Lisbon – Ten Things To Do

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Getting into the city 

On arrival go to the Tourist desk in the Arrivals Hall and kks the staff to order a taxi for you. They will call a taxi and take payment; it costs around €20 to the city centre. The staff will give you a voucher and show you where to meet the taxi. This is the best way to get into the city, no queuing or being hustled.

Pasteis de Nata 

You cannot go anywhere in Lisbon without seeing or having the famous custard tarts.  The most famous ones come from Belem, which is a short tram ride outside the city. You can visit the factory these and other pastries are made. However, there are many bakeries around the city and a box of six costs around €6. The other favourite food in Lisbon is anchovies, judging by the number of shops selling them.

Tram 28 

Unlike other cities, Lisbon has retained the classic old trams and the yellow No. 28 is the most famous. It is also a local tram so you are not paying guided tour prices. Hop on downtown and get a seat if you can. It climbs up and up and up and finally gets to almost the highest point in the city. It is great to lean out the window and watch the city go by. 

Timeout Food market 

This food market is brilliant, I wish we had something like this in Dublin. The vast market building has been renovated to be a temple to food and drink. Around the sides are dozens of restaurants and bars. You can browse and eat from different places. Around the outside there are restaurants with waiter service. You can buy wine, luxury drinks and lots of tasty treats to take home. This market also has a culinary school. 

Placa du Comercio 

This beautiful square is a classic example of a country that has seen riches. The beautiful architecture is symmetrical and painted mainly yellow. It glows in the sunshine. On three side of the square are lovely restaurants. The open side faces the sea and the huge stone arch leads to the main shopping district around Rua Augusta. 

Placa do Comercio – Classical architecture

Santa Justa Lift 

This lift is pure turn of the 20th with its classic ironwork in the style of the Eiffel Tower and is reminiscent of elevators you would see in New York. Queue up for the experience and the views of the city from 47m. At the top there is a small restaurant, ideal for a pastel de nata and strong coffee. You can walk down the steps to the stone cathedral, and wander out into another older part of the city. 

Cortes Ingles 

Why would you go to a Spanish department store in Lisbon, why not, it’s enormous. This huge store is almost like a town it’s so big. If you like shopping this is the place to go.  Every brand of makeup, perfume, handbags, shoes, clothes are here. Along with a supermarket that would make foodies wish they brought a trunk. Imagine your local Aldi with one of everything, then multiply it by at least ten brands for every product. On the lower ground floor there are about 20 restaurants of all type of food from fast to classic Portuguese and international brands like Starbucks and McDonalds. You could spend the whole day here.   

Museums 

If you ever had any doubt about the might of the Portuguese empire, than pay a visit to Lisbon’s Military Museum. Here in this beautiful building is the might of the Portuguese army and navy. Massive bronze cannons fill lavishly painted room. Ornately decorated walls and ceiling house cases of mementoes of the various wars. And voyages undertaken by the Portuguese, from China to South America and lands in between. It is worth going to this museum just to see the extravagant Baroque decoration. It’s free in and is in front of the Santa Apolónia Station

Day trip to Cascais 

The seaside town of Cascais is about 40-minute from Lisbon by train. There are regular services all day.  There is a lovely shallow sandy beach in the town and it is perfect for relaxing. The town of Cascais has a lot of nice restaurants, and even two Irish bars.  The shopping street has a lot of nice design shops and is lovely to wander around. We ate in the Flamingo Restaurant and the food was excellent, lovely fresh seafood and the service attentive.  

The Sandy Beaches of Cascais

Boat Trip on the Tagus 

As Lisbon is a city on a big river leading to the sea, a sight-seeing trip from the water is a great way to explore the city. There are a large number of river tours in all types of craft to suit everyone from party boats to discovering Lisbon under sail. All are easily accessible from the city centre.   

River tours of the Tagus

When planning a trip to Lisbon, see the official tourism website for the city here.

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