24 Hours in Lisbon
One of the perks of Europe is that you can hop on a plane and in an hour and a half, sometimes even less, you’re in a different country with a different language and culture. Although I live in Barcelona which is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Portugal, I’m almost afraid to admit that I’ve only been there twice. The first time was five years ago in 2013, and the second time was last weekend. I was supposed to meet up with friends but if you follow me on instagram then you may have seen my IG story about how my “framily” trip accidentally turned into a solo trip. But hey, life happens and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Since I was suddenly free to do whatever I pleased, I thought I’d turn my short 24-hour trip into a blog post. Here’s the rundown of my 24 hours in this underrated and charming city: Lisbon.
Fábrica da Nata
Portugal is known for their pastries and the most legendary of them all is hands down: pastel de nata. Delicious puff pastries with creamy egg custard, perfectly crisp on the outside and nice and rich on the inside. Heaven. I’m too embarrassed to disclose how many of these beauties I actually devoured over the weekend, but you can get them all over the city. To get my fix I went to Fábrica da Nata, which I hear has some of the best. If I’m being honest, I could have gone to the famous Pasteis de Belem where they were created, but I was closer to Fábrica de Nata. I went here for breakfast but you can come for an afternoon boost from all the hills or stop by before heading home for the evening as they close at 11:00pm. The space is beautiful as well with signature Portuguese tiles and gorgeous chandeliers.
After I was finished stuffing my face with enough pasteis de nata to feed a small village, I decided to head to where I heard the Portuguese hip go to hang: LX Factory. A bit out of the way from the city center but only a short bus ride away, in Alcântara, LX Factory is decked out in beautiful street art. This old fabric factory turned creative space is filled with cute cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and independent boutiques, all tucked under the suspension bridge. While it’s not the most novel concept, it’s still cute nonetheless. Seeing as it’s winter and a bit cold and damp, the place seemed a little sleepy. Although, I tried to imagine what it would be like with the warm sun rays shining down and I gotta say...I can dig it. There’s a Flea market on Sundays, so if you’re into that kind of thing as much as I am, I would suggest coming on a Sunday.
Pictures and Manteigaria
Lisbon is incredibly picturesque. I mean really, she loves to show off with her adorable cobble streets and quaint pastel buildings. She’s always instagram ready. After LX Factory I got a bit carried away with taking pictures. So carried away that I skipped lunch and decided to walk around the city snapping pictures. Every two seconds seemed like a good photo op and I couldn’t stop clicking. After all the photo taking and all the walking I decided the best thing for me to do was to face my addiction head on and... get more pasteis de nata. Alright fine. At this point I’m no longer ashamed, judge me all you want. They’re just so good. Plus I wanted to grab a couple for some friends. I decided to head over to another place I heard had good ones: Manteigaria. They have a few locations spread out over the city. I had to wait in line but it went quickly. I can tell you, it was worth the wait.
Conserveira de Lisboa
At this point it was early evening and I was beginning to lose steam a little but I couldn’t call it a day until I went to this next stop: Conserveira de Lisboa. This is the famous shop that sells those cute colorful cans of fish. Tuna, sardines, mackerel, and more, in everything from spicy olive oil to tomato sauce. Their fish is top quality as well, used by some of Portugal’s best chefs. I just couldn’t leave Lisbon without grabbing a can or two. The shop has been there for ages, third generation, and as you walk in you can see why. Tucked inside the small space is floor to ceiling colorful cans and you’ll find locals and tourists alike deciphering what they’ll have. I ended up buying a couple of cans of sardines and tuna for myself and my mother. They’re delicious and also make great souvenirs for any fish lovers you may know!
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
My plan was to head to the market for lunch and treat myself to a nice Portuguese dinner in the evening, but clearly as pasteis de nata got the best of me and I skipped lunch to take pictures, I ended up at the Time Out Market for dinner. Markets are always nice when you’re solo traveling as there’s less pressure. Only problem is, there’s not another person there to grab seats for you or hold your space in line...but I managed. Mercado da Ribeira has been around since 1892, but when Time Out took on the initiative to revamp it in 2014, it has since then turned into a gastronomic hot spot in the city. This market brings some of Lisbon’s best culinary superstars and classic brands together, and with the varying price range, there’s loads of options.
So it was a jam packed 24 hours in Lisbon. There was still tons on my list that I didn't get to see just due to sheer exhaustion, but needless to say I will be visiting again soon. Thanks for having me Lisbon. Have you ever been to Lisbon? What's you're favorite part?