A quick guide to Lisbon
Where to go:
Get around: Elevador da Bica
The tram is Lisbon’s answer to the London underground, and a must to take in Lisbon’s stunning sights. The Elevador de Bica started operation back in 1892, and takes on the steepest points of the city. It’s ideal for getting up close and personal in the streets of bustling Bairro Alto, known for its historical landscape and street art, and the route offers amazing views of the Rio Tejo.
Located in the district of Bairro Alto, this is our favourite miradouro (‘look out point’) in the city. Be sure to make the most of the open air kiosk for a refreshing beer as you take in the breath-taking views of the city and coastline.
Instagram moment: Praça do Comércio
This square is as beautiful as it is dramatic. Often described as the gateway to Lisbon – historically, people would disembark from boats here – the façade is a vivid yellow, with grand columns and ornate arch, leading you to the commercial centre. Cameras at the ready.
Historical hotspot: Castelo de São Jorge
Steeped in history, St George’s Castle dates back to the 11th century. Towering over Lisbon, expect to find picturesque shady courtyards and labyrinth style hallways. Guided tours at 1pm and 5pm are included in the admission’s price, so it’s definitely worth taking advantage of them.
Views for days: Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Play ‘spot the castle on the hill’ (it looks across to St George’s Castle) as you gaze down upon Lisbon’s highest point.
Where to eat
Something for everyone: Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, Cais do Sodré
This is Time Out’s first permanent foodie venture, offering 35 kiosks (and 5 restaurants) selling regional Portuguese specialities. Work your way around the market sampling local cheeses, meats and tarts (not to mention wine) until you’re unable to move from the wooden benches.
Seafood heaven: Cervejaria Ramiro, Intendente
The place to get your seafood fix, this place has been nicknamed the ‘seafood temple’. Over time it’s become a tourist mecca, but you know it’s good because it’s a favourite with the locals, too. While you wait, get stuck into the complimentary bread which drips with garlic butter, and pick from the best of tigerprawns, shrimp, lobster, oysters and Portuguese specialties: clams and barnacles.
No circus act: Chapito a mesa
Located a few minutes from St George’s castle, Chapito a mesa is the neighbouring restaurant to Chapito, Lisbon’s infamous circus school. Nab a table in the courtyard for a spectacular downtown panorama and prepare for some of the friendliest service in the city. The food is varied and delicious, and given its location, excellent value for money.
OM pick: A Cevicheria
A Peruvian venture by Chef Kiko, be prepared to wait for a table with an aperitif (or two). You may have seen the restaurant on Instagram (it’s famous for the giant octopus on the ceiling), but it’s know for its fantastic selection of ceviche. We tried the salmon and seabass ceviche with scallops, which was just incredible. It’s impossible to get it wrong at this spot.
And for dessert: Pasteis de Belem
Our favourite place for Pastel de nata, a Portuguese egg tart. These guys have been making this delicacy since 1837, and their unique recipe for the tart remains secret to this day. Famed for it’s royal blue counter, the shop is open every day; music to the ears of those with a sweet tooth.