If you are staying outside of Lisbon it is well worth making a trip in to Portugal’s capital at some point during your stay. We were staying in Cascais a 35-minute train journey outside of Lisbon. Their train systems are easy to use and super cheap (only 2€ each way), so you have no excuses. The train ride provides you with stunning views of the coast as you make your way into Lisbon.
You can read as many tourist books as you like but I don’t think you can beat the advice of a local. That’s why when we arrived into ‘Cais do Sodré’ station we hoped straight into one of the many ‘Tuk Tuks’ you will find on the streets of Lisbon, locals estimate that there are close to 400. No matter what your budget is they are a must. The beauty of them is that there isn’t a set tour, you can pick where you go or they can decide based on your interests. You can give them a price limit and they will bring you to as many places they can within your budget. Our Tuk Tuk tour cost us 60 euro per hour which worked out at 10 euro each per hour in our 6 man Tuk Tuk. I am unsure about the price ranges with different companies, but it was a great way to see so much of the city in such a short amount of time especially because you won’t be getting far in the blistering heat of July and August on foot. Our driver Mario was so kind and he gave us a great feel for the city. You could tell he really cared about his passengers and getting us the best value for our money. Mario wasn’t the only Tuk Tuk driver we were in contact with that we were impressed by their generosity. They all seemed so genuine and we weren’t worried or sceptical about being ripped off as you do with so many other tourist attractions all over the world.
- Choosing the right Tuk Tuk:
If you are going to get a Tuk Tuk get an electric one. Not only are they better for the environment, but they make it a lot easier to hear what your guide is saying while you are driving. Another reason why I would recommend the electric Tuk Tuks over the gas ones was because of the awful fumes that the gas ones were giving off. I’m sure a tour would be quite sickening in one, especially because the Tuk Tuks don’t have doors to keep the smell out.
- On a budget where should I ask them to take me:
Lisbon is a stunning city, being built on a hill means there are loads of look out points all over the city. Although they are all spectacular the most amazing one we say is called ‘Miradouro da Senhora do Monte’, so if you are on a budget ask them to take you there.
Feeling a bit peckish?
Taberna da Rua das Flores which was recently featured in the Sunday Times, is a hidden gem that is getting a bit more attention from tourists than it’s local regulars may like. Hidden away off ‘Praça Luís de Camões’ this quaint, authentic Portuguese restaurant would be missed by people not looking for it. The menu changes daily and is written on a big blackboard which is carried around the restaurant and translated to English for the non-natives. The menu consisted of 2 starters and 4 main courses. Although choice is limited the options on the day I was there all sounded amazing. The ‘rough and ready’ style makes you feel like you are sitting in a Portuguese kitchen waiting to be served. We all really enjoyed our meal here and I think it is worth ditching the touristy restaurants for one day and paying a visit to this for some real Portuguese food.
Main courses ranging from 8-10 euro – at lunch time.
Everyone wants to eat different things?
No problem, the ‘Time Out Food Market’ is the place for you. There are stalls with nearly every cuisine so you are sure to find something everyone will love without having to eat in different places. Your only problem now will be finding a table in their expansive seating area. Highly recommend.
Then you have to stop in Amorino. This ice-cream parlour can be found in most major cities and has a huge range of ice creams and sorbets. However, the thing that I love Amorino for is their macarons that have a thin layer of ice-cream in the middle. To die for.
We all absolutely loved Lisbon and hope to be back at some stage in the near future. It was a stunning city with both historic and modern aspects to it. The perfect weekend break at only 20 euro for a taxi from the airport to the city centre.
The Girl on the Go xx