What to do on a 48 hour weekend break in Lisbon, Portugal? This stunning city of cobbled streets, trams, castles and pastel-hued hillsides has so much to offer, there’s no room for a bad restaurant choice or a sub-standard Pastel de nata. My love of food means exploring cities through my stomach and I aim to do this with a good balance of spontaneity and a little pre-research (aka instagram scrolling). Here’s our guide to getting the most out of two days in Lisbon!
Where to stay in Lisbon?
I am going to be unashamedly honest, I booked this boutique hotel in the Baixa district almost solely on its proximity to the Time Out Market (5 minute walk – booyah!) However, little did I know what an absolute find this was! The hotel itself lies in the historical heart of the city, sitting quietly in the corner of the spectacular Municipio square, with the gleaming city hall dominating one side. The rooms and suites are housed in an 18th century listed building that is brimming with charm and character. The Delfina, a lovely brasserie style restaurant has tables that spill out onto the square making it the perfect spot for an early evening cocktail and a hotel breakfast you don’t want to miss.
Praça do Munícipio, 21
1100-365 Lisboa Lisboa
What to do in Lisbon?
Check out Belem
Again, the choice to make our way to Belem was almost entirely through the need to experience the world-famous Pasteis de Belem. However, it also happens to be the district that contains Lisbons most notable and awe-inspiring attactions, the Tower of Belem and the Jeronimos Monastery. Both are UNESCO world heritage sights and must be seen to be fully appreciated, all the better with sweet portugese pastry in hand!
Where to Eat in Lisbon?
Which brings me to Pasteis de Belem. It might be the most touristy thing I’ve ever done, waiting in a lengthy queue in the full heat of the day with a plethora of fellow hungry tourists, all wanting a piece of the original and arguably the best Pastel de Nata’s in the world. However, I’d do a lot more for a bite of this sweet Portuguese treat. The Pasteis de Belem are made from a 100 year old, secret recipe developed by Catholic monks from the Monastery next door. Oh so worth the wait. They are served warm, straight from the oven, the pastry is perfectly crispy and the baked egg custard-like filling is smooth and creamy with a slightly charred top, a dusting of a cinnamon/icing sugar blend tops it off, *insert inappropriate food appreciation moans here.*
Rua de Belém nº 84 a 92
1300 – 085 Lisboa
This place truly is foodie heaven. The Time Out Market Lisbon brings the best of Portugese food under one historic, market-hall roof. Featuring 24 of the cities’ most renowned restaurants and eight of the best bars, you could easily eat every meal of your stay here. This is a street food market with a difference, the range and class of offerings here is overwhelming, dishes aren’t served in plastic containers, you’ll find real cutlery and crockery and even tables and chairs to enjoy it on! I am already planning my next assault!
Mercado da Ribeira
Avenida 24 de Julho
1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal
Where to drink in Lisbon?
After a day of sightseeing, climbing up and down Lisbon’s hilly streets you’ll be wanting a serene, tourist-free oasis to cool down and sip on something refreshing, ideally in a shady spot where one can admire those pastel coloured buildings that cover the hillsides. When you arrive at the junky, semi-derelict shopping centre, this dream may seem far from reality, however persevere to the rooftop and you will be rewarded. Topo bar is a chilled-out rooftop bar with a jaw-dropping view of the city and a killer cocktail menu. Sipping a Caipirinha from the stunning roof terrace is an absolute must, head inside to their restaurant space when you start to feel peckish!
Commercial Center Martim Moniz, Praça Martim Moniz, 1100-341 Lisboa, Portugal
Chrystall is Co-founder of Great Things To Do and is a Dorset based food and lifestyle photographer and writer. You'll find her in the kitchen baking, foraging around her Dorset countryside home or cosy by the fire with a nice glass of wine.