Want to know where travel agents travel to? We’ve teamed up with Evaneos to bring you their agents’ top tips and secret recommendations so you can experience a city like a local.
From what to eat, where to explore and who to meet, our top 7 things to do in Lisbon are your ultimate bucket-list when visiting the city! Take a look at Evaneos Lisbon agent Tiago‘s hand-picked recommendations.
1. Taste the famous Pastel de Nata
You have to taste the quintessentially Portuguese Pastel de Nata (custard tart) and try to find the most famous version, the Pastel de Belém. The Pastel de Nata is a local treat and can be found in most pastry shops and bakeries in Lisbon and tastes best when eaten warm. However the ‘ultimate Pastel de Nata experience’ is undoubtedly eating the Pastel de Belém in the famous quarter of Belém. The challenge is to eat only one!
2. Listen to Fado
You definitely have to listen to some Fado in a traditional restaurant in Lisbon. Fado literally means ‘fate’ and is a song that normally speaks exactly of that: destiny, sorrow, and unrequited love. Sometimes it can also be more cheerful, playful, and even mocking. Close your eyes and, even if you don’t understand the lyrics, let yourself feel the emotion of the Fado singer and be amazed by the exquisite sound of the Portuguese guitar.
3. Have a homemade, Portuguese dinner
Don’t miss having a 100% homemade Portuguese dinner at Zé Esteves’s home. Zé Esteves is an amazing cook and simultaneously an incredible host. You’ll love being received by this lighthearted and talented chef, and it’s guaranteed that you’ll have not only a fantastic food experience but also a practical lesson on Portuguese cuisine.
4. Visit the Jeronimos Monastery
No trip to Lisbon is complete without visiting the cloister of the Jerónimos Monastery. The Monastery of Jerónimos is arguably the most impressive monument in Lisbon. Built in the early 1500s, it’s a perfect example of Manueline architecture that combines the flamboyant late Gothic style with elements and motifs of the ocean and of the Portuguese Navigations. This architectural style can only be found in Portugal, and the Jerónimos Monastery and its intricate cloister is an experience that one simply cannot miss when visiting Lisbon.
5. Visit the Alfama quarter
Alfama is a neighborhood of Moorish (Muslim) origin and if feels like a village inside a city. The narrow, winding streets, the alleys, the stairs that seem to lead nowhere…they’re all part of the charm of one of the oldest parts of Lisbon. And if you choose to visit in June, you can take part in the local festivities and try grilled sardines or flame-cooked chouriço (smoked sausage) at one of the resident’s stalls that pop up especially for this season
6. Surf or sunbathe in Cascais
The Cascais coast is renowned for its beautiful beaches that are perfect for surfing or sunbathing. Because of its geography, geology, and exposure, the coast is rich in landscapes and different types of beaches: sandy, rocky, hidden away, long, narrow, calm, wild… A perfect getaway at only 20 minutes from Lisbon. And if you’re a surfer, you might want to consider moving to Lisbon because there’s always at least one beach with perfect waves!
7. Try Bulhão Pato clams
If you’re a seafood lover (or even if you’re not!) this is a must-eat in Portugal, and particularly in Lisbon. Choose one of the many coastal or riverfront restaurants in or around Lisbon and allow yourself to indulge in one of the best gastronomic experiences you’ll ever have.
And of course, don’t forget to learn the most important phrase in Portuguese: Bom apetite!