10 Fun Things to Know While Traveling in Lisbon - Art in the Find

10 Fun Things to Know While Traveling in Lisbon

Posted on: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lisbon is one of the most colorful cities in the world! If you're planning a trip there soon, head to Art in the Find to learn about 10 fun things you need to know when traveling in and around Lisbon | lisbon | travel tips lisbon | portugal travel tips | summer travel | spring travel | things to know about lisbon | traveling | traveling in Lisbon

I recently returned from traveling in Lisbon and a fair warning, you are about to encounter loads and loads of beautiful city images.  Lisbon was/is by far one of my favorite bustling cities I’ve visited.  For reasons as such, I’ve listed a few things you should know about traveling in and around Lisbon, for that very moment you decide it’s high time you visit too.

Lisbon is one of the most colorful cities in the world! If you're planning a trip there soon, head to Art in the Find to learn about 10 fun things you need to know when traveling in and around Lisbon | lisbon | travel tips lisbon | portugal travel tips | summer travel | spring travel | things to know about lisbon | traveling | lisbon portugal | traveling in Lisbon

Lisbon is one of the most colorful cities in the world! If you're planning a trip there soon, head to Art in the Find to learn about 10 fun things you need to know when traveling in and around Lisbon | lisbon | travel tips lisbon | portugal travel tips | summer travel | spring travel | things to know about lisbon | traveling | lagos portugal | old yellow car

10 Fun Things to Know about Traveling in Lisbon

I underestimated the sheer size of Lisbon.  Admittedly, I didn’t do much research or planning for my trip to Lisbon, which I actually think was a great thing.  Sometimes, when I plan too much, I set myself up for planning failure and/or aim to cram too many things to do in one day.  Ask my sister, mother, husband or anyone who can attest to my trip planning and they’d confirm.  So I took a backseat this time around, let Lisbon and all it’s charm wash right over me.  And what an amazing time I had.

1 – Be prepared for Hills, Stairs, Climbing, oh my!

Hills, stairs, and winding streets are everywhere in Lisbon.  And to the lighthearted, not be daunted, it’s really quite glorious.  If you’re taking your time, strolling through the winding neighborhoods, traveling in Lisbon via walking isn’t that big of an issue.  It’s just something to keep in mind when packing shoes.  If traveling in Lisbon, you have got to make sure you pack one or two very comfortable pair of walking shoes to guide you in/out of all of those romantically winding streets.

2 – It’s a City Full of Tiles

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Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe |

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | traveling in Lisbon

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe |

Because of Portugal’s Middle Eastern/Moorish influence, many of the city’s buildings are riddled with hand painted ceramic tiles (azulejos) as a decorative feature.  This was the part of Lisbon that really made my creative mind spin.  I must have stopped every 100 feet to take more pictures of the gorgeous historical residential and commercial buildings just laden with tiles, beautiful tiles.  It is a form of art that is so beautifully on display, it took my breath away.

3 – Ride in a tuk tuk or take the tram/streetcar

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 Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | tuk tuk | tuk tuk tours lisbon | traveling in Lisbon

One of the joys of Lisbon is that there is a lot going on.   While traveling around Lisbon, I recommend that you take the locals method of getting around.  You must experience the streetcar or the thrill of a tuk tuk ride.  It is a beautiful and exhilarating way to see the sights of Lisbon that you just can’t see by walking or driving a car.  You can negotiate the tuk tuk price, so don’t worry about it being firm, just talk to the drivers before getting in.  They’re wonderful tour guides!  We took a tuk tuk to dinner and it was awesome.  They zip around the cobblestone streets of Lisbon and are experts at what they do.

4 – Try what the locals eat & drink

martinho da arcada lisbon portugal | traveling in Lisbon | eating in Lisbon

Lisbon is one of the most colorful cities in the world! If you're planning a trip there soon, head to Art in the Find to learn about 10 fun things you need to know when traveling in and around Lisbon | lisbon | travel tips lisbon | portugal travel tips | summer travel | spring travel | things to know about lisbon | traveling | lagos portugal | Ginjiha | Portugal Liquor

Lisbon serves many of its meals Tapas style, which is a great way to try a lot and a little all at once.  You’ll find sardines on toast, cod fish, and the local drink, Ginjiha.  Out in the city streets, they serve amazing grilled sardines on toast out of half barrel drums turned into bbq’s.  It’s amazing.  You’ll also notice that Portugal has it’s own liqueur known as Ginjiha.  It’s a sour cherry flavored liqueur and it is good.  It’s pretty sweet and made for sipping.  So while traveling in Lisbon make sure to just take a moment, hang out at a street bar, and slowly sip away at the Ginjiha.

5 – Drink wine at Castelo De S. Jorge castle overlooking the City & Rio Tagus

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Castelo de S. Jorge is a bit of an uphill walk but definitely worth it.  Once you reach the castle, after walking up through the lovely narrow streets to the entrance, the cityscape views of Lisbon are breathtaking.  The Castelo De S. Jorge was built in the 11th century and housed military troops and a royal palace.  Today, you can stroll around the old citadel, watching gorgeous peacocks that meander around the historic grounds.  Make sure to order a glass of rosé at one of the small carts around the old palace and take in the view of the city and R. Tagus.  This is really such a lovely way to spend an afternoon!  This is a must do while traveling in Lisbon for sure!

