Updated: Jul 8, 2019
We came to Lisbon for a weeklong workshop with Kristin Sweeting, Kristin Luna, and Scott van Velsor via Study Abroad Workshops. After the workshop ended we stuck around for a few days before we headed down south to the Algarve.
The city of seven hills is just that. It's big, it's hilly, it's BEAUTIFUL. To really get to know Lisbon and all the nearby sites - I recommend giving yourself some time. However, you can also get a great flavor for each area on a shorter trip, you just won’t be able to dive super deep.
After staying in a gorgeous AirBnB for the workshop, we switched to WC by the Beautique Hotels - a quirky, cute and wonderful hotel near the Intendente metro stop. WC hotel is BATH themed - even the concierge wears pajamas or robes with towels wrapped on their head. It's a unique and also an incredibly comfortable stay.We grew to love the area very quickly. It's central, but not overcrowded. We had plenty of things to walk to, but we weren't right in the throes of tourist central. We walked to Praça dom Duarte daily to grab some Açai bowls and fresh juices!
We did SO much in Lisbon, it will be hard to narrow down but I’ll give you a quick glimpse of our very favorites.
The areas we spent the most time in were: Alfama, Bairro Alto, Chiado, Bica and Baixa. We also took the train to nearby Cascais, Belem and Sintra. I would say spend at least a day, if not more in Cascais. You can do Sintra in one day if you skip some of the sites but if you want to hit most of them - give yourself two! It's a 45 minute train ride from the Rossio station in Lisbon. Once there, rent a vespa or get a bus ticket to head up to Pena Palace. Outside the gates, you can buy tickets to as many sites in Sintra as you want! Learn from our mistake (or don't!) and catch a ride UP the hill, and make your way down from there. Our favorites sites were Palacio de Monserrate and Quinta da Regaliera. Check out our Sintra video here!
Lisbon is so cool, we recommend following your feet as often as you can! There's always tons to see and delicious food and amazing drinks to be found!
Top 10 (because we can't narrow it down to 5!):
- Sintra - ALL OF IT. It's a magical place.
- WC Hotel - the rooms are so comfy, and the food was delicious!
- Pasteis de Belem - the OG Pasteis shop. I couldn't eat these ones, but Eric LOVED them. We did find vegan ones at Princesa do Castela in Alfama!
- Cascais - busy in the summer but worth it!
- Castelo de São Jorge and the Alfama neighborhood!
- Rooftop Bars - Hotel Mundial and Verride Palacio de Santa Catarina have great ones. If you go to Verride, get the prosecco sangria!
- Lost Inn Restaurant
- Praça Dom Pedro IV aka Rossio Square
- Gelados Santini in Chiado! So yum!
Eric's fave: Wandering in Alfama
Christina's fave: Sintra!