If you are a travel lover, you have probably noticed that Portugal is a super hot destination right now. It’s almost impossible to scroll through your Insta feed without seeing a photo of the country’s stunning architecture, or the amazing food scene. Aside from the obvious beauty, the people are warm and welcoming, and it is extremely affordable. If we haven’t sold you yet, surely our top picks from our recent girl’s trip to Lisbon and Porto will.
Take in the scenery
Portugal is every babe’s Instagram dream come true. From the elaborately painted tile work adorning buildings and walkways throughout the country, the embracing of public art and its old world charm, Portugal’s beauty is unparalleled.
Listen to traditional fado music
The soulful Portugese music originated in the streets of Lisbon’s Alfama neighborhood. After almost 30 hours of traveling, grabbing a table at Mascote Da Atalaia was just what we needed to kick off our first night in Lisbon. The cozy atmosphere had inexpensive wine, delicious food & live fado practically at your table.
Fall in love with the Portugese food scene
The food (& beverage) scene in Portugal is absolutely unbelievable. Located on the coast of the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that the local seafood is amazing. Breads, meats, artisan cheeses and so much more add to the vibrant foodie paradise.
Don’t miss Chef Kiko Martin’s A Cevicheria for some of the best seafood you will ever have (and we are New Orleans girls ;)). They don’t take reservations, and there may be quite a long wait, but it’s so worth it. Get there an hour or two before you are ready to dine, and grab a drink at Pub Lisboeta while you wait.
The Time Out market, a gourmet food hall concept in Lisbon, has so much delicious food to choose from, you could seriously hang there all day. Not to mention, there are several bars inside, and lots of great souvenirs you can pick up to bring back home like small cheese tarts with cinnamon from Sintra, and really great Portugese canned fish.
Don’t forget to have a pasteis de nata and coffee while there