Girls’ holiday to Lisbon ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น

Looking for somewhere to go with the girls? How about a Girls’ Holiday to Lisbon! This beautiful city is the capital of Portugal, one of the oldest cities in the world (2nd oldest in Europe after Athens) and is the perfect place to wander with an amazing view, delicious bakery or interesting site around every corner!

Sometimes known as the San Francisco of Europe, there are several similarities between Lisbon and this American city. Both were destroyed by earthquakes, both were built on 7 hills and have steep inclines and both have trams and cable cars!

We visited in February; chilly at night but sunny during the day and warm in the sun. The perfect time to visit!

Read on for my recommendations for this gorgeous city that can’t be missed!

1. Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho)

This cute and picturesque street with some of the best nightlife in the city cannot be missed!

Lisbon is a major sea port and this used to be the Red Light District and the sailors would flock here to use the gambling dens, find prostitutes and to visit the dodgy bars. It also served as a meeting place for the local criminals.

The Red Light District became Pink Street to better the area and now the brothels and gambling dens have been replaced with lively, modern bars that serve great food!

The painting of the street was finished in 2013.

Visit Pensao Amor, which roughly translated means ‘pension of love’. This used to be a brothel but now all traces of that have disappeared. In its place is a bar that served great cocktails with a brilliant ambience. The pictures of the burlesque dancers on the walls and the dim lighting are the only hints to what this bar used to be.

Top Tip: If you’re after a picture of the pink painted street then visit early to avoid the crowds. Make sure to pop back in the evening to enjoy a cocktail and watch the world go by (a popular Portuguese pastime)

Pink Street
Pink Street
Red Light District

2. Elevador de Bica

One of the most famous funiculars in Lisbon. Walk up to the top of the hill but don’t forget to look back for the amazing view. There is a funicular car permanently at the top but unfortunately it has been covered in graffiti. Hopefully it will be cleaned!

Top Tip: This hill is rather steep….

3. Lisbon Cathedral

The Catedral of St. Mary Major, or Lisbon Cathedral is the oldest church in the city and was designed in 1150 and was built to last. This was a good design feature as this sturdy structure has survived a few earthquakes including the Great Earthquake in 1755!

When you are standing outside the great front door (when closed), have a look at a โ‚ฌ 10 note. The picture on the note is very similar to the doors themselves.

Top Tip: Visit in the morning for the best light. Try to catch a tram coming down the hill when you take a snap!

Lisbon Cathedral
Door
Tram

4. Cafes and Bakeries

Keep an eye out for cute little cafes down side streets, around corners and in square. They are great places to relax and reenergise with a drink and snack and to watch the world go by (favourite Portuguese pastime!). The perfect snack to enjoy with a drink is a Portuguese custard tart (pastel da Nata), which are absolutely delicious. It’s a great thing to grab from the bakery as you pass by!

Cafe
Cafe
Cafe
Pastry
Pastel de Nata
Bakery

5. Belem Tower

Built between 1514 – 1520 by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda, the tower became a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Belem Tower was first used to defend Lisbon before being turned into a lighthouse and then a customs house.

It is possible to tour the inside of the tower and to see the narrow spiral staircase, the cannons at the windows, the holes where prisoners where thrown and the roof terrace.

Keep an eye out for the rhinoceros gargoyle situated on the western facade of the tower. The first rhino arrived in Portugal in 1513 so maybe this is why the rhino gargoyle was incorporated into the Belem Tower design.

On sunny days, take a seat on the steps and listen to the busker while taking in the view.

Top Tip: Tickets to the tower can be booked here and it is closed on a Monday. Have a look at my Handy Travel Apps to find useful apps for booking tickets and tours.

Belem Tower
Belem Tower

6. Monument to the Discoveries

This monument, which stands at 52 metres tall, was built to commemorate the Age of Discoveries in Portugal.

It was introduced in 1960, on the 5th centenary of Prince Henry the Navigator who discovered the Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde.

The monument is made up of several sculptures that represent the prow of a caravel, which is a small sailing ship designed by the Portuguese to explore the Atlantic. The sculptures of the explorers are all Portuguese discoverers and are standing in a line led by Prince Henry.

Stop for a drink at one of the little cafes and enjoy the views of the monuments, harbour and river. You might feel like more than a snack after walking between the monuments so why don’t you try one of the nearby restaurants? Portugal is famous for its seafood!

Top Tip: This is just down the road from Belem Tower. On a sunny day it is a lovely walk along the water front between the monuments, or if you are feeling adventurous, hire one of the many scooters located nearby.

