Lisbon or as it is affectionately and officially called, Lisboa, has become one of our favorite cities in Europe. We talk a lot about ‘feeling the vibe’ or ‘not feeling the vibe’ of a city and for Lisboa we felt the vibe, oh yes!
We got to Lisboa early in the morning after our overnight bus right from Algeciras (Spanish port near Gibraltar) via Sevilla (Spain). We got dropped at the Oriente bus station and took an Uber to our hostel, Travellers House.If you like hostels and don’t mind sharing the room with random people, we recommend Travellers House. It has a very cool, chic feel and the people running it are passionate locals who organize daily activities for the inhabitants, and are willing, and more than happy, to help you plan your own trips. We got some great recommendations from them!
We spent 2 days in Lisbon (no surprises there) and can’t wait to go back! Here are the top 5 things to do in and around Lisbon.
1. Take a free walking tour
Its a great way to get a feel for the city and all its neighborhoods so that it doesn’t seem too unfamiliar when you go exploring on your own later. And if it involves drinking Ginjinha on the way, ever better!
2. Visit Belem
See the Palace, tower, explorers’ monument (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) and eat pastels!
3. Day trip to Sintra & the Westernmost point of Europe (Cabo de Roca)
A 45 minute train ride away, Sintra is a magical palace with fairytale castles and totally worth a visit. Cabo de Roca is windy and cold, but beautiful and its quite cool to be at the Westernmost point of Europe.
4. Eat a pastel de nata- for breakfast, lunch and dinner
5. Watch/experience a Fado
While if it is performed in a large impersonal setting, a Fado might feel like any other musical performance, in a language you may not understand. But, in an intimate setting, where you can feel the vibrations from the guitars in the planks of the floor below your feet and almost can taste the singer’s tears, it is a completely different experience. The singers normally have powerful, beautiful voices and it is a pleasure to be part of the journey that they take their listeners on.