72 Hours of Unforgettable Sightseeing and Dining in Lisbon, Part 2

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Photo credit: Raphaël Chekroun
Photo credit: Raphaël Chekroun

 

Lisbon is a capital city that can’t be seen in just a few days. In fact, our first post on 72 hours of sightseeing and dining in Lisbon barely grazed the surface of the number of things to do, places to stay and mouthwatering meals to enjoy when venturing through the “City of Seven Hills.”

 

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The city of Lisbon is so large and diverse that it’s divided into a number of civil parishes, each with its own attractions and charm. From the panoramic river views of Belem to the traditional fado houses of Santa Clara on the far northeast edge of the city, this guide will encourage you to make the most of three full days in “Lisboa.”

 

Day One

Morning

 

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Start your visit to this ultimate foodie city with the traditional family recipe at Raffi’s Bagels. Known for their taste and freshness, Raffi’s is the perfect place to begin your day with a bagel and cream cheese, bagel sandwich or bite of soft, traditional Challah bread. Traveling with kids? They’ll love the brightly colored, fun and delicious color bagels. Grab a fresh cup of coffee to-go, and you’ll be off to a full and healthy start in one of Europe’s favourite cities.

 

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Your first day in Lisbon should be an introduction to the city, and there’s arguably no better way to learn about Lisbon than through its museums. Just a short drive or bus ride southeast of Raffi’s, you’ll find a number of museums to suit a wide range of interests.

The Museu de Lisboa, or the Museum of Lisbon, is the new name of the esteemed City Museum. This unique museum, which includes five locations with a shared mission, unveils the city of Lisbon and its history through four different perspectives. Visit them all or start at the Santo Antonio location, and you’ll be within walking distance of a handful of other Lisbon favourites.

 

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

 

Just a two-minute walk east of The Museu de Lisboa Santo Antonio is the Museum Aljube. A favourite among locals and visitors, this museum offers an alarming look at the recent history of Portugal. This is the best place to learn about the Salazar dictatorship and the history of the country from 1860 to today. You’ll find that this museum is the shining gem of the Saint Anthony parish area.

 

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Photo credit: Alain Rouiller

 

Finish your museum morning with a 10-minute walk east to the Museu do Fado. Learn everything there is to know about the local and unique fado genre of music, and spark your interest in seeing a fado performance during your three-day visit to the city. This small museum doesn’t take long to visit and is worth popping in before heading to lunch.

Afternoon

 

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Choosing where to eat lunch in Lisboa can seem impossible. Award-winning restaurants fill every nook and cranny of the city. You won’t go wrong by visiting the acclaimed Sea Me restaurant on Rua do Loreto. This sushi and seafood restaurant is known for serving up some of the freshest fish in the city. The atmosphere is always buzzing and a number of available platters make this the perfect place for ordering one of everything and sharing with friends.

 

Photo credit: Celina Tours Facebook page
Photo credit: Celina Tours Facebook page

 

After a busy morning and an over-the-top lunch, it’s time to let someone show you around for a little while. Celina Tours offers a wide range of tours depending on your interests. See more of Lisbon’s most famous attractions, take a tour of five nearby cities, explore Sintra Cascais or check out a number of other options. Celina Tours takes all of the stress out of planning how to spend your day.

 

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For those who want to be a little more hands-on, Lisbon Eco Tours allows visitors to get behind the wheel of a compact, eco-friendly Twizy car and explore Lisbon’s beauty, culture and history on their own. A variety of tour options allow you to choose which parts of the city you want to see and when you want to see them.

 

Night

 

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The adventure never ends in Lisboa, and the fun of the day always rolls well into the night. Start your evening with an unforgettable meal at The Decadente. Arrive for Happy Hour at 6 p.m., then continue with what many claim to be the best dinner in Lisbon. Try the traditional Portugal No Prato, the fresh dish of the day or one of the chef’s other modern and mouthwatering dishes.

 

Photo credit: Wine With A View Facebook page
Photo credit: Wine With A View Facebook page

 

Just because you’re full doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Make one more stop before retiring for the night at Wine with A View, where you can enjoy a glass of wine while overlooking the Tagus River or take one back to your hotel to enjoy later.

 

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Travelers in search of a long night out on the town on Friday or Saturday night will find nonstop pop and house music at Trumps Disco. Known for late crowds and a gay-friendly atmosphere, this is where party people will get a true taste of Lisbon nightlife.

 

Photo credit: Palacio Belmonte
Photo credit: Palacio Belmonte

 

Every great day in Lisbon must come to a close, and there’s no better place to call it a night than at the five-star Palacio Belmonte. Located a short walk from the Tagus River and a long list of other attractions, this former residence of a noble family combines stunning views, an ideal location, history and lush amenities to create the perfect stay.

 

Day Two

 

Morning

 

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A long night calls for a healthy breakfast, and you can find one a short 15-minute walk west of the hotel.  Liquid offers crave-worthy smoothies and juices made from the freshest, 100-percent natural ingredients, so you can feel good about how you start your day.

 

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There’s nothing quite like seeing Lisbon from the water in the morning hours, and Lisbon By Boat was recently listed by Trip Advisor as, “A must do in Lisbon.” Their expansive fleet and accommodating schedule makes it easy to plan the cruise that works for you.

