Many people are passionate about Lisbon (and other Portuguese cities), others do not have a clue why they should visit Lisbon. In this post I will try to give you a reason why and give you a suggested day tour.
Portugal is a beautiful country, full of history and culture, with a sensational cuisine!
Lisbon airport is connected to the city centre by a modern metro line. In the metro station make sure you get a Lisboa Viva card (50 cents) and top up with a daily ticket (6 euro). This ticket gives access to all public transportation such as metro, tram and buses.
When you arrive in Lisbon, take the metro at the airport and go until the end of the line, at São Sebastião station, change to the blue line towards Santa Apolónia, and get off at Restauradores station.
Now that you are in the city centre, walk towards Comércio Square, pass through the Baixa Chiado metro station, that connects Baixa neighbourhood (literally low) with Chiado (upper part). Go to café “A Brasileira” in Chiado, have a coffee and take a photo with a famous statue of the writer Fernando Pessoa, as this was his favorite coffee place.
Take the tram 28 towards a high part (castle of São Jorge) and also towards the other side (Cemitério dos Prazeres). This is the oldest tram line in Lisbon still in operation.
Take the tram 15 towards Belém (yes, it will be crowded) get off at Belém Station and go to the famous Pastelaria de Belém, eat as many “Pastéis de Belém” (Portuguese custard tart) as you can. The “tostas” are delightful (sandwich type), coffee with milk is called “meia de leite”, remember if you ask for coffee, it will be an espresso. Do not order cappuccino, you will be charged triple the price because of the steamed milk.
Walk through Belém:
In the monastery of Jerônimos you can access the church for free, make sure you visit the tomb of Camões (one of the most famous Portuguese writer). Go to the monument of the discoveries, and to the tower of Belém.
Evening time you can go have some fun in one of the several restaurants and/or bars in the Alto district. Make sure to order the house wine, or ask for a tip from the waiter. Try everything you can from Portuguese cuisine, specially cod dishes like bacalhau com natas and bacalhau ao brás.
And if you have 1 or 2 or more days in Lisbon, then you can go to Oceanário de Lisboa and the park of nations. Also go to Sintra (maybe the finest Portuguese town) and to Cascais (beach town), especially in the summer or if the weather is good.
Some words that might help you to interact with Portuguese people:
Hello = Olá
Bye-bye = Tchau
Thank you = Obrigado
You’re welcome = De nada
Please = Por favor
Can I have a coffee, please! = Um café, por favor! (remember that will be an espresso)
10 custard tart, please! = Dez pastéis de nata, por favor! (or “de belém” if you are in Belém)