While the sun's come out plenty this month in the UK, and so far the conditions have been perfect for Tens, we've still not been blessed with that spring heat. Yearning for that summer heat, our Iain took a trip to a new city with his best pal & a camera. If you've been to Lisbon before you'll know of its stunning architecture, colours, food & warmth.
Iain got so excited about it he's written us his guide. If you're needing any more tips, just slide into our DMs, amigos!
Okay, the first tip is to get electric scooters EVERYWHERE (well, not up the hilly parts). Most of them are around €0.15 per minute with around a €1 starting fee. They go up to 26km/h and are SO much fun. You just pick them up from the side of the street and leave them wherever you want! If you take them along the water from Praça Comercio you'll pass some lovely sights, the path gets bumpy at times though. We never actually used the metro, just walked around in the sun and only got the train out to further away places.
For a half-day trip, I'd highly recommend going to see Sintra and the vibrant castles there. It's a bit of a trek to walk up there (around 45 minutes uphill), but you can always get a Tuk Tuk up & down! The castle is STUNNING and set in a forest park. Very 'Instagrammable' and the views are class. I wouldn't go on a Saturday though, and I guess try get there early as it was super busy. The return train ticket is €5 and takes 40minutes.
Another great half-day trip idea if you get a super sunny day is Cascais. It's a GORGEOUS small beach town with even smaller windier tiled streets. Great wee outdoor seating spots for food & sangria, a really nice chilled beach too. If you go, you must walk up to the fort and check out the lighthouse, it's gorgeous. This is also €5 return but takes a bit longer, around an hour each way. On the way back, it's worth checking out the Champalimaud Foundation. Honestly one of the most impressive examples of architecture I've seen in my life, look it up. It was mind-blowing. We went near sunset when the golden light was stretched over it which was super dramatic. You can go on the way there too of course, just get off the train at Alges, then it's a 10 minute walk.
Along that same train line as above you've got the MAAT museum. This is in two parts, there's the old thermal power station and then the new Amanda Levete building which is extremely cool. It's only €9 to visit both buildings (or a fiver each) so might as well go see both if you're there. Very impressed.
Back towards the city you've got LX factory which is a bustling spot. A lot of vintage shops and street art to check out. What's cool about it is that it's under the main bridge so the surroundings are sick. We ended up sitting for hours under the bridge drinking margaritas. Ideal.
One of my favourite things about Lisbon was watching the old trams rattle past. We didn't actually get on one, but they're all over the old town area, and super cute. There's also a funicular you can get from the centre which has the same vibe - again, didn't go up but would have done if we had an extra day.
Drinks-wise, Foxtrot is a great quirky cocktail bar that's a bit further out of the main Barrio Alto but worth it. If you time it right, I'd recommend going to Park Bar for sunset, that was cool. It's a bit tricky to get to as it's literally on the roof of a multi-storey car park, but once you work that out you're golden. Went to this great wee jazz bar too called Palheta, so much fun and the crowd spills out onto the street. Such a warm vibe. If you know your bars and have good judgement, you'll find what you're looking for on most corners.
The food in Lisbon is to die for. A top spot for us was Farès, mediterranean Ottolenghi vibes and a fairly new restaurant but it was simply perfect. Great if you're into that taste, and the staff are extremely friendly. Amazing tunes, really nice cocktails. Make sure you try the artichokes if you're into that. The owners also own this cafe called Janis which is a perfect Parisian-style brunch spot. Another good brunch spot was Juicy Lisboa, nothing out of this world, just really good healthy food & juices. If you're not into your meat, then check out AO26 (Vegan Food Project). The burgers and basics looked good, but I had this imitation scored scallop dish with shimeji mushrooms, with vegan caviar, blue spirulina foam and all sorts of goodness and it was probably the best thing I've ever eaten in my life. Great organic wine there though.
We also went to this taqueria called Pistola y Corazon which was amazing. Really creative cocktail menu, & fantaastic tacos, however there's usually a bit of a wait. Try to get there for like 6:45pm (opens at 7) to put your name down. If there's 20 odd people outside you'll probably be waiting half an hour. You can also order drinks for waiting outside and they'll give you tortilla chips.
And last but not least, for those famous custard tarts, we kept going back to the same place. Just near Praça da Figueira called Confeteria Nacional - beautiful interior. And if you're vegan, don't fear! We got our vegan fix from Zarzuela.
If you're planning on going, DM us on Instagram with any questions.
Photos by @yoiain & @steffiholtz