Lisbon city guide – discover gigs, parties and events:
Duolingo is a fantastic free app for learning languages. Just 5 minutes a day is all it takes to understand the basics before your travel. Click here to see their Portuguese course.
As a gluten-free traveller, I recommend using this handy Portuguese restaurant card by Coeliac Travel when querying gluten-free options on a menu. Click the image to visit their website.
Why you will love Lisbon
With the Iberian charm of Barcelona but on a Budapest scale (complete with similarly cute trams), Lisbon is perfectly sized for a weekend away or a stopover if you’re heading down to the Algarve. It has that great blend of preserved cultural charm while still feeling modern, which makes so many of the smaller European capitals so lovely to visit. And it’s warm! So bloody gorgeously warm! I suspect that’s why everyone looks so happy and laid back here.
Things to watch out for in Lisbon
Drug dealers: I spent my first night in Lisbon thinking I must look like a MASSIVE tripper because random men kept coming up in the street and asking if I wanted to buy coke or weed. Then I remembered that it isn’t a criminal offence to carry or use drugs here. This means people are selling it pretty openly everywhere you go, especially to young tourists. Be aware, it is still illegal – you just won’t go to jail
Falling on your ass: Lisbon has some beautifully paved streets and around the central Baixa/Chiado area they are especially vintage looking; white limestone polished to a shine by centuries of Portuguese shoes. Gorgeous, until it rains that is. The moment any moisture hits them, you will nearly end up on your ass so many times you’ll become convinced you are starring in your own hidden camera show. My trainers couldn’t handle them at all. Take shoes with a little grip if rain is forecast
Barrio Alto: this area is party central, so at 2am when you just want to keep drinking, head here. Street upon street of people standing outside drinking until sunrise. It’s great, but if you want to get any sleep on your trip, you might not want to stay in the middle of this area
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