Avani Travel Diary - Lisbon, Portugal
Narrow, twisting streets of the Portuguese capital are a delightful maze to get lost in. You can spend days wandering around the historical neighbourhoods and never run out of things to see, delicious food to try and artfully dilapidated buildings that are Instagrammable.
To get your bearings, start your Lisbon sojourn with a tuk-tuk tour around Alfama. The oldest district in Lisbon, it is home to many important heritage buildings, including the medieval São Jorge Castle, as well as numerous churches, and fado eateries where you can meditate to traditional Portuguese music and try local food.
For something hip, take yourself on a self-guided walk through Lisbon's urban art scenery or take an organized group tour that takes you to the most striking murals. If you like graffiti, stop by the LX Factory — an old industrial area that reopened post-renovation with lots of cool shops, restaurants, bars and street art. Lovers of contemporary architecture can’t miss the strikingly modern MAAT Museum designed by Amanda Levete Architects and opened in 2016.
Another highlight of the city is Belém. It’s great for pictures, history, museums and gorging on the famous Portuguese custard tart at Pasteis de Belém. This is also where you will find the most recognizable landmark in Lisbon, the Torre de Belém, a 16th century UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular spot for Insta shots. A picturesque riverside promenade connects most of the sights in the area, so be sure to wear comfy shoes!
After a day spent on your feet, you’ve earned a drink at Lisbon’s favourite rooftop bar on the 9th floor of Tivoli Avenida Liberdade. An extension of SEEN Lisboa restaurant, it’s cosmopolitan, lively, glamorous and sophisticated. A great spot for celebrity-watching or just to see the sun set over the city.
Pre-travel guide for Lisbon, Portugal
Best time to visit Lisbon
- The best time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October, because the weather is still warm, hotel rates are cheaper and it’s less crowded than in the summer. In those seasons, you might also be able to squeeze in a few beach days. The summer sees hot temperatures and crowded shores. Winters in Lisbon are warm for Europe, with the lows dipping into the mid-20s C.
How to get to Lisbon
- Flight - Humberto Delgado Airport (IATA: LIS), also known as Lisbon Airport and Portela Airport, is located 7 km from the city centre of Lisbon. The airport has a metro (subway) station with a direct line to the city centre. The 'Aeroporto – Saldanha' line takes you to downtown Lisbon in about 20 minutes.
How to get around Lisbon
- Tuk-tuks, motorized three wheelers, are a common sight on the streets of Lisbon. Being electric, they are considered an eco-friendly way to explore the central sights. You will find them parked on centrally located streets and squares in Lisbon. Public transport options include bus, tram and metro.
Helpful local words
- Bom dia/Boa tarde/Boa noite - Good morning/ Good afternoon/ Good night
- Com licença - Excuse me (when passing by people)
- Obrigado/a - Thank You
- Viva! Saúde! - Cheers! To good health!
- Uma bica, por favor - One espresso, please
- Quero o vinho da casa - I want the house wine.
The best hotel to stay in Lisbon
Check the best hotel deals in Lisbon.