An unplanned trip to Lisboa, Portugal: my favorite things to do (not the most touristic ones)


Dear reader,

There are the trips we plan a year in advance and we feel like will be “the trip of our life” and there are the trips we did not plan and that end up becoming amazing memories. It is the case of this wonderful trip to Lisboa. I can remember very precisely how it all started. My boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch on a Wednesday afternoon, and we decided it had been “a long time” (not at all in fact, but it was our little “good excuse”) since we last had travelled. We ended up looking at a list of countries we would love to visit and the very same night, our hotel and planes were booked. Less than a week after, we were flying to Lisboa. Let me tell you that neither of us speak a word (apart from obrigada/obrigado) of Portuguese but we still enjoyed that little week so much and I desire to share with you the moments I enjoyed the most. 

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The oldest bookstore in the world

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might know that I am a total book-lover. I actually plan to work in the book industry after I graduated and this stop was a necessary one for me. I am obviously talking about Bertrand’s (click here to visit the website).

NB: I say “obviously” but did not know it even existed the day before our plane took off, lol.

Let me tell you that this bookshop is one of the cutest/coolest I have seen. There is a little coffeeshop at the back that serves very cheap and good coffee and the waitresses are absolute angels. I feel like everyone is kind in Lisboa.

The books are also very beautiful and there are several rooms for several genres. There are several shelves displaying English books: this is wear I bought Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey. The little bonus is that, when you pay for your book, you can ask for a little stamp (for free) on the front page (either in English, in Portuguese, or both) that certifies that this book has been bought at the oldest bookshop still open in the world. I think it is so cool to have this opportunity and this beautiful and original souvenir.

Drinking coffee in front of a wonderful view (and colorful streets)

As you will have understand by now, this trip was more of a “lazy” trip: we walked a lot (because there are so many beautiful things to see!) but drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot as well! One of the things I enjoyed doing the most was to take a sit at a terrace and watch the beautiful colors of the buildings. Let me share with you a few pictures of this colorful city that is Lisboa:

Eating good (vegetarian) food and buying tee-shirts

I think everybody heard from it at one point or another in life: life in Lisboa (compared to France for instance) is definitely cheap. There are two moments I understood it the most: when I paid one euro for a beer, and when I paid gorgeous, good-quality and unique tee-shirts twenty euros.

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Vegan food at Veganapati (link below)

Favorite restaurants

My favorite place to eat in Lisboa (among many good others, do not get me wrong) is the pizzeria MABICHE (click on the name to go to the TripAdvisor page) that was located within a few minutes-walk from our hotel, the Travel Park (you can click on the name if you are interested) Their pizza is the BEST I have ever eaten (and Heven knows I eat lots of pizza everywhere I go), no matter if you take a vegetarian or a “cheese” option (as a vegetarian, I can’t really tell when it comes to meat but I would say that if they are so good with vegetarian options, they must be good at everything they cook).

My other favorite place to eat (yes yes yes, I could not pick only one, oops) in Lisboa as a vegetarian is Veganapati (click on the name to know more about the place). They serve delicious vegan food for a really decent amount of money. I especially LOVED their “soup of the day” and I think these soups are all extremely goods: I highly recommend!

Favorite place to shop

As a minimalist, I usually do not shop when I travel but the truth is that I was a little bit “too much of a minimalist” and had absolutely zero tee-shirts (I borrowed them form Sam every day!) so when I came across this boutique, I saw it as a “sign”. Typographia (link to the online store by clicking on the name) only sells tee-shirts (and a few tote-bags) and let me tell you they are the best tee-shirts I have ever seen.

They are unisex (which I love as they have “longer” sleeves if that makes sense), made of cotton, look simple, have funny drawings, are very unique and… cost only twenty euros.  I mean, this is the kind of quality you would pay 60 euros (minimum) for in France!

Here is a picture of these wonderful tee-shirts:

Walking (a lot) and discovering hidden nooks

What we both love when we travel is to see the things other tourists might not be interested in. We obviously go to a few touristic places, but we are more interested in unknown, almost “secret” places. You must know before booking your flights that Lisboa is a really complicated city to walk in: there are slopes almost everywhere and the streets are beyond tiny. However, I think it is worth a little effort as the more you walk up these slopes, the better the view gets:

Street art and little trip to Almada: cats, art and Cristo Rei

Lisboa is the most colorful city I have ever visited. I mean, there is even a pink street! Really naturally, it led artists to choose this city as a place to let their imagination work. On our first day in Lisboa, as we were walking along the shore, we saw beautiful sculptures (picture below) and I realized how much prone to art this city was.

A few days later, we decided (not aware AT ALL of what we would find there) to take the ferry to Almada… and in fifteen minutes, there we were! On the Internet, I have seen a lot of “If you are staying a week in Lisboa, take one day to go to Sintra” (I personally did not enjoy Sintra at all: the city put me in a weird mood and it was beyond gloomy outside) but I never saw, not even once, a blog recommending Almeda.

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In might, indeed, not be the wealthiest city in Portugal, but it is worth visiting according to me. In Almada, you can see the Cristo Rei: it is a little bit “THE thing to see” as you can see it from Lisboa but need to take a ferry to go and see it “for real”. In order to reach the top of the Cristo Rei, you can either take an elevator or walk from the ferry bottom of Almeda to the top. You know me, I would definitely recommend walking! When we were in Almeda, the elevator did not work anyway, so we walked for about two hours in the streets of the city. ,Thus, we discovered almost gloomy streets but beautiful ones, we cuddled lots of cats (this is definitely a city to visit if you love cats!) and enjoyed another side of Portugal, a morerealistic” side of the country.

People in Almada (just like in Lisboa) were the kindest and we found a little café that is worth seeing as it is a little hidden (and rather hard to access) paradise (pictures below).

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I hope you have got, my point: I enjoyed Lisboa so much.  I think it is the perfect destination for an unplanned trip , especially for those who enjoy street art and long walks. 

Lots of love, 

TABOULOT Camille

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