Things to See and Do in Lisbon, Portugal

Friday September 13, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments

The 25th of April bridge in Lisbon, Portugal is similar to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

The 25th of April bridge in Lisbon, Portugal is similar to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Are you visiting Lisbon, Portugal for the first time? As I am from the San Francisco Bay area, I found that our city has a lot in common with Lisbon.  Lisbon has their finiculars to climb the steep hills, we have our famous San Francisco cable cars.

Here in San Francisco, we are well known for our sourdough bread. Lisbon, Portugal has some amazing bread and local olive oils to savor, along with a good glass of wine or port. In Lisbon, they enjoy their cod, prepared many ways, while in San Francisco, we love our ocean salmon and Dungeness crab. Finally, Lisbon, Portugal has The 25th of April suspension bridge which is painted the same color as our Golden Gate Bridge.  What’s not to like about Lisbon? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Lisboa.

When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see is the Castle; Alfama and Belém, but I also take them to Nations Park for a more local, authentic experience.

Just outside of Lisbon, visit the National Palace of Queluz. A twenty minute ride on the Rossio train, the Palace offers a fantastic equestrian show weekly performed by The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art.

 

Lisbon Aquarium, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Aquarium, Lisbon, Portugal

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Oceanario de Lisboa (Lisboa Aquarium) or the puppet museum.

Portuguese food favorites

If you are looking for typical Portugese cuisine, I recommend Clams “Bulhão Pato” way; Bacalhau à Brás – (scrambled eggs, fries onions and cod); shrimp soup and Pastéis de Belém.

 

Belem Tarts, Lisbon, Portugal

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

Pastéis de Belém

In my opinion, these tasty Custard tarts are best when eaten warm. You’ll thank me later!

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Café “A Brasileira” at the Chiado district – nice ambiance in a 1920’s café, where poets and politicians used to go for their gatherings.

Ginjinha, please

Ginjinha is a cherry liqueur that you’ll find in Lisbon, as well as the “Carcavelos” and Moscatel (Muscat grape varietal) from Setúbal. You will find Ginjinha all over Portugal, as it is the drink of locals. Go to a tavern or restaurant and say, “É uma ginjinha, por favor!” (A ginjinha, please!)

Looking for affordable Portugese food, try Granja Velha. 

Bica do Sapato is the spot for late night dining and Cantinho do Avillez in Lisbon.

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Belcanto.

 

Portuguese pottery, Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese pottery, Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese pottery

Are you seeing a lot of brightly colored, hand painted pottery in the shops? Lisbon is well known for Portuguese pottery.

When you come to Lisbon, get your picture taken at the Commerce Square.


The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Santa Justa Lift; Discoveries Monument and Belém Tower, these last ones are by the Belém district. In the evening, go to the rooftop bars of the Bairro Alto; Mundial; Sheraton and Tivoli Lisboa for kissing with a view.

In Lisbon, outdoor enthusiasts will want to walk the city and experience the tram rides and go-cars.

Looking for a little exercise, walk along the Tagus river bank. 

If you are a museum lover, Lisbon’s best museums are the Ancient Art Museum; Gulbenkian Foundation; MUDE (Fashion and Design) and the City Museum, among others. With free admission to 26 museums and historic buildings, as well as free travel on Carris buses, funiculars, trams, certain CP train lines and the underground, you’ll want to consider purchasing the Lisboa Card during your trip.

 

Bairro Alto rooftop, Lisbon, Portugal

Bairro Alto rooftop bar, Lisbon, Portugal

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at LUX or go to “Pensão Amor” the new trendy bar in Lisbon, Portugal. 

The local newspaper, Público, will keep you posted on what’s happening in Lisbon. 

There is always something happening in Lisbon. Try and go to the Gulbenkian Jazz Festival (Jazz em Agosto) in Lisbon, Portugal.

If you are traveling in the spring, you might like Lisboa Fish and Flavours, a gastronomic event for food lovers that takes place at the Patio da Gale. 

 

King John 1

King John 1 leads his men into Lisbon, Portugal on horseback

Insider Tip:

Just outside of Lisbon you can visit Sintra, Cascais, Estorial and some other interesting areas like Seubal.What are your favorite things to do in Lisbon, Portugal?


For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow VisitPortugal on Twitter.


Thanks to the Portugal Tourism Bureau and Tourism Lisbon for assistance with this post. Photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in the Azores, Portugal
Things to See and Do in Centro Portugal

Things to See and Do in Monsanto, Portugal

Wednesday September 11, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 6 Comments

Monsanto, Portugal steps

Walk the narrow streets of Monsanto, Portugal

Are you visiting Monsanto for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Monsanto – the most Portuguese Village of Portugal.

