Lisbon Travel Guide: A day in Alfama

Lisbon, Portugal pamela basu

View from Portas do Sol

Hello my lovelies! As promised here is my travel post on Lisbon! The previous one was all about comfy travel clothes and how to make them look stylish, but this one is truly about the beautiful place and the experience we had as travellers :). What do you do when you are planning a trip to a certain destination? You do some research on the internet (of course). That’s exactly what we did but at the end no matter how much research you do it’s never enough :). So to make it little bit easier for you all to plan visit to Lisbon, I am writing about some of the must do things in this beautiful city and how to plan the day to make the best use of your time in this Lisbon travel guide. 3 days is ideal, but 2 days should be just as fine. You may have to skip a few of the items or rush through some of the others. I would also suggest setting aside another day for a trip to Sintra.

Lisbon Travel guide: Hotel and getting around

We were staying at the HF Fenix Urban hotel which is very centrally located, nothing too fancy but very nice and clean with a decent breakfast spread. Most importantly, it is very close to the metro. The main places to visit in Lisbon are mostly well reachable by a combination of metro, trams, funiculars, walking. You can also use the brightly coloured Tuktuks (the drivers are usually very knowledgeable and they also provide short tours) and taxis (quite cheap). We also used Uber once or twice.

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The iconic trams all around Lisbon!

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loved the tuk tuk rides, colourful and cute 🙂

What to see:

Lisbon is full of beautiful places to be explored and the three must visit areas are Alfama (oldest district, beautiful storybook alleyways and charming streets.), Chiado (popular area for shopping and nightlife.) and Belem (landmarks and museums). There are many historical monuments and museums all around the city. There is also an opportunity to do some great day trips like Sintra and Cascais.

This post is mainly about Alfama. But we started with a quick visit to the Parque Eduardo VII which was right next to our hotel and offered a fantastic view down the main spine of the city centre.

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This was beautiful as you can see straight down to the sea

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and me of course hehe!

lisbon portugal pamela basu

Arco da Rua Augusta- leads to the Praca Do Comercio

Alfama :

We spent the better part of the day in Alfama, the old town area. A ride on tram no 28 winding up the streets around Alfama is a must. But it gets very crowded during the day and is a paradise for pickpockets. So if you really want to enjoy the ride, either go very early (by early I mean around 7AM) or go late after sunset. We decided to do the latter.

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Alfama is beautiful. It’s best to start from Portas do Sol for some nice views over Alfama and the sea from top and then walk your way down through the narrow streets. Just wander around enjoying the charms of this beautiful place. You can always use a self guided tour but we opted to just wander around enjoying the beauty of this area without having to bother about looking at a map. After a while taking selfies and capturing some beautiful moments, it was time to try some good seafood. I am a seafood lover and coming to Lisbon and not having fish is like spending Christmas without turkey :). We had lunch in Alfama in a cute little restaurant called Malmequer Bemmerquer and the grilled fish did not disappoint us. We spent a bit more time in the area (shooting a lot of photos of course) and then walked out of Alfama towards the Lisbon Cathedral for a short tuktuk ride up the hill to Castle Sao George.

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Lovey dovey touristy photo 🙂

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lisbon portugal pamela basu

Loved the narrow streets in Alfama!

lisbon portugal pamela basu

Thanks to our tripod for a wonderful shot! The setting of this photo was hilarious. haha!

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lisbon portugal pamela basu alfama

Knock Knock!

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Inside the restaurant, waiting for the food to arrive!

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And here it comes! yummy yummy in my tummy!

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some more

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After lunch strolling through these streets.

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I want this please!

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Colour splash!

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Sunset from Castle Sao Jorge:

Castle Sao Jorge is a moorish castle which sits on top of the hill and although the castle itself is nice but nothing spectacular, the view from the top looking at the city below and the bridge across the sea is absolutely worth it. Definitely a must see item in your Lisbon itinerary, it’s the best place in Lisbon to watch the sunset and I would recommend going there just an hour before sunset. There is a very nice restaurant in the castle called Casa do Leao. Fantastic spot to enjoy some drinks as you watch the sun going down.

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Ah!The sunset view was amazing and of course the drinks!

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This was a candid shot!

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lisbon portugal pamela basu

Inside the castle!

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A great shot by hubby! love this one

Fado Music & Nightlife – A must:

As the sun went down and the lights were coming on, the city was looking more beautiful from the top.We walked down from the castle back to Portas do Sol and took tram 28 towards the Chiado area which comes alive after sunset. This was where we had decided to come for dinner at the O’Faia over some beautiful Fado Music. It is a very soulful rendition of life in Portugal by the singer accompanied just by a guitarist. The ambience, service and wine was top notch. However, the food itself did not hit the spot with us. Do note, these Fado restaurants can be very expensive (we could have afforded Michelin star dining in London at that price). So set your expectations clear, you are really paying for the singers and the atmosphere rather than the food. They had performances by four singers each singing for 15 minutes during which all service was stopped and the lights dimmed with 15-minute breaks during which service resumed. We were really impressed .

It was almost midnight by the time we finished and what a surprise we got when we came out. The street outside which was very quiet when we went in, was now bustling with people standing outside enjoying drinks at the numerous bars and restaurants on the streets. Unfortunately we could not stay any longer as we were going to Sintra the day after and had to wake up early. But you know where you go to enjoy nightlife in Lisbon.

lisbon portugal pamela basu

lisbon portugal pamela basu

lisbon portugal pamela basu fado music

enjoying food and fado music!

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inside it was beautiful!

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Cheers to Lisbon!

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I was extremely tired by the time our taxi brought us back to the hotel, but really excited to go to Sintra as I had seen some wonderful photos during our research. Do you want to see them too?

Wait for my next post! Till then……

Stay healthy, Stay fashionable 🙂

Lisbon Sunset- from Castle Sao Jorge


All photos are taken by my husband as always! 🙂 catch him on instagram- raj_sen_photography

Outfit details are all on WHAT I WORE IN PORTUGAL ( see the post)

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