I have recently been on a weekend city break to Lisbon and had a fantastic time. I love researching ahead of trips by reading guide books, blogs and instagram (I’m very nosy to see people’s beautiful photos!) and so I thought I’d put together a bit of a snap shot of our trip. We found some brilliant restaurants and that sort of holiday intel deserves to be shared!
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
When: 2nd-5th March
Weather: we got unlucky as it was grey skies most of the weekend. The forecast for the four days after we left was 20 degrees celsius and sunny – typical!
Accommodation: Hello Lisbon, Barrio Alto. Serviced apartments with a 24 hour reception, really nicely decorated, felt safe, walking distance to pretty much everything, amazing value – would highly recommend. We were in one of the “bungalows”. It was brilliant being based in Barrio Alto as it’s the “old town” and close to all the restaurants and bars, but not too close 😉
Spending money: We each (there were two of us) got £150 worth of Euros and that allowed us to eat out twice a day at nice restaurants. It could definitely be done on a smaller budget as some of the small, local restaurants are very cheap, but we wanted to treat ourselves.
Type of trip: sightseeing, lots of walking and exploring, lots of eating and drinking wine!
We arrived at our accommodation at around 3pm and headed straight out to explore Barrio Alto and a bit of Santa Carina.
We stopped at Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara to admire the gorgeous view:-
Many of the traditional buildings are covered in these beautiful tiles #instragramworthy :-
We walked in a bit of a loop and were headed back towards our apartment and we just happened to get the timing just right for stopping at the stunning Miradouro de Santa Catarina view point at sunset. The atmosphere was wonderful as there were lots of people relaxing with a beer on the steps watching the sun go down to a background of busking :-
My fiance has a friend in Lisbon and we asked him where we should go for dinner. He recommended Momento in Barrio Alto and boy oh boy were we happy we followed his advice. We drank a bottle of delicious local red wine that the very friendly waiter recommended to us and ordered tapas. My fiance usually poo-poos tapas as he says it doesn’t fill him up so this was a real test situation. We ordered 6 different plates and the food was utterly delicious. We paid €50 in total and considering what good quality the food was I was pretty happy with that. It definitely felt like value for money. My favourite dish was the sardines with goat’s cheese and strawberries – so strange but so good!!
Ooh another tip is that people don’t eat until about 8/8.30pm in Lisbon so when we rocked up at 7pm the restaurant was empty!! The waiters were very friendly though and said they could book us a table for later in the evening if we wanted to come back when the restaurant had filled up.
After a lazy start we headed for breakfast at a random bakery on Cc do Combro and continued on another big walk to exmplore Chaido, Baxia and Rossio.
The Convento do Carro (from the outside, because we are too stingy to pay entrance fees when there is delicious food and wine to be paid for) :-
The view from round the back!
The Rossio :-
Fabric Shopping on R do Comercio <3
Have a watch of my YouTube video if you want to know more about my fabric shopping and what I’m planning on making: –
Lunch at the Timeout Market. I wouldn’t blame you for avoiding the Timeout Market for fear of it being commercialised and not authentic. However, we were SO pleased that we went because there was a great atmosphere and SO MUCH Portuguese food to try! There was a mix of really traditional and more modern dishes and lots of seafood. It was very busy on the weekend so if you are going in a bigger ground it may be best to go off peak or during the week. You basically buy your food from whichever stall around the edge that takes your fancy and bring it to sit and eat at the big tables in the middle of the market. If we had been staying for longer I would have been tempted to go again! :-
I had black risotto with scallops and seaweed and it was divine :-
More tile posing on the way back to the apartment for an afternoon snooze, as you do :-
We went for dinner at BA Wine Bar in Barrio Alto and it was such an experience. You are waited on by a wine expert who asks you what sort of wine you like and then bring three options for you to taste before ordering and you are told all about the wines. I was amazed at how knowledgeable the lady serving us was – very impressive! The service is slow but extremely attentive and you really feel well looked after.
The restaurant is very small so book ahead (we popped in the night before) and they serve cheese and ham platters. We shared one plate between us and it was not only delicious but also incredibly filling. It was on the pricey side but 100% worth it.
You guessed it, another long walk today, this time in Baxia, Alfama, Castelo and Graca.
The first stop was Praca do Comercio:-
We saw Largo de Se (nice cathedral) and took in the views at Largo das Portas do Sol on our way up to the castle :-
There was a massive queue to go into the castle so we didn’t bother and continued on our walk via a gorgeous ice cream shop called Giallo with really unusual home made flavours like toasted peanuts – yum!
We walked to Campo de Santa Clara and saw the big flea market they have there. It was nice to see but I would bother making time for it over other things. There were some brilliant buskers!
We got the most incredible view of Lisbon and of the castle (who needs to go inside anyway when the outside is so nice) from the top of Cc da Graca – definitely worth the walk up the hill! :-
We then walked down the hill to Largo Martim Moniz to catch Tram 28 back towards our apartment. We did have to queue for about 15 mins but we got on the second tram that came and managed to get a seat as this is the very first stop. Tram 28 is a bit of a tourist attraction as it is something like the oldest tram route in Lisbon and still uses the traditional trams. The ride was a bit like a rollercoaster – I was gob-smacked at how this tram weaved it’s way up super steep hills and around scarily tight bends!!
This isn’t Tram 28, but it’s a pretty cool photo!
For dinner we headed to Grapes and Bites in Barrio Alto. The decor is gorgeous and we had delicious food an wine. However, it was much more expensive than the single pound sign in my Lonely Planet guide book suggested, and whilst the waiter was very friendly, he wasn’t very helpful in helping us work out which dishes were big enough to order as a single main and which were very much tapas sized. This one felt a little too expensive for what it was so we wouldn’t rush to recommend it.
We then went for drinks at Tasca Mastai. Don’t be fooled by the rubbish quality photos on trip advisor. This bar has a really funky, relaxed interior, very friendly staff and aperol spritz for €3.50. Need I say more?????
We had a lovely weekend and I would highly recommend a weekend in Lisbon, particularly if you love wine, cheese/meat boards and seafood!!!
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