A long weekend isn’t a ton of time, but you can definitely get a taste of this beautiful and interesting city. Here’s my thoughts on how to make the most of your time:
- Dinner or drinks with a view. There are so many hilltop or roof top bars, and at sunset it’s just beautiful. We had awesome sangria and tapas at Rooftop Bar, but there are tons to choose from.
- Wander from place to place trying tapas and wine. Make an evening of it. There are so many tiny restaurants to explore, especially in neighbourhoods like Bairro Alto and Alfama, you won’t go hungry!
- Wander along the waterfront in Belém. The Mosteiro Jeronimos, Torre de Belem and Museu Berardo ( a free modern art museum and complex) are in walking distance from each other and the famous Pasteis de Belem for getting your pastry fix!
- Ride (or in our case attempt to ride) a tram. If you don’t get there early you haven’t got a chance of riding the famous Tram 28 which wanders through the most scenic areas of the city!
- Walk the walls of the São Jorge castle. The museum and archeological site are great too if you can catch a tour, but the views are fantastic!
We booked our tickets to Lisbon knowing that as the days got shorter in the north of England, we’d need some sun and warmth to get us through until our trip to the Caribbean in January. The trip was booked sort of on a whim, one of those ‘Ryanair has dirt cheap tickets…and we want to go somewhere warm’ moments. I was excited for wine and good food, but wasn’t sure what else to expect from the city.
With three days to spend exploring the city, we decided to take a tour the first day, dedicate the second day to Belem, and spend the third day visiting the castle and wandering around whatever remaining sights we wanted to see. If we’d had more time, I’d have tried to make it to Sintra, but it seemed like too much travel time and that it would likely be very crowded on the weekend.
We stayed in Casa do Bairro, a guest house in Bairro Alto, a very central, if a bit run down, neighbourhood. The guesthouse was awesome and reasonably priced, I’d definitely recommend it.