Lisbon has become an extremely popular destination within the last few years. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WWTC), it’s one of the top five most visited in 2017.
With a long history that dates back 3000 years, Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in western Europe. Inhibited and ruled by a variety of people and groups, the area is full of influences from each era. And with booming restaurants, bars and cafes continuously popping up in every corner, along with excellent museums and beautiful scenery, Lisbon is one destination that is perfect for a long layover. So for those of you who have some time to spend around the city, here are a few of our top pics to give you a good sense of what Lisbon is all about.
Are you a book lover? Then you must stop by Bertrand Chiado, the oldest bookstore in the world.
Opened in 1732, Bertrand Chiado is located on the road Rua Garrett in the neighborhood Chiado (hence the name). Once inside, you’ll notice the various rooms throughout where you can grab a book and take some time to sit and read. The store was also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest bookstore on Earth.
Bertrand is now a chain and has set up shop around Portugal. Those shops are called Bertrand Bookstore, so make sure you go to the original one!
Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira
Lisbon is full of unique areas, including the Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira, which is in the Benfica neighborhood. Constructed in 1640, the palace is designed with gorgeous tiles and oil paintings, a marvelous site in the northern part of the city.
If you happen to go inside, check out the Room of the Battles, which has images of the Portuguese Restoration War, as well as the Dining Room, featuring paintings of Portuguese nobles.
Outside of the palace is one of the oldest parts of the entire construction, the chapel, built in the 16th century. We recommend going inside and gazing at the ceiling, where you’ll find it decorated with broken glass and seashells—it’s quite a site!
Feira da Ladra
Need to pick up a few gifts before you leave? Make your way to Feira da Ladra (meaning Thieves’ Market), an outdoor flea market full of vendors selling a variety of unique items. From antiques and ceramics to clothes and general souvenirs, it’s the perfect place for those who love to collect eclectic things.
The flea market is open only on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
Dois Corvos Brewery
If beer is your choice of drink, don’t miss out on a few glasses at Dios Corvos Brewery. It’s a bit hard to find, but if you see a grey door with a crow on it, then you’ve reached the right place.
Inside Dios Corvos Brewery is fun and interesting due to the way it’s built. Because it’s both a brewery and a tap room, you can enjoy beer samples while observing the brewers make beer. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon break from sightseeing. And if you’re here during the summer, you can cool down with a good glass of IPA while munching on a few snacks too.
In order to get a great taste of Portuguese cooking, Cabacas is a restaurant offering some of the best-cooked meats in town. Plus it’s the type of restaurant where meat is cooked on hot stones, by you!
Cabacas is very popular, so try to come around 6pm to get a seat—anytime after 8pm you’ll find yourself waiting in line. The atmosphere is terrific and the service is great too. Cabacas is one of those places that is a must try at least once!
Overall, Lisbon is full of wonderful hidden gems that are great to check out. Whether you’re here for a long layover or even for a few days, the nation’s capital has something for everyone.
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