guide to lisbon

guide to lisbon
i think i could move to Lisbon In Portugal! portugal is so
so so amazing, and lisbon has just the right
big city feel while still having lots of charm.
it reminded us of our city, san francisco.
the pastel colors, the people, the sights,
it was a dream. without further ado, the guide!
it’s pretty much necessary that you stay at
the independente hostel & suites.
^^ this is one of the best places i have stayed, because it’s
incredible but such a good value as well. don’t be fooled
by the word “hostel”…this building is the former swiss
embassy and has been turned into the most gorgeous hostel.
if you’re wanting to save money, book one of the shared rooms
with great wooden bunkbeds and clean bathrooms. if you
want a private room, pay a little bit more for a top floor
suite overlooking the entire city, castle, and river.
since we stayed here during offseason, we did the top
floor suite and that view made my entire year. this place
is top notch and also has the best restaurant in lisbon
inside of it… but more on that later. basically, just
remember that the independente is the place to be!
  • bairro alto— this neighborhood is the best neighborhood. set aside time to wander the streets and take in all of the houses. in love. it’s so picturesque, like you’re living in a postcard. i took one of my favorite pictures ever of my favorite street in this neighborhood.
  • chiado neighborhood— right next to the bairro alto is the chiado neighborhood with a different feel, but also great! while bairro alto is the more working class residential/charming neighborhood, the chiado is the elegant, sophisticated district with great cafés, restaurants and theatres…as well as shopping!
  • são jorge castle— this castle is on top of a hill overlooking lisbon, and you can see it from all over the city. it’s quite a walk to get up to it, but a pretty walk! look ahead of time and decide if you want to pay to go in. it’s pretty great perched up on top of the hill.
  • alfama district— the “historical soul of lisbon” with the best views and streets that feel like a maze. it’s so magical! wander through here, or catch the #12 or #28 trolley to get a tour without all the walking!
  • ponte 25 de abril— AKA, the twin to the golden gate bridge. chase showed me a picture of this before our trip and i thought he was kidding…it’s so crazy because it looks so similar! it is called the “twin sister” of the golden gate. we knew we liked this city! :) you can walk down to the water to see it, or take a cab across it! if you go across the bridge, be sure to check out the cristo rei statue.
  • torre de belem— it’s cool to see this tower down on the water that used to serve as a “gateway to lisbon” during the exploration years, and a defense mechanism as well.
  • national pantheon— you have to take a little walk down to this, but between paris and rome i always love to see a good pantheon. this one is so pretty and you can see it from all the lisbon hills, so it’s fun to walk down to it…plus there is the cutest little neighborhood surrounding it!
  • igreja de sao roque— voted as best church in lisbon. it’s beautiful and ornate, with a wooden ceiling and amazing altars, sculptures, and paintings. it is stunning to see how ornamented it is inside…shows how wealthy the catholic church was in portugal!
  • national tile museum— magical if you love those portuguese tiles like i do. what a feast for the eyes! {closed mondays}
  • go down by the river to the praça do comércio. it’s a fun area at night, and that yellow color of the square just about made me faint i loved it so much!
  • if you have time for a day trip, take the train to sintra and see the most amazing castle there ever was…pena national palace.
like i said, the decadante restaurant inside of
the independente hotel is our favorite. it has modern
portuguese food, a fun vibe, and you sit in the restaurant
next to other travelers. we had some great conversations!
it is so nice and one of those very memorable vacation
meals that you won’t ever forget. order the seafood
“portugal no prato,” described as portugal on a plate!
they also serve amazing breakfast which is
included if you are staying at the independente!
aura lisbon down by the water is perfect to stop in
for a treat– get some empanadas, pastel de nata,
and a chocolate croissant. i love the design inside!
it’s a relaxing lounge that makes for a nice stop.
who wouldn’t want to try portuguese gelato?
it has a lighter taste and was much needed
after walking up up up those steep hills.
plus, look how cute it is! stop into
gelateria portuguesa in the alfama.
to and from the airport, take the aerobus line 1 to
city centre. it is 3.50€ per person and you get a sense of
lisbon as you drive in from the airport. a taxi is only about
15€, so it’s a good option if you’re in more of a hurry.
lisbon vintage scooters is a fun scooter
rental shop with darling old, classic scooters to
take to the streets in. can you sense a similar theme
from this europe trip? chase LOVES scooters, so he
took it upon himself to find great scooter and vespa
rentals in each city. eduardo has started a company
in lisbon and it’s very personal…he will meet you
and set you up, give you instructions, etc!
make sure to take a few tram rides. we caught
a tram in the famous alfama district and rode an
entire loop through the hills + windy streets.
this was the best place to catch one for us,
because it’s an area we already wanted to see..
but it saved us from walking the steep hills!
take the #12 or #28 trolley for this neighborhood.
lisbon, i have a feeling we will be back…
but i’ll be dreaming of you until then!

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