The big beach
Lisbon’s biggest stretch of beach – Praia de Carcavelos – is just a 30-minute drive away from the city centre. Its cracker-coloured sands are backed up by a smattering of bars and restaurants, and there are surf schools dotted along the front, too.
The surfer’s beach
Watersports fans make a beeline for Praia do Guincho, due to its big waves and high winds that are primed for surfing. It’s a 750 metre stretch of sand here, meaning plenty of wriggle room for sunseekers. The drive from Lisbon only takes around 40 minutes, so it’s within easy daytripping distance.
The laidback beach
Nova Praia’s just a 25-minute drive south of Lisbon, across the famous Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The caramel-coloured sands here are ideal for a sunbathing session, and it’s relatively untouched by the masses, so rarely gets too crowded.
The Mercado de Santa Clara is Lisbon’s oldest market, dating way back to 1272. It takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and sells everything from antiques to handicrafts, as well as azulejos – decorative ceramic tiles, which you’ll find on buildings across the city.
Rua Augusta’s the place to go for familiar high street names. This pedestrianised street links the Praca do Comercio on the waterfront with two of the city’s main squares. Along with the shops and restaurants that line it, there are street performers and artists, too.
Avenida da Liberdade is the city’s main avenue, and it’s modelled on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. It runs for about a mile, and every designer label worth their salt has a presence along here, including the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
For a relatively chilled affair, the city’s Fado clubs are a great place to watch some live music over a couple of glasses of wine. Fado’s a traditional type of Portuguese music with a melancholic theme, and live performances take place in venues across the city. There are a few spots in the Bairro Alto district, close to the city centre.
Lisbon’s liveliest nightlife can be found on the waterfront at Santo Amaro Docks. A whole string of huge warehouses here have been converted into bars, clubs and restaurants, which stay open ‘til the small hours.
Tascas are a traditional type of Portuguese restaurant, usually family-run, and typically found in old neighbourhoods like Alfama. The focus is on hearty home-cooked portions, with ever-changing menus.
Two beers take centre stage in Portugal – Super Bock and Sagres. The former tends to be more popular in the north, but it’s the latter that reigns supreme in the capital.
These egg custard tarts are a Portuguese speciality, which appear in bakery windows all over the capital. The filling’s encased by soft golden puff pastry with a dusting of cinnamon on top. They’re best tried straight out of the oven.
This simple street snack’s found in cafes and food trucks around the city. It consists of thin slices of pork marinated in white wine and garlic, then fried and served in a crusty roll.
Sardines are big business here. Lots of restaurants and street stalls sell them freshly grilled. If you’re looking to take some home, there are even shops that sell nothing but tinned versions.
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