Travel Guide | Portugal

Lisbon 12 Hour Destination Guide

Your one day guide to Lisbon, the westernmost capital city in Europe.

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, making Lisbon the westernmost capital city in Europe. The capital city experienced a renaissance in past years, but nowadays Lisbon is filled with artistic alleyways and street art. Lisbon charms travelers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, colorful houses, and sunny beaches. Heres a guide on what to do in Lisbon, during your first day.

10AM  go to a nice local café, and order a traditional Portuguese breakfast. Make sure to order Portugese custard tarts, named “Pastéis de Nata.” Locals say the best tarts are only available at  Antiga Confeitaria de Belem. They’re the only place to make the specialty with a secret centuries-old recipe.

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11AM  Once your done enjoying one of Portuguese’s fine foods, make sure to explore the rest of the Belem district. Besides exploring the local shops and cafes, visit one of Portugal’s oldest churches Jeronimos Monastery, and try to pay a visit to the Belem Tower. This monument was built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. Back in the day, it was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland.

12PM Explore the city center of Lisbon, and wander off through different alleyways; up and down hill, that show you different sights of the city. Make sure to bring your camera, its definitely worth the view filed with a colorful Lisbon houses serving as your canvas.

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1PM After having done so much walking, its time to relax and grab some lunch. The areas with the widest selection of restaurants are Bairro Alto, and Comercio Square, so make sure to stop there and try some of Portugal’s finest cuisine.  Portugal is known for its seafood, so be adventurous and try something new on the menu.

2PM Once your done with lunch, its time to get on a train and visit the town of Sintra, located about 17 miles outside of Lisbon. The Sintra rail station may be reached by CP services (Portuguese railways) from several Lisbon stations, and is around 5 euros round-trip.

 3PM – 5PM Explore the beautiful town of Sintra, including its park and town center. Don’t leave without visiting the Moorish castle and the amazing views it has to offer.

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6 PM Make your way back to Lisbon, and check into the hostel around the city center. Hostelworld.com is a great website to find affordable places in any visiting city, such as Lisbon. A great hostel to stay at in Lisbon, is the Living Lounge Hostel. It has a great location, with nice themed rooms; each one different from the other.

7 PM Once your all settled in, find something to eat for dinner and then head back to the hostel to get ready for the Portugese nightlife.

8-10 PM Done with dinner, now you’re going out. Many bars are located in the Bairo Alto area, which you can easily access from the hostel. If interested, you can always sign up for a bar crawl through the hostel, which includes some free drinks and a local to show you your way around the Lisbon nightlife. Don’t dress to fancy if you’re just going bar-hopping, keep it casual but dressy. If you’re more interested in the night clubs, then dress fancier and make sure to visit LUX. But overall, remember to have fun!

Aria Moyer

Pennsylvania State University | 2 stories

Double major in Broadcast Journalism and International Relations at Penn State University who grew up in The Netherlands, and recently studied abroad in Paris and loves photography, writing and traveling.


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