7 Bucket List Experiences in Lisbon

bucket List Experiences in Lisbon

Eat a pastel de nata in Belém

There’s the famous Pastel de Belém pastry in Belém, which produces one of the most iconic Pastéis de Belém. In 1837, they began to bake the original Pastéis de Belém, following an ancient recipe from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Nowadays, they are well-known for the quality of their products, that people even queue sometimes outside the pastry.

If you are visiting Belém, also take a look at the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Make a picnic at the huge Belém gardens and enjoy!

Paint your own tile at the National Museum of the Azulejo

This museum teaches us of the history of tiles in Portugal. Its mission is to preserve and study their collections and also of the building of the museum. Here you can make your tile. You are given some patterns and templates to paint your tile but you are also free to create your own unique design.

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Go on a bike ride to Terreiro do Paço

There’s a huge pathway between Cais do Sodré and Santa Apolónia where you can ride a bike and admire the river. Many bikes are available for you to pick and ride it (in Cais do Sodré and Terreiro do Paço). Gira bikes are available to hire at docking station terminals using the Gira app. Once you have the app choose your pass (daily or monthly) you can use the bike. You can use the daily pass for 24h. You are also free to choose between conventional and electric bikes.

Have a drink in Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is the best place to go out at night. It’s full of original bars for all tastes. Depending on the bar you choose, different prices will come up. Usually, it’s a place full of life and full of people from all over the world. Take a drink, listen to some music and enjoy your night!

Walk the streets of Alfama

Alfama is a unique place with ancient houses and streets which tell its rich history. Alfama was situated outside of the city walls, known for being where the poor people lived. Nowadays, it has transformed into an artistic place with craft stores.

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Eat an ice-cream at Santini

Santini is one of the best ice cream shops in Portugal and every local goes there. It started in Tamariz in 1949 bringing people the best artisanal ice cream. Nowadays, Santini has grown a lot and people from everywhere go there. There are many Santinis in Lisbon district and also one in Porto. The one I recommend you go to is in Chiado, but if you go to Cascais there are 2 shops where you can buy some ice cream.

Eat “travesseiro” & “queijadinha” at the Palácio da Pena in Sintra

The nature and the palaces up on the hill make Sintra a really unique place with its own climate, cultural and geographical. The architecture of the Palácio da Pena is intricate, and its history deep.

The sweets you should try here are specific to Sintra: queijada and travesseiro. They are both quite different…

To eat a travesseiro, my advice for you is to go to the Piriquita pastry. Piriquita was founded in 1862, about 160 years ago. Nowadays, has a great success for the quality of their sweets, mainly the travesseiro. Travesseiro is a sweet made of two parts: the dough and the filling. The filling is made of almond, sugar, eggs and cinnamon. The dough is made of flour, margarine and water. To eat a queijadinha, you should go to Queijadas da SAPA, a little pastry store in Sintra. They started to make their sweets in 1756 in Ranholas and then they installed in Sintra in 1887. They are one of the five brands of queijadas that are officially recognised by Câmara de Sintra. The queijadinhas have also two parts: the dough and the filling. The dough is made of egg, salt, water, flour and butter. The filling is made of cinnamon, salt, flour, sugar, freh«sh cheese, eggs, butter and lemon.

The Best Wine Tours near Lisbon

The Lisbon wine region is ones of the most famous wine regions in Portugal. Not far from the city, you can visit top wineries like the estate of Quinta do Monte d’Oiro. Known since the 19th century, this renowned Portuguese winery benefits from a privileged terroir to create fresh, elegant and balanced wines. The winegrowers are more than happy to open their doors to you and share their story through tastings, visits and countryside picnics. There is no best way to enjoy Lisbon wines than at a Lisbon winery!

Where to Find the Best Pasteis de Nata in Lisbon?

Pastéis de Belém: RUA DE BELEM, LISBON
It is the traditional Pastéis de Belém factory, which also has huge rooms where you can sit and try them, receiving the quick service. You simply want to take you time and enjoy them while those are freshly made, just from the oven.
Ideal option if you are looking to take a rest after a walk through one of the most touristic and famous areas in Lisbon. If you visit it on weekends or on holidays, be aware that there will be many people in line waiting to buy the renowned cakes.

