Portugal is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated holiday destinations in Europe. It has great food, weather, gorgeous natural beaches and lots of history. It’s also super easy to drive around as the highways are impeccable and it’s kid friendly. Plus – they have amazing wine and Port! We went for a week and visited Lisbon and the Alentejo region, and will definitely be going back to relax in picturesque Algarve as well as spend time in Porto and the incredible Douro wine region, both situated in the northern part of the country.
Lisbon is a beautiful little city with interesting tiled buildings and a slew of amazing restaurants, so you definitely should spend a couple of days here while in Portugal.
We rented an non-descript Airbnb but stayed one night at the Meemo Alfama and loved it. Situated in the historic Alfama part of the city, the Meemo has a beautiful terrace with killer views, a rooftop pool, comfortable rooms, a cool vibe and good food.
- Cantino Do Avillez: So good we went twice
- A Cevicheria: Amazing seafood and ceviche. Looooong lines, so go early and put your name down then head off for a drink. Stay there for drinks or head to Chafariz do Vinho – Enoteca. It’s worth the wait!
- Café Lisboa: Great food and cute outdoor area to eat
- Taberna da Rua das Flores: Small, adorable and excellent food. You will have to wait so again, go early and put your name down.
- Cervejaria Ramiro: An institution in the city. Anthony Bourdain recommends it for their seafood. Cheap with long lines, so go early to put your name down.
- Bonjardim for that fast Portuguese-style chicken and fries (lunch)
- Café tati: Boho breakfast place
- Park: You will find all of the Millennials at this cool rooftop bar. Offering stunning sunset views, great cocktails and good music, it’s a must.
- Bairo Alto Hotel for the rooftop views of the water
- Hotel do Chiado: Great rooftop views of Alfama
Other recommendations from friends:
- Wine lover
- The Old Pharmacy
- BA Wine Bar
- Pastais de Belem: Literally busloads of people will be there. You can grab a seat (maybe) inside but the takeaway line goes pretty fast so grab them to go and enjoy in the park across the street.
- Fabrica de Nata: In a much better location than Pastais de Belem, I found these natas just as good and the bakery is lovely.
Other eating and drinking recommendations from friends:
- Taberna Tosca
- Restaurante Leopold
- Restaurant Cantinho Do Bem Estar
- Solar dos Presuntos: Classic Portuguese
- Timeout Mercado: old market with new food stalls
- Toma La Da Ca: really good local restaurant, prepare to queue
- Landau Chiado for chocolate cake
- São Jorge Castle
- Jeronimos Monastery and Tour de Belem
- Sao Domingo Square: very cool tiled square in the center of town
We took the train and spent the day in Sintra. It’s such a funky little place! It has a bunch of very weird but awesome castles. I felt like we were in an episode of Scooby Doo. Must see: Quinta da Regaleira and look for the well that you can descend. Pena Palace for its colourful design and panoramic views.
I would consider visiting Cascais, looks like a cute little town, and Nazarre for the huge waves.
L’and Vineyards: Gorgeous luxury vineyard for a night or two! Can also just stop by for the Michelin starred restaurant and wine tasting.
Uvo de Monte (Blueberry Farm): Adorable old farm converted into a guest house close to the beach.
Prai da Aberta Nova, the beach beside Blueberry Farm, is perfect and not overcrowded. You can also head to Prai do Pego beach and have lunch or dinner at Restaurante Sal – it’s overpriced but the sunsets are epic.
We stopped for natas and coffee in Evora on our way back to Lisbon – it’s cute but I wouldn’t spend much time there.