It mustn’t come as a surprise to you that I really love Europe, and Portugal is without a doubt one of my favourite countries on the continent. So far I have written 46 different blogs about several destinations in Europe, which you can find here: European trips, and 5 about Portugal and Lisbon, as I have visited this country 5 times already in the past 3 years.
But why do I love this country so much? Because the people are super friendly, the food is so good and the combination of nature areas, quaint villages, interesting towns and the variety of architecture is unique! Portugal has many beautiful regions and cities to visit, but the historic value of Lisbon is unmistakable as it was founded by Caesar himself, and the city’s origins even outdate Rome’s!
Last month was my 3rd time in Lisbon and it was an extra special visit! As you could have read in my blog: Lisbon girlstrip, I hosted a 4 day trip and made a custom program and itinerary for a group of female entrepreneurs to explore the city together, while teaching them about Instagram and social media marketing, and staying in a stunning local apartment together.
Next to that we took pics all around Lisbon and Sintra together with 2 professional photographers!
Therefore in this blog I will share many pictures of this very fun and productive trip, along with a map of Lisbon and surroundings, to show you all my Lisbon must visits, which are in my opinion the most Instagrammable spots.
Zoom in and click on the letters to see the exact routes we took and sights we visited. And I will happily show them to you through some of my own and many of the photographers’ pics.
How to get there?
From Europe, and in my case Amsterdam, there are several direct flights to Lisbon, but I found the best offering, flight times and service at TAP Air Portugal. I booked my return ticket directly on their website FlyTAP.com for less than 300 euro, and through my Premium upgrade I was able to relax in their lounge with lunch, a huge offering of snacks and drinks included, which made the trip even more comfortable and relaxing.
After arriving at the end of the afternoon we checked into our comfortable and spacious apartment on the 4th floor of a residential building in the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon: Alfama. The birthplace of Fado music and the city itself, filled with bars, Fado houses and restaurants, perfect for a real Portuguese night out! Get a small impression through this gallery to see why this area is a must if you want to experience authentic Lisbon:
Lisbon’s most Instagrammable spots & must visits:
1. Miradouro & authentic neighborhood exploring
With its variety of architectural influences, beautiful facades and stunning Portuguese tiles called: azulejos, Lisbon is heaven for architecture- and tile lovers, like me! All of this is visible throughout the city, but especially in the old neighbourhoods. And spread out over the 7 hills of Lisbon there are many stunning viewpoints, called miradouros, which make Lisbon even more appealing!
On our second day we did a walking tour past Miradouro Santa Luzia, Da Graca, Sao Pedro de Alcantara, while exploring parts of Alfama, Bairro Alto and Chiado, as you can also see in the walking route of above map and through these pics:
Some of the miradouros have direct views upon George castle, and many have extensive parks next to it where you can relax and enjoy the views. In my opinion you still get the most spectacular and wide views however from the castle itself:
2. Castelo Sao Gorge
This Moorish stronghold, overlooking the historic center of Lisbon and the river Tagus, is nothing less than impressive. It's definitely worth the 8,50 euro admission fee to walk the castle walls and enjoy the variety of views all around the Medieval citadel.
But the streets just outside the castle are super quaint and photogenic as well:
3. Praca do Comércio & Rua Augusta Arch
When you walk down Bairro Alto to Chiado you pass by many beautiful sights and squares, of which the Commercio Square is still one of my favourites. It's surrounded by classy archways and restaurants with terraces overlooking the extensive square by the water.
The most stunning sight here is however the Rua Augusta Arch. This impressive work of art can not be missed, and is in my opinion one of the most beautiful structures in Europe. The viewpoint from the top of the arch should also be stunning and is certainly something I want to come back for.
4. Convento do Carmo
Through Instagram I found this amazing place located behind the Elevador de Santa Justa. These photogenic convent ruins with a museum showcasing the convent’s history are not to be missed!
5. Pink Street
Also in the same neighborhood in one of the most creative upcoming areas of Lisbon lies Rua Nova do Carvalho, better known on Instagram as Pink Street!
