Lisbon Tips By A Local

November 9, 2021

Bo, one of SeaBookings’ founders, lives in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. She is head over heels in love with her city and is happy to share some of her personal tips. If you want some Lisbon tips by a local, continue reading…

For those looking for an authentic experience in Lisbon, wander around Lisbon’s downtown, and simply enjoy the vibe of the colorful buildings, narrow streets, friendly terraces, and unique viewpoints, then this advice is the best way to explore Lisbon.

For some further guidance to have a full experience of Lisbon, check out the following tips:

Visit “Bairro Alto”

If you are visiting Lisbon, Bairro Alto is one one of the districts you have probably heard about. It is surely worth a visit, but not for dinner, as most places are way too touristy and expensive. Of course, there are some exceptions! We do recommend Bairro Alto for a drink after dinner and if the weather is nice, go to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (the viewpoint next to Bairro Alto).

Check Out The Famous “Elevador de Santa Justa”

The “Elevador de Santa Justa”, is a lift that became one of the main tourist attractions of the city. The top of the lift will give you a great 360º view over downtown. The lift was built in the same style as the Eiffel Tower. This is because iit was built by Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard, who was a huge fan of Gustave Eiffel and applied the same techniques.

Our local-tip to skip the (sometimes huge) lines is to reach the top of the lift from the upper town — Largo do Carmo, next to the Carmo Convent. And you will not even need a ticket, since it is free!

Enjoy Local Delicacies And Seafood In Lisbon

The most famous delicacy of Portugal? Pastel de nata! The delicious egg tarts can be found at the coffee shops at every corner of every street in Lisbon. But the best ones? Manteigaria!

Other than that, seafood and fresh fish are a must. We love to grab the ferry and have a delicious sunset meal at Ponto Final, on the side side of the river.

Lisbon has been becoming more and more vegan and vegetarian friendly over the recent years. For vegans, at typical Portuguese restaurants, you might have a tough time, but there are many vegan restaurants in Lisbon.

Enjoy The Gorgeous Beaches Around Lisbon

Lisbon is surrounded by amazing beaches. If you are short on time, the ones that are easiest to reach are the ones along the train line from Cais do Sodré to Cascais. Here you will find Carcavelos Beach, for example, which is great for surfing.

If you have more time (or a car), Costa da Caparica is a great beach to go to. All you need to do is cross the bridge and turn right. We love beach bar Yamba at Praia da Bolina.

The best beaches of the region are surely the beaches of the Nature Park of Arrábida, like the award winning Ribeiro do Cavalo.

Day Trip To Sesimbra, Setúbal, Or Algarve

If you have some spare time, why not visit Sesimbra or Setúbal and maybe even the Algarve?

For those who like nature, Sesimbra and Setúbal are great day trips. In Sesimbra, you can enjoy one of the many sea experiences there. You can do a boat trip, go snorkeling, scuba-diving, kayaking, and more! To get there, you can book a transfer with most of the experiences or by your own means. There are many ways to get from Lisbon to Sesimbra.

If you would like to see dolphins in their natural habitat, Setúbal is the place to be. There are boat tours in Lisbon to the dolphins too, but you might prefer a day trip to escape the busy city and enjoy a cruise on an unforgettable catamaran tour.

And if you want to travel a bit more, you can go to from Lisbon to Benagil. Benagil is a very famous sea cave located in the Algarve. Once you have reached the coastline of the Algarve by car, bus or train, we recommend hopping on one of the many boat tours to Benagil.

Lisbon has a lot to offer, for all tastes and budgets. We hope you have a nice stay!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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