Lisbon: The two-minute guide

What to see, where to eat, sleep and drink, and the tourist tram worth avoiding

The number 28 vintage, aka tourist, tram. You’ve seen the pictures. Just buy the postcard.

The number 28 vintage, aka tourist, tram. You’ve seen the pictures. Just buy the postcard.

 

See

Lisbon’s neighbourhoods. Don’t miss Alfama - a maze of narrow cobbled streets, ancient houses and old-style mechanic shops the lead up the hill from the Tejo Estuary to the castle.

Sleep

Lisbon has given hostels a do-over and the Independente Hostel & Suites (from €124 per room for two people, theindependente.pt) is one of the most stylish with vintage touches throughout. The suites offer views from Bairro Alto through shuttered windows. Try the modern Portuguese menu in in-house restaurant Decadente and don’t miss breakfast with a view and very friendly staff.

Savour

A pastel de nata from Belem’s Pasteis de Belem (pasteisdebelem.pt) bakery. It’ll be one of 23,000 custard tarts produced there daily and there’ll be a queue because this is the establishment that kicked off the obsession with the little tarts. But it’s worth it. Rent a bike and cycle to this neighbourhood to see the Torre de Belém on your way.

If you really don’t appreciate custard tarts, try visit Cervejaria Ramiro (cervejariaramiro.pt) for dinner. Fresh seafood (try the bulhao clams), buzzing ambience, no-fuss. Go before 7pm or after 10pm to avoid the crowds.

Sup

Lisbon is a city of seven hills so take to rooftop bar Topo (topo-lisboa.pt) for the view. You’ll find it six floors up on the top of a shopping centre in Martim Moniz, overlooking the São Jorge Castle. Sup a cocktail (€6-€9) or glass of Alentejo red as DJs usher in the sunset.

Skip

The number 28 vintage, aka tourist, tram. You’ve seen the pictures. Just buy the postcard and be done with it. This route does bring you to the lofty viewpoint of Castelo De Sao Jorge but it’s always rammed. Stretch your legs instead.

Shop

Explore the streets of Chiado to find century-old bookstores and art deco and art nouveau shops. A gem is the tiny 1925 Luvaria Ulisses glove store on Rua do Carmo. Yes, gloves. While you are in the neighbourhood - and if you have a beard - visit one of the many very cool barbers. Hipster hair envy.

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