Pastelaria Batalha: RUA HORTA SECA, LISBOA
This pastry shop is concealed in the Praça de Luis Camoes in Lisbon. This branch was opened recently and it has two other offices in which its production factory is included in Mafra. From there it does not only leave its delicious and award-winning Pastel de Nata but also a whole variety of traditional sweets such as Queijadas and Parrameiros, sweets with which the branch has won about 15 awards in national competitions. Beautiful place for its Pastel de Nata which makes it worth visiting if you want to enjoy a good and varied breakfast.

Casa dos pasteis de nata: AVENIDA JOAO, LISBOA
Many of the Pastel de Natas that can be tried in other parts of the city. Among those you can see the mass production. Here they serve always warm and freshly made, they stand out with the crunchiness of their puff pastry and their authentic flavor cream.

This bakery many has other branches. When you enter their cafe you can hear the sound of a bell from the street. They serve an exquisite Pastel de Nata, fresh and ready to be consumed. One of the stores where you can also see through and watch the entire production process. If your interest is any other cake with another flavor, those mad of a passion fruit stand out.

It has been the only restaurant on the list of competitions with the award to Pastel de Nata. Their specialty is the products of the sea, but here the delicious Pastel de Nata that is being baked by the recipe of the same baker Paulo Oliveira.

Located in the busy and lively area of Barrio Alto, it allows you to enjoy an exceptional partying area of Lisbon while you give yourself a moment of calmness in this bakery of extensive tradition that was founded in 1920. It has been recognized for its Pastel de Nata, and more after absorbing the brand known as Aloma, which has also been awarded for its Pastel de Nata.

Their specialty is of course, Pastel de Nata. They have been been awarded in local competitions and their bakery is one of the best in the whole city. Come and enjoy!

Casinha do Pão:
If you want to enjoy a Pastel de Nata of 32 years of tradition, which starts from the work of the great-grandfather of the family that governs these patisseries. The good traditional flavor is what you can find in this bakery, or any of its three branches are also famous for its variety of handmade sweets, especially cookies.

Princesa do Vale: AV. VALE GRANDE, LISBOA
An ideal bakery for breakfast were you can enjoy bread with sausage, a good Bolo de Rei, and of course its specialty, Pastel de Nata. Come to this place in the North of Lisbon to taste Pastel de Nata worthy of a reward.

Confeitaria nacional: PRACA DA FIGUEIRA, LISBOA
This pastry abounds cakes of all kinds and flavors, without missing the typical Pastel de Nata. In addition, the architecture of this beautiful old place is an ideal place to sit and enjoy a sweet creamy cake with so much history and good qaulity expresso.

Best Restaurants in Lisbon

Muito Bey in Lisbon
Craving Lebanese food one evening, a friend and I walked down toward Cais do Sodre to the highly acclaimed Muito Bey. It lived up to the hype, with a menu of small traditional plates made to absolute perfection.

Downunder by Justin Jennings in Lisbon
Based Australian fine dining restaurant right here in the city center. He too will come out to see that everyone is enjoying their meals. For most people, this is the first place that they will try kangaroo meat for the first time. The crocodile salad is also a popular dish.

Ramiro in Lisbon
Ramiro has ruled the Lisbon seafood scene since the 1950s. It’s a three story restaurant where fresh seafood is brought in daily direct from the harbor. Come for giant crabs, grilled sardines and king prawns. They even do their own rendition of the traditional Portuguese bifana sandwich!

Tantura in Lisbon
Tantura remains one of the best restaurants in Lisbon; the fact that you can’t ever eat here without a reservation is testament to that. Owned by Israeli lovers who honeymooned in Lisbon and then never left, Tantura is authentic Israeli cuisine with a homemade essence to each dish. The menu was personally curated by the owners, who were brought together through their love of cooking a few years ago.

Come Prima in Lisbon
“Imaginative Italian” is the unofficial title of Come Prima Restaurant. It sits down the coast of Lisbon, en route toward Cascais. The menu might look like a pizza and pasta party, but once the food arrives you’ll see how everything takes a slightly creative flair. The tomato soup is a wonderful starter dish!

