During our time in Portugal we were staying in Sesimbra, a small village located on the coast south of Lisbon. It’s a place people from Lisbon go to if they want to escape the city and spend time at the beach. If you are staying in Lisbon and want to have a beach day, this is a really good place to go to! It’s an hour by bus and will cost you only 4 euros one way.
We left Sesimbra early and arrived in Lisbon around 10am. Before we go any further, make sure to bring/wear walking shoes if you’re planning on exploring the city by foot. We walked around +/- 12km that day, up and down hill. We arrived by metro at ‘Avenida’, our starting point for the day. From Avenida we headed south over ‘Avenida da Liberdada’ towards ‘Rossini’ where you can find the statue of Pedro IV. We were planning to continue to go south over ‘Rua Augusta’ to the ‘Parça do Comércio’ but we didn’t have our coffee yet. So we changed our plan.
Café a Brasileira.
We slightly turned east passing ‘Elevador de Santa Justa’ an old elevator, to Café A Brasileira on Rua Garrett 120. This cafe is famous for the bronze interior and is a good location to start if you’re discovering the Chiado neighborhood. The Pastel de Nata, a topical Portuguese egg tart pastry, was the best we had so far. We sat on the terrace from where we could see the classic tram 28 pass by every couple of minutes. Be aware that the three price categories on the menu do not stand for small/medium/large (as we assumed with our poor Portuguese skills) but to go/inside/outside! So you pay different prices based on where you’re sitting.
After we had recharged our self we continued our journey south passing through the shopping street ‘Rua Augusta’ till we ended up at ‘Parça do Comércio’. The street has some colorful buildings but the stores are all from chains such as H&M and Zara. The square at the end is entered via the the beautiful Triomf. We expected the city to be bigger and therefore we decided to skip the ‘Alfama’ neighborhood and turn east to the food market ‘Time Out’. However, later that day we came back to ‘Alfama’. You can first go to the neighborhood and then continue to the food market. It’s nice to stroll around and it has the castle and come nice cathedrals which we however did not visit.
This food market is located behind the shipping terminals and train station. The market is very modern and offers all kinds of food and drinks: from coffee and smoothies to wines and liquor, and different types of food. In the middle are tables to enjoy your food and drinks but it is difficult to find an available spot since everyone is saving chairs for one and another. We weren’t hungry yet so we bought an ice coffee to cool down a bit.
From the food market we headed north passing through the streets of Bairro Alto, a trendy neighborhood. The streets are packed with small local shops, restaurants and bars. This is the place to go to at night, but since we passed through the streets during the day and not the night, we didn’t experience the liveliness. We would definitely come back to visit these streets when we are in Lisbon again.
We walked though Bairro Alto up hill and ended up at the viewing point. We were supposep to have a stunning view of the city but due to construction we unfortunately ended up looking at a construction site. The park was nice to sit in the shadow however so we gave our feet some rest and planned the rest of our day. Since at this point it was between 1 and 2 pm (note how much we already did in such a small amount of time!) we were hungry and found ourselves a nice spot to eat.
O Prego da Preixaria.
Located on Rua da Escola Politécnica 40, a 10 minute walk from the viewing point we had lunch at O Predo da Preixaria. As the name suggests, we had some delicious pregos: Portuguese sandwiches. You can build your own, choosing from different kinds of meat, choose ‘gadgets’ (cheese, sauce, etc.) and some sides (sweet potato fries!). It was delicious and we definitely recommend to hit this place up if you’re looking for a good lunch. They also have a venue at the Time Out market in case you are not able to make it to Bairro Alto.
After Bairro Alto we spend some time walking around in Alfama and from there took an Uber to LX factory since this is located out of the city centre. Uber by the way works great in Lisbon and we can definitely recommend it since it’s cheaper than regular taxis and overall the drivers are really nice. LX factory is a located at an industrial site right beneath the Ponte 25 de Abril (the red bridge). It has some really cool stores and many restaurants. Since we just had lunch we were not hungry at all, which is a shame as the places looked really nice. We walked around bit but do not plan to spend a lot of time here if you’re not eating. So: go here hungry!
One place we wanted to visit was Park, a rooftop bar located on top of a parking garage (hence the name). We found ourselves a spot in the shade, which was still necessary at 5pm, and enjoyed ourselves a nice cocktail. There was a dj playing some music and the view is beautiful. The staff was horrible: we had to wait a long time first to order drinks, then to get our drinks while there are so many employees walking around. It is a place you have to go to though, and the location and view makes up for it.
After finishing our drinks we took the bus back to Sesimbra. Lisbon is perfect for a day trip, but best is if you can spend two or three days here so you can also enjoy the nightlife which is supposed to be great. Fortunately, Chris will be going back to Lisbon to October, so if you have experiences of tips, please share with us in the comments below!