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A Day in Lisbon with Rita

May 27, 2020

My name is Rita (@rita.almeida.russo) I was born across the globe in Macao but I've lived in Lisbon ever since I can remember. In fact, my house is on the outskirts of Lisbon. Yet, in the past years, I have studied and worked in the heart of the city so, that is where my social life unfolds. As a Lisbon lover and a foodie, I have some cool restaurants and daily activities that I think you might enjoy, as much as I do.

What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?

A typical Portuguese breakfast would be “torradas” and “galão”, which is basically a buttered toast and a latte without foam. Something that you probably did not know about Portuguese people is that we are crazy for bread. We love to treat ourselves to some freshly baked artisanal bread at local bakeries or cafés. Personally, I have this type of breakfast at home. Therefore, when I go out with friends, I usually eat “brunch-like” food. These are my recommendations: Jay’s (Parede, in the outskirts), Heim Café, La Boulangerie, Seagull Method Cafe, Amélia Lisboa

And, of course, I can never stress enough that you definitely need to try the original Portuguese custard tarts at Pastéis de Belém. Go inside and have a seat! Actually, there is no need to wait in the take away line outside.

Heim Café | picture credit: @rita.almeida.russo

Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?

I can’t choose between these three so…

Ao 26 Vegan Food Project or O Botanista for an explosion of vegan flavours and La Piadina for a quick bite of Italian food with fresh lemonade.

La Piadina | picture credit: @rita.almeida.russo

What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Lisbon?

Option 1: Go for a long walk around Lisbon’s hills or take the famous 28 tram.

Option 2: Explore Lx Factory in Alcântara and have some Mexican food at MezCais LX.

At the end of the day, find a gelato place to freshen up. My favourites in town are Gelataria Nannarella, Gelato Davvero and Sorbettino Lisboa. An alternative would be to finish the afternoon with a beer or a cocktail at a place with a nice view, like a “Miradouro” or a restaurant like Madame Petisca.

Gelataria Nannarella | picture credit: @rita.almeida.russo

Where are the best places for dinner?

Zero Zero and By The Wine are my favourites at the moment. These have the perfect ombination of a great atmosphere and delicious food.

Perfect dinner hidden spot: Sítio Valverde (Shhh…)

By The Wine | picture credit: @rita.almeida.russo

In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?

In the evening, Lisbon has plenty of life, especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when locals go out for dinner and drinks. Usually, I find myself where the parties and some amazing restaurants are: Bairro AltoPríncipe Real and Cais do Sodré. Sometimes, if it is either cold outside or if we feel like having a chill evening talk, we go to quieter bars like Procópio or Foxtrot.

Another idea, if you would like to explore a cool and uprising area of the city, is going to Intendente, where you can find some distinct bars with live concerts, for example. 

In a busy city like Lisbon, is there anywhere to chill?

Of course, there are always some quiet hidden-gems where you can chill. My personal recommendation is exploring Lisbon’s “Miradouros”or going to this place called: Café da Garagem. Or, if you have the interest, find some peace in a museum. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and Museu Calouste Gulbenkian have beautiful gardens.

If you would like to explore the outskirts by the sea, I would recommend Ponta do Sal.

Café da Garagem | picture credit: @rita.almeida.russo

What is there to do for something fun and different?

Feira da Ladra. A unique outdoor flea market where you can shop second-hand clothing or souvenirs.

If you have time for a day trip in the outskirts of Lisbon, go to Sintra. It is magical.

Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?

I would say Baixa-Chiado district.

What season would you recommend visiting?

All year round but if I had to choose a season for travellers, I would recommend Springtime.

Is Lisbon best for a family holiday/friends holiday or couple holiday?

By now, I hope is clear that Lisbon is a perfect destination, either for a family holiday or for romantic activities. However, if you are travelling with elderly or people with reduced mobility, I would opt for sightseeing in a Tuk-tuk or avoid booking a hotel in the hills area.

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