6 – Take a day/weekend trip seaside to Lagos or Porto

Lisbon is one of the most colorful cities in the world! If you're planning a trip there soon, head to Art in the Find to learn about 10 fun things you need to know when traveling in and around Lisbon | lisbon | travel tips lisbon | portugal travel tips | summer travel | spring travel | things to know about lisbon | traveling | lagos portugal | lagos

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | lagos portugal

Granted, you could spend a great deal of time just wandering around Lisbon, but it is totally worth renting a car (back near the airport) and heading out in search of beautiful Portuguese beaches.  After three days in Lisbon, we took a 3-hour drive to Lagos, south of Lisbon and spent our remaining days soaking up the food, sand, and sun. (Listen to our music playlist here…)  We rented a sailboat (skipper, first mate and all) and took to the Atlantic for four blissful hours.

7 – Enjoy the energy in the oldest part of Lisbon, the Alfama district

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Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe |

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | traveling in Lisbon

We stayed in two different areas while traveling in Lisbon.  Our first Airbnb was a beautiful spot off Calçada do Duque near Rossio Square with a cityscape view to die for (see below).  Our second Airbnb, was in a quaint building in the oldest part of the city known as Alfama.   It was run by a company based out of Lisbon called Cheese & Wine.   They were fantastic hosts and are recommended when booking a place in Lisbon.

The energy in the Alfama was amazing and you could get lost for hours wandering street corner after winding street corner.  (P.S. They decorate for the celebration of St. Anthony on the 12th of June…we arrived just before and all the winding, narrow streets were decorated in beautiful streamers.  Festivities started in the late evenings out on the streets of Alfama.  There, they sing, dance, grill sardines, and drink wine all evening long. It was the perfect time to be traveling in Lisbon!  You can listen to a great Lisbon travel podcast episode that talks about the festival of St. Anthony by Rick Steves here.)

8 – Have Euros on hand/Use a Helpful App called Splitwise

While traveling around Lisbon, it’s good to know that most places are cash only.  This includes the quaint dinner spots, small boutiques, and cafes.   If you’re traveling with a group in Lisbon, one of the most helpful apps we used was Splitwise.  Using Splitwise, we were all able to pay for items, input the details into the app, and it track our spending and who owed what to whom.  It was excellent if you didn’t have cash on hand, which some of us didn’t, and we just settled up at the end of our trip!

9 – Make Dinner Reservations

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We made sure ahead of time to plan dinner reservations while traveling in Lisbon and it worked out perfectly.  The greatest dinner spots are so small that they only have 7 or so tables, so no reservation and you’re outta luck.  Our first amazing dinner was at a small family owned restaurant, Cantinho Lusitano.  If you go, you must must, eat tapas style, sharing what’s on the menu with everyone at the table.  Favorites?  The cod cakes, cheese plate, and shrimp.

Our second night, we dined at the most quaint, friendly family eatery, Taberna Sal Grosso on a very winding, steep cobblestone street.  And it was fantastic!  Think, handwritten menu, fresh fish, and friendly staff who bring aperitivos before and digestifs after to the dinner table.  Favorites? The arroz de polvo (Octopus rice…you have to believe me, this is worth a try!),  the bacalhau confitado (cod confit) and the patatas.  Other recs?  We didn’t try Pharmacia, but I’ve heard great things!

10- Be a Consciously Smart Travel Packer

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | packing for lisbon | packing for europe | white summer dress | summer outfits | travel packing | outfits for summer | outfits for lisbon | They were fantastic hosts and are recommended when booking a place in Lisbon.

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | packing for lisbon | packing for europe | white summer dress | summer outfits | travel packing | outfits for summer | outfits for lisbon | They were fantastic hosts and are recommended when booking a place in Lisbon.

Looking to travel to Lisbon soon? Here are some great travel tips and some favorite spots around the city to explore. |lisbon travel | lisbon travel tips | packing for lisbon | what to do in Lisbon | portugal travel | summer travel lisbon europe | packing for lisbon | packing for europe | white summer dress | summer outfits | travel packing | outfits for summer | outfits for lisbon | traveling in Lisbon

While planning your packing list, be sure to choose outfits that you can mix/match or one pieces that you can easily throw on.  I packed one carry on suitcase for 7 days and wore 95% of what I packed.  The secret? I made it my goal to fit everything inside that one carry on bag.  How?  I set everything I was going to pack/wear out on my bed and on a clothing rack I have in my bedroom.  I then looked at the potential to mix/match and weeded a few things out, finalized the pieces I could make the most out of, and counted the days/outfits for each day to make sure I had just enough.

Dresses were my mainstay during my trip because they are so easily packable.  Checking the weather, I knew it was going to be in the high 70’s and 80’s, so dresses made the most sense to pack.  For layers, I packed one jacket, one sweater, and a scarf.  I added one skirt, a couple of tops to pair with it.  Knowing I didn’t have a lot of extra space, I packed two bags, one beach bag and one satchel and stuffed three pairs of sandals inside.

What I Packed for a Week in Portugal

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Scroll through some of my favorites I packed below:

My Favorite Finds in the city

  • For a very cool and up and coming designer, visit Didi Mara’s atelier off of R. do Barão
  • For gorgeous wall pictures, head to the area around Rua de Augusto Rosa 2-12  (where this Lisbon photo was taken).  You can walk all up and down those gorgeous hilly tiled streets for hours, I belive this area is called the Alfama District.
  • Have a 9 pm dinner at Taberna Sal Grosso off of Calçada do Forte (make resos!)
  • Stop by the cutest boutique and perfume shop off of R. das Gaveas called Labperfum.  I always make a point to buy perfume from my travels and this shop has the cutest stuff and yummy scents.

My Portugal Playlist (for those long car rides through the countryside!)

I am a huuuuuuge fan of great music on a trip and on a car ride.  The gals in our rental car were amazing at picking out some great tunes that got us from Lisbon to Lagos (3 hours in our rental car) in musical style!  Here were some of my favorites, and a great playlist, to add to your summer tunes list.

Favorite songs

Favorite Stations 

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