Lisbon Travel Guide

May 10th, 2024

The “City of Light” or the city on seven hills, Portugal’s coastal capital attracts visitors for countless reasons. Dripping with history, the sought-after destination has stunning architecture, colorful cobblestone streets, to-die-for seafood, signature pastries, and a wine lover’s dream vineyards. Discover our latest finds after visiting to shoot our latest editorial. Think chic stays, quality eats, and bucket-list activities for this must-visit European city.

The Lisbon Bucket List

Enjoy a Delicious Meal with a Seaside View

Whether at a vineyard of one of Lisbon’s fine restaurants, don’t miss a beachside meal with the city’s signature fresh seafood.

A Day on the Lisbon Coast

Spend a day in Sintra and Cascais. Not to miss: seeing Pena Palace and trying Lisbon’s signature pastries, “Travesseiros de Sintra.”

Visit Coimbra

See Portugal’s first university, University of Coimbra, and its word-famous library. Fun fact: the university was one of many places in Portugal that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Hogwarts!

Take a Food Walking Tour

Explore Alfama, the oldest area in Lisbon, and visit traditional stores and taste some local pastries and Portuguese snacks.

Where to Stay

Six Senses Douro Valley

Winding through the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, this estate is set on the River Duoro and covers 19 acres. With three restaurants, a wine cellar, spa, outdoor pools, and a gym, the amenities are endless at this luxury stay.

Bairro Alto Hotel

A 5-star boutique hotel located in the heart of historic downtown, this cosmopolitan and trendy spot seamlessly blends old and new with a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Centrally located, it is within walking distance to major shops, theaters, museums, restaurants and bars. Plus, you’ll find the BAHR Terrace on the top floor, awarded as the 4th best hotel-terrace view in the world.

São Lourenço do Barrocal

Located in a wild corner of the Alentejo within a 1927-acre estate that has been in thesame family for over 200 years, this ancient small farming village has been restored as a remarkable hotel of understated luxury, set amidst ancient oaks, olive groves and vineyards.Heritage meets natural materials, vintage meets contemporary in the beautiful rooms and cottages, plus farm-to-table restaurants, bars, a farm shop, spa, pools, and horse stables.

Quinta Da Comporta

The most authentic option, Quinta Da Comporta offers cultural heritage, proximity to locals, and traditional architecture. With deluxe rooms, a solar heated infinity pool, rice fields, a spa, and restaurant, a stay here is unforgettable. 

Where to Eat: Dinner

BAHR

At BAHR, the kitchen is the leading actor, combining best of authentic Portugues cuisine,traditions, and ingredients.

Vale de Abraão

Boasting a traditional Portuguese walk-in fireplace, azulejo tiles, cork ceilings, granite floors, vineyard views, and a fountain, this classic yet contemporary restaurant offers an intimate and memorable experience. Enjoy seasonal market-inspired tasting menus using the best quality fresh ingredients of the region, or treat yourself to the signature Open Kitchen Experience with an a la carte menu and conversations with the chefs.

Bistro 100 Maneiras

Originally inspired by Canada’s Festival Lumière, chef Ljubomi converted a former ArtDeco-inspired building, home of one of the oldest restaurants in the country, into an eclectic and contemporary place, one where art and gastronomy, music and mixology coexist.

Bairro do Avillez

Chef Avillez is a household name in Lisbon, and this restaurant is especially fun as it has three different concepts in one, advising customers to come and be surprised. Follow the chef’s suggestions for seafood, snacks, meat, fish, desserts, wines, and beers for an unforgettable visit. Don’t miss the pisco sour bar on the second floor! 

Cervejaria Ramiro

The line can get long here, but the seafood is worth the wait. Event since Anthony Bourdain went and loved it, it’s been super popular.

Sea Me

The Sea Me project started as a modern fish shop to pay homage to the old fish shops that, over time, disappeared from Lisbon. Sea Me’s Japanese influence offers a unique experience to customers, complete with a fun atmosphere and authentic character.

Lisboa Tu e Eu

This Alfama spot may seem unassuming, with its small size and back alley location, but it’s super authentic, charming, and incredible. From grilled sardines and sauteed  calamari to octopus salad and rice and beans, everything is delicious.

Clube de Fado

While the food is good, you really go here for the music.

