Greetings from Lisbon,
We arrived early on Tuesday morning and checked in to our accommodation next to the Baixa-Chiado metro station at Lisbon Downtown Inn. We had a beautiful private room and a shared bathroom. The staff was really friendly and the location perfect.
On our first night we had dinner at Palacio Chiado – and yes, it was a real palace. The historic salons of the Palácio Chiado now host several dining alternatives from sushi to grill and seafood to name a few. The dinner time in Portugal is between 19-22 and most of the restaurants didn’t even open their doors before 7pm. What you also might be interested in is that the appetizers (bread, olives etc.) are actually not free. They will be added to your bill if you eat them and cost around 1,5 e. If you don’t want any, just refuse them, send them back straight away or don’t touch them.
On our second morning we had the most lovely breakfast at Nicolau Lisboa which was right next to our inn. It was so good we ended up going there also the next day. Big recommendations if you love smoothies, yoghurt bowls and pancakes 🙂
We strolled around in Alfama and had a short ride in the famous yellow tram. As it was so full that we had to stand and could not see anything, we decided to hop off and walk instead. The buildings in Alfama were so beautiful and all the blue tiles so lovely. We enjoyed the view at Miradouro das Portas do Sol and stopped for coke and pastries to recharge.
We made a pack that we will eat one Pastel de Nata (a Portuguese egg tart pastry) each day and read that the best ones are in Belem. So one day we made a trip to the area, visited the beautiful white Torre de Belém and continued our way to Pasteis de Belém were we had heard you could get the best pastries. As the cafe was quite full we had take-away and ate the Pastel de Natas under a tree in the park nearby. So GOOD.
While walking back from Belem we visited Ponte 25 de Abril, the bridge that reminded us of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. As we realized that the view must be spectacular also from the other side we decided to make a trip by boat to the other side of the river and check it out from Santuário Nacional de Cristo Rei.
We also visited LX Factory, historical industrial complex of houses with an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants. We found the coolest book store from there.
We had amazing pizzas at ZeroZero. It was very popular so be prepared to wait in the queu or make a reservation. They had a wonderful outdoor terrace but unfortunately as the place was packed, we had to settle for seats inside. Maybe next time 😉
You should also check out the Time Out Market for dinner. The Bairro Alto district and surrounding area is considered a hot spot for nightlife in Lisbon these days. And that is exactly where we went one night for drinks. It was very hard to decide on one place as there were so many.
We had a lovely time and felt like there is still so much to see in this beautiful city. Lisbon, I will definitely be back! Maybe next time in the spring or fall when there is hopefully less tourists 🙂 Obrigado was the only word I learned in Portuguese. It is an interesting language – a mix of Spanish, Greece and Russian in my opinion.
PS. Oh yes, we also made a day trip to Sintra – but more on that later!