5x My Personal Favorite Things to do in Lisbon
I moved to Lisbon last summer and slowly fell in love with the city. My plan is to stay permanently. Not sure what that means to in terms of my impulsivity, but it feels good to settle down in Portugal and keep on traveling from here. Every time I walk out of my home, I get that feeling of excitement to see the beauty of the city and discover new places again. Lisbon keeps on surprising me, but I do feel like I know the city quite well already. Let’s go through some of my favorite things to do in Lisbon.
1. HAVE A COFFEE Someplace or another
I love mornings and to have breakfast in cute coffee shops and Lisbon is overloaded with them! My all-time favorite must be COMOBA located in Cais do Sodré. Great coffee and minimal Scandinavian vibes. They have a menu full of healthy and vegan food. Most dishes don’t create an intense taste sensation in your mouth (at least not in mine), but it doesn’t hold me back from coming there. Not at all. It’s always my favorite place to hang out. Café Janis is a hipster spot around the corner where I like to have a coffee outside in the sun (until it goes behind the buildings around 13.00). Even during winter, the sun is often warm enough to sit outside in a Tee!
Some other coffee shops I really like include Copenhagen Coffee Lab (the Escolas Gerais one is the coolest), Dear Breakfast and Fabrica Coffee Roasters.
2. EnjoY Lisbon views from miradouros or rooftop bars
Because Lisbon is located on seven hills, the city has several gorgeous viewpoints. The Portuguese call them “miradouros” and that’s also how you can find them on Google Maps.
Some of the best miradouros are in neighborhood Graça, which has the highest points of the city (an exhausting climb can be expected). Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte has the most spectacular view, in my opinion. Musicians are often playing music. Enjoy and order a coffee and crepe in cute little food trucks. This viewpoint isn’t that known among tourists yet. Miradouro de Santa Luzia is definitely the cutest and most romantic one, located in Alfama and looking over the river, Rio Tejo. Tourists just take away the charm.
I mostly hang out at rooftop bars though. My favorite is The Garden (closed during winters), Park Rooftrop bar is cool too, and I really like to go to TOPO which is less touristy. There are two of them: one at Martin Moniz and one at Chiado. Both have breathtakingly beautiful views over Graça. They might be a bit hard to find, but just ask the locals and they will for sure help you out. A quite undiscovered rooftop bar that I often go to is Limão, part of H10 hotel close to Marques do Pombal. It might actually be my favorite view of all, as mountains on the other side of the river get visible. The bar is not open during the winters, but get a drink from the reception bar and take it upstairs.
3. Get lost in the streets of Alfama
Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and the only area which survived the huge earthquake in 1755. Its adorable charm, small streets and cozy restaurants will make you feel enthusiastic for sure. To experience a different kind of feeling once in a while, I would get lost in the streets of Alfama. I would also go here if I got friends and family from back home over.
4. get social at the streets of Cais do Sodre
I haven’t explored Lisbon’s nightlight yet when it comes to clubbing, but I think I found my spot: the bars at Cais do Sodré. I always meet a lot of locals and tourists here. Musicians are often jamming together spontaneously, which makes the ambiance so good. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can expect the streets to be full of people having some beers and wines whilst catching up with each other. Especially during the summer, the streets are packed. Let’s get social!
5. Let’s do some Beachin’
Did you know Lisbon has an actual beach culture? There are several different beaches around the city just a few trains stops away from the center. Take the train from Cais do Sodré to Santo Amaro for example. If you don’t mind staying on the train a little longer, you could also go to Cascais. A coastal resort town that’s known for its beaches. If you happen to have a car, I would suggest going to a beautiful beach called ‘Praia do Guincho’ or surfer’s cities Nazaré and Peniche. I also once took the bus to the other side of the city once, Costa da Caparica, which has a long beach with lots of surfers. And the bus will cross the red bridge Ponte 25 de Abril which is another experience on itself.