5 THINGS TO DO IN LISBON

Are you spending a weekend in Lisbon?

You chose the perfect time to explore the city. Sun is out and it looks like Summer is here!

Here are a couple of things you shouldn’t miss while in Lisbon.

#1 PORTUGUESE BREAKFAST

I love having breakfast in hotels, especially when there’s a buffet! But if you’re in Lisbon don’t hesitate to leave the hotel and walk into the first café you see. Chances are you will find yourself surrounded by locals having their “bica” (espresso). If so, take a seat and enjoy the many choices a Portuguese breakfast has to offer. If you have a sweet tooth, the Pastel de Nata is always the obvious option, however there are so many more to choose from, such as Bolas de Berlim (cream-filled beignets), guardanapos (“napkins” in Portuguese, which are rolled cakes with cream), palmiers (a sweet crisp pastry shaped like a palm leaf), and queques (the Portuguese equivalent of a muffin). If you prefer something salty, there are infinite options there too like toasted bread with butter called “torradas”, ham and cheese in a puff pastry called “merenda”. All of which I recommend be accompanied by a “Galão”, the Portuguese version of a Latte.

#2 GET LOST IN THE STREETS OF LISBON

If you want to see the best of Lisbon, wander the streets and discover the hidden beauty behind each alleyway, each flight of stairs, behind the viewpoints of Graça or Santa Catarina. Each corner tells a story dating back centuries, each cobblestone on the pavement, each “azulejo” (tile) on a building facade remembers a detail of this great city’s history. Loose yourself in the details and the city will tell you its secrets!

#3. EATING LOCAL

While walking down Avenida da Liberdade, it can be hard to tell apart the tourist traps from the authentic restaurants. You will never be disappointed with “Pinóquio”. A true Portuguese “Tasca” (tavern) serving real food where you can expect amazing seafood and genuine Portuguese waiters dressed to a T. And if you’re lucky you might even cross paths with football players and socialites who choose this eatery as their social playground.

#4. FOOTBALL, A PORTUGUESE RELIGION

I know football can be an acquired taste but if you’re in Lisbon and want to witness a true Portuguese tradition then attend one of the Benfica or Sporting matches. You’ll experience 90 minutes of pure madness, chants, excitement and sometimes tears but that is why football is sacred to most Portuguese. I’ll let you discover its magic and don’t forget the pre-game action just outside the stadium; make sure to stock up on beer and bifanas (pork fillet sandwiches). Delicious street food!!

#5 CITY ESCAPE

Want to escape the craziness of the city? Then take the train from Cais do Sodré all the way to the end of the line, and you’ll reach Cascais. I’m trying not to sound biased since I am originally from there, but this is the loveliest little seaside town you’ll ever visit. At the turn of last century, several royal European families exiled here, so you’ll find incredible aristocratic mansions, palm tree covered streets, fishing boats off the bay, a beautiful marina and every corner offers a privileged view of the sea. To know more about Cascais check out our latest post: Cascais, Lisbon’s Hidden Gem.

Before you go exploring our fantastic capital, here’s one last suggestion. If you’re feeling adventurous, book a table at O Orelhas in Queijas and order a boiled grouper’s head. A little advice: you’ll have to channel your inner cat to finish it!

I hope these tips will make your trip to Lisbon unforgettable! Don’t hesitate to contact me for more details at bookyourtrip@sparklingconcierge.com

Happy Travels,

Marina