Where to Eat: Lunch

Garden Barbecue at Six Senses

Looking for the best grilled fish and meat in town? Set in a quiet corner of the formal gardens, Six Senses’ Garden Barbecue offers a feast for food lovers, set at communal tables overlooking the organic garden. Book in advance and arrive hungry!

Comporta Cafe

The Comporta Cafe is a must because of its an unforgettable meal and experience. The beach itself it not to miss, with its golden sand, crystal clear water, wild dunes, and fragrant pine forests. Enjoy quality meals that are traditional with a twist, from fresh seafood to meats and vegetables. The team is always friendly, the music is always playing, and if you’re there for sunset you’ll catch the DJ!

Terraçu’s at Quinta Nova

A relaxing setting, sweeping views, and upscale regional dishes make this an ideal spot for lunch and local wines. 

Bar do Fundo

This beautiful, light-filled restaurant in Sintra is the outgrowth of a surf-shack-style sandwich bar that two founding brothers set up as part of the beach lifestyle. Today, the restaurant offers fine dining, with dishes inspired by the brothers’ grandmother’s recipes.  Standout dishes include the grilled octopus and the tuna steak. For Sunday lunches, there’s a popular cozido à portuguesa, a typical stew.

Ilha do Arroz

Feet in the sand, steps from the sea, and a view of the mountains…the location couldn’t be better for this beach restaurant. It’s relaxed yet elegant, with an easy-going vibe and music in the air. Signature dishes include fish pasta, octopus rice, pork, and plenty of veggie dishes. Plus, don’t miss the delicious cocktails.

Monte Mar

Overlooking the Tagus River, Monte Mar is one of the best-known restaurants among locals for its fresh fish and seafood. In an elegant and industrial-chic space, enjoy the best flavors of the sea, exquisitely prepared and served in a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll forget you’re in the heart of a major city!

Rui dos Leitões

The suckling pig is one of the most famous dishes in Portugal. It is found on menus all over the country, but if you want to taste it at its best, Rui dos Leitões is the place.

Time Out Market

Ceated from scratch in 2014 by Time Out Portugal, Time Out Market selects the best ideas and business projects and keeps it in the market for anywhere from one week to several years. If it’s good, it goes in the magazine. If it’s great, it goes into the market. On the one hand, you’ll find some of the best restaurants for burgers, steak, or sushi. On the other hand, you’ll discover some of the longest-running market vendors for fis, fruit, and flowers.

Where to Sip: Bars

Red Frog Speak Easy

This intimate speak easy is reminiscent of  those from the New York Prohibition era. Ring the bell underneath the red frog on the wall to be let in!

Pensao Amor

Formerly a wharf brothel, Pensão Amor reinvented itself to embrace the modern “seafarers” who visit Lisbon. The various rooms, nooks, and crannies fill up with people from all over the world, in search of art, culture, and sometimes even dance floors.

Sky Bar

More of an upscale hotel rooftop bar, Sky Bar offers panoramic views of the city and feels very Miami-esque with its decor.

Park Bar

Once a rooftop parking lot (and still perched on top of one), this sleek, hip spot is completely transformed with wood furniture, evening lighting, and a great view of the Tagus River. Come for the drinks, stay for the live music, DJs, and outdoor movie screenings.

What to Do: Activities

Explore Belem 

Belem is one of Lisbon's most important neighborhoods, home to two of the city's most famous monuments–the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belem Tower, among other national monuments, museums, and public parks. Start your day at the highest viewpoint of the city, where you will observe the charming narrow streets and their beautiful, tiled buildings and secret alleys. Don’t skip the famous Portuguese tart - or pastel de nata. Belem is said to be the original place where the tart was created, and is still made today with an ancient secret recipe. 

Tour Herdade de Coelheiros

A family estate that has produced high-quality wines in Alentejo since 1991, this quaint setting includes a walnut orchard, cork forest, lake, and several farm animals. You’ll be escorted by a wine expert at Coelheiros, and end your tour with a wine tasting and a classic Portuguese lunch. 

