Lisbon and Sintra, Portugal In Pictures

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WHY GO: Lisbon Portugal is a hot destination right now – and should be. Just a 6 1/2 hour flight, it’s the closest Mainland Europe city to New York. Colorful, classic and innovative all at once, with mosaic sidewalks, cobblestone streets, terra cotta roofs, tiled buildings, Lisbon is eye-catching no matter which way you look.

View from Lisbon Bairro Alto Hotel, Lisbon Portugal

Here – the Getaway Mavens give you tested advice about what to see, where to shop, hottest places to eat and one great hotel to put you in the center of things.  Read on:

Things to Do in and Around Lisbon Portugal

Chiado Shopping area, Lisbon Portugal

Take in the stunning walkways and streets of the Chiado shopping district.

Mosaic Street workers, Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon carefully tends to its aging streets – fixing them with an artistic eye.

Portugese crafts, A Vida Portuguesa, Lisbon

Find every Portuguese product worth bringing home at A Vida Portuguesa.

These include beautiful tins of sardines (3-7 Euro), luxurious soaps, art tiles and plenty more attractively presented high quality local goods.

Paris Em Lisboa Linen Shop, Lisbon Portugal

Shop for linens at the 130 year old Paris Em Lisboa Linen Shop in Chiado.

Pick up luxury sheet sets and duvet covers for a fraction of what you’ll spend elsewhere.

Luvaria Ulisses Glove Shop, Lisbon

Buy custom-fitted leather gloves for 55-75 Euro at the tiny two-person at a time Luvaria Ulisses glove shop.

It’s been at the same location since 1925.

Pelcor Cork Products, Lisbon

Portugal is known for its cork products, and you’ll find some of the best cork handbags at the off-the-beaten-track Pelcor

Arco da Rua Augusta, Lisbon Portugal

Walk down Rua Augusta – to the magnificent arch.

And yes, you can go to the top for a fee.

Arco da Rua Augusta, Lisbon

The monument beyond the arch looks out over the Tagus River, which was once peppered with protective towers and forts.

Visit the Tower of Belem

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Located in the Belem section of Lisbon, a visit to this fortification, built in 1515,  provides an overview of Lisbon history and grants great river views.

Discoveries Monument, Lisbon

The Discoveries Monument

This monument stands as homage to explorers who set off from Portugal for new lands. It was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Lisbon’s own Prince Henry the Navigator. 

Pasteis De Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Eat some pasteis de nata at the famous Pasteis de Belem 

Do not leave the Belem area without trying out one of the city’s best known pastry shops – Pasteis de Belem. These custard delights are to Lisbon what Cafe Du Monde’s beignets are to New Orleans. The recipe hasn’t changed since 1837, when monks at the Monastery of Jeronimos next door began selling these sweet custard tarts to keep their home solvent.

Next, head back to the Bairro Alto district to compare pastries

Makers of these “Pastel de Nata,” as the Belem pastries came to be called, are quite competitive. You’ll find Manteigaria‘s version right off the square next to the Diesel store. You can watch them being made and they are served hot from the oven.Manteigaria Pastry Shop, Lisbon

Ride the #28 Tram

The square is also where you’ll pick up Tram #28.

Square in Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Portugal

You’ll find the tram stop on the other side of the monument (above).

Tram 28, Lisbon Portugal

Electric trolly cars come every five minutes or so on the route from Bairro Alto neighborhood to the Alfama District.

On Tram 28, Lisbon

If you intend to use the great public transportation system throughout the day, it pays to purchase a day-pass for 7 Euro (each ride costs 2.95 Euro).

Alfama District Dandy, Lisbon

In Alfama, you’ll come across local characters like this nattily dressed gentleman sporting the colors of his favorite soccer team.

Visit the hilltop town of Sintra. Arrange for a Private Tour With Sintra Magik Private Tours

Pena Palace from below, Sintra Portugal

Spend the day in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra – about 30 minutes from Lisbon and home to several Royal Palaces, including the whimsical and colorful Pena Palace.

Whimsy of Pena Palace, Portugal

To get the most out of a trip here – and the “Golden Triangle” area of Sintra, Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of mainland Europe), the tony town of Cascais and a fresh-from-the-sea lunch at a local fishing village, book your tour through Sintra Magik Private Tours. 

