Lisbon Travel Guide. Where to go, what to eat and what to do in Lisbon. Portugal.
Destinations, Featured, Portugal

12 Reasons Everyone Loves Lisbon

Between the incredible views, wonderful food, friendly locals and affordability, Lisbon is quickly exploding and becoming the hottest destination. There are endless reasons to visit this city, but here are the top reasons everyone is loving Lisbon and flocking there in masses.

Lisbon Travel Guides

1. Stunning Views

I’m a sucker for a fabulous view or a miradouro in Portuguese. Since Lisbon is situated among several hills, there are numerous lookout points for views of the sea, burnt orange rooftops and that bridge that had me feeling like I was back in San Fran.

Lisbon Travel Guide

Miradouro Das Portas Do Sol was my favorite look out point… maybe because there’s a small little bar stand there to get a drink and enjoy the view.

Miradouro Da Nossa Senhora Do Monte and Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara  are also not be missed spots for stunning views in Lisbon.

Lisbon Travel Guide.

2. The Food

From tapas at AO PE DA SE to the Time Out Market, everything I ate in Lisbon was incredible (with the exception of “Exploding Olives” from Bairro do Avillez).

AO PE DA SE was memorable for it’s amazing sangria and authentic tapas. I simply loved our meal on the outdoor patio.

I admit, we ate at the Time Out Market more than once during our trip. The best of Lisbon is all right there. I love this warehouse, open seating, market style way of dining. There are so many good choices!

Taberna Moderna and Cevicheria were also top favorites when I asked for recommendations on my Instagram.

Bairro do Avillez  has a lovely ambience and tasty sangria, but I’d strongly advise against getting the “Exploding Olives.” I was expecting spicy olives, but instead suffered a terrible culinary experience. This sounds dramatic, I know, but it should be noted here that I have an unreasonable fear of sunny side up eggs or any sort of runny egg situation.

Lisbon Travel Guide

“Exploding Olives” from Bairro do Avillez was like eating a raw egg yoke and having the thin film break to flood briny olive oil in your mouth. I don’t understand why these are on the menu. You might be thinking it would be adventurous to try something new… don’t do it. Everything else we ordered was delicious and Bairro do Avillez had the best white sangria I had in Lisbon…and thus, it is still on my list of restaurants you should visit in Lisbon.

3. Pastéis de Belém

I know this should really be a subsection of #2 but these little custard tarts are such a staple of Lisbon, I thought they deserved their own reason. Get them at practically every bakery in town, Manteigaria for high quality and the original at Pastéis de Belém.

Lisbon Travel Guide

Lisbon Travel Guide. Sangria

4. Wine Bars and Sangria

Back to the sangria… You can’t get enough sangria in Lisbon!

Near Vestigius, I felt like I was back in San Francisco walking along the water with views of the bridge in the distance. We stopped at some of the stands along the way selling sangria and tapas. I loved sampling different types to taste each place’s version.

Go to Lisbon Winery and BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto for Portuguese wine, port and cheese plates.

It’s no secret Park Bar is the spot for tasty cocktails, trendy atmosphere and amazing views.

Park Bar. Lisbon Travel Guide

Belem Tower. Lisbon Travel Guide

5. Exploring Belém

Belém is easily accessible from central Lisbon by tram. This area is home to the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery and the original Pastéis de Belém.

Belem. Jerónimos Monastery

Personally, paying €6 euro to actually go into the Belém Tower would fall under the “not worth it” category for me. The view from the top would be notable if you were in a city that lacked views otherwise, but the interior itself is just “meh” (sorry). Admire it from the outside for free.

Travel Guide Guide

6. Tile Envy

Beautiful tiles are everywhere! Lisbon has some of the most unique and stunning facades. From inside themetro stations to apartment buildings, azulejos are a unique feature to Portugal and one of the many reasons people are flocking to Lisbon right now. Azulejos can be geometric or tell a detailed story like a mural.

Lisbon Tiles

Travel Guide Guide

7. Culture and Fado

Part of the late night scene is also Fado, the traditional Portuguese style of music that represents longing and nostalgia. You can book a show or go to a bar specializing in Fado. There’s even a museum dedicated to Fado, Museu do Fado.

If Fado isn’t your jam, there are plenty of other notable museums and monasteries to get in your culture fix.

Chiado Museum for contemporary Portuguese art. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga for ancient art.

Jerónimos Monestary in Belém. Castelo de S. Jorge in Alfama.

Lisbon Travel Guide

8. Boutiques and Trendy Shops

The LX Factory district is a series of industrial buildings made into hipster restaurants, street art and trendy shops.

Our kind Airbnb host left us chocolates from Chocolataria Equador and of course we had to go back for more. Stop by for a souvenir (that may or may not last very long).

Find all the usual suspects (Zara, H&M, etc.) over in Baixa-Chiado.

Sintra- Lisbon Guide

9. Amazing Day Trips

Go to Sintra for castles on castles. You couldn’t possibly see all the castles in Sintra in one day alone. We opted for the Palace of Pena.

Visit Cascais for a beach day.

Both are easily accessible by train. We actually ended up taking the train to Sintra and an Uber back. That’s right, there’s Uber in Lisbon! Since the return times didn’t really line up with our schedule, we decided to pay a little more for our own private ride that saved some time.

10. The Trams

Although most of Lisbon is very walkable, the famous tram 28 adds extra charm to urban transportation and is an icon of the city. Between the trams and the Golden Gate look-alike bridge, I can see why they call Lisbon the San Francisco of Europe.

11. Friendly Locals

Lisbon has the nicest people eager to show off their city. Everyone from our Uber driver to our Airbnb host was wonderful. The friendly people in Lisbon really complete the whole atmosphere.

12. Affordability

Not only do you get all these wonderful things in Lisbon, you get it all at a lower price relative to the rest of Europe. Can you imagine a trendy rooftop bar in London or Rome with cocktails for €7? If you know of one, please let me know!

READ NEXT: The Cost of a Weekend in Rome

Airbnbs are an absolute steal in Lisbon. Even the most high-rated, well-decorated apartments sleep two for about $70 a night (depending on the season). I chose this Airbnb for its view and central location.

I’d recommend Lisbon to anyone looking for fabulous views, amazing food and a memorable trip in an affordable European city. Have you been to Lisbon yet? I’d love to hear the reasons why you loved it!




Lisbon Travel Guide. What to eat and drink, what to do and where to go.

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8 Comment

  1. Reply
    July 26, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I haven’t heard any bad things about Lisbon at all… Can’t wait to go and eat all the pasteis de nata! Did you leave Lisbon already? I’ll be there August 6th!

    1. Reply
      Scarlett | Petite Suitcase
      July 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I am gone already, but you will absolutely love it! I’ve also heard it’s a very friendly city for digital nomads.

    1. Reply
      Scarlett | Petite Suitcase
      August 8, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Thanks Hayley!! Lisbon is gorgeous!!

  2. Reply
    Anika Hunt
    August 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Looks like such a wonderful place, definitely adding Lisbon to my travel list!

    Anika xo | anikamay.co.uk

    1. Reply
      Scarlett | Petite Suitcase
      August 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Anika, Lisbon should definitely be on your travel list!!

  3. Reply
    August 7, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Love seeing all these beautiful pictures blown up, outside of instagram! Such detail and beauty. Lisbon is deftly on my list!


    1. Reply
      Scarlett | Petite Suitcase
      August 8, 2017 at 6:44 am

      Thanks so much, Hannah! We had an amazing time in Lisbon.

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