How to Spend the Weekend in Lisbon
Hey everyone!! Long time no speak. December has been a very busy month between the holidays and the traveling. I started off the month in Lisbon, Portugal, which was absolutely amazing. I went for one of my girlfriend’s birthdays, and it was so much fun. The city is a must-see for everyone’s bucketlist and here’s why!
Even though we were only in Lisbon for a little over 48 hours, we had a blast! Lisbon has been a hidden gem in Europe, and has only recently been slowly attracting more tourists. Before you head out, consider the following when you pack!
December is a great time of year to go. The Christmas decorations are gorgeous and the weather is fantastic. People were actually wearing shorts- a little risque in my opinion, but you get my point lol! That’s how warm the weather was. I packed two pairs of jeans with chunky sweaters and 1 dress. I brought 2 pairs of chunky heeled boots and the sneakers that I traveled in. I am going to go over some of the historical parts of the city you must check out, along with some other areas to dine, walk around and party in.
I traveled to Lisbon from London. Found a round trip ticket for about 90 dollars with RyanAir. Since it is only a weekend, you are going to want to travel light. If you check in a bag, you will have to pay extra, but for a 48 hour weekend, all you need is a backpack or a small carryon. My friend and I arrived in Lisbon around 8:30 at night. Once we got to our adorable AirBnB, we quickly changed out of our travel clothes into casual clothes for a night out. FYI: Lisbon has a lot of cobble stone streets, not all the streets are very well paved, so you will want to wear flats or low chunky heels for the weekend. (Do your best to avoid falling into pot holes because there are many.) Our first night, we just went out for a light dinner and had some drinks in the center. The city was alive and well with all those holiday vibes. We went to LXFactory, which was like a little cobblestone village with a bunch of shops and restaurants. It was very bohochic there. We chose to dine at this amazing Mexican restaurant: Mez Cais LX. The food was soooooo good. If there is one thing that you will love about Lisbon, it will be that it is NOT an expensive city. I swear, not including air travel or anything, I don’t think I spent more than 150 euros in those 2 and half days while i was there. And I wined and dined and explored.
The next day was where the real fun began. We started the day off walking around the city. We had lunch at the infamous TimeOut Food Marketplace.. There were so many options and the food was absolutely delicious. I had a shrimp burger. Some of the girls had paella or cod fish. Cod is actually a speciality fish in Lisbon; you will see it as a dish in most restaurants. Very tasty. We also indulged in a pitcher of sangria, that was simply delightful. Needless to say it was a great way to start off the real birthday celebration for my good friend Anastasia!!!
After lunch, we decided to rent these motorized scooters (they have them in Miami- surprisingly becoming very popular in a variety of countries) and we took them for a spin. Not going to lie, I was a bit nervous at first, but they were so simple and SO much fun. Rode around the port for a little bit before we decided to hop off and start our walk into the city center towards the castle. On our way, we saw beautiful graffiti everywhere, abandoned buildings that honestly added such a historic vibe to the city, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it even more. The rustic feels just let you know that this city had its stories to tell, and I couldn’t help but want to continue to flip through the pages. The architecture was very unique. They buildings were either painted with pastels in yellow, pink or purple, or they were tiled up with beautiful blue and white tiles. The tiles are actually a signifiant material used by builders in Portugal. Lots of souvenirs to bring that tile look back home.
Another interesting characteristic of Portuguese culture that I found interesting was their abundant supply of sardines. They actually had cute little artsy sardine shops throughout the city that allowed you to buy creative little sardine tins as gifts. I personally dislike sardines and don’t know anyone who does like them, but it was interesting see how popular this fish was in Lisbon. It’s one of their staple fish, after cod.
After wandering a little aimlessly around the city and along the port, we made our way up the hill to the Castelo de S Jorge. I can’t begin to describe how gorgeous the view of the city was from up there. We walked around the castle walls, waiting for the sun to set. That Saturday really was the perfect day to hike up to the castle. The weather was cool enough so you didn’t over-sweat while you hiked up, but warm enough so that you didn’t freeze at the top. I wore a cute sweater from Vici Dolls and my new London Fog jacket. I even hiked up in my Chinese Laundry Over-The-Knee boots and I was totally fine! They have a little cafe where you could grab a coffee to go and sit with some peacocks… by the way, I had no idea that PeaCocks could fly and chilled in trees. Needless to say, I was surprised to see about a dozen peacocks just chillin the branches over my head. There was also an adorable little spot in the castle where you could grab a drink and watch the sunset… which is exactly what we did. The sunset was just stunning. Words could do it no justice.
After the sunset, some of us chose to explore the castle a little bit more. They put these fairy twinkle lights outlining the castle. From a distance, it kind of reminded me of a giant gingerbread house or something. It was simple but such an elegant touch to the holiday. Really added a sweetness to Lisbon when you gazed up at the castle from the city center.
When we returned from the castle, we changed into our night-out outfits and were ready to hit the bars. I am prefer to day drink versus going out at night, but definitely had to make an exception in Lisbon. Lisbon is an amazing spot for birthdays, bachelorette parties or any kind of awesome getaway weekend. The bar scene was incredible. We made our way to Bairro Alto - it was a long street full of bars with 1 euro shots and cocktails that w4ere less than 6 euros. I kid you not, Lisbon is a great city to have an amazing time with little spending. We were out for hours going from bar to bar, meeting new people- tourists and locals- along the way. Made lots of friends. We ended the night at 5 am with some McDonalds back at the AirBnb and then slept it off haha
The next morning, we made a huge brunch for ourselves before heading out to our final outing together at a gorgeous rooftop bar in the city next to the ___ hotel. The view was fantastic, and the cocktails were delicious and so beautifully presented.
So to sum it all up- if you’re headed to Lisbon, book one of those cute adorable AirBnBs, make sure you hit up the city center, the castle and let’s not forget Bairro Alto. For a beautiful farewell, head to one of the hotel rooftops and enjoy the gorgeous scenery that Lisbon has to offer.