highlights include the sardines, cockles, prawn tartar and alenejano pork.
After dinner, meander to the vibrant Pink Street, known for its nightlife, where the cobblestones are painted a lively shade of pink, reflecting the area's rejuvenated spirit. It's the perfect end to another memorable day in Lisbon.
Day 3: Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Day three in Lisbon starts at the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, a hidden gem that pays tribute to Portugal's long-standing tradition of tile making. Here, you'll marvel at the colorful azulejos (tiles), which range from the golden age of Portugal to contemporary artistry. The museum, housed in an old convent, showcases the blue and white tiles' role in Portuguese culture and architecture. Stop by the nearby Hell’s Chicken for lunch after your visit to indulge in their sangria, roasted chorizo and bacalhau.
Next, it's time to experience nature's tranquility at the Estufa Fria, a large greenhouse filled with exotic plants from all corners of the world. As you walk through the lush, cool paths, you'll find yourself surrounded by tropical and subtropical flora, waterfalls and even a pond populated with fish. This urban oasis offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to connect with nature without leaving the city.
To end the day on a gastronomic high note, make your way to Belcanto, Lisbon's first restaurant to be awarded two Michelin stars. Helmed by renowned chef José Avillez, the dining experience here is nothing short of spectacular, where each dish tells a story of Portuguese cuisine in a modern and innovative way. If you really want to treat yourself, the chef’s table is an unforgettable experience at a community table of six in the kitchen. It's the perfect way to wrap up your exploration of Lisbon's captivating culture, history and lifestyle.
Day 4: Sintra
Embark on a thrilling day trip to Sintra on day four. This fairy-tale town, nestled in the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra, is home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from opulent palaces to enchanting gardens. Start your journey at the Pena Palace, a colorful Romanticist castle perched on Sintra’s highest peak. As you roam its impressive halls and extensive gardens, you'll enjoy panoramic views that stretch as far as Lisbon on a clear day.
When hunger strikes, there are plenty of great options to choose from. For a quick, tasty bite, Casa Piriquita is a Sintra institution known for its travesseiros (almond pastries) and queijadas de Sintra (cheese tarts). Or, if you're in the mood for something more substantial, Incomum by Luis Santos offers a creative and elegant menu with a Portuguese twist.
Post-lunch, continue your exploration of Sintra with a visit to the historic Quinta da Regaleira. This Gothic mansion and its surrounding gardens are filled with mysterious grottos, enchanting wells, and stunning sculptures. The Quinta is a testament to Sintra's magical charm, making it an unmissable stop on your day trip. The train journey back to Lisbon offers a serene end to your adventurous day, allowing you time to reflect on the extraordinary memories you've made.
Day 5: Cascais
Day five brings you to the sun-soaked shores of Cascais, a resort town favored by both locals and tourists alike. Located on the beautiful Estoril coast, Cascais is just a short train ride away from Lisbon, making it a perfect day trip destination. Start your day with a relaxing walk along the seafront, where you'll find white sandy beaches, brightly colored fishing boats and the charming old town.
In the heart of Cascais, the narrow cobbled streets are lined with traditional Portuguese homes, quaint shops and welcoming cafes. Explore the vibrant local market, the Mercado da Vila Cascais, for a range of fresh produce, seafood and local handicrafts. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Cascais Citadel Palace, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the town's royal past.
By the time lunch rolls around, be sure to check out some of Cascais' renowned seafood eateries. Mar do Inferno, known for its fresh seafood and stunning ocean views, is a local favorite. Post lunch, spend the afternoon soaking up the sun at one of the town's gorgeous beaches, such as Praia da Rainha or Praia da Conceição. As the sun sets on your day trip, take the leisurely train ride back to Lisbon, a fitting end to a day filled with seaside splendor.
Need to Know
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Lisbon.