Lisbon is full of old-world charm, cobbled pathways with beautiful mosaics and vintage trams chugging their way up steep and narrow hills. Here are some of the best things to do and see while there. —Amanda Nunes
stay. At the top of a winding hill next to the funky graffiti, the Gloria Design Suites welcomes visitors in a historic building. Inside, the designs are fresh and modern. The apartments are spacious with sofas, TVs and one or two bedrooms. The kitchen is well equipped and the free Wi-Fi is a plus. The location in the Barrio Alto district can’t be beat. There are tonnes of bars and restaurants within walking distance, and lots of transit options. In the morning, sleepy guests open their doors to find a bag of fresh Portuguese rolls to enjoy for breakfast. If you’re worried about the language barrier in Lisbon, no sweat. When you book with booking.com you can grab an ili device for on-the-fly translation. Smaller than a cell phone, ili translates languages offline instantly within 0.2 seconds.
eat. Cervejaria Ramiro is one of the most popular traditional seafood restaurants in Lisbon. Go here for giant prawns grilled prawns sold by the pound, garlicky sautéed shrimps and warm buttered bread that keeps coming by the basketful.
do. Food lovers can’t pass up the chance to visit the Time Out Market Lisboa. Here, you’ll find more than 40 food stalls of the best of the best eats in Lisbon. Food has been carefully curated by a panel of independent city experts. Fresh fish, seafood, spicy sausages, ice cream and traditional Portuguese foods abound. When you’ve made you choice, grab a seat at the communal tables and wash it all down with a glass of port wine. Photo by photoshooter2015 / Shutterstock.com
see. Lisbon is one of the only cities that still uses traditional trams from the 1930s. Modern trams cannot make the hairpin turns on the narrow, steep streets. Tram 28 is the best tram to take to sightsee. It goes through some of the most interesting parts of the city, and you get a city tour for the price of a bus ride. The tram travels throughout the city, and at some points the roads are so narrow that you can reach out and touch the buildings. Photo by Nessa Gnatoush / Shutterstock.com
snack. Pastel de natas are irresistible egg custard tarts that are world famous. In Belem, you can go straight to the source. Pasteis de Belem has been making these flakey tarts since 1837. They use a super-secret recipe from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Try one (or two, we won't judge) piping hot from the oven. Wash it down with a cappuccino topped with fluffy whipped cream.
side trip. Take a day trip to Sintra to explore a plethora of castles, estates and stunning properties. At Quinta da Regaleira, you'll be transfixed by this luxe estate, complete with a castle, chapel and garden. Mysterious symbolism, hidden tunnels, grottos and a truly unique Initiation Well will keep you busy. For a more traditional castle, stop by Pena Palace. This cheerful yellow palace has turrets, beautiful mosaic tiles and is perched atop a hill.