Of course as photography lovers we could not skip one of the most Instagrammable spots of the city, as this street has been hyped a lot on the platform lately. With its pink pavement and public art it's part of a recent urban project dedicated to turn this area from red light district into a popular nightlife area, filled with bars and other creative hubs.
6. Mosteiro Jerónimos Belém
On the 3rd day we took the tram from Commercio Square to a special neighbourhood just outside the city called Belém. The Torre de Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery here are definite must visits for their amazing history, stunning architecture, providing the perfect setting for all those Instagrammable shots.
7. Torre de Belém park picnic
But also the ancient Pastéis de Belém bakery with the famous Pastéis de Nata is obligatory, as it still produces the original pastries, said to be the best in the country!
And because the Torre De Belém is so stunning and has an extensive park in front of it, I decided to organize an extra Instagrammable picnic here, with many of these pastries and one of the best views in Belém.
8. Sintra day tour with True Locals
On our last day we visited a magical place 40 minutes from Lisbon, filled with Unesco Sites, palaces and castles, called Sintra. If you enjoy architecture, history and fairytales, a visit to this amazing town is a must! We did this with a local guide, Alex from: True Locals.
Because we only had a few days here and no car, we were happy to book this day trip, which included a private return transfer, a personal guide, snacks and palace entrances. This made it possible to visit 3 palaces and the town itself in just 1 day, finalized with an amazing sunset visit to the most Western Tip of Europe.
We saw the Pena National Palace, Quinta da Regaleira and Monserrate Palace, each with a stunning variety of architectural influences and extensive nature parks around it. Get an impression of the beauty of these palaces in this gallery, all so unique and Instagrammable that we could not stop taking pictures:
I will share more pics of Sintra and the palaces, with several other tips in a later blog, as I also did another private tour with True Locals to 2 palaces nearer to Lisbon.
9. Sunset picnic at Cabo da Roca
Just a 30 minutes’ drive from Sintra you will find a beautiful nature park with impressive cliffs bordering the Atlantic Ocean; Cabo da Roca, also known as the most Western Tip of the European Continent. We chose to go here at the end of the day to see the sun drop into the ocean, while enjoying a glass of wine during a small pre-dinner picnic together.
This truly made the perfect ending to a magical day, with an authentic Portuguese dinner at a local restaurant nearby, about which you can read more in my next Sintra blog.
Top 3 Rooftop restaurants & sky bars
As you might know I love rooftop bars & restaurants and Lisbon has many. As preparation for this trip I looked up all rooftop bars and hotspots, but it proved quite difficult to find restaurants with a nice view, as these were mostly bars.
I managed to find these 3 stunning rooftop venues where you can have lunch, dinner or appetizers with some of the best views over Lisbon, see for yourself:
Lost in - Esplanada rooftop restaurant
Bellalisa Elevador - Fullest’s rooftop restaurant
Sky Bar Lisboa - Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Hotel
The last one however only serves appetizers to match your cocktails, but is listed as number 1 Rooftop Bar in Lisbon in several articles. Located on the 9th floor of the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Hotel, it's part of one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, but also accessible for non-residents.
Where to stay?
After this 4,5 day trip, which was super nice, but also a lot of work to host, a stay at the 5 star Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa Hotel was the ultimate reward!
As a member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ and part of the Minor Hotels group it's one of the most prestigious hotels of Lisbon. Located in one of the classiest districts of the city, right on the Liberdade Avenue, also known as the Champs Elysees of Lisbon.
My friend Sonya and I were in definite need of some pampering and relaxing, and that's exactly what we got! During our 2 nights stay we were spoiled to the max, with extensive breakfasts, excellent seafood dining and wining at the classy Cervejaria Liberdade restaurant, bits and bites in the Executive Lounge, sunset cocktails and dancing at the Sky Bar every night.
And of course plenty of relaxing at the stunning pool area and bar, which provided a true oasis amidst the city, as you can see in below gallery.
I hope you will be able to experience all this yourself during your next visit to Lisbon. And of course follow the hotspots on my map to also find all the Instagrammable spots the Portuguese capital has to offer! Did you know these spots already, and if so which is your favourite, or do you have something to add?
Do let me know in the comments below, or find me on social media via the icons at the bottom of this page for more daily pics of Lisbon and surroundings.