If you’ve seen my latest vlog, you’ll know that I recently went to Lisbon with some of my favourite females to celebrate (albeit 2 months early) my 30th birthday.
I’ve been to Portugal once before and always pictured it as a beach holiday destination – sun, sea, sand, you know the drill. So I was really surprised when, after asking on Twitter for girls’ city holiday recommendations, Lisbon was the #1 choice.
But as soon as we arrived, I knew it was my kinda place. Crumbling old buildings, beautiful tiling and ornate doorways stood alongside delicious restaurants, quirky homeware shops and endless cafés all with their own version of the Portuguese delicacy, pastel de nata.
Here are some of my favourite photos from our few days in Lisbon, and some notes on my top places to visit.
– When in Lisbon, you *must* take the train to Belém to visit Pastéis de Belém. This is where the pastel de nata – which is a bit like a custard tart but SO much more delicious – was first made and they still bake to the original recipe. There was a queue out the door when we arrived but it moved quickly and we were soon sitting on a bench in the park opposite with our natas… I wish I’d brought some home!
– Sintra is about 40 minutes away by train and is a great for a daytrip away from the city. We walked from the station to Quinta da Regaleira, a huge park with endless castles, caves and waterfalls that are perfect for excited explorers.
– Lisbon is brilliant for shopping – in the city centre, A Vida Portuguesa has all the organic soaps, traditional homeware and vintage postcards you need. But the real star is LX Factory – a shopping ‘mall’ (although not as you know it) just outside the centre that’s actually a converted industrial factory filled with cafés, shops and amazing art. I loved it here and could’ve visited every day!
– Getting around Lisbon is really easy – the metro system is simple and cheap, while the tram takes a little more working out but is worth it for the experience! Buy a 24-hour travelcard and use it on the metro, tram and boats – just remember you need a different ticket for the train network.
– To say the food is Lisbon is good is kind of an understatement, as we ate like queens for our entire trip! It’s also ridiculously cheap – a burger, fries and two beers at Cultura do Hamburguer was under €10 and it was delicious. We also loved Cantinho Lustiano for authentic tapas and Sommelier Lisbon for luxury bitch steaks.
– One last note on food – make time to visit Mercado da Ribeira, a historic market building that houses street food versions of Lisbon’s most popular restaurants. It’s a bit like a canteen (but super chic and curated by Time Out) and we loved sampling loads of different foods in one sitting.