Lisbon travel tips – 24 hours in Lisbon

lisbon pont d'abril | this city life

Visiting Lisbon as a day trip from our relaxing break on the gorgeous coast of Sintra, we spent a boiling hot September day exploring one of the oldest cities in the world. Just a 40 minute train ride from Sintra and a 2 hour 40 minute plane journey from London, Lisbon is the perfect city break for when you need some sun, sea air and a lot of indulgence. Here are my Lisbon travel tips for when you only have 24 hours to explore.

Lisbon travel tips - cable car | this city life

Vintage shopping

Known for its independent vintage shops full to the brim with clothing, accessories, shoes and homeware, Lisbon is a vintage shopper’s dream. Bairro Alto is where it all happens, where cobbled street after cobbled street is full of vintage gems. Agência 117 on Rua do Norte is shoe-sheaven, and A Outra Face Da Lua on Rua da Assunção is the best vintage hang-out you’ll see in Lisbon. Great for clothes, shoes and jewellery, there’s even a kitsch cafe and a gramophone playing old records.

Food and drink

pasteis de belem | this city life

You can’t visit Lisbon and not try one (or four) of their national pastries – Pastéis de Nata. They’re little custard tarts, usually eaten slightly warm and with a strong dose of espresso. Very sweet but very light, you can easily chomp your way through a plate full of these little tarts and not feel one ounce of guilt. The best place to eat a Pastéis de Nata for the first time is at Pastéis de Belém, where they bake around 15,000 tarts a day for delighted visitors. Sprinkle your tarts with sugar and cinnamon for even more flavour and sweetness.

pasteis de nata | this city life

There are also plenty of places to eat and drink with a view in Lisbon. My favourite place is Doca de Santo Amaro, between Baixa and Belém. Sat right under the Ponte 25 de Abril, there are many chain restaurants to eat at but the views more than make up for it…

belem dock | this city life

Stop for a pizza or seafood dish as you awe at the bridge and the Cristo-Rei across the river, take a photo opportunity, then for dessert walk along the decking and pick up a scoop of ice-cream from the Häagen-Dazs vendor.

Sightseeing

padrao dos descobrimentos | this city life

Lisbon has some fantastic architecture and historical areas to do a bit of sightseeing. Here are my favourite places to go:

  • Torre de Belém – a Moorish, Renaissance and Gothic-style tower on the riverbank. Visit in the late afternoon for its quietest time and then go for a paddle on the bank to cool off.
  • Padrâo dos Descobrimentos – a monument created in the form of the prow of a ship. Meaning a ‘monument to the discoveries’, you won’t realise the sheer size of this until you see it for yourself.
  • Ponte 25 de Abril – Portugal’s ‘Golden Gate’, it’s over half a mile long and is spectacular to look at from the banks of the Tagus River.

lisbon chiado shopping | this city life

Read more about Pastéis de Nata on ThisCityLife.co.uk

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3 Comments

  1. 10th June 2014 / 6:23 am

    Those custard tarts are so good! The castle is a great place to visit for a day trip as well.

    • 10th June 2014 / 11:29 am

      They are aren’t they! I found myself craving them so much when I got back, but they’re never the same in England!