How it’s taken me so long to discover Lisbon, I have no idea. I’d say my fiancee and I are pretty in the know with the next best thing, and discovering places before they’ve become too touristy but I think we were close to the boarder with Lisbon! However, we’d done our fair share of research, as well as being recommended some lovely spots by friends & a colleague from this beautiful country … so I hope this guide will help anyone reading who’s considering a trip to Lisbon (which you should!)
A few need to knows before we jump in….
- Alcohol is dangerously cheap in most places – so be careful! We paid an average of 3 euros for a glass of fizz, and as little as 1.50 euro for a beer…
- Try not to follow the Trip Advisor restaurant recommendations… the one restaurant we did, was a complete tourist trap and also resulted in a food poisoning disaster 🙁
- You must not leave Lisbon without trying an Egg Custard tart… believe it or not we overheard someone point at one in an cafe and ask what it was!
- Wear flats…streets are all cobbled, and their are some mighty fine steep hills, so heels don’t really go down in Lisbon unfortunately!
- Trains seemed to be more reliable than trams…. we waited, and waited, and queued only to have to run to catch the train to Sintra due to the trams being so packed.
- And… did you know that Lisbon is Europe’s 2nd oldest city?!
The COLOURFUL Streets of LISBON:
First stop…. (FAST) FOOD:
So, as you all know my love for discovering new foods is endless.. especially learning about new cultures and absorbing myself in their foods (a little dangerous when it mostly involves pastries!) However, the pastries are an absolute MUST in Lisbon.
First stop on our food tour was the TIMEOUT FOOD MARKET, which was a stones throw away from our accommodation. This meant, our first day mostly involved making our way around the wine & beer stalls whilst indulging in a cured meat and cheese platter….
An average price of a glass of their locally made prossecco was around 3 Euros (cheaper than coffee!)
AKA…The epitome of Egg Custard Tarts. This is the one and ONLY place in Lisbon to discover true custard tarts, and the whole experience lies of the queue makes it all the more worth it! Did I forget to mention, this was THE place where Portuguese Egg Custard pastries were invented?!
In case you are all thinking, egg custard blah blah blag, these are no egg custard tart as you may know it. My fiancee and I spent many a discussions, and many a egg custard eating trying to work out how it is physically possible to get such a ‘crunch’ on the outside, yet such a gooey, soft centre… It still in debate… and I am still yet to challenge myself to making an Egg Custard tart ‘Portuguese style’ so if any fellow foodie bloggers hold the secret… please share!
Next Stop… CULTURE:
MAAT Museum, we made a trip to Belem which is a must (Pasteis de Belem tarts obvs), and from there we walked up the coast, which is known as the ‘Tour of Belem’ we did it solo but discovered most of the sites and stumbled across some cute little sites. We headed to the MAAT Museum, not thinking twice before looking to see what was on we bought tickets only to discover we unfortunately had seen the main exhibition at the Barbican a few months back (Eames furniture), However, worth a visit for the Iron work and machinery discovery and the building is kinda interesting…
A spot sat on the steps overlooking the Belem Tower was great for people watching. We didnt head inside, but the view from here was rather good.
Final Stop… GRAFFITI:
Lisbon is still a very raw city, and the streets are covered in Graffiti, which add to the very colourfulness of its culture (however be warned there is some very, very shit graffiti too!)
Here’s some of our favourite graffiti discoveries…
So, I’ve realised there’s FAR too much Lisbon antics I have to share with you (especially on the food front.. !) so keep a look out, I’ll be posting a Lisbon ‘Part II’, including all my favourite food spots (more restaurant style).