I recently spent another few weeks in Portugal and it was packed with lots of outings. There’s a lot to do in and around Lisbon, it’s my favourite place to visit and I still feel like there’s more that I could do. So, like my last list of things to do in Lisbon, I’ve put together my favourite things that we did, that I think that you should do too!
Visit the Palace of Mafra
Definitely don’t theme your entire day on this, we were in and out within the space of an hour but it’s so worth going and checking it out. The palace is in Mafra, obviously and you can have a look around the entire palace as well as the church inside. There’s lots of little cafés around for you to grab some lunch when you’re done (or even beforehand), but it’s gorgeous.
Go to Sintra
Sintra has been on my Portugal bucket list for as long as I can remember, and when we finally got the chance to visit, I was not disappointed. We went to the gardens that pretty much every tourist board suggests to you and it was a lot of fun, and surprisingly there weren’t many tourists around that I noticed. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking photos, but I would definitely like to go again as we didn’t get to see everything.
Visit the Palácio da Pena at night
This is only open during August and I’m not sure if it happens yearly, but if it does and you’re visiting Lisbon in August, there’s a castle in Sintra that opens during the night, we went there on a Thursday (it’s actually exclusively a Thursday night event), and it was incredible – very foggy and misty, but incredible. We didn’t realise how far away we had parked though so we had a massive uphill walk to the castle gates, which pretty much tired us out before we’d even gotten there! We were also told by a passing taxi that parking would be more than likely difficult anyway nearer to the castle – to our horror there was loads of free spaces available right outside the gate. Once we were inside the castle though it was incredible, we started off by grabbing a snack and a drink in the café cause hungry and why not? Then proceeded to explore the beautiful architecture and fascinating rooms.
Walking back to the car was very scary because a certain man (Pedro) spent the entire 15 min walk throwing out what-ifs and reminding me that it was so dark we couldn’t see if anyone was around! Funny to look back on, but at the time I was being pretty dramatic about it. I definitely recommend visiting the castle as a top priority, you can catch a bus up there or rent a car and drive yourself, and another mini-bus collects you at the bottom of the castle grounds to save you the leg work, and even picks you up again. This was really convenient since we were pretty much done with up-hill walking.
Take the time to visit Óbidos
Óbidos is a city surrounded by castle walls, it has a very medieval vibe to it, the narrow streets are covered in cobbled stone and surrounded by quaint houses and bars. The castle once guarded the region, and is now a hidden gem for tourists and citizens alike (not so much of a hidden gem for citizens though), but it was probably my favourite day out of the entire trip this time. We sat in a really interesting medieval bar and drank local liquor, the staff service was amazing and I could’ve honestly stayed in there longer. You’re allowed to walk along the walls, this is something that I definitely think you should do, but I was boiling hot and really didn’t fancy getting heat stroke so we opted to just sit around, watch street musicians, have a drink and soak in the atmosphere. You can leave Óbidos and have a wander around the equally beautiful streets surrounding the castle walls, something we didn’t do but driving through it did make me want to come back and have a good look at what is outside of the castle walls.
Drive down the coast
I think my favourite thing about Portugal is how beautiful it is, whenever we were driving around whether it be in streets or on the highway, I felt captivated and sucked into the city. My first full-day there we did a long drive to Cascais which had me see all kinds of things from Pumpkin Patches to the beach. We also stopped off at a food court and had a really tasty pizza (too bad I can’t remember the name of where we ate it!) and then carried on with our drive into Cascais.
- Have afternoon tea in Ladurèe Paris
- Visit the most West point in Continental Europe
- Get a tattoo! (I did).
- Go to Cascais
- Have a beach day!