What to visit, shop and eat during 48h in Lisbon
We still had one last thing to share with you about our Portugal trip: here it is a complete guide of what you could do for 48h in Lisbon to fully enjoy this charming city!
Just like we did for Porto, we will be posting our whereabouts per hour, what we visited, where we ate and where we did our shopping during the complete two days we spent in the city. I feel like 2 days is enough to discover the city, of course we missed some bits like the Moasterio dos Jerónimos, but even considering that I think the time was plenty to get a good grasp of what Lisbon offers and at a slow pace, like we always do. Hope this guide inspires you to visit Lisbon!
We got to Lisbon directly from Barcelona by plane to the Humberto Delgado airport. The metro communicates the airport with the city center; we travelled towards the Baixa/Chiado zone using the Vm line to Alameda and a transfer to Vd line for Rossio. You only need to buy a chargeable card (like the Oyster card in London) at the metro machines, prices for rides can be easily calculated, only take into account that you’ll always be losing some change, just like it happens in other cities with these type of cards.
Be Poet Baixa
We chose this little quaint hotel for its location and price/accommodation relationship. This hotel has the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in (I wish I could teleport it to my home right now) and the cleanest white sheets. It definitely has small sized rooms, but that’s something that never bothers me, the most important thing for me (in order) are always its cleanliness, the comfort of the bed, the air conditioning and the pressure of the shower. All of them perfect in Be Poet Baixa. The lobby is (again) small but the staff is very friendly and they even invite you to your first tiny nata in the city
DAY 1 · 11:00 – 13:00
Elevador de Santa Justa
After checking in the hotel we walked towards one of the most famous locations in Lisbon, the Elevador de Santa Justa, which is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel (good location indeed, right?). So, just like the name indicates, it’s a 45 metres tall elevator that allows you to access to both a view point and the next street level that it’s in a much higher floor than the current one. Just like it happens in San Francisco, all Lisbon is built on so many different height levels, that in order to get to the following street you either walk up a steep slope or take those type of elevators and trams (also called Elevadores in Lisbon).
There’s usually a very long queue to get to the elevador, instead, what we did was walk around it using the contiguous streets (hence the steep slope I was mentioning before) to access to the next street level. All the pictures you can see in the post are taken from there (bridge in the pictures) or even at a lower height because I found more fascinating to see the elevador too. We didn’t feel the need get to the view point since it was actually only one extra floor higher, although you can also at last minute decide to climb this plus level using the staircase, with no queue whatsoever and a smaller fee.
Fábrica da NataRua Augusta nº 275 A
Wether you know what is a nata or not, you need to try one (at least) of them in Lisbon and Fábrica probably sells one of the best you could taste in the city. A nata is a puff pastry with a custard cream inside, it’s warm and delicious. Also, since they are middle sized it’s a good sweet bite without being too overwhelming. Fábrica are Daniel’s favorite natas in the world.
Sadly we weren’t able to visit Convento do Carmo because we were visiting precisely the only day of the week that it closes, Sunday. If you are visiting any other day of the week, after the Elevador of Santa Justa you will be precisely next to the Convento, so make sure to pay it a visit. From the inside you’ll be able to see the roofless ruins of the gothic Convent, which converts it in a very magical place.
DAY 1 · 13:00 – 14:00
Afuri RamenR. Paiva de Andrada 7
Rumor has it that we decided to visit Lisbon as soon as we discovered that there was an Afuri ramen restaurant. Maybe this is a magnified statement, ha! But it definitely play a role in our decision. It’s not a secret that Afuri is one of our favorite restaurants in Japan, so having it so close to home felt incredible. The ramen is not the same exactly, but it’s quite good and was exciting to taste again that characteristic yuzu flavored brooth.
DAY 1 · 14:00 – 16:00
Baixa and Chiado are the two districts that you could consider the city center of Lisbon. We walked around the neighborhood to check out stores, cafés and to visit the Elevador de Santa Justa area. These districts are a must in your visit of Lisbon, we spent all the morning and lunch time in them, so all the pictures you can see before going to Belém are from these two neighborhoods. Make sure to check out the Arco de la Rua August, Praça Dom Pedro IV and Praça da Figueira, for the characteristic Lisbon architecture plus old tram spotting opportunities.
