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A day in Lisbon: our 6 things to do in Lisbon

9th January 2020

Lisbon is a vibrant and bustling city with so much to explore. From the shops and cafes around Baixa and Chiado to the beautiful views over the city from St Georges Castle (Castelo da Sao Jorge), Lisbon has much to offer.

We visit often, typically starting in the Principes Real area, wondering down to Chiado (via some of the lovely boutiques and occasionally stopping to admire the views). In Chiado you can catch the 28 tram, our number 1 of our favourite things to do in Lisbon. In Chiado we always stop by our favourite shop, A Vida Portuguesa and also usually have lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants here, before continuing on.

1.Take the No.28 Tram

From the top of Chiado down the windy streets and back up the next hill to St Georges Castle. Amazing views over the red roof tops of the city, and some hair-raising bends but watch out for pick-pockets; like all cities they home in on tourists.

A great fun and cheap activity for the whole family.

2. Visit St Georges Castle

St Georges Castle is visible from almost everywhere in the City and has done since the 9th century. It is open every day of the year so you can learn about about the history of the city. There is also a fantastic viewing point with incredible views out over the city and the river. Find out more here

3. Coffee Culture

In Chiado, Brasilera is a Lisbon institution and the oldest in the city, opening in 1905. It used to be a regular meeting point for the city’s intellectuals and now is a prime spot for a coffee and ‘pastel de nata’ (custard tart) while you enjoy some good people watching!

The model alternative is Time Out Market housing a 26 restaurants and 8 bars. Here you can sample a bit of everything from the freshest collection of independent food vendors in the city. The vibrant surroundings are fun to visit at any time of day or night!

brasiliera lisbon

4. After hours, explore the hidden bars and boutiques in Bairro Alto.

This area really only comes to life at night where what you thought were graffiti covered derelict buildings come alive with independent shops and bars. Lisbon locals and tourists alike spill out of different venues on to the street, drink in hand, people watching and enjoying the buzz of this vibrant part of Lisbon.

5. Park of Nations

(or ‘Parque das Nacoes’) faces the river Tagus with spectacular views to Lisbon’s Vasco de Gama bridge. It houses various art and cultural activities as well as the Vasco da Gama shopping centre, and the Lisbon Oceanarium. For those feeling brave there are also the cable cars which travel along the waters edge- not one for sufferes of vertigo! Find out more here.

6. Sailing on the Lisbon Coast

This could be for a few hours or for a few days but a trip aboard the yacht Moonfleet is unforgettable. From a short trip along the waterfront to discover Lisbon’s famous monuments to a leisurely cruise up the coast to Estoril and Cascais with lunch at the beautiful marina. Perhaps a trip to Setubal and the Sado Esturary – home to a family of dolphins – or overnight to Lagos to explore the Altentejo coast. You can choose the trip you want and it can be tailor-made to you and your budget. Ask us for more details and we would be happy to make the arrangements for you.

Getting to Lisbon

Driving: Lisbon is very easy to get to if you are driving. There are also lost of car parks, mostly underground beneath the many squares in the city. Ask us for directions and a map of the city. Alternatively drive to the airport, leave the car in departures and get a taxi from arrivals into town. Parque das Nacoes is around 5 minutes from the airport, or Chiado is around 20 minutes.

Buses: there are regular buses from Caldas da Rainha and Peniche to Lisbon. They take around an hour and are good value.

Taxi: we work with a number of good, reliable taxi drivers who would be happy take you to and from Lisbon, and to the various points of interest that you might want to visit while you are in the city. Ask us for more information.

Train: we haven’t ever taken the train to Lisbon as they take ages!

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