Finally, the itinerary that was missing on the blog about our trip to Spain and Portugal: Lisbon! Unlike Spain, where we visited several cities, in Portugal, we stayed only in Lisbon. I know we could have explored the surroundings better, but honestly, glad we did not do that. After eight days in Spain, we were very tired and without much energy.
Unfortunately, our trip started with a setback. We left Seville on a Monday night, and our flight had a connection in Madrid, before landing in Lisbon. The connection was short and the flight delayed to leave Seville. Result: two bags lost by Iberia Express – one of them did not appear until today. We arrived at the Hotel Madrid almost 1 in the morning and, the next day, without clean clothes, we took advantage of sleeping late and resting. We had lunch, returned to the hotel, and only left again around 7 PM when one of the bags finally arrived. We took a walk, bought clothes for Thiago, and went back to the hotel. Our trip would only officially begin on Wednesday.
Before I start to tell you what we did, I need to talk about the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Madri, which is in the area of Marquês de Pombal Square. The room was spacious and comfortable as was the bathroom. Met our expectations. I just do not recommend the breakfast. The price was too expensive and the buffet was not super great.
On Wednesday, we began to explore Lisbon. We had breakfast at “A Padaria Portuguesa”, a bakery chain with several units spread throughout the city. Sweetbreads, orange juice, several delights that exist in Brazil. The prices of the place are also great. After breakfast. we explored some places. As the bakery was practically in front of the Marquês de Pombal square, we took some photos and walked along Liberdade Avenue, a wide and beautiful avenue – and with stores of several luxury brands. We walk to the end of it, where is an area full of famous points of the city: Baixo de Lisboa (Old Lisbon). It is the historic heart of the city and shopping district. We visited Praça da Figueira and then walked down Rua Augusta, full of restaurants and shops. It’s super charming. We arrived at the Praça do Comércio, one of the city’s postcards. The architecture of the Baixo de Lisboa buildings is beautiful and charming. From the Praça do Comércio, you can see the water and the Bridge 25 de Abri, a “cousin” of the Golden Gate in San Francisco. They are very identical! After contemplating the beautiful view, we walked towards the Cathedral of Lisbon, a super old and beautiful church.
Afterward, we went to the Castelo de São Jorge, which is part of the noble area of the old medieval city, made up of the castle, the vestiges of the old royal palace, and part of a residential area for elites. The fortification, built by the Muslims in the middle of the eleventh century, was the last stronghold of defense for the elites who lived in the city. Besides the ruins, the highlight here is the view: fantastic! Wonderful to see Lisbon from above – and realize how low the buildings are (and with orange roofs). We took amazing photos. Admission is €8.
At this point, we were hungry. We searched for some restaurants on Foursquare and were not very lucky, as it was late and many were closed. We ended up going to Cervejaria Lisboa and ordered two super classic dishes: Bacalhau com Nata (cod with heavy cream, a delight!) and À Francesinha, a typical dish from Porto. Attention: Beware of bread and other unsolicited appetizers: they are charged at the end! After this late lunch, we returned to the hotel and never left for dinner.
Thursday was rainy and we delayed leaving the hotel – it was that day that we tried breakfast and hated it, we felt we threw money away. The first stop was at the Convento do Carmo. The construction of the church of Carmo dates from the year 1389. Over the years, the church and the convent have had their architectures altered several times, transforming it into one of the richest and most powerful constructions of Lisbon. In 1755, the earthquake, which shook the city with violence, caused serious damage to the building, aggravated by the subsequent fire that almost completely destroyed its interior. In the year 1756 began its reconstruction, already in neogothic style, interrupted definitively in 1834, due to the extinction of the Religious Orders in Portugal. The ruins of Carmo thus became a memorial of the earthquake of 1755. In 1864, the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo, the first museum of Art and Archeology of the country, was installed. It is a very incredible place since the walls are intact but the ceiling no longer exists. The contrast of the sky with the building is impressive. In the rear, conserved, there are several archaeological objects on display. The ticket costs €4.
We were already hungry and looked at the Foursquare for a restaurant in the area and found the Sacramento do Chiado, which was a pleasant surprise! Besides the beautiful decor, the place is great value for money. For €15, you have access to a buffet (including dessert) and drinks (including wine and coffee). We ate a lot! The highlight was the tuna lasagna and the octopus salad.
