Travelling to beautiful Lisbon but not sure how best to spend your time? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Solo Travellers guide to what you absolutely should not miss when visiting the Portuguese capital.
Seriously, if you leave Lisbon without having devoured at least 3 of these Portuguese custard tarts you’ll have failed. Massively. The best places to get your hands on these little mouthfuls of joy are Pasteis de Belem (the most famous place for a reason) and at Manteigaria Fabrica in Bairro Alto. Make sure you demolish AS SOON AS you are handed one. They taste even better when they are still slightly warm.
Take the number 15 tram down to Belem for the morning. Get a custard tart from Pasteis de Belem and then get yourself inside Jeronimos Monastery. It’s as stunning inside as it is outside. They have a range of different tickets you can buy. We went for the combination of the monastery and the Belem Tower, which cost €12. You can reach the tower by wandering along the river opposite the monastery. You will also see the Discoveries Monument by taking this route, another magnificent piece of architecture. But the highlight of Belem is undoubtedly Jeronimos Monastery. And the pastries of course.
Alfama is the original home of the famous Fado music, and there are many restaurants in this area where you can have dinner and drink wine whilst you listen to the emotion which goes into these songs. The Alfama district was the only area in Lisbon not to be affected by the disastrous earthquake of 1755, and so the buildings here are some of the oldest in the city. Take an afternoon to get lost down its rustic backstreets and be sure to come back in the evening to listen to some traditional fado.
Queluz National Palace
A 20-minute drive out of the centre of Lisbon will bring you to the magnificent Queluz National Palace, often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles. Once home to Dom Pedro of Braganza and his wife Queen Maria l (also known as mad-Mary), this impressive palace is definitely worth driving out to. Beautifully decorated rooms and well kept gardens will keep you entertained for a couple of hours before you head up into the hills of Sintra.
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
This place is so great if you are with a big group of people who all like different things or have different dietary requirements because there are so many options to choose from. It’s basically a big food hall with a bunch of small restaurants all around the outside and you go to the one you like the look of, order, sit down on one of the big communal tables (if you can find a seat, it’s always busy), and wait for your food to be ready. It’s cheap, fun, and there’s loads of choice. Nice one Time Out.