This is personalized and professional service at its best. Guides are incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. They know Portuguese history, speak English well, and are very keen to showing visitors the best and most “local” restaurants and attractions.

Private Guide Through Pena Palace, Sintra Portugal

A full day private tour, which includes all transportation from 9am-5pm, entrance fees and a guided tour through Pena Palace, lunch at a local fresh seafood restaurant (not a tourist trap) costs just 135 Euro per person (plus a 35 Euro pick-up fee).  

Trident, Pena Palace, Sintra Portugal

Pena Palace is an amalgam of styles, themes, and colors – built on the grounds of a monastery and expanded by King Ferdinand in the mid-1800’s.

Port and Cheese Tasting, Continho Gourmet, Sintra Portugal

In Sintra, the best place to sample Port Wines is in Cantinho Gourmet – in a back tasting room. You’ll learn the difference between Ruby and Tawny red Ports, and the rare but developing White Ports. 

Stop at the Westernmost Point of European Mainland

Cabo De Roca, Westernmost Point of European Mainland, Portugal

For those who thrill at “extreme” directional points on the globe, a stop at the Atlantic Oceanside Cabo Da Roca is in order, as it’s the Westernmost Point of European Mainland.

Grilled Sea Bass, Portugal

Cabo Da Roca is a very quick (and windblown) stop, before heading to Azoia, a small fishing village. Stop into a casual local restaurant for just-pulled from the water Sea Bass, lightly grilled with olive oil and salt, filleted table side and served with potatoes and greens.

Fado singer at Clube Do Fado, Lisbon Portugal

To really get into Lisbon culture, plan at least one night listening to Fado Music

This from-the-gut, low-register mix of The Blues, Opera and Jazz – all in the Spanish-Russian sounding Portuguese language – is very alluring. Fado clubs in the Bairro Alto Neighborhood are like jazz clubs in New Orleans. You’ll find them one after another on narrow lanes. For the best (with dinner as well), book a table at Clube Do Fadowhich is known to feature rising stars in a very esoteric firmament.

Orient Train Station, Lisbon Portugal

Check Out Lisbon’s Orient Train Station

Even if you have no plans to take a train from Lisbon to Porto, you should see this beautifully designed structure by architect Santiago Calatrava. New Yorkers might recognize Calatrava’s style. He also designed the the dove-shaped World Trade Transportation Hub in downtown Manhattan.

Restaurants in Lisbon

This is not an exhaustive list in the least but it gives you a starting point.

DRINK: Bairro Alto Hotel Rooftop Bar

Dusk in Lisbon

This is your view from the Bairro Alto Hotel’s Rooftop Terrace Bar, where your evening should begin at least one night. If you cannot draw yourself away (and most can’t), stay for dinner.

Sacramento Restaurant, Lisbon

EAT: Sacramento Restaurant

From traditional (Fado) to contemporary, Lisbon is busting out all over with innovative cuisine. Here – the fun pink interior of Sacramento Restaurant offsets its serious foodie food. One of the best in the city.

Time Out Market, Lisbon

EAT: Time Out Market

If you can’t decide on cuisine, chose from a huge selection at Time Out Market near the waterfront in Barrio Alto. A food court the likes of which you’ve never seen, this is where you’ll discover some of the best up and coming celebrity chefs. No big surprise its a great hit with locals and tourists alike.

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Bairro Alto Hotel, Lisbon

STAY: The Bairro Alto Hotel is steps from Chiado and the riverfront in central Lisbon.

Tram 28 goes right by the front door, and to top it off, it’s got one of the best rooftop bars in the country. A boutique hotel, service is fun and on the ball. Rooms and baths, though a bit small, are charming. Wi-fi is free and European breakfast (including order your own egg dish) is hearty and delicious. Rooms from $270 per night.

Lisbon Portugal Pin

3 thoughts on “Lisbon and Sintra, Portugal In Pictures”

  1. What a fantastic article! Your descriptions and pictures were so vivid that I feel as if I traveled to Portugal with you!

    Looking forward to reading of your more posts.

  2. Thank you so much for your article. It was a pleasure to guide you here around Lisbon & Sintra and show what we have best in our country !

    You have here a wonderful blog, very well written articles and great content. It’s a great pleasure to be mentioned here on your articles.

    Thank you once again!

    Gonzalo
    (Sintra Magik Private Tours)

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