I never realized how much of a creep I was until I visited Portugal.. let me explain: I found myself stopping and staring at random houses a lot to admire their cute, colorful front doors. TILES ERR’WHERE, and I am a sucker when it comes to cute things. Lisbon has so much character, the people there are incredibly nice, and most of the locals speak English very well! There were so many places to see, but I won’t bore you with all the details. Below were my favorite areas to visit:
Where you’ll find the iconic red rooftops. This district might’ve been my favorite because its views were FIRE. So so many great views!! I suggest going here during sunset.
My highlight was paying a driver to take you on a ride on one of those tuk tuks (it was probably a tourist trap), but totally worth every penny. You can pay 30 euros for a guide to drive around Alfama, unless you’re a fan of walking up and down cobblestone hills…then congratulations, you’re in great shape! I, on the other hand, will stick to the tuk tuks.
The guide knew the best sunset views to take us to that overlooked the entire city, and the tour also includes taking you further into the town of Alfama. Trust me, this little town was one of my personal favorites. You can drive into Alfama, but because the roads are too narrow to fit any cars, you’ll have to walk further in. Once you walk into the heart of the district, you’ll find the cutest spots to eat at! It’s a quaint place to walk around, and I felt like I fully got to experience the local life
HAVE YOU EVER PRETENDED YOU RULED THE WORLD?! (….no? that’s just me?)
Well go to Sintra anyway! There are tons of castles and palaces you can visit. It will make you feel really bad about your mediocre life, but you’ll get a chance to walk in the shoes of royalty for a day. You can get admission to one or multiple palaces for one day— I got the package deal to visit 3 specific palaces. This took me all day because there’s a lot of land to cover so make sure you wear comfy shoes, you’ll be walking around a ton. (P.S. dress is Milumia Boho Dress)
1) Where comfortable shoes, STREETS ARE ROUGH TO WALK ON.
2) Buy tickets to the palace in SINTRA OR IN advance.
3) Bring a jacket, it’s foggy and chilly in the mornings.
For optimal pictures, get there early. It get’s realllyyy crowded around 10am. Even before its opening at 9:30am, there was already a line for the bus that takes you up to the castle. NOTE: there’s also the option to do the 1-hour hike from Sintra to the palace, but it’s grueling. Driving yourself is another option, but they advise against it because there is very little parking up near the palaces. We took the train from Lisbon into Sintra, and from there, they have buses that take you up to the palace entrance. If you’d like to know the specific palaces I visited, download the itinerary below!
In one trip to Belem, you can visit the Belém Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery because they’re relatively close to each other. Both have so much history and are amazing sites to see. The Belém Tower is opened from (10am-5pm) and Jeronimos Monastery is opened from (10am-6pm). There is usually a long line to buy tickets to the monastery so buy tickets in advance, or take a shortcut by buying tickets next door at the National Archaeology Museum and just for $2 more you can access both the museum and the monastery! I don’t know about you, but spending that extra $2 was worth just skipping that hour-long-line alone. Totally your call though!
After your visit to Jeronimos Monastery, you can take a quick snack break and walk 3 minutes down the street to the popular Pasteis de Belem bakery for their iconic pastel de nato and croissants. It’s a must-try when visiting Portugal, and you know me, I love them sweet endings.
Portugal is on the coast so they’re known for their seafood. I’ve listed a few popular spots below:
Pastéis de Belém: well-known popular bakery with tasty pastel de nato
Cervejaria Ramiro: one of the best seafood restaurants in the area, but with long lines
Dear Breakfast: cutest basic brunch spot EVER. Great avocado toast + acai bowls, and aesthetics were on point. I literally died.
Forno d’Oro: amazing Italian food specializing in their made-from-scratch pizza dough. Loved their prawn pasta.
Bairro do Avillez: Great tapas, and very popular!
Santini: Gelato ice cream
I only got to spend 3 days in Portugal, but I know I’m definitely coming back. There is so much more to see outside of Lisbon that I’ll need to make another trip for. If you plan to visit Lisbon, I hope my tips help you plan your trip. Check out our itinerary below!
GET ACCESS TO OUR ITINERARY!
Exact locations we visited
Where we took our photos
Our schedule for the entire trip
Favorite restaurants we ate at
Obrigado!! (thank you in Portuguese)
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