Hey there! For the last few weeks I’ve been super busy- I’ve been to Lisbon, had graduation and then Tramlines festival in Sheffield! But today I’m back with another short city break post, this time Lisbon! (And yes, a photo with the sign is obligatory!)
I went to NOS Alive festival, held on the Algés riverside, just along the coast from Lisbon. We combined this with three nights in central Lisbon in hostels, one before and two after, for a chance to explore the town. During the festival itself we camped for 3 nights, which is something I’ll talk about another time! So without further ado, here are my recommendations for a weekend in Lisbon.
The Hostels – Hans Brinker and Lookout! Lisbon
We stayed two nights at Hans Brinker hostel which was around 30-40 minutes walk to the centre of town. It was a really nice hostel, even if the amount of beds fitted in a small room was hilarious, and the garden beanbags and 1 euro wine made the evenings good!
With hostels though it is mostly about who your roommates are and ours here were so nice! Breakfast was free but nothing special – the only vegan option was bread rolls, black coffee and jam! It was however only around 16 euros per night each, which is super cheap for Lisbon, and there was a supermarket just around the corner so we didn’t have to spend loads on food! It was also near Edward VII park which is beautiful and had this impressively massive flag!
Our first hostel, ‘Lookout! Lisbon’ was nicer and a similar price for a much better location (although up a massive hill – Lisbon you kill me!) though we arrived around 10pm and checked out the next morning so I didn’t get any photos, however they actually had soya milk and nice coffee at breakfast so for me that’s a big win!
I will always say this but a free walking tour is by far the best way to see a city and learn the history! We did this one of Alfama – the historic district which has a village feel, and is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful! The decorations from the June celebrations make it extra pretty in summer.
The ‘Cursed Church’ Igreja de São Domingos was also on the tour and well worth a look inside – it was where the massacre of the Jews started and also was ravaged by fire and two earthquakes! You can see the damage inside – the red roof symbolises the fire and it’s a sombre place but hauntingly beautiful. All of the churches are beautiful but this is the most unusual, so if you only have time for one go in here!
The first thing people associate with Lisbon nightlife is the famous pink street with it’s cheap bars and clubs, and well worth checking out! There are a lot of tourist places down here and worth checking out if you want a cheap night – we ended up in a bar called ‘Viking’ which was like your typical tacky bar from a small UK town… possibly best summed up by this review from tripadvisor ‘Imagine the bar from the inbetweeners movie but with your grandparents working behind the bar’ – not the most glowing review but we had a good night there, and it was absolutely rammed. Most places are free so you can go in and out without committing to staying.
My favourite bar in Lisbon was Park – A rooftop bar on top of a car park, which had a 20 something crowd and nice cocktails, though at 7 euros not the cheapest! These are much better photos than I managed! Rooftop bars are popular and an amazing place to watch the sunset and beyond. Foxtrot bar also looked really fun but we didn’t have a chance to go in.
If you fancy acting like an 18 year old university fresher try the bar crawls – this one picked us up from Hans Brinker, was 15 euros and supplied an hours worth of unlimited alcohol. Perhaps not an authentic experience but really fun nonetheless and it’s a great way to bond with people in your hostel!
Wherever you go, make sure to try Ginjinha, the traditional cherry liqueur!
Traditionally, Portugal and vegan food do not go hand in hand, and I have to say it was a challenge, consisting of mostly bread rolls and crisps. However, Eight – The Health Lounge was one of the best places I’ve eaten in ages! Everything was vegan, super healthy, refined sugar free and all natural! I had the Asian wonder salad (Brown rice, tofu, spinach, purple cabbage, red pepper, asian cream and sesame seeds) and a vanilla ‘latte’ (Almond Milk, Date, Blue Natural Flavor, Vanilla) which was so nice and came with a free biscuit.
Overall this was only around 10 euros so super affordable! The window seats were also so nice to be able to look out over the square it was in and relax in the breeze!
There are also juice bars for fresh juice and smoothies all over Lisbon, which is all I crave when it’s really hot.
Some more things to check out;
The food markets in the square and also Time-Out market for a ridiculous range of food, pretty much everything you can think of is there!
The street art – the ‘Fado’ street art and the story behind the traditional melancholy music is particularly worth seeing!
The seafront – these cute little rock sculptures and impressive sand sculptures line the seafront, and the view of the bridge and ‘Christ the King’ statue is beautiful.
Finally, all of the hills are worth a mention! Our first hostel was at the top of this one, which has one of the iconic yellow trams to help people up and down.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this snapshot into Lisbon! Let me know if you’ve been recently or are planning to!