After that, we had a photoshoot with Shootvenirs, which is a digital platform that connects professional photographers to tourists and honeymoon couples for personalized photoshoots. Our photographer was Hampus and he was very nice. He is from Sweden, has lived in Lisbon for two years and holds a degree in photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography in California. We met him at the Miradouro das Portas do Sol (which has a wonderful view) and our session was through the Alfama region, a very traditional and old part of the city. He took beautiful pictures in every cute little corner! I was in love with the locations!
We finished our day at Manteigaria, a place specializing in Belém’s pasteis or pasteis de nata. We had already tried the pastry on our first day in the city, in a bakery that I can not remember the name of, but these were special. Delicious, freshly made. Impossible to resist!
On Friday, almost the last day in the city, we started with breakfast at Pastelaria Versailles, recommended in several blogs and websites. It is beautiful inside and has an infinite balcony, with the most varied pastries. The highlight for the Bolo de Arroz – Rice Cake, a delight! We leave for the subway station – each trip costs €1.45 and the card costs €0.50. The subway system does not include many lines, but the stations are clean and the trains are fast. We stopped at Praça da Figueira to get the electric cable car to … Belém! This neighborhood is super famous, but the subway does not get there. The line that goes there is 15E. It turned out that we took a bus, that same route … okay, the day was not even so beautiful.
The trip to Belém does not take long – about 20 minutes on average – and the bus stops in the more “touristy” area of the neighborhood. In Belém, one of the main attractions is the Mosteiro dos Jerônimos. The place is gigantic and gorgeous – they say the visit inside is wonderful, but we did not get in. The ticket costs €12. Practically attached to the Monastery is the Museu de Marinha – whose entrance costs € 6.50. It is a maritime museum dedicated to all aspects of the history of navigation in Portugal. The museum is run by the Portuguese Navy.
After the museum, it was time to have lunch! We wanted to go to the Pão Pão Queijo Queijo, a classic from Belém, specializing in sandwiches. But the line was huge. We decided to go to Enoteca de Belém, a more refined restaurant with a nice selection of wines. The prices are a bit expensive and we did not love the experience. But that’s okay because we had a super special place to check out: Pasteis de Belém. History tells us that the delicacy arose in the mid-nineteenth century when the clerics of the monastery sold some eggs pastries for the visitors. Such a pastry place has been in the same place since 1837 – and keeps the recipe secret. They say that only three people in the world know the recipe. They work at the bakery and sign a confidentiality agreement – to ensure that such a recipe never leaks. The place sells 20 thousand pasteis a day. Also, do not be fooled: there is room for 400 people inside the place! We sat down, bought our pasteis, and enjoyed ourselves. Maybe I’m stoned, but I liked Manteigaria’s pasteis more!
After this gastronomic orgy, we went to appreciate the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a wonderful monument on the water’s edge – they say it was from there that Pedro Álvares Cabral left to discover Brazil. It’s beautiful and gigantic. It was already late afternoon and I must say: what a beautiful thing is a sunset seen from that area. Speechless. Belen surprised me and enchanted me! We walked a little to see the Torre de Belém and then we took the bus back to the center of Lisbon.
Our last day in Lisbon was super light. We skipped breakfast as we woke up late, and headed straight for lunch. We requested an Uber from the hotel to the Time Out Market. It is like a large food court, which brings together several restaurants serving everything: burgers, seafood, pizzas, pasta … We ordered pasteis and paella. And we still end up with coffee and candies! We walked from Time Out Market to the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. I must say: this was the day with the best weather since we arrived in Lisbon, sunny day. The previous days were cloudy and rainy. The view from the Miradouro is wonderful. It’s worth sitting there and enjoying all that beauty. In fact, there are several Miradouro in Lisbon, worth researching about others and include on your itinerary, because a beautiful view is never too much right?
The last thing we did in Lisbon was a dinner at a hamburger place, from the Honorato chain: what was that burger? We love it! One of the best I’ve ever eaten in my life, seriously, and look, I live in Burger Land! Remember that the chain has several locations throughout the city!
Oh, a tip: to get to and from the airport, we use Uber – it works super well in the city and is very cheap!
I hope you have enjoyed my Lisbon tips! I confess that I did not love the city – but I believe that my tiredness, all the stress with the lost suitcase and the rainy days contributed to my vision.
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!