Lisbon, Portugal Travel Guide: 4 Days Exploring the Capital

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Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

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Lisbon was one of my favorite travel destinations of 2019. Not only does the city have beautiful architecture, but it also offers fantastic food and great nightlife. During my four-day visit, I stayed on R. de São Miguel, east of Baixo de Lisboa. Every day, I ate two Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard pie) for breakfast and focused on a different part of the tight-packed city, exploring the Roman, Gothic and Baroque-style churches and side streets on the hilly landscape.


This is a view of Lisbon from the top of Park Rooftop Bar. Those who are from San Francisco will find Lisbon’s 25 de Abril Bridge eerily similar to the Golden Gate Bridge – and there’s a reason for that! Both bridges were constructed by the same company: American Bridge. The Golden Gate is 2,732 meters long and the 25 de Abril Bridge is slightly shorter at 2,277 meters long. Lisbon also has a striking similarity to San Francisco due to its steep hills, street and cable cars, west-coast location, and unique street art.


  • Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market)

  • Park Rooftop Bar

  • Manteigaria

  • Prado

  • Bota Sal

  • Tapisco

  • Cantina Lx

  • Mez Cais Lx

  • A Praça


  • Belem Tower

  • Jerónimos Monastery

  • Praça do Comércio

  • Rossio

  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos

  • Alfama District – “Old Town”

  • Bairro Alto

  • Castelo de S. Jorge

  • The Pena Palace (located in Sintra)

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Located in the Belem district of western Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery is covered in intricate design details. Today, the monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Age of Discovery, the monastery was viewed as a symbol of Portugal’s power. King Manuel I constructed the site in 1502 to commemorate the voyage of Vasco Da Gama, the first European to reach India by sea.


The photo to the right captures the Praça do Comércio, one of Lisbon’s largest plazas. The southern end of the plaza faces the Tagus River. Before the earthquake of 1755, a Royal Palace used to exist in the same place as the square. King Jose I reconstructed the space to represent Lisbon’s new era of prosperity.


Beautiful view of the city from the Miradouro do Recolhimento – if you look in distance, you can see the Church of São Vicente de Fora, as well as the National Pantheon. If you go to this scenic spot, check out the Castelo de S. Jorge and the Arco do Castelo. The hilltop Moorish castle was constructed in the 11th century and contains palace ruins and an archaeological museum.



Situated between downtown and Belém, Alcântara was one of my favorite districts in Lisbon. The area contains “LX Factory,” a renovated fabric factory complex that contains a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Although the industrial factories were abandoned, the district was renovated in 2008 to reflect Lisbon’s younger generation. A few great restaurants in the area include Cantina Lx, Mez Cais Lx, and A Praça. If you have time to wander around, the area also contains a lot of art spaces, vintage cafés, and craft shops.




You won’t be disappointed by the food in Lisbon–the city offers a bit of everything. The top five dishes to try are bacalhau à bras (pan-fried codfish with potatoes), lulas recheadas à lisbonense (stuffed squid), bifana sandwhich (sautéed pork in a roll), and pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) for dessert. While seafood – octopus, cod, sardines – is incredibly popular in Lisbon, the city also has a lot of vegetarian-friendly options (avocado toast, eggs, fresh sandwiches, delicious salads) or options for meat-lovers (pork and chicken-based dishes).


After exploring the city for first two days, my group decided to take a shuttle bus to Sintra to see the Pena Palace. Located 45 minutes outside of Lisbon, the Pena Palace was constructed in the 19th century. King Ferdinand II acquired the Hieronymite monastery of “Our Lady of Pena” and transformed the property into a Romanticism-style castle. The castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and a part of the Network of European Royal Residences.




The Cabo De Roca is the westernmost point of Continental Europe. Luís de Camões, a Portuguese poet, once called it the place “where the land ends and the sea begins.” Cabo De Roca’s scenery reminded me a lot of Monterey in California. The jagged cliffs, blue water, and cold breeze were all-too-familiar.


Lisbon is a great city to visit for one or two weeks. It’s one of my all-time favorite travel destinations! If you’ve visited this city before, what is your favorite site to see or place to eat? Let me know in the comments below!

XO, Kim


FOLLOW ME ON IG: @KimChwalek




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