Visit Sintra and Cascais 

Embark on a full day on the Lisbon Coast. Sintra is full of history and offers someof the most exquisite architectural sites in the country.  There are three main castles (National Palace of Sintra, Moorish Castle, and Pena Palace). One of the most visited places is Pena Palace, a fairytale site built in the 19th century by the royal family, overlooking the ocean. Explore the village’s historic center and beautiful parks, full of shops and restaurants where you can try the region’s famous “Travesseiros de Sintra” pastries or the “Queijadas.” To end your visit, be sure to stop at one of Cascais' greatest attractions, the Santini, to taste the most famous ice cream in town! If you really have extra time, spend the night at The Ritz in Sintra—it's an old converted monastery!

Visit Castelo de São Jorge

The line gets very long at prime time so if you can't get in one day, you should still go and buy tickets for a different day so you can walk right in.

Azenhas do Mar

Located on a cliff off the coast and nestled between the ocean and the mountains, this small town has an idyllic setting. Full of incredible beaches, white houses, and magnificent pools, the destination is a popular destination among tourists and locals alike. 

Visit Coimbra

Coimbra was Portugal's capital in the Middle Ages and offers centuries of culture and history.The country's first university, University of Coimbra, contains a world-famous library, The Baroque masterpiece built by order of King John V in the 18th century contains copies of the rarest bibliographical collections from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. In fact, many places in Portugal inspired J.K. Rowling in the creation of her magical kingdom, and the university was one of them. At the University of Coimbra, all students wear an almost identical uniform to the witches and wizards at Hogwarts!

A Day in Douro Valley

Classified as the oldest demarcated region in the world,The Duoro Valley contains the spanning Duoro River, vineyards on mountain slopes, and beautiful landscapes. Arrange a private boat trip to tour the region and the epicenter of the famous Port wine production. 

Winemaker for a Day at Quinta Nova Winery

Quinta Nova has a history of more than 250 years and still contains an original building from 1764. Enter the world of wine and experience being a winemaker for a day in this private and exclusive experience. Enjoy a visit with a wine educator who will help you discover Douro’s delicious nectars in an idyllic setting, accompanied by the stunning landscape overlooking the Douro River.

Take a Food Walking Tour

Explore Alfama, the oldest area in Lisbon, and learn about its rich culture and history. Continue through the Old Town, where you will visit traditional local stores and taste some local pastries and Portuguese “petiscos.”

"Black Pig" Distillery

Producing the most awarded gin in Europe, this 15-acre farm houses black pigs, peacocks, donkeys, chickens, ducks, goats and sheep. You’ll find bars with cocktails, mocktails, and local snacks, along with a surrounding trail where you can learn about each animal, tree and the production of the signature gin.

Shopping at A Vida Portuguesa

Treat yourself to some home goods, beautiful bed linens, or blankets to bring a piece of Lisbon back home.

Go to LXFactory

An interesting collection of bohemian stores, this feels almost like a mini, condensed version of NYC’s Brooklyn. Even if you dont love chocolate, you must get the chocolate cake from Landeau.

Kid-Friendly Activities

Cookie Workshop at São Lourenço do Barrocal

Get creative and get some treats! Choose from lots of cute animal shapes to make whichever cookies you’re craving. 

Jerónimo Ride

If a horse ride is too much for your little ones, São Lourenço do Barrocal’s friendly donkey, Jerónimo, will do the trick. Join their equestrian team for a fun ride, then feed Jerónimo some of the property’s homegrown vegetables. Perk for parents: try wine on horseback! 

Kid-Friendly Foodie Tour

Join your guide on an exploration of the most mouthwatering traditional food shops and restaurants in the Baixa neighborhood (one of the few flat areas of Lisbon). You’ll learn all about Portuguese culture, cuisine, and different specialty dishes. 

Children's Vegetable Garden at São Lourenço do Barrocal

This interactive tour is a fun way for your kids to get to know just where their meals come from. Learn about nature’s cycles and the growth and development of the property’s fresh vegetables.  

Nest Building with Portugal Birds & Trails

Let your little ones say hello to the birds of Alentejo and build small houses and feeders (from scratch) for the region's flying fauna. The first half of the activity (it’s two hours) involved building wooden nests and a feeder, while the second half lets you observe all of the surrounding species.

Dolphin Watching

Offering daily morning and afternoon options (each two hours), these guided watch tours allow you to discover the community of Sado dolphins along the magnificent landscapes of Arrábida, Tróia coast and the Sado estuary.

What to Pack

The Lisbon Look: Breezy dresses, splashy swim, and comfy walking shoes for an action-packed trip to the coastal city.