13 Must-Do Activities in Lisbon

When we planned our trip to The Azores for 2 weeks, we started looking for other places where we could travel to inexpensively. Traveling to Lisbon was actually less expensive than flying to any of the other Azores islands. We are so happy we chose Lisbon because it is such a colorful + beautiful city that is filled with such diversity + many things to do. You couldn't possible get bored being here. And this city has it all - beautiful architecture, beaches, food for days, shopping, good public transportation, museums, etc. I could go on and on. We loved Lisbon and I am so glad we added this on to our trip to the Azores!

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Let's talk about the things you must do while you are there:

1. Walk around the city with no agenda. This is how we spent most of our days because every corner you turn there is something beautiful to see. We loved just walking around and admiring the architecture and seeing what else the city had to offer. I don't think you could go wrong. We spent most of our time in Chiado and loved it. Definitely be sure to pack a few different pairs of comfy shoes. You will be walking a lot and there are more stairs than you could ever imagine. I'm not even kidding when I say, I feel like I should have trained a little before this trip. We were exhausted from all the walking and the stairs, but again we loved it.
2. Get Santini Gelato. The lemon flavor was my absolute favorite. You can get gelato every couple of  blocks in Lisbon, but Santini is kind of a big deal. It's popular for a reason -it's delicious! And those red stripes, swoon.
3. Visit Pink Street. This street is begging you to take a picture. Also, if you are a night owl and like to party, this is the place to be. We are grannies so we never appreciated all that Pink Street has to offer, but it is known for it's club scene.

4. Eat egg cups. So this may not sound appetizing but this is a traditional Portuguese dessert and it is so good. Our Airbnb hosts actually left us some to try when we arrived. Casey was fortunate enough to find a gluten-free egg cup at Zarzuela's, and it was one of her favorite things she ate in Lisbon. We tried to figure out how to take some home but it just wasn't possible.
5. Visit Time-Out Market. This place is really cool and we are so excited because something very similar is coming to Nashville! It's a huge place with around 60 restaurants. Any kind of food you can think of- it's there. Casey ate a phenomenal cod fish risotto and a gluten-free pumpkin ricotta flan. I had a mix of asian dishes- all very tasty. We often have a hard time deciding where to eat because we are both in the mood for different things. But at Time- Out everyone can get the food they want and still eat together.
6. Eat at a cafe/snack bar. These are everywhere and they are all adorable. I don't remember ever coming across a restaurant or cafe that wasn't aesthetically pleasing. After walking around all day, it's nice to just sit down, relax, and have a snack with coffee.
7. Go to the Alfama flea market. This happen every Tuesday, so we were thrilled we were there on a Tuesday because this was a  fun activity. If you happen to be in town on a Tuesday, I definitely recommend you go! The Alfama neighborhood has lots to offer too.  It's really cool to see what people sell in different places around the world. This market contained a lot of cheap knickknacks and a few local goods. There were a lot of cool pieces but we were traveling in a carry-on so we didn't have room for many extra goods.
8. Visit the rooftops. If you are looking on a map, you will see "Miradouro" in many different places. This means that there is lookout with a great view. The fun thing is that there is one in just about every neighborhood. You could also get the same experience on a rooftop bar. We went to a couple miradouros and Park Bar for a drink and a snack. We really enjoyed their view and atmosphere. This is a pretty popular place so try going earlier in the day. It's also pretty hard to find because it's at the top of a parking garage and there is no signage. Just put the location in your phone/GPS and then find the parking garage when you get there. Take the elevator to the top floor and you will be there!
9. Ride a tram (or just find one to see what all the hype is for). The trams are really cute and the most famous one is the 28. We never rode this because of how crowded it was. We also found it rather easy to get around by the combination of foot and subway. We did run across an almost empty 28 tram early one morning, but we weren't going anywhere at the moment. If you really want to ride, try the morning or late hours. Hold on to your belongings tightly though. Apparently people get pick-pocketed regularly there.

10. Stop and get coffee in the middle of the day- just because. Everyone else does it. Portguese people drink espresso alllll day, and I love them for it. When in Rome.... or Lisbon. Also, their coffee is so good. I would usually ask for espresso with milk and in the biggest cup they had. These people drink tiny espresso all day- not coffee like we do. But man it's good. I was really sad to come home and drink regular coffee. I'm probably going to get an espresso maker now.
11. Visit a museum. There are many museums you can visit in Lisbon, but we went to Museu Colecao Berardo. We chose this one because you can see a piece from Picasso, Mondrian, and Andy Warhol all in one place. It was a pretty cool space and you can walk through Belem while you are there. Belem was insanely busy but the museum was not.

12. Have a shot of Ginja. Casey had read about Ginja online before our trip, so we made sure to try some on our trip. It's a Portuguese sour cherry liqueur and it's often served in a chocolate cup. We saw a sign for Ginja in the window of a little cafe so we ran in to try some. Ours did not come in a chocolate cup- which is great for me as I'm not a fan of it. It was strong, but tasty. It isn't something I'd say I'd be eager to have again, but it was nice to know what it was like.
13. Drink wine. Wine is crazy cheap in Portugal and it's really really good. Our Airbnb hosts left us a bottle at check-in and it was my favorite wine we had there. We ended up buying another bottle of that same wine when we got back to the island. Sadly we didn't bring any back because we didn't have the luggage for it. But this would be a great time to bring some back! But even if you don't, drink it while you are there. You won't be sorry.

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xo, Savannah

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