Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Carissa
Lisbon has fast become one of the most popular places to visit, and I can see why! With the vintage, historical towns and quirky street art, it’s got a charm like no other. My boyfriend and I had planned on visiting Lisbon for some time, and we decided to spend five days there in total as that would give us enough time to explore the city at a leisurely pace.
[ I visited Lisbon on a press trip with Holiday Senses, in which some experiences were complimentary. Flight and hotel not included ]
Pastel de Nata:
Upon our arrival and after checking into our hotel, the first thing we did was visit the Fábrica Da Nata café, famous for its Portuguese custard tarts! I kid you not, the first bite was heavenly. It was so creamy and soft, and only 1 euro each! If you visit Lisbon or anywhere in Portugal, this pastry is a must-try.
Visit the Baixa District:
Lisbon is quite a small city, so everything is within walking distance or you can take a short train journey to travel around. We stayed in the Avenida de Liberdade street (a modern street with lots of luxury brands), and the nearest bustling town to us was Baixa, which was a 20 minute walk from our apart-hotel at Altis Prime. It was quite a steep, down-hill walk to get to Baixa which is near the sea-front; you’ll find that everywhere in Lisbon is quite hilly.
Baixa is the historic heart of Lisbon, and the streets are lined with traditional seafood restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops. You can take a ride on the Santa Justa Lift to check out the city view, there is also the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arco da Rua Augusta, Rossio Plaza and the grand Praça do Comércio.
The Baixa District has significant historical meaning, as it was once destructed by one of the world’s strongest recorded earthquakes, along with a huge tsunami that killed thousands in 1755. The whole place had to be rebuilt from scratch, and it has now become one of Lisbon’s main tourist attractions.
Take a Long Coast Journey Tour – Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais:
On the second day, we took a Long Coast Journey tour with Holiday Senses which took us to various top tourist spots in a private, luxury car with a dedicated driver for the day. It is such a good way of seeing the top spots in Lisbon, hassle-free! You simply pick the date and time that you want, and they will arrive at your hotel to pick you up. The service was top-notch, and the driver was so friendly and helpful, giving us recommendations of what to do! The journey was really smooth and relaxing, we couldn’t recommend it enough!
The tour included a visit to the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Pena Palace, Historic Sintra and Cascais.
The Bélem Tower:
On our tour, we visited the famous Belém Tower, which is a stunning historical monument by the sea and is a UNESCO world heritage site. You can enter the fortress and admire the view from the top too.
This was a huge, magnificent monastery with a gothic-like architecture. It’s best to arrive there early if you want to enter, as the queue is so long! This monastery is an important part of Portuguese culture and identity, and a great place to learn about the history of Portugal. You can find out more about it here.
The Colourful Pena Palace:
After visiting the Jerónimos Monastery, our driver took us to the beautiful Pena Palace, which was my most anticipated visit! It’s located in Sintra, which is around 45 minute drive from Lisbon. You can get there by train and then shuttle bus it to the top, but it is a very, very steep hill so walking up the hill is not advised! Taking the car through the narrow, winding roads was definitely the easiest and best option to get to the top!
Pena Palace is just as stunning in real life as it is on Instagram – this colourful palace looks so grand and dreamy up in the clouds. We were prepared to queue up for ages to enter, but to our surprise when we arrived, we were pleased to see that the queue was really short and only took us 5 minutes to buy our tickets and enter! Going in mid-September when it is less touristy is definitely a good idea. Inside the palace though, it is very crowded with everyone trying to get the best shot!
We stopped by the little Sintra town nearby for a bite to eat and some dessert! It’s a cute little town with lots of restaurants and shops around. We could see the Castelo dos Mouros and the Câmara de Municipal Sintra (Sintra town hall).
Visit the Historical Town of Alfama:
The next day, we took the train to Alfama to explore the area. The nearest train station to get there is Santa Apolónia, then you have to walk around 20 minutes to reach the main town of Alfama. The town was very pretty, and there were lots of trams going up and down the roads. You can also walk uphill to the castle of São Jorge, which is another tourist attraction.
The Pink Street:
The famous pink street of Lisbon, which is located at Rua Nova do Carvalho in Cais do Sodré. This town is known for its nightlife, clubs and bars where all the cool people gather at night. The Pink Street itself is nothing special though, it’s just a street painted pink that’s hidden away in a back alleyway and the roads look quite dirty.
Also in Cais do Sodré is the famous TimeOut Food Market! This place is a must-see, as there’s plenty of food to try! We tried some Portuguese specials, which were the fish risotto, sardines and Portuguese steak.
You can check out the reviews here for the TimeOut Market!
Twizzy Electric Car Tour:
We had a tour around Lisbon driving our own twizzy electric car with Holiday Senses. This is a great activity if you want to explore the city in a short amount of time as the car has GPS that guides you to all the main spots and beautiful viewpoints. There’s also built-in Wifi in the car which is handy, and you’re given two maps which you can follow along. It was a fun yet challenging experience driving around Lisbon as the roads were very busy. The GPS system was not that accurate at times, so we had to use the map on our phones for direction; thank god for the Wifi! At the end of the tour, we were given a recording of our driving, which was so funny to watch back on our adventure!
Overall it was a fun activity to do and we could travel to a lot of hidden places in Lisbon that are not as well known!
Hippie LX Factory:
One of the places we visited with the twizzy car was LX Factory. This is a quirky and hippie place to hang out, with some funky restaurants and shops. We stopped by for a lunch break and also explored their beautiful library.
Overall, we had a fun and memorable experience in Lisbon. Thank you to Holiday Senses for hosting us on this trip!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Holiday Senses where I was gifted some of the experiences as part of the press trip. All opinions are my own as always. This post contains affiliate links, please read the disclaimer here.
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