4 must-do’s in Lisbon by Regitse Cecillie Rosenvinge
Being a huge fan of historical cities and good food, Lisbon has been one of my favorite European capitals for a long time. Without further ado, here are my top 4 favorite things to do in the Portuguese capital.
Take a tram ride through the city
You can’t visit Lisbon without riding the trams! Locals do it and you should do it too – it’s the easiest way of getting around, plus it’s quite fun. There are five different tram routes in the city heading either East or West, but before getting lost, take this advice: the E15 tram takes you directly from the city center to Belém (which is also worth a visit) and the E28 tram runs through the beautiful Alfama district. Most trams operate until late in the evening and it’s possible to buy tickets onboard.
Visit the famous bakery in Belém
Every country should have a national cake! In Portugal (and Brazil) it’s called Pastel de Nata, and it’s mandatory to have at least one at this famous bakery in Belém! Pastéis de Belém is the name of this world-famous bakery that invented the custard cake back in 1833. The bakery is still open today, and there’s usually a long line just to get in! Don’t despair though; there are plenty of Pastéis de Nata for everyone, and if you have a little patience, you can enjoy your afternoon treat inside these beautiful, historical rooms.
Pastéis de Belém, Rua Belém 84-92, Lisbon
Enjoy lunch or dinner at the Ribeira Market
Nestled between the train station of Cais do Sodré and the riverside, the popular food mecca Ribeira Market (Mercado da Ribeira) has been welcoming guests since 1882! This is Lisbon’s largest food market offering breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner every day from 5Am-2PM. It’s a hot spot for foodies looking for the best of Portuguese cuisine, and there’s even a selection of Asian and Italian specialties as well.
I love this place due to its authenticity and genuine food – even some of Portugal’s top chefs have found their way to the food stalls – but start with a plate of tapas or some fresh fish, accompanied by a caipirinha. I promise you, it won’t get better than this! You can also enjoy your morning coffee here, while the rest of the city is slowly waking up.
Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida de Julho 49, Lisbon
Indulge in the Fado culture
If you really want to get under the skin of Portuguese culture, you simply have to enjoy an evening of Fado. This traditional music style emerged a long time ago in the streets and restaurants Lisbon’s riverside neighborhoods, and today it’s a popular tradition loved by both older and younger generations. Fado was even listed by UNESCO as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
Find a small establishment offering Fado music, which you can enjoy together with a candlelight dinner – it hardly gets more romantic than that. My favorite place is Clube de Fado in the neighborhood of Alfama.
Clube de Fado, Rua de São João da Praça 86-94, Lisbon
By Regitse Cecillie Rosenvinge, www.thecopenhagentraveler.com