Needle in a Haystack in Lisbon
Up the opposite side of the coast is the new hot-spot in Lisbon. Needle in a Haystack is where everyone wants to be for drinks and dinner, six days a week. You will be astounded at how every employee at this establishment genuinely cares for the optimum dining experience of the customer. It’s a work of art. Reservations are required, though you just might get lucky if you’re walking through the Alfama one evening and decide to enter on a whim.

El Clandestino in Lisbon
Mexican food has been done in Lisbon, but not always done well. El Clandestino has taken traditional Mexican dining and combined some up market techniques to make the experience more sought after. This isn’t the most affordable Mexican dinner you’ll have in Europe, but it will undoubtably be one of the best.

Sol Dourado in Lisbon
It’s very difficult to state which local, traditional restaurant is the best of the best in Lisbon. Portuguese restaurants are so similar in quality, hospitality and love of food that they rarely flounder when it comes to service. Sol Dourado was a memorable local dining experience for me. I loved the warm, street seating under the lanterns, the impeccable and attentive service and the seafood platter for two.
You want bacalhau? Or cozido? They’ve got it!

Alma in Lisbon
Those looking for traditional cuisine on the fine dining spectrum should head over to Alma in Chiado.
This Michelin Star spot takes all of the classic dishes of the country and transforms them into edible art. If you’re a fan of culinary arts then this is an experience not to be missed.

Tamarind – Restaurante Indiano in Lisbon
Finally, an Indian dream for a wholesome meal in the Portuguese capital. Tamarind is one of the best places to enjoy both of these things, and one really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Great Restaurants to Eat Sardines in Lisbon

Lisboa Tu e Eu in Lisbon
At first glance one might assume Lisboa Tu e Eu to be a Mexican restaurant of sorts. The bright colors and street side tables give it that Mexican street food feel.

Sol e Pesca in Lisbon
Sol e Pesca is actually a retail store where one can buy an array of traditional canned Portuguese-style fish. You’ll see a lot of stores selling these rectangular tins throughout the country. They make for great souvenirs and/or gifts to take to loved ones after your trip.

A Parreirinha do Paraíso in Lisbon
A Parreirinha do Paraíso just outside of the Alfama.

Restaurante Floresta das Escadinhas in Lisbon
Restaurante Floresta das Escadinhas keeps it simple. There are just a few dishes on the menu, one of them being sardines.T ake note of their specific opening hours! There are only four hours during the day during which one can dine here.

Último Porto in Lisbon
Something to keep in mind when craving sardines in Lisbon is that they are not a standard menu item at every seafood restaurant. Up market seafood restaurants might actually avoid sardines as they carry the perception of being a “cheap food”. Último Porto is a spot right on the water’s edge where sardines are always on the menu! What’s more, they are served traditionally with the potatoes, peppers, salad and bread.

Alfama Grill in Lisbon
You’ll need to have some patience with Alfama Grill. Because of its name and location, its become one of the top spots for seafood in Lisbon’s most historic district. The sardines can take a good hour to get to your table, but they’re so delicious you’ll quickly forget you waited at all. They are served with just potatoes, so opt for any side of your choice.

Pateo 13 in Lisbon
Pateo 13 is also in the Alfama. It’s the beautiful outdoor terrace in one of the quiet village squares. Their sardine plates are also served with potatoes, but they will replace them with fries if you prefer. They will also do sharing platters of sardines for tables with more than one person looking to eat the dish.

Mar ao Carmo in Lisbon
Sardines in the city center? Mar ao Carmo near Bairro Alto is the spot. You’ll actually choose your fish yourself from the raw seafood buffet that sits on ice at all times in the restaurant. You’ll be able to judge the freshness and quality of your fish prior to ordering.

Aqui Há Peixe in Lisbon
Aqui Há Peixe is a Portuguese and Brazilian fusion kitchen, making it one of the best places to sample diverse seafood dishes in Lisbon.

Sardines in Cais do Sodre near Lisbon
While knowing where to look can absolutely lead one to great sardines in Lisbon, the best of the best remain in Cascais. This is the beach village a short journey outside of the city center, accessible by train from Cais do Sodre station.