The summer of 2018 was the hottest Lisbon had seen in years, a record high – 110 Fahrenheit (43 Celcius). My memories of Lisbon include sweating, roasting, and hiding in a shadowy and slightly cooler stone cathedral in order to escape the heat. My hostel was forced to purchase mobile AC units, as those don’t really already exist in residential European households anyway. I spent my time wandering from air-conditioned shop to shop, as there was really no way to escape the heat. While I think it was the hottest I had ever been in my life (a complete 180 from visiting the beautifully chilly and temperate city of Porto only 3 days before where I had to purchase jeans I was so cold), I still had a great time.
Since I don’t have enough photos to match everything I did, here is a short Top Ten Lisbon Bucket List.
1. Bar Crawl in Barrio Alto
A whole neighborhood famous for unique bars and nightclubs? Yep! There were large tavern-style places and tiny walk-up bars that hardly held six people. At the bottom of the hill is the famous pink street, which is a literal pink street, though there are always many tourists.
2. Visit Belem Tower
This was that 110-degree day. The tower is gorgeous (see the featured image above) and fully explorable.
3. Eat all the pastries you can find
There are so many to try. Bolo de Mel da Madeira (Madeira Honey Cake), Pastel de Belém, Pastel de Nata (Custard Tart), and Bola de Berlim – my absolute favorite.
4. Wander LxFactory District
LxFactory is an old industrial area renovated with lots of cool, unique shops, restaurants cafés and bars. Super trendy, fun, and almost under the 25 de Abril Bridge!
5. Explore Alfama
Alfama is a quaint and old neighborhood in the city known for its cobblestone streets and colored houses.
6. Bask in the view at the scenic point in the Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara
There are many viewpoints around the city, but this one was my favorite. It’s an incredibly hilly city, so every view is lovely.
7. Spend the afternoon reading in Livraria Bertrand
Bertrand is the oldest operating bookstore in the world, founded in 1732 in Lisbon, Portugal. So cool!
8. See the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The medieval convent was ruined during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake as the ceiling caved in, but most of the facade and pillars are still intact. It’s like a church with a direct window to the heavens. There is a small museum in the back as well.
9. Find a rooftop bar
With seven hills in the city, it’s impossible not to find a rooftop bar with a good view. I don’t remember the one I went to, but I do know it was an adventure finding the place. We wandered up an empty parking garage for a bit, found a secret door, and finally were rewarded with beautiful views over a twinkly city.
10. Drink delicious white or red sangria at an open market
Like – no more needs to be said.
Have you ever been to Lisbon? One day I hope to return, preferably in the fall with the cooler air.