Monument to the discoveries
Monument
Harbour
Scooter Lisbon

7. 25 de Abril Bridge

With similar looks to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, the 25 de Abril Bridge was originally named after the dictator Salazar and then was changed to remember the Portuguese Carnation Revolution on 25th April 1974.

It is 2278 metres long and is even longer than the Golden Gate Bridge. Located close by the bridge on the opposite side of the river is the Monument to Christ, based on Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

Top Tip: Stand by Monument to the discoveries for a good view!

Bridge Lisbon

8. Caza das Vellas

Are you interested in candles? Do you like having nicely scented and shaped candles around your home? Do they make good gifts? If the answer is yes, head on over to Caza das Vellas which was opened in 1789! It has been in the same family for 7 generations and started trading on 14th July, which is the day of the French Revolution

In this small shop, one of the world’s oldest candle shops and glass cabinets filled with beautiful candles in unusual designs. As well as regular candles, have a look for different coloured birds, penguins, angel fish, fruit and many more!

Top Tip: This is a popular shop with locals so be prepared to queue outside for a few minutes

Candle Shop

9. Livraria Bertrand

Book enthusiasts might enjoy this hidden gem. Livraria Bertrand is the oldest bookstore in the world and has been open since 1732! It is even mentioned in the Guinness Book of records as the world’s oldest working bookshop.

Pop in and have a browse!

Bookstore

10. Feira da Ladre Market

This huge flea market takes places by the beautiful church Campo de Santa Clara and translates to mean Thieves’ market.

It is one of the oldest markets in Lisbon and the traders sell anything and everything! Maybe you’re after old vinyls or antiques, military things, clothes, shoes, American license plates, old match boxes, paintings, pottery or mannequins. Whatever you are after, you will find it here!

After you have finished browsing (or spending!) have a rest in one of the cafes and enjoy a cool drink while watching the bustling market.

The market is open Tuesdays (more traditional) and Saturdays (more touristic).

Keep an eye out for the beautiful street art behind some of the stalls.

Top Tip: Take cash as most of the stalls don’t accept card.

Market
Market Lisbon
Market

11. Bairro Alto neighbourhood

Lose yourself in this gorgeous neighbourhood full of cobbled sloping streets and beautifully tiled walls. It is full of small wine bars and restaurants and is a great place to sit outside (take a jacket in winter) and enjoy an evening.

Top Tip: If you order fish and don’t like it to come with the head, ask for it to be cut off before its served!

Tiles
Fish Lisbon

12. Street Art

Keep your eyes peeled for all the beautiful art on walls, tiles on sides of buildings and the pavement designs as you explore the city!

Street Art
Street Art Lisbon
Tiles
Tiles
Art
Street Art
pavement
Art
Street Art
Street Art

13. Praca do Comรฉrcio

This is Lisbon’s harbour with small strip of sand next to it. Stroll down a dusk to catch the beautiful sunset with the 25 de Abril bridge in the background and then head to one of the restaurants in the square for a lovely dinner.

Sunset
Square
Taken by Heloise

14. Santa Justa Elevator

Set in the heart of the city is Lisbon’s most unique tourist attraction. Officially it is part of the Lisbon transport network and was first constructed in the 1900s to serve as a lift between the Baixa and Largo do Carmo square.

Nowadays it carries tourists up to its viewing platform for the slightly expensive fare of โ‚ฌ5.50!

Top Tip: There are always long queues so if you wish to ride to the top, do so before 10am or after 3pm!

Santa Justa Elevator

15. Rossio Square

This is the most lively square in the city with 2 baroque style fountains, a monument of Don Pedro IV and surrounded by lovely little cafes that are perfect for people watching!

At one end of the square is the Dona Maria II National Theatre and at the other are several beautifully arranged flower stalls.

The cobblestones are designed with a wave pattern and there are similar patterns all over Portugal. This pavement design has also spread to Portugal’s former colonies: Rio de Janiero and Macau.

Rossio Square
Rossio Square
Flower stall

16. Portas do Sol

Last but definitely not least is the beautiful view from Portas do Sol. Easily accessible by tram 28 (Lisbon’s most famous tram. Jump on and marvel at the ride through the narrow streets!) and surrounded by cafes to admire this magnificent view with a Portuguese coffee in hand!

Top Tip: View is beautiful at dusk

View
View
View

17. Seafood

Lisbon is famous for its seafood and custard tarts so don’t leave without trying either but beware of bones!

Seafood Lisbon
Roasted Codfish Loin Lageriro
seafood Lisbon
Mussel and Pepper Salad
Pastry Lisbon
Pastel de Nata

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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