 

Afternoon

 

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Pockets feeling a little light on your second day in the city? Not all Lisbon attractions and museums cost money, and Take Lisboa can help you access them. Log onto the website before or during your visit to book one of many free or guided tours to the city centre, Alfama and Mouraria, Belem and more.

 

MAAT Museum / AL_A / Lisboa, Portugal / 2016
MAAT Museum / AL_A / Lisboa, Portugal / 2016

 

Or, if you’re looking for a unique and convenient attraction following your boat tour, head just down the street to the Museu Arte Arquitetura Tecnologia. Located along the riverfront, this ultra-modern museum offers sweeping views of the Tagus River and 25th of April Bridge as well as captivating indoor exhibits that change frequently.

 

Night

 

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Choosing a restaurant for dinner in Lisboa is borderline stressful, but there are a handful that simply should never be missed. Loco is one of them. Headed by Chef Alexandre Silva, Loco takes visitors on a culinary adventure fueled by nature. We recommend you opt for the “Discover” menu to introduce yourself to the chef’s award-winning cuisine, or ask to see the full menu and enjoy the restaurant’s iconic “18 Moments.” You’re bound to be wowed by either decision.

 

Photo credit: Hotel Valverde
Photo credit: Hotel Valverde

 

It may be difficult to think after such a sleek and sophisticated meal, but you’ll want to catch a cab back to the heart of the city and the elegant Valverde Hotel. Located at the center of Avenida da Liberdade, the Valverde Hotel offers an opportunity to feel like you live in the heart of the city. The contemporary furniture and artwork feels much like that of a high-end Lisbon townhouse, but you’ll quickly realize this hotel is much more opulent and inviting than home.

Day Three

 

Morning

 

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Waking up in the heart of the most noble area of Lisbon is exciting, and you’ll need a large cup of coffee to fuel another full day. Just north of the Valverde Hotel is the unique Velocite Cafe, where you can enjoy a hot cup of gourmet coffee, a fresh natural juice, a delicious breakfast and hire a bike for the day at the same time. The food and the on-site bike shop are guaranteed to inspire your day.

 

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If your breakfast inspires you to see more of the city and its surrounding areas, one of the best ways to do it is with The Wanderers Tours. These friendly and fun sightseeing tours take visitors throughout the city and its nearby regions in unique classic cars that kick traditional sightseeing tours to the curb. This is the ideal tour company for off-the-beaten-path travelers.

Afternoon

 

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It’s time for another out-of-this-world meal in Lisbon, and your trip to this city wouldn’t be complete without tasting some tapas at Tagide.  We recommend heading to the restaurant’s esteemed wine and tapas bar on the lower floor, where you can taste a variety of Portuguese finger-food style plates with a gourmet flair. Don’t forget to ask about the self-service wine machine.

 

Photo credit: Ricardo Tulio Gandelman
Photo credit: Ricardo Tulio Gandelman

 

A short drive or bus ride west along the waterfront will take you to a few more museums on your final day in the city. The Museu Nacional dos Coches, or the National Coach Museum, is located in the Belem district on the Afonso De Albuquerque Square, and it is far more interesting than it may sound. It’s a quick and affordable museum that takes visitors through a captivating collection of historic transportation from within Lisbon and far beyond.

 

Panels of St. Vincent Room © Paulo Alexandrino - MNAA - 4

 

Those hoping to visit another legendary Lisbon museum before leaving the city will be fascinated by the Museu de Arte Antiga, or the Ancient Art Museum. Housing Portugal’s national gallery, this museum is a must for anyone interested in art, history or Portuguese culture.

 

Night

 

Photo credit: Medrosa d'Alfama Facebook page
Photo credit: Medrosa d’Alfama Facebook page

 

You won’t want your 72 hours in Lisbon to come to a close, but you’ll be happy to squeeze one or two more epic meals into your schedule. Medrosa d’Alfama is a mouthwatering stop in the Alfama district for tasty tapas or a glass of wine to begin your evening.

Foodies in search of a final five-star meal will find exactly what they’re seeking at Restaurante 100 Meneiras an Rua do Teixeira. Known for offering a multidimensional dining experience that goes far beyond what’s on the plate, “Restaurante 100” offers a tasting menu that will take you on a culinary tour of Portugal and all of Europe that shouldn’t be missed.

 

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Those seeking a simpler yet equally as satisfactory meal should head just down the road to In Bocca Al Lupo, where fresh, organic pizzas are the specialty. This might just be the place where you have the best pizza of your life. And travelers who aren’t quite ready to call it a day can log onto O Blog da CMAG to see which concerts, events and activities will be happening throughout the evening. There’s always something going on in Lisboa.

 

Photo credit: Santiago de Alfama Facebook page
Photo credit: Santiago de Alfama Facebook page

 

When you’re finally ready to call it quits, you’ll want to end your final day in Lisbon in the Alfama District at an award-winning boutique hotel that will encourage you to leave the city relaxed and rejuvenated. The Santiago de Alfama is a quaint yet amenity-filled hotel that looks as charming in person as it does in the photos. In addition to lavish linens and tastefully appointed rooms, visitors enjoy access to beauty care, massages and three unique places to dine or enjoy a cocktail. This is truly the place that will make you want to stay in Lisbon forever.

 

 

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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