When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see is The Castle, but I also take them to walk in the narrow streets of the village– for a more local, authentic experience.

If this is a romantic trip to central Portugal, I recommend a walk to the castle for kissing with a view.

 

Regional food from Viseu, Portugal

Asparagus with eggs, Monsanto, Portugal

Asparagus with eggs, Monsanto, Portugal

If you are looking for typical Viseu cuisine, I recommend Octopus – Roasted Kid Goat – Lamb and Sheep Cheese.

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Taberna Viriato.

Looking for cheap food in Monsanto? Go to Petiscos & Granitos Restaurant and order the asparagus with scrambled egg and ham.

Petiscos e Granitos Restaurant, Monsanto, Portugal

Petiscos e Granitos Restaurant, Monsanto, Portugal

The Petiscos & Granitos Restaurant is the spot for late night dining.

Seeing a lot of huge stones in this unique village? Monsanto is best known for its big and impressive stones. One of the most impressive examples is the huge boulder in Petiscos & Granitos Restaurant.

Monsanto offers great views of the local landscape and is the best place to watch or experience the Monsanto Traditional Festival in May (first weekend).

Outdoors in Monsanto, Portugal

In Monsanto outdoor enthusiasts will want to hike, bike, horseback ride and walk the cobble stone streets of the village.

Looking for a little exercise? Visitors to this village will want to walk, horseback ride or bike from Monsanto to the Historical Village of Idanha-a-Velha.

If you are a museum lover, the best museum in Monsanto area is Roman Epigrah’s Museum in Idanha-a-Velha.

Insider Tip: Check out  Monsabores Produtos da Terra for regional art, handicrafts and local food products from central Portugal.

Just outside Monsanto  you can visit Penha Garcia Village or Idanha-a-Velha Historical Village, have lunch at the Restaurant of Fonte Santa Hotel****

Monsanto rooftops, Portugal

Rooftops of Monsanto, central Portugal

What are your favorite things to do in Monsanto?

Photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of VisitCentro, Portugal Tourism and SATA Airlines.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Viseu, Portugal

 

 

Things to See and Do in Viseu, Portugal

Friday September 6, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 3 Comments

Viseu, Portugal

Viseu Historical District, Viseu, Portugal

Are you visiting Viseu for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Viseu – the Noble City in central Portugal.

When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see is The Cathedral – Sé de Viseu, but I also take them to National Museu of Grão Vasco – for a more local, authentic experience.

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is Almeida Moreira ‘s Home Museum.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend a tram ride to the Historical Center for kissing with a view.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit Aquilino Ribeiro Park in the center of the city or Cycling and Walking Paths – Ecopista do Dão.

Duarte de Portugal, Viseu, Portugal

Viseu, Portugal

Regional Food of Viseu, Portugal

If you are looking for typical Viseu cuisine, I recommend Octopus – Rosted Kid – Lafões and Veal.

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Pastelaria Horta.

Dão red wine is the regional wine of Viseu.

Looking for cheap food in Viseu? Go to Colmeia Restaurant or Pensão Rossio.

The Maria Xica Restaurant is the spot for late night dining.

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Muralha de Sé Restaurant.

Seeing a lot of gourmet food? Viseu is best known for high-end gastronomy and the Relevant Historical Heritage.

Viseu Cathedral, Viseu, Portugal

Viseu Cathedral, Viseu, Portugal

When you come to Viseu, get your picture taken at the Cathedral Square.

Viseu offers great views and Viseu is the best place to watch or experience Ephemeral Gardens in July.

In Viseu outdoor enthusiasts will want to hike, bike, horseback ride, and walk the cobblestone streets of central Portugal.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk or Cycle along the Ecopista do Dão.(49km connected city center of Viseu to Santa Comba Dão ‘s City.)

If you are a museum lover, Viseu’s best museum is Grão Vasco National Museum.

Misericordia Church, Viseu, Portugal

Misericordia Church, Viseu, Portugal

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Factor C or NB Club for live music.

The Diário de Viseu will keep you posted on what’s happening in Viseu.

You can tell a lot about Viseu from visiting and watching the century old annual fair Feira de S. Mateus event from August 15th to 15th September.

Did you know that Viseu has a well established wine region? Plan a visit to this part of central Portugal to experience the grape harvest in the fall.

Come to Viseu for Christmas Market in Rossio Square in the winter.

Insider Tip:  Just outside of  Viseu you can visit Santar and go wine tasting, have lunch at the Paço dos Cunhas de Santar.

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of VisitCentro, Portugal Tourism and SATA Airlines.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Coimbra, Portugal