Hey everyone! It’s been a little while but I am back from our amazing trip to Portugal and Spain and I can’t wait to tell you about all the things to do in Lisbon and the amazing vegetarian/vegan food in Lisbon we discovered. Today I will start with a travel guide to Lisbon, Portugal where I will walk you through what our favourite things to do in Lisbon along with a some amazing Lisbon vegetarian vegan food.
We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal around 1 pm and instead of heading straight to our airbnb, we decided to just start the day and discover Lisbon in our Peugeot rental car! I didn’t want to do too much since we had an overnight flight and probably only got a couple hours of sleep. So, we went to Belem! There are 2 major must sees and things to do in Lisbon (specifically Belem):
Belem Tower: is a fort that was built to guard Lisbon from raiders and it has a a Moorish style that makes it beautiful! There is a fee to enter the actual tower (6 euro) and is free on Sundays. Also, if you want to visit Jeronimos Monastery, you can get the combined ticket for the tower and the Monastery for 12 euro. We actually just took pictures from the outside and read about its history from signs that were surrounding it. Also, if you drive here, there is free parking near the museum, the one right beside the Belem Tower (I believe it is called Museu do Combatente).
Another thing to note is that the street that the Belem Tower is on is a very touristy street! There are a lot of people walking around, lots of food carts and lots of souvenir shops. A couple of other touristy attractions are also on this street. So, just park your car and walk around until you reach Jeronimos Monastery.
Jeronimos Monastery: This monastery is the most highly decorated church in Portugal and is BEAUTIFUL! It is also where the explorer, Vasco da Gama spent his last night before his travel to the Far East. We actually wanted to go inside and check out the monastery, but this place is VERY BUSY! It is surrounded by tour buses and tons of people. I would definitely buy tickets in advance if you want to go inside. Otherwise, it is very impressive from the outside as well and I’m sure you will get a lot of amazing pictures.
One thing we learned is that Lisbon is the world leader in cork production so we saw a lot of things made of cork. In fact, there were souvenir shops where every product in the shop was made of cork. I bought a couple of post cards made of cork to send to my family.
This was the cutest food truck I saw the entire trip!
That was all we did on our first day, along with walk around the streets and get some food from the food trucks. The Weeel food truck sells vegetarian (eggless) frozen yogurt and it was a nice healthy treat for the super hot day (3.20 euro for a small size). Also, Weeel is pretty popular in Lisbon, I saw multiple trucks all around Lisbon, more so in the touristy areas.
Another thing to note about Lisbon is that it is beautiful! You will never run out of things to take pictures of. My favorite subject were the pretty buildings and doors with the tiny cars all around.
After our day in Belem, we headed over to our airbnb and tried to find a vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurant but had a difficult time as not many people spoke English in that area. After some frustration, we went to the grocery store and bought some tortillas, cream cheese and vegetables and made some wraps with some chips and coconut yogurt on the side. Gursheel said he never had anything like that wrap before and requested we make it more often. But don’t worry, day 2 was much better in terms of Lisbon vegetarian vegan food and even more excited in terms of things to do in Lisbon.
The next day was our full day in Lisbon and we spent it all in downtown Lisbon. There are so many things to do in Lisbon and downtown Lisbon is AMAZING! I fell in love with the beautiful pastel colored buildings with the red roofs, the steep streets and the yellow colored Trams! Our airbnb was outside of downtown Lisbon, so we took the subway to Rossio Station. The transit system was super easy to use and the cost of the ticket (each way) was 1.80 euro.
Rossio Square: Right across the street from Rossio Station is this square that has been the main square since the Middle Ages. Apparently it was the sight of bullfights and executions back in the day. To me it was just this large square with lots of shops and restaurants surrounding it.
Rua Augusta Arch: From Rossio Station, we walked to Rua Augusta Arch first, which was built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction. One thing to note about Lisbon is that there was a major earthquake in 1755 and the ENTIRE city was rebuilt!
Praca do Comercio: Right across the Arch is this giant square overlooking the Tagus river. Again, this is just a giant square with beautiful views all around and just a nice place to walk around and take pictures.
One thing Gursheel wanted to see was Pink Street. I literally just typed in Pink Street in Google Maps and it was a 10 min walk from Rua Augusta Arch. It’s just a street that is painted pink. Nothing too special, but I did see a bunch of people having a photo shoot there, so we decided to join in as well 😛
Next, we walked over to Mercado do Ribeira, a market place that has a ton of amazing food along with Lisbon vegetarian vegan food as well. It was a bit early, but we were hungry so got some vegetarian Pesto Pizza and it was delicious. Gursheel said it was the best pesto pizza he’s had so that’s saying something.
Next, we walked to an area of Lisbon called Alfama, which is the oldest district of Lisbon. This area was definitely a maze as we navigated through the narrow and steep streets to get to some of the places we wanted to see, the first being Miradouro das Portas do Sol, a view point where you can appreciate the beautiful red buildings of Lisbon. Just note that there are a LOT of people here so make sure to keep your bags in sight! It’s definitely one of the popular things to do in Lisbon.
It was also a great place to get a nice shot of this beautiful Church.
One of the major sights and things to do in Lisbon is the Sao Jorge Castle which overlooks the city and the River Tagus. However, the fee to enter it is 8.50 euro per adult and we were told it’s not worth the price since you can see exactly the same thing from Miradouro das Portas do Sol viewpoint. We walked to the Castle, saw the long lines, and also decided it wasn’t worth standing in the heat to just get the same views.
We also stopped by at Primo Basilico to grab some vegan pizza. Two slices (8 pieces in total) and 2 drinks cost us 6 euro and I thoroughly enjoyed the vegan pizza here.
As we headed back towards Rossio Station, we stopped to take a bunch of photos of the beautiful yellow Trams of Lisbon.
We wanted to try a bunch of vegan restaurants for dinner, but one thing to know about Europe is that a LOT of restaurants only open from 8:30 pm! It was 6 pm for us and we were starving, so there was a Subway that was open where we grabbed a bite.
After our two days in Lisbon, we were off to the Algarve, but we did come back for one more night in Lisbon but this airbnb was near Parque das Nações. This area is also located right by the river Tagus and the majority of it is made up of green spaces. It is also the location of the largest Aquarium in Europe and the Expo that happened in 1998. We took a cable car that takes you from the main Expo building to the Aquarium and goes over the River Tagus with amazing views of the city and the Vasco de Gama Bridge.
We didn’t take many pictures this day as we wanted to relax but it was definitely a unique area of Lisbon and glad we were able to experience it. There was plenty of Lisbon vegetarian vegan food here as well, but again, due to almost all restaurants opening at 8:30 pm, we didn’t get to try any! Next time! 😛
One thing I did during this trip was write down exactly how much we spent and on what. We actually had a budget for our entire trip and we were able to keep the total cost of the trip under $2400 Cad! This includes flight, accommodation, food, car rental and gas, entertainment, shopping and the Sim Card for 10 days.So the price break down for our 3 days in Lisbon, not including the airbnbs we stayed in is the following:
Price Break Down (3 days in Lisbon):
Food: 57.14 Euro
Gas: 40.62 euro (to fill up our rental car)
Transit: 7.40 euro
Entertainment: 7.90 euro (cable car tickets)
Shopping: 7.40 euro
Total: 120.46 euro
I hope you enjoyed all the things to do in Lisbon. Up next: Day 3 in Sintra, Portugal!