Lisbon, Portugal is so beautiful that it even made me want to leave la mia dolce vita (my sweet life) in Milano to enjoy some farm fresh frango (Chicken) and the best juicy sardines from the Atlantic while not missing out on the luxuries of good wine. From the bustling city center in Lisbon to the rural country side in sunny coastal Faro, I would love every thing about Portugal. Even in the train, I would eat a chicken cutlet sandwich that was not warmed up. I would never do that in Italy, but the Frango in Portugal was spiced just right for the Indian taste bud. Travel tip for Portugal: Two is company Joining me was my beautiful travel companion from Brittany, France. Together as a team, we speak English, French, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Telugu and Urdu as of now. We would meet up the coolest Lisbon locals who would help us evade the typical tourist traps, taking us directly to eat the best authentic local food, that too at the best price. Drinks in Portugal means Gin time these days with this classy MUST VISIT place called the Gin Lovers. Just look at the pictures and you will thank me later. Childhood in Kochi & Fascination with Vasco Da Gama Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer was the first European to visit India by sea. Fast forward to 2017, an Indian living in Italy, the land of Christopher Columbus, makes plans to discover Portugal for his very first time. That smile on my face brings back memories of a great trip from New Delhi to Goa during collage. Yes, I am more familiar to Portuguese culture than you think. Not only have I traveled to Goa, a former 500 years old Portuguese colony in India, but have spent good childhood years in Kerala, living in Cochin. Frequent visits to St Francis Church, Kochi in my childhood taught me a lot about the great explorer Vasco Da Gama who was finally buried in this church after he died in 1524 on his third visit to India. Journey to Portugal: Mission Impossible style
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Lisbon is from March to September
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Taking a ride on this Vintage Tram that crisscrosses the old town is a must do in Lisbon. It is a pleasure to watch the tram traverse the narrow winding steep lanes and bylanes of the old town. It passes the São Jorge castle , one of the main historical touristic sites of Lisbon, the famous viewpoint Portas do Sol and the legendary fleamarket ‘Feira da Ladra’ in Alfama, Graça, Mouraria and Bairro Alto
Pastéis de Belém
Belem, home of the most beautiful monuments and sights in Lisbon. Most monuments and museums are FREE during Sunday morning. If you’re full of energy, rent a bike and ride it along the river. There’s a bike lane all the way through and the road is flat. You’ll definitely have a great experience.
Without question the best restaurant in Lisbon, Belcanto serves elaborated contemporary Portuguese cuisine. You should save it for your last night in town as you’ll want to remember this experience for a very long time! Chef José Avillez kick started a much needed revolution in contemporary Portuguese cuisine, when he presented bold Portuguese flavours in his dishes at Belcanto, granting him yet another Michelin Star just a few months from the opening.
Rarely can a shopping experience get as grand as the stately Moorish-designed building of Embaixada. Built in 1857 by Ribeiro da Cunha, the shopping complex boasts of an Arabic-inspired central courtyard, a majestic staircase, art nouveau fireplaces all lit by elegant floors, women can begin with O da Joana, and stop by at Organii for organic beauty and skin care products. Drop by at Pavao for trendy fashion accessories. Break for a soother at the Le Jardin café and don’t miss exploring the arcade. (Praça do Príncipe Real 26, Lisbon).
Casa do Turista
Switching hats between a shop and a museum, the Casa do Turista, can be called the one of the most famous souvenir shops in the world. It is all about traditional and locally-made crafts. Take a breather from the streets and go through delicate ceramics and cloth material from the Portuguese mainland and Madeira. You can also stop by at A Vida Portuguesa famous for its soaps. (Rua Conselheiro José Silvestre Ribeiro 2; Rua Anchieta, Chiado).
Claudio Corallo Cioccolato e Caffè
After this delicious tasting, we continue to the Corallo Chocolate shop, where you will taste Cláudio Corallo’s chocolate, with 40 years of experience in the coffee and chocolate production in his plantations on the island of Sao Tome and Principe. Lunch during the visits.
Fado is a musical genre that originated in portugal, there is a fadista who is the singer accompanied by a portuguese guitar . Fadista can be either a male or female and the songs are melancholic and soul stirring. Alfama has lots of Fado joints . Order for the house vine and enjoy the Fado performances which for sure will melt your heart Some of my favourite Fado artistes - Amalia Rodriguez / Ana Moura / Carminho (Music Videos available in Youtube)
Casa dos Bicos
Home to the José Saramago Foundation, the Casa dos Bicos, whose name literally translates to the House of the Beaks, is one of Lisbon’s most recent attractions and a cultural landmark to the Portuguese Literature. It was carefully reconstructed according to the original plans during the early 80’s to become a prominent Lisbon exhibition centre, having been completed and given a proper eternal life in 2012, as the house of the 1998 Nobel Literature Laureate and international writing reference, José Saramago.
