Back in early June, following my trip to Italy, I popped over to Portugal for a quick weekend and met up with a couple girlfriends that live abroad. Ah, how I wish traveling in the states was as easy as that all the time. Just about to jet-set to this country, or that in the blink of an eye. It’s fun to take advantage of the cheap, quick flights when I can though.

Since this was an add-on to my Italian stay, I didn’t put too much time into researching and planning my trip to Lisbon. As I normally would do. I was already somewhat ‘crashing’ a girl’s weekend my friend Kathy and her friend had already had planned, so wanted to just go with the flow of whatever was on their agenda. I’ve found the trips you have with zero expectations attached, are often the best adventures anyhow! So even though I didn’t plan in advance, I wanted to share 5 things to know before visiting Lisbon, Portugal  that I would have liked to have known going into the trip. I hope some of your find this helpful, should you find yourself traveling through Lisbon.

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5 Things to Know Before Visiting Lisbon, Portugal

MONEY TALK | Lisbon is extremely affordable, in comparison to other European countries and that of traveling the US. Uber rides will cost you anywhere between $2.50 – $10 max anywhere around the city. A FULL tapas-style lunch or dinner with multiple plates, around $20-$50 per person – including wine or cocktails. I felt like we were feasting every evening!

TRANSPORTATION | Since I spent a quick weekend in Lisbon, we opted to rely mostly on Uber for transportation and save time. The app makes finding a car super easy, and the city doesn’t have a minimum fare amount. So quite literally some of our rides were $2.50. I even upgraded to Uber Black a couple times {to/from the airport} and my fare was around $20. I’ve heard the public transit is simple to get around, and of course affordable. Splitting with 3 people kept our transportation cost quite low, but would definitely look into public transit next time around to offer a fair review. Lisbon is very walkable though! We walked more then we ubered.

WHAT TO WEAR | Layers. Lots of layers. Even being their in the summertime, it was much cooler in the evening then I anticipated. Light layers, and of course walkabout shoes. These Soludos sandals have been my go-to summer travel sandals since our honeymoon in Greece a couple years ago. Once the leather is broken in, they’re SO comfortable. Easy dresses, as well as jeans + blouse combos are perfect for this city. Nothing too flashy – it’s not a big fashion hub – but you won’t be out of place wearing a few colorful garments.

SAFETY | I found Lisbon to be very safe. I spent an entire day in Lisbon by myself before the other girls arrived, and had a wonderful time roaming the streets solo. The people are super friendly and genuine in nature. I didn’t have a single rude or unkind encounter during my stay. Of course, like anywhere you’re visiting, be aware of your surroundings.

WHERE TO STAY | I was able to stay in two different neighborhoods during the weekend. I started in the historic Alfama neighborhood my first night solo in the city. What a beautiful, charming area! Lots of winding, uphill streets with colorful doorways and tiled walls at every turn. I was hosted a the quaintest of Airbnb’s, Casa de Beco – can’t recommend this unit or location enough! Just perfection for 1-2 people. When I visit Lisbon again, this is definitely the area I’ll stay in. The historic area is however a bit pricier then just outside the city, in the more urban district. Since there were 3 of us, we opted for a larger apartment for the remainder of the weekend. Still a great location, especially if you’re looking to share a little on your stay. Walkable into town and close to all the main shopping areas.

And there you have it – 5 things to know before visiting Lisbon Portugal! If you have any other tips about the city, please do share in the comments below. I for one, definitely plan on re-visiting the area, and it’s great for others who might be reading this post to see additional tips from other travelers! Love my #EXPLOREbyK travel community – y’all have given me some of the best recommendations over the years!

photos by yours truly

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Lisbon, Portugal

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Hello
I see that this summer you went to my beloved city of Lisbon.
you visit the historic center of Baixa Chiado, but you left most of 90% of the city out.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you have to go back and expend at least one week to see the beauty of that city (the Se, the Castel, all the churches – did you know that before the earthquake in 1755, exist the same amount of churches/chapels in the city? about 365! : ) ) the food/sweets (Cod fish pasteis, fish in general, pasteis de Nata, pasteis de beer, Berlin ball), the historic places, and theatres (D. Maria II and Sao Carlos) and night places like Bairro Alto.
And a little bit farther Cascais, Sintra the beath… in Carcavelos have a cocktail and a hamburger/ salad on the sun.
In the mater of weather… this was the coolest summer that everyone remembers. : /
Next time…
Happy for you, for been there… I have to admit with a bit of jealous… but very happy for you!!

    Hi Anna – thank you so much for all your recommendations! It was definitely a super quick trip, and I most certainly plan to visit again and do more when I’m on my own schedule. It can be tough when you’re with a group 😉 This was just a quick snippet/review from a first timer’s visit, not a full guide. I’m sure there’s a TON more to see and do! xx -K

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