Living It Up In Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal is one of the best cities in Europe and yet most people tend to forget about it. Portugal has been in the news recently because their soccer team won Euro 2016. But Lisbon is much more than just soccer. It is gorgeous, historic and really, really fun. Here are a few things to do in Lisbon that will ensure you have an excellent time!

SIDECAR TOUR

How many people have ever actually been on a sidecar tour? Very few I’d imagine. However, after my sidecar tour in Lisbon, I can think of no better way to see a city and I highly recommend it!

The vintage sidecar picked us up. We posed for a few pictures and then we were off to see Lisbon. The best thing about the tour wasn’t just the fact that it was cool being in a sidecar and everyone stared at you as you went by taking photos. It was that you could fit in small spaces and evade traffic and go down alleys you wouldn’t normally be able to drive down.

The driver was very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. He knew all the best spots to go for sightseeing, photography and he gave us options of what we wanted to see and stop at. Plus the tour was private so we didn’t have to deal with anyone else. It was perfect.

The biggest difference between a sidecar tour and a private car or bus is that you don’t get tired or feel faint getting in and out of the car all the time, coming back to the air conditioning and then going back and forth. In the sidecar, you’re always awake and aware because you’re in the traffic and the wind is blowing in your face. You feel alive and it’s really fun.

We saw more in four hours on the sidecar tour than we could’ve seen in a week touring around Lisbon ourselves or with one of the bus tours or even a private car. It was perfect!

Lisbon is also a great walking city. Walking is a great way to get acclimated to the city and its nuances. Taking a sidecar tour will help you orientate yourself and make walking all the better. Enjoy!

RESTAURANTS

I ate at several restaurants in Lisbon during my time in the Portuguese capital. My favorite was Minibar, a trendy tapas-style place. It had a cool décor and excellent food. The inventive tapas-style dishes and communal atmosphere was a lot of fun and easy to enjoy.

Another place I really liked was Sea Me. It was a more traditional but very trendy place specializing in seafood and sushi. Sushi is becoming very popular in Lisbon and Sea Me had some pretty good sushi although my favorite dish was my main course, cod filet. 

DAYTRIPS

I arranged a private car to drive us to Sintra and Cascais along with a stop at Cabo Da Roca and Estoril as well. This was an excellent way to spend a day and no trip to Lisbon is complete without getting to see these places.

Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s only 30 minutes from Lisbon but has a completely different weather system up in the mountains and is often foggy. The historic center is cool but what really makes it are all the palaces and castles above the town.

The best is certainly Pena Palace. Just looking at and walking around the palace gives you goose bumps. It rivals any of the great castles or palaces in Europe in my opinion. I know Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany was the inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom but Pena Palace looks like something out of Disney World! It is a must for anyone visiting Lisbon and certainly Sintra.

Cascais is a beach area with picturesque beaches, cliffs and a cool little center of town. The best views are on the highway in if you come from Sintra and there are plenty of places to stop to take pictures.

The town of Cascais is cute with a lot going on. Many people live in Cascais and work in Lisbon. It’s also popular as a second home destination for foreigners. The beach in town is small and crowded but very much European.

Estoril, the next town down from Cascais is much the same albeit a little ritzier. It is probably most famous for its casino that was the original inspiration for Ian Fleming to write Casino Royale, the original James Bond book.

Finally, Cabo Da Roca, which is the westernmost point on the European continent. It is a beautiful place with great views and a cool sign for photos. It’s a great place to take some photos. Just watch out for the wind if you wear a hat and bring a sweatshirt because it can get pretty chilly with the wind.

Azamara has ten upcoming cruises calling on Lisbon including:

Lee Abbamonte

Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world (a total of 318) and a monthly guest blogger. Lee is a fan of Azamara's Destination Immersion, and has cruised with us through the Norwegian Fjords, Asia, the Mediterranean, and more.

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