An open air market called Feira da Ladra (Flea Market). It takes place around the Church of São Vicente de Fora on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6h00 till 13h00. Here you can find everything that is characteristic about the Portuguese culture in objects, which once belonged to someone, and that someone made it a part of their life for a number of years! Now they are almost giving it away
This small little wonder of a shop is located at 87 Rua do Carmo, the most fashionable street in Lisbon after the superseding Rua Garret. It is the last shop in the whole of Portugal, which is exclusively dedicated to the bespoke hand manufacture of leather gloves. At about 50€ per pair, depending on the model and leather, you do not have to go to Italy to get a product of this tremendous quality.
Chapelaria Azevedo Rua Lda
If Lisbon is a trip back in time by itself, then the Chapelaria Azevedo is one of its most prominent pinnacles, keeping close to its founding origins since its establishment in 1886. Quite literary the last bespoke hat shop in Lisbon; this centenarian boutique is kept alive by the same family and is already going on its fifth generation. It is quite interesting that the most interesting and attention grabbing hats are the ones made specifically for the female gender, however the shop only started to cater to these clients in 1988.
The Brasileira is one of the oldest and most beautiful cafes in Lisbon. It opened in 19 of November 1905 by Adriano Telles to sell genuine Brazilian coffee, an unappreciated product by then. This cafe is filled with a magnificent Noveau art décor, used to be the intellectual and artist meeting point in the early 20th century, one of the most famous being Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet whose statue can be found at the esplanade. Here you can have a fairly affordable breakfast and refill your energies for a free walking tour.
After breakfast, we initiate the visit to the famous Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém. The Pastéis de Belém are sold since 1834 and their fame has crossed borders, taking Portugal’s name and conventual sweets throughout the world. A sweet of crispy puff pastry and browned cream frosting, whose secret confection is known only by 2 or 3 pastry chefs at the famous Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém. What is known is that the delicious puff pastry tart is filled with a cream made of milk, eggs and vanilla, as its recipe is secret.
A Licorista O Bacalhoeiro
This is a amazing restaurant where the locals frequent and they serve authentic portuguese food . I was so impressed by this place that i ended up visiting thrice in 3 days. Try their Grilled cod with boiled potatos, Brazilian steak , Pork chops , Breaded cod starters. Waiters were so friendly and they gave me a complimentary dessert and Ginjinha shot rewarding my loyalty........
The hostel is in the main thoroughfare Rua Augusta that connects the majestic Praça do Comércio to Rossio Square. Its in a vintage portuguese property complete with verandahs and azulejos. It has a homely feel to it with very friendly staff and a cosy living lounge area which enables us to interact with the other fellow travellers. 20 Euros Per night - Dorm bed at a 4 Bed Dormitory including breakfast They organise Fado night walking tours / Pub crawls for a additional cost
National Tile Museum
I have to confess that I am addicted to Portuguese tiles. Although the most elaborate examples were kept for the interior of the houses, these are in its great majority painted with a Lapis lazuli blue on a white background and are best reviewed as paintings. Lisbon has an Azulejo Museum of its own, that I strongly urge you to visit, as a complementary educational visit to the ones you find in the narrow back streets of the Alfama, Castelo, Baixa, Bairro alto, Chiado and Principe Real districts.
A Baiuca - fado vadio
If you want to experience authentic Lisbon this is the place. Family run, this tiny restaurant (just seven tables) has been open for 40 years and the décor has not changed in that time. The food is basic and unpretentious with dishes like monkfish stew and char grilled fish but the real draw is the fado, Portugal’s traditional, melancholy folk music sung by a female vocalist with two or three guitarists accompanying her.When the singing starts, everything else stops, the kitchen, the table service – and even the neighbours who often drop in for the performance.This is the place to hear raw original Fado music, so remember: no lights, no PA, just the singers, the guitars the candles and your tears.
Wine Bar do Castelo
What I like about this place is that it stays true to the country’s snack food heritage and also matches it with an extensive selection of Portuguese wines. Wines by the glass range from 4€ to 100€ and plenty more if you like and can’t pass on the opportunity to taste a 130 year old port. Particularly I am a huge fan of Green wine and tried an alvarinho and loureiro grape selection wines that the owner recommended, together with some cured cheese from Serra da Estrela and some Portuguese water bread. Everything was excellent, the wine, the food. The owners are very professional and friendly. I recommend it to all lovers of good wine, good charcuterie, good cheese and good bread.
Restaurante 100 Maneiras
Chef Ljubomir Stanisic’s restaurant is highly regarded and his tasting menu which is eight courses accompanied by Portuguese wines is a great way to sample things you might not try otherwise. Here again you’ll find excellent versions of the “prego” – done this time with salmon instead of steak and avocado wrapped in pita bread – and the dehydrated salt cod (which is presented here hanging on a line). My favorite dish here is the seared lamb tenderloin with nuts and a red wine reduction but basically anything coming out of this tiny kitchen is well worth a taste. It has a fixed tasting menu entirely inspired by Portuguese cuisine, and the best value-for-money restaurant in town – 8 small, unpretentious courses for 45€ per person! Get the wine pairing with it, so you have a short (but broad) perspective of Portuguese Wines.