Summer has finally arrived, school and universities released the students already for holiday season, many businesses close for a break. But most people haven’t decided yet where to go. Planning a trip to the ocean? Stay somewhere at the country side? Or just relax at home? For those who are undecided but still want to travel I have a suggestion. This May I have been to one of the most beautiful places in Europe again, which I can recommend 100%. Portugal. The last minute holiday option.
In this post I put my favorite spots together, to give you guys a little insight how an amazing holiday in Lisbon could look like. I just have been in the western part of Portugal, which means a few cities around Lisbon plus Lisbon itself. For a one week holiday this is the perfect place to be in a culinary, cultural and relaxing aspect.
The flights to Lisbon are super cheap, you get lots of offers for example with Ryan Air or TAP Airlines. The airport isn’t complicated at all, so your journey will be super calm and not rally stressful. From the Airport to the city you can take an Uber. Uber in Lisbon is literally the cheapest, for a 20 mins drive you just pay about 8-10 EUR. Its the perfect way to come from one place to another. But I recommend to rent a car for your trips to the coasts. There are public transports, but by car its much faster an you have this great streets on the coast which give you that perfect summer feeling.
When you arrive in Lisbon you have so many great opportunities for shopping, strolling through amazing architecture or having a drink at nice rooftops.
The biggest question is where to stay. For this question my answer would be definitely Casa Balthazar Hotel in Bairo Alto. I stayed there on my last trip to Lisbon. The staff is super friendly and the rooms are amazing, as much as the view on the old city from your own balcony with a Jacuzzi. (LINK HERE)
This time we have been in so many restaurants, my favorite was PHAMARCIA in Bairro Alto, the name says it already. An old pharmacy rebuilt to a tapas restaurant. One tapa costs between 10-15 EUR with appears expensive, but me and Dominique shared 4 tapas and we where satisfied with it. Pharmacia is nice for lunch and dinner, you can also sit in the garden and have a great view on the city. Another restaurant I can recommend after a shopping day is Royal Cafe in Bairro Alto, it doesn’t sound that portugese but it’s a tapas restaurant. The food is quite good, I wouldn’t try the salsicia tho, because it wasn’t that nice.
If you are starving for a burger you should try Cafe na Fabrica at LX-Factory but bring time with you, its quite busy which means it takes a while until you get your food. You need a reservation in mostly every restaurant because all of them are quite busy. For sure there are more restaurants to talk about but I don’t want to annoy you.
My rooftop suggestions for daytime and night would be definitely Park, which is also in Bairro Alto as mostly everything I’m talking about. Another one is Rio Maravilha a rooftop next to the famous bridge Ponte 25 de Abril at LX-Factory. Both are super chill and have a beautiful view. I cant really tell you how the drinks are because I just drink water most of the time, but my friend didn’t say anything negative.
For a fancier flair go to Palacio Chiado, which isn’t a rooftop but has an impressive insight, with frescoes and great interior. Besides the bar they also have two restaurants in the building, which are definitely worth a visit.
From Lisbon you have a lot of opportunities for visiting other citys close by. This time we have been to Cascais which is on the left from Lisbon. A subway goes straight to this city from the center, always sit on the left side in direction of traveling, because this subway going along the ocean. But if you wanna have a nicer view at the ocean rent a car as I told before. Cascais is a small city which is suited perfectly for strolling. Cute small houses and great pedestrian streets with lots of restaurants. According to my friend there is also one of the best icecream places, called Santini. In Cascais you also have a few cute little beaches you should go to.
From Cascais you start a little road trip to some special places. You reach one of the nicest cliffs from the city (10 mins drive) called Boca Do Inferno, its impressive what nature can do.
Driving further to the south you come to Baia de Cascais, which was named as prettiest beach in Europe. It’s definitely one of the greatest, but super windy, thats why many surfers love it best for surfing.
The national park comes next, driving through it you find a street leading to a mountain where you find Peninha. Peninha is a isolated chapel on that mountain with the best view I had in Portugal.
Wanna stand on the most western point of Europe? Go to Cabo da Roca but be careful, because of the wind you lose balance easily, so stay behind the barriers for your own safety. The cliffs there are wonderful tho.
Another City close by is Sintra, my favorite. It’s about 25km western from Lisbon. Its mostly known for its palaces and its nice architecture. The city gave me a feeling as being in the middle of tuscany, very Italian from all the sounding in my opinion. If it wasn´t that touristic I definitely would love to have a holiday house there.
That’s my little summery of what I recommend to do when in Lisbon. I fell in love with this city and the places close by. You will love it as well trust me on that.