Two months since leaving Europe, and I’m already feeling nostalgic. I crave those winding cobblestone roads, detailed iron balconies, and I could really go for a café con leche right about now. So, what’s the best thing to do when I feel this pain? Rub lemon juice in the wound (obviously) and look through all the photos from my travels this past year.
In an effort to share what I’ve learned as a broke English teacher traveling Europe and chronicle my travels in a somewhat organized way, I’m making travel guides for everywhere I visited this past year! First up: Lisbon, Portugal. I visited Lisbon almost a year ago in October 2018, so the timing of this one is pretty perfect. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Lisbon in the fall!
In the fall the weather was variable and we had a few days of rain. Be sure to pack layers; you will work up a sweat hiking up and down hills during the day, but the temperature will drop at night.
Good walking shoes that will allow you to handle the hills and a rain jacket.
Language Tip: Obrigado/a = Thank you
Obrigado is the masculine version and obrigada is the feminine. However! Portuguese confusingly differs from Spanish in that the speaker’s gender is what determines the gender of the word. You use obrigado if you identify as male, and obrigada if you identify as female.
Best View: Miradouro de Santa Luzia
A beautiful view of the hilltops of the city winding down to the river, and great scenery for photographs. Though it’s a beautiful place to stop and take pictures, it’s not overly crowded which is always a plus when trying to get that perfect shot!
Market: Time Out Market
Time Out Market has so many amazing cuisine options and the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had! Ginjinha, a tart cherry liqueur served in a chocolate cup, is a must try. Get there early or enjoy a meal during off-peak times because it really fills up for dinner.
Brunch: Restaurante Infame
This restaurant is on the pricier side but is a big bang for your buck and has one of the most decadent brunch menus I’ve ever tasted. Three courses, a cocktail and coffee — what a way to start the day!
Dinner: Chinês clandestinos
So, here’s something you won’t find on TripAdvisor: Chinese restaurants illegally operating out of people’s homes are a huge thing in Lisbon. It’s pretty accepted now and these restaurants are becoming more popular among tourists, but something about knocking on someone’s apartment door and dining in their living room is really an experience. To top it off, it was also some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. We visited Rua do Benformoso 59, but there are several in the Mouraria neighborhood and a quick google search will help you find the address of the one that appeals most to you. Chinês clandestino is a must-try if you’re visiting Lisbon.
The best place to get nata is supposed to be Pastéis de Belém, and while their pastries were amazing, I’ve never met a nata I didn’t like. Basically every nata I had while in Portugal was a heavenly experience. You can’t go wrong with custard dusted in powdered sugar.
Drinks: Red Frog
Continuing with the clandestine theme, speakeasies are also very popular for a night out in Lisbon. You may have to wait a little bit at the door, but the drinks at Red Frog are experimental, gorgeous, and delicious.
Nightlife: Pensão Amor
Located in the historic red light district, Pensão Amor plays on its roots with pin-up graffiti, stripper poles and burlesque shows. The atmosphere is to die for but my favorite thing about this bar is that each drink has an aphrodisiac rating indicated on the menu by a scale of 1 to 5 penises.
I can’t wait to go back to Lisbon one day and see what else this amazing city has to offer. What are your must-see destinations in Portugal? Let me know in the comments!