Lisbon: Do It

Hello Hello!   Here’s our first (and hopefully not last) guest post on SAST.    This is Tina & Ali checking in from San Francisco, CA, to tell you all about Lisbon and why you should definitely DO IT.  Lisbon had been on our list for a few years, but we could never figure out the right time to get over there and knew that we wouldn’t need an extended trip for what we wanted to do.

We ended up rearranging our original travel plans during Thanksgiving 2016 and knew we were headed to Europe – we definitely wanted to go to the warmest place possible (read: we knew it would have to be southern Europe).   It’s with all these caveats in mind, it made a lot of sense to head to Lisbon.

We spent 4 nights in Lisbon,  1 night in London each on our way in & out.   Lisbon’s airport is very close to downtown so you won’t spend a lot of time in transit, we stayed at the Sheraton and primarily used Uber for transport – it was cheap!

Eat It

Bairro Avillez: big beautiful restaurant that has 2 options, the “Taberna” or the “Patio.” We did drinks in the Patio and dinner in the Taberna, reservations are ideal, but for a small party expect a short wait.

A Cevicheria:
amazing intimate peruvian ceviche restaurant; you can order a pre-fixe or a la carte ceviche menu; we went the a la carte route and had 4 different dishes.  They don’t have a full bar, but have great house wines and a bartender making fresh piscos (you won’t miss the giant octopus hanging from the ceiling!).

  Rooftop restaurant at the Hotel Independent – beautiful view of the castle & cathedral with great food too; decent drink menu and great wine list.


Local Pastry:  Pastel de Natal – custardy yummy baked goodness, can be found at lots of places all over Lisbon, best experienced with a coffee.  We had my favorite ones near the Belem Tower (see below) – if a shop has been making the same thing for 180 years, you know it’s going to be legit.  The restaurant is huge, if you have the time, take a few minutes for a coffee and a few pastels.  I took a few back to the hotel to enjoy later!

Drink It

Pavilhao Chines: a quirky cocktail bar (or museum?) in Bairro Alto with really great drinks, it was recommended by our Uber driver and its about 1 block from Insolito (see above).

Bairro Alto: This area of Lisbon is worth a stroll through and is frequented by locals and tourists alike.  In such a small area packed with options you’ll find something that speaks to you.

See It

Sintra:  Definitely get out of Lisbon to Sintra which is a coastal city about a 45 minute (40 Euro) uber ride from central Lisbon and definitely worth the day trip.  You have a couple of options of things to see in the city, the 2 big attractions are the Moorish Castle and the Feather Palace (Palacio de Pena).   You can easily do both things in 1 day, but we focused on the Feather Palace and did the full walking tour.  The grounds are beautiful and the former summer palace of the Portuguese monarchy is dramatic to say the least.  LOTS of amazing photo opps!

Belem Tower: a quick 15 minute Uber or cab ride to Belem gets you to the tower. The tower is self itself is fairly small and can be quickly walked through; the views of the are what you should be excited about!  Make sure you make the walk over to the Pastel de Belem.

Alfama District: the oldest part of the city. It is a maze of small cobbled streets with lots of restaurants and residences.  You will definitely notice how hilly Lisbon is and you’ll get some great photos from the Portas do Sol plaza with it’s sweeping views of the castle, cathedral and Rio Tajo.


Santa Justa Lift: exactly what it sounds like, the elevator gives you a ride from Bairro Alto up about 150 ft for some amazing views of the city.  You’ll see why they call Lisbon the “City of the Seven Hills.”  You can enter the lift from the ground floor on Rua Aurea but a tip to beat the line is to actually enter it from the platform on Calcada Sacramento (you’ll still have to pay a few Euros to get to the very top; do it, the view is the payoff!)

Shop It

Avenida de Liberdade:  the central shopping street of Lisbon, you’ll find lots of high global and local labels on this gorgeous tree-lined street.
Bairro Alto: you’ll find tons of shops, including department stores along the cobbled, pedestrian streets of the Bairro – our advice, just wander!

Skip It

Tram 28: lots of people said it was full of pick pocketers, we didn’t go on it, but saw it enough times to snap some pics.
Pink Street:  There’s not much happening during the day as it’s definitely geared for the clubbing crowd.  Don’t skip it if you want some cool pics of a street painted fuchsia.

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Bairro Avillez: 38.712265, -9.142378
A Cevicheria: 38.715955, -9.147508
Insolito: 38.715214, -9.144934
Pasteis de Belem: 38.697510, -9.203228
Pavilhao Chines: 38.715784, -9.146719
Bairro Alto: 38.712753, -9.146295
Sintra: 38.802869, -9.381659
Belem Tower: 38.691584, -9.215977
Alfama District: 38.711204, -9.127723
Santa Justa Lift: 38.712130, -9.139430
Avenida de Liberdade: 38.720537, -9.145902
Bairro Alto: 38.712753, -9.146295
Tram 28: 38.716313, -9.136174
Pink Street: 38.707249, -9.143795

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