1. Just walk the quirky little streets
The thing about Lisbon is that it’s not about going to see all the beautiful sites that the city does offer, but instead about rummaging through cute little streets and getting lost in street art. The tiled buildings characterize little streets – some of which are decorated with streamers that fit one’s image of Portuguese streets perfectly.
2. Do the Taste of Lisboa food tour
Our host Alex, organised for us to join the Taste of Lisboa food tour. This tour made me fall in love with Lisbon even more! Starting off in Largo de São Domingos, we explored pockets of the city and the Alfama enticing ourselves with Portuguese delicacies along the way. You need to do this tour when getting to Lisbon because you begin to feel a closer relationship with their culture. And, let’s not forget the food. I feel that Portuguese food is a little bit of a hidden gem. It hides behind the cuisines of its larger European brothers – but once you learn the quirkiness of its cuisines, then there is no turning back. And that’s the beauty about this tour.
My favourite part was walking through the Mouraria and Alfama. Walking these streets, having a cherry drink with Mr. Anthony, eating the best Samosa I have ever eaten in my life and learning about the beginnings of Fado takes you back in a time warp. We weren’t walking on a hot September day – rather we were walking through history with Filipa (our tourguide) storytelling the Fado life in a way that no guide book can.
3. Be captured in the world of Fado
You do not get the entire Lisbon experience unless you also see a Fado show. If you’re travelling on a budget – set aside the $$ for this. We enjoyed the Senhor Vinho restaurant. Apart from the food being amazing, experiencing the Fado is even better. We had three women and one man sing to us and take us on a journey through time with modern and old Fado songs.
4. Get to Sintra
No trip to Lisbon is complete without also visiting Pena castle at Sintra. I had wanted to visit the Pena castle for a while – and the highlight was the beautiful gardens leading up to the castle. We also snuck in a visit to one of Sintra’s beautiful estates – Quinta da Regaleira. Again, the emphasis on the beautiful gardens make you feel like you are walking through a magical forest.
Tips for Your Trip:
Taste of Lisboa
Check out the Taste of Lisboa website for food tours, cooking classes and private group experiences.
Fado and Senhor Vinho
For a complete description of this musical style unique to Portugal, read this interesting article.
Fado is listed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Restaurant is open: 1930-0200
Fado performances: 2100-0200
Kitchen is open until 0030
Rua Meio à Lapa 18, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal
Be sure to reserve a table either on the website or via phone +351 21 397 2681
Sintra is a separate town from Lisbon, easily reached by a 30 minute train trip, which will only set you back €2.15 per adult. A day trip from Lisbon is popular and easily planned. The main attraction of Sintra are the three palaces; the National Palace, the Moors Castle and the Pena Palace. Pena Palace is the colorful castle and the most famous of the three. This Sintra website is very helpful with planning the trip to Sintra from Lisbon. Note the the Pena Palace is closed on Mondays.
Planning a trip to Spain or Portugal? Check out all of the Germany Ja posts about these beautiful countries!
Note: Louisa originally posted this on her website and gladly shares it with Germany Ja.