If you’re seeking a bit of sun paired up with some lively culture and beautiful sights, then look no further for holiday inspo because Lisbon is where it’s at!
Think cheap wine, amazing food, friendly locals and perfect weather (almost year round!)- what else could you really ask for?
I’ll be honest, I didn’t hold huge expectations for Lisbon prior to flying out there last October with my cousins and sister, as I didn’t do much research (I’m more of a “rock up at the airport” type of gal!) but by the end of the week I was close to tears at the thought of leaving! As I had such an amazing time in this beautiful city, I thought I’d share my Lisbon summer holiday guide for you guys…
LISBON SUMMER HOLIDAY GUIDE
Lisbon is a great mix of Portuguese tradition with a modern twist and I remember being so shocked in terms of how funky the city was in general; there was loads of graffiti on the walls along the streets but it came across as art rather than vandalism. This made it have a youthful vibe which reminded me a bit of Shoreditch High Street back in London!
To take in Lisbon’s true beauty, I would recommend blocking out a whole day to just explore the streets and see where it takes you, as we saw the most amazing views when we were just wondering aimlessly one day!
There’s so many pretty fountains, statues and churches all around Lisbon so no matter where you end up you’re bound to find something that catches your eye.
MUST SEE PLACES
Belem is a district within Lisbon and you can cover the best of it within half a day! Within Belem there’s one of the most iconic sights; The Discoveries Monument which overlooks the pier.
This monument has a really strong presence and each of the statues are carved with so much detail. You can pay to go in the museum and on the viewing platform, however we decided to have a relaxing lunch at a nearby restaurant which had a perfect view of it instead!
Cascais is a perfect day trip from Lisbon as it’s a the coastline so has so many beautiful sea views. I’d recommend hiring a bike for the day to cycle around the coast and you’d get to see so much more than if you were just walking.
Lisbon is such a foodie destination as they offer loads of traditional food as well as more refined dishes and fusion restaurants.
A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without trying Pastais de Nata (traditional Portuguese custard tarts); crispy golden puff pastry filled with a thick sweet custard. Definitely go to the cafe Pasteis De Belém (in Belém mentioned above) as this is where they originated from so are the best ones around!
Unfortunately I didn’t find vegan ones but apparently there are some places that do them!
There was also loads of veggie and vegan restaurants/meal options which was ideal for me as I was (and still am) transitioning to veganism at the time. For a plant based buffet head over to Restaurante Terra which was honestly a vegan foodie’s dream come true!
For a nourishing breakfast I recommend Nicolau cafe which has such a aesthetic decor (think ‘urban outfitters meets vegan food blogger’ vibes) and they serve up colourful buddha and smoothie bowls , fluffy pancakes and the creeeeeamiest avocado on toast.
Despite Lisbon being a top holiday location, it’s still crazy cheap so your euros will go a long wayout there! -We were only paying around a fiver for a cocktail even at some fancy bars (just imagine the madness we had at 2 4 1 happy hour!).
We had the most amazing cocktails from a pop-up bar along the port one day- I had the tropical mojito, and although it was only 11am, they looked so good I couldn’t say no!
Lisbon had a really exciting night life, especially an area called Bairro Alto, which was where the “young locals” hung out. If clubbing/bars are not your thing, there were quite a few shisha bars too which were perfect when we wanted more of a chilled evening.
Thinking of posting more city guides for other places I’m planning to visit this year so would love to hear your feedback!