When you get to Lisbon, one of two things may happen. One: Like I did, will quickly realize that unlike many other European capitals, Lisbon is much more relaxed and less intimidating to explore. Or two: You may become entranced with the beautiful sights of colorful and intricate architecture, castles and fortresses in the roaming hills, pretty port, and sexy language that they may not know where to begin.
If the latter is the case, this entry shall help you to find your way through the streets of the romantic metropolis.
Start your day early. If you like to keep active on your trip and are traveling alone, go for a morning walk, stroll by the parks, and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. I did this during my week in Lisbon and not only began a healthy routine but began to feel like the city was my own. If you are traveling in a group, grab some breakfast-perhaps a coffee and a Portuguese roll- and relax. Scroll through the pages of your guidebook and pick a few destinations for the day. The rest will come naturally. If you still feel helpless. No worries. There are guided tours for as cheap as 10 Euros.
2. Different Barrios (Neighborhoods of Lisbon).
Lisbon has a few different districts that are interesting to explore. The ones to take note of include Baixa, Chiado, Castelo, Alfama, Sé, and Bairro Alto. Barrio Alto
(high hill) is a personal favorite because it rests on a high point and allows you to see a panoramic view of the city. It is also a great place for shopping, and has a good mix of locals and tourists roaming the streets. It is a nice place to visit to get a flavor of the Lisbon lifestyle.
3. Night Life
One really nice thing about Lisbon, and Portugal in general, is that is cheaper than the rest of Western Europe. Whereas you may pay up to 12 Euros for a drink in Madrid or 15 Euros in Paris, it is common to spend 2 or 4 Euros in a bar in Lisbon. Also, similar to Hispanic countries such as Spain or Argentina, the people do not begin to head out into the streets until one or two in the morning. Barrio Alto is a popular neighborhood that receives a lot of attention for night festivities. However, due to the great weather in Lisbon, you won’t find people cooped up inside; most of the night is spent socializing outside.
The last tip I am happy to share the most. Some of the local students who work at Travelers Lounge took me to Chapito one night. Chapito is an open terrace restaurant and bar, perfect for cheap drinks and food, and has an amazing view of the city. Also, it is only open in the late evening so you can see the city lit up. Chapito attracts a hip and artsy crowd and is not visited by many locals. On several nights there are dramatic and reinterpreted plays to see. Also fun to look at is the handmade jewelry and crafts upon entering. I highly recommend this hotspot if you want to feel like an insider.