Portugal: visit Lisbon for a weekend

A year ago, I had the chance to visit Lisbon, the beautiful Portuguese capital I’ve heard so much about. It is only 45 minutes away from Nice by plane. Result: I fell in love with its authenticity! So I’m taking advantage of this blog to share with you my experience and the different things to visit.

This destination has been booming for several years, a boom that I could find for Belgium this year and that made me want to go there to visit Brussels. But Lisbon is still more attractive because of the advantages it offers: quality of life, the beach nearby, tax advantages, Mediterranean weather like the Côte d’Azur, a low cost of living… The food is really good and cheap! Added to this, Lisbon is a capital city rich in history, just like Paris and Rome. Walking through the pretty streets of Lisbon is a real treat, an open-air museum as I like them. I had the same feeling when I discovered Bergamo and its citta alta last April.

As you can

see, I have a real attraction for historical cities and I loved visiting Lisbon for these reasons


Let’s discover below the different things to visit in Lisbon, what to eat, where to go out and sleep


1. My hotel in Lisbon, the Esqina Cosmopolitan Lodge

We stayed at the Esqina Cosmopolitan Lodge, a 3 star hotel located in the centre of Lisbon. We were seduced by its decoration, its comfort, its bar, its colours and especially its location.


it is only 500m from the old quarter of Lisbon, the Alfama and Praça da Figueira, one of the biggest squares in Lisbon


2. Lisbon’s historic trams

The first thing you notice in Lisbon, apart from the old architecture of the buildings, are the famous yellow historical trams, also called “remodelado”. These trams date from the 1930s and are still part of the public transport network


You can even visit Lisbon with the mythical tram 28, which crosses the most interesting areas of Lisbon. So, if you plan to spend 2/3 days there, I would recommend you to take a long tram ride to stroll through the pretty streets of the capital. A real authentic tourism as I like it!

3. What to visit in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a European capital rich in history as I like it. I have indeed a special attraction for authentic, old, historical cities and Lisbon gave me a lot to see. Let’s take a look at the main monuments that are worth a visit.

  • Saint-Georges Castle

It is one of the most important monuments in Lisbon, located in the Alfama district. This medieval castle is located on one of the 7 hills of the city and overlooks all of Lisbon with a panoramic view of the sea and the hills. It is a thousand-year-old monument built in the 11th century by the Moors and the fortifications are still well preserved.

  • Sé Cathedral

It is the oldest and most important cathedral in Lisbon! It was created in the 12th century in Roman style and although it suffered serious damage in 1755 caused by an earthquake, it has been renovated several times to regain its almost original beauty.

  • Arc de Triomphe de la rue Augusta

This triumphal arch, built in the 19th century, symbolises the rebirth of Lisbon following the earthquake of 1755, which caused considerable damage. It is located near the Tagus River and the famous Trade Square in the Baixa district.

arc de triomphe rue augusta

  • The Carmelite Convent

One of my biggest favourites during my trip to Lisbon! I was dazzled by the beauty of the place and charmed by its history. Built in 1389 by Nuno Álvares Pereira to celebrate his victory over the Castilians, it was completed in 1423 and housed Lisbon’s largest Gothic church, adorned with stained glass windows and numerous statues. The earthquake of 1755 destroyed the ceiling of the church which has never been rebuilt since.

In the choir of the site, you can find the Carmo archaeological museum, where historical objects are exhibited: objects from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods discovered during archaeological excavations, sarcophagi from the 14th century, pre-Columbian mummies, Roman objects, marble bas-reliefs, pottery, Mexican statues, azulejos…

  • The Belem Tower

Built between 1515 and 1519 on the banks of the Tagus by Francisco de Arruda, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. It is one of the major works of the Manueline style. It was once used as a gateway to the Portuguese capital and as a defence system.

tour de belem

  • Padrao dos Descobrimentos

It can be translated as “To the monuments of the overdrawn”. This impressive work was built in 1960 and is made of limestone, concrete and steel. It pays tribute to the great Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries who achieved great maritime feats.

monuments aux découverts

  • The Hieronymites Monastery

My favourite place in Lisbon! Together with the Belem Tower, this monastery is one of the most visited places in the capital. It is also part of the UNESCO heritage. This monastery was built by the architect Diogo de Boitaca in the 16th century, always in a Manueline style, to commemorate the return of Vasco de Gama from India.

  • The Vasco de Gama Bridge

The longest bridge in Europe at 12.3km in length, linking the north and south of Lisbon. It was built for the 1998 World Expo. It was quite impressive to see it in real life.

pont vasco de gama

One of the most atypical and trendy corners of Lisbon! This former industrial complex of 23,000m2 used to house the textile factories of the “Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense”. Located in the west of the city in the Alcântara district, the factory was abandoned for a while, but has been given a new lease of life thanks to young companies and designers who have reinvested in the premises. It is now home to a mix of shops, restaurants, cafés, art galleries, coworking spaces…

4. Good restaurants in Lisbon

A superb restaurant located in the Alfama district. It is a rustic, warm and colourful restaurant with a breathtaking view of Lisbon and the Tagus River. The restaurant offers Mediterranean, Portuguese and vegetarian cuisine?

chapito e mesa

An ideal place for tourists who want to taste all the Portuguese specialities in one place. It is not a restaurant, but rather a large covered “market”, made up of about 30 small, well-equipped stands. In the middle are rows of tables and chairs for eating.

A backstreet Portuguese restaurant that doesn’t look like much but offers tasty and hearty food for a small price. I loved the sardines! It is located near the Sé Cathedral.

After the superb visit to the Hieronymites monastery, it was time to settle down for a good Portuguese sea bream in an excellent and cosy restaurant. You can really eat for cheap in Lisbon!

A great address that offers pastries, pancakes, brunches, detox juices in a rustic and vegetal atmosphere in the heart of Lisbon. A great place to have brunch.

Faune et flora lisbonne

Excellent Italian restaurant located in the lively Bairro Alto district. The pizzas are tasty!

We leave the authentic charm of the Portuguese restaurants to discover a new genre more in tune with the times. The soul garden is located near the 5 star Corinthia hotel. The setting is nice and Instagrammable with good music, the service is correct, and the food too but nothing more. It’s just for the beauty of the place.

soul garden lisbonne

This is the place to go for the famous local pastries. It has several rooms where you can have your tea and eat at your leisure. However, the queue may be long….

pasteis de belem lisbonne

The best address to taste the pastels of Nata with a very cute packaging!


5. A walk on the beach

Another strong point of Lisbon is its proximity to the sea. Not far from the city, 40 minutes by transport, you can find different beaches where you can swim:

praia de los Carcavelos

the Praia dos Gemeos

the Praia de Paço de Arcos

Praia Velha

Praia da Torre

About me

Welcome to Love-ly-south!
Ex-Parisienne settled on the French Riviera since 2013. In love with the region, I share with you all my discoveries, my good addresses, my life experiences in Nice and the French Riviera
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