Fábrica Coffee RoastersRua das Flores 63
Although we prefer the Fábrica Coffee Roasters baristas from Porto, we have to include the one from Lisbon too in our guide because it makes a good stop for nice specialty coffee in a very lovely location. They have also breakfast and lunch options too that looked good.
A vida PortuguesaR. Anchieta 11
This is the place to buy your souvenir from Lisbon. A vida portuguesa is located in a beautiful old store with original wooden finishes that sells beautiful modern ceramics from Portuguese brands, typical fish cans with cute looking packaging and other daily artisan products. We bought a very cute yellow ceramic pitcher for our home that we use as flower vase.
DAY 1 · 16:00 – 19:00
Torre de Belém
For the afternoon we took a metro in front of Arco de la Rua Augusta that brought us directly to here. The Tower of Belém is an icon of the city of Lisbon, it is located in the southwestern district of Lisbon called Belém and is a medieval tower floating in the river. It is specially lovely to visit this location during the afternoon just like we did, because you’ll be able to see how beautifully the light touches all the different sides of the tower.
We have a specific post in the blog for Belém with tons more pictures and explanations about this area, make sure to read it.
DAY 1 · 19:00 – 20:00
MAAT / Ponte 25 de AbrilAv. Brasília, 1300-598
We didn’t wait in the Tower for the sun to set completely, instead we walked alongside the riverside towards the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) in order to be closer to the Ponte 25 de Abril. As I’ve already mention in the Belém post, there isn’t a complete boardwalk from the Tower to here, you’ll need to sort some ugly buildings, even though it’s do-able and convenient and around the MAAT it’s very nice. Being able to combine watching the sunset over the Ponte 25 de Abril with the modern architecture structure of the MAAT was incredible, totally recommended!
We have a specific post in the blog for the MAAT with more pictures and explanations about this area, make sure to read it too!
DAY 1 · 21:00
Café JanisR. Moeda 1A
After the sun set over the river, we walked towards the bus and head back to the city center. Café Janis is a trendy yet cozy restaurant that feels perfect to have a cocktail with your friends while eating some tapas. We were seating in a very French-like seats just in the window sill, next to two cute friends (Portuguese gals) that were catching up over (several) glasses of wine and guacamole & chips. We ordered a cheese & charcuterie board, a Portuguese G&T and a pisco sour. A perfect date!
DAY 2 · 08:00 – 09:00
The millR. do Poço dos Negros 1
The mill was probably the best breakfast we had in Portugal, it was so yummy that we extended our time there by ordering a few more things. We had a very decent matcha latte (which is hard to find), homemade yogurt, granola and fresh fruit, a croissant and a latte. All with views to the street where (yes!) an old tram runs a few meters from the window. They also have heavier breakfasts with eggs and sandwiches, or cakes. I think it gets very busy according to what we could see while leaving, but if you come here at 8:00-8:30 you’ll be able to choose seats.
DAY 2 · 10:00 – 12:00
Elevador da Bica
This is the tram you don’t want to miss in Lisbon. If you want to watch it without people you’ll have to come during the morning, but be aware that you’ll probably find the street cleaners with a strong pipe of water and not very keen on respecting people passing by. There are two different Elevadores da Bica, one it’s the iconic yellow and the other has a graffiti exterior, and you’ll find them alternatively either on the station (down) or in the Largo Calhariz street (up) where the Elevador ends. We first visited the end, and climbed down to visit the station, during this time we were able to see both of them changing places.
DAY 2 · 12:00 – 14:00
Time Out MarketMercado da Ribeira – Av. 24 de Julho 49
Once you are in the Elevador de Bica station it is very convenient to take a look at the Mercado da Riberia and have an early lunch or snack, as we did! The Mercado da Ribeira is an old market from 1882, but that has been given a second life by the Time Out people when in 2014 they remodelled the main area of the market to be converted into a gourmet food court, keeping a wing of the market still selling fresh goods. This is something quite common in European markets, like for instance La Boqueria in Barcelona or Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, where marketers have realized that there was an extra opportunity by selling cooked food to visitors on top of selling the fresh goods. In Mercado da Riberia they have taken it up a notch by having the best restaurants from Lisbon selling their food. We had the yummiest cod (typical dish to have in Portugal) from the chef João Rodrigues (Michelin starred!) and a couple of natas from Manteigaria. These are my favorites natas in the world, so make sure to write their locations down in your travelling map!
DAY 2 · 14:00 – 17:00
Miradouro das Portas do Sol / Alfama
Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and said to be the born place of fado (the most traditional Portuguese song). With our stomachs full we headed to Alfama to get views from the city. Do you picture Lisbon in your head? Well, that image it’s highly probably the view from Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Stop by, check the view and don’t forget to stop by the public bathroom to see a super colorful wall-art of a comic explaining the history of Portugal. After that we walked down the surrounding streets of Alfama and admired its architecture. One of the things that raised more our attention is that houses are super sleek, and the two doors that open contiguous homes are completely one next to the other.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab & BakeryR. Nova da Piedade 10
When planning a travel I usually do most of the research work of what we should visit and where to eat, but Dani is always in charge of finding good cafés with speciality coffee. This is how Copenhagen Coffee Lab got into our Alfama itinerary. Besides good coffee and fresh lemonade they sell bread and have yummy pastries, we took a chocolate bun and a savoury potato focaccia. I need to mention that I love fresh lemonade in Portugal because it’s not sugary at all, I like my lemonade to taste sour like real lemon (since it’s fresh, right!) and in Portugal (both Lisbon and Porto) they always have it perfect!
Conserveira de LisboaRua dos Bacalhoeiros 34
There are lots of places where you can buy the most famous souvenir from Porto, the colorful fish cans, but I would certainly can’t recommend enough saving 5€ to buy at least one can in this place. Conserveira de Lisboa dates from 1903 and sell their three marks of high quality canned fish, Tricana, Minor and Prata do Mar. The cans are quite cheap to buy and you don’t even need to add anything as the can packaging is already beautiful. The store has a cute wooden counter top & shelves so it’s cute to visit and on top of that, you’ll be supporting a centenary store to be kept open.
DAY 2 · 18:00 – 20:00
LX FactoryR. Rodrigues de Faria 103
On the afternoon we headed to LX Factory, that it’s on the way to Belém (again). The LX factory is an open-air market with several shops, cafes and restaurants in an old factory, so you can imagine the type of hipster vibe it has. We were not completely sold with the LX but we certainly think it deserves a visit for a very different view of Lisbon too.
Livraria Ler DevagarLX Factory
I think a visit to LX Factory is completely justified only for this bookstore. Ler Devagar sells books in what was once before an old print shop, and has thousands of books distributed in three different levels. A part from buying a book, you can have a drink inside or take a peek at the humongous printing press that has been preserved in the now bookstore. I would suggest buying a Portuguese author, like for instance José Saramago (maybe in Portuguese if you are knowledgeable!), while you are visiting. Have you ever read Blindness? During my late teens I had a Saramago hype and had to read straight 4 novels by him.
Oh BrigadeiroLX Factory
Due to the colonial phase of Brazil by Portugal the link between both countries will forever be there, so it is quite normal to have Brazilian specialties available in Lisbon. This store sells brigadeiros, a sweet from Brazil which are a small ball made typically from Dulce de Leche and covered with chocolate sprinkles. We were super full but still had to try a little one and it was very yummy!
DAY 2 · 20:00
Bairro do AvillezRua Nova da Trindade, 18
We ended our Lisbon adventure eating (not weird in us at all, right? ha!). This time we chose Bairro do Avillez, which is owned by the famous Portuguese chef José Avillez whom owns a restaurant in the top 50 worldwide. This restaurant isn’t the one in the top 50 list (that one is called Belcanto) but is a concept including a fancy restaurant too called Patio and a more modest approach called Tavern. We opted for the cheaper version, the Tavern, that has tasty tapas at affordable prices. We ate a board of Portuguese cheeses (small portions but the most amazing we tasted in Portugal!), a fried cod wrapped in a lettuce leaf, picanha (a grilled beef) with a smoked garlic mayo, and a super yummy dessert called salted caramel. The restaurant is mega popular so we highly recommend not coming here unless you have a reservation. Make it online in their website (it’s super easy!).
That’s all for now! We absolutely love our neighbors, so we will certainly have more parts of Portugal in mind for our next quick getaways. Have you been to Lisbon? Are you visiting soon? Let us know what part raised more your attention through our pics.
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Madre mía! Qué ganas me han entrado de ir a Lisboa!
Beautiful pictures! I love Lisbon so much and this post makes me want to go back so badly!
Oh my gosh, this post makes me insanely hungry – you guys find the best places and I love seeing all the colourful and slopped street photos together and the cats and tiles and street art! I love how you show the times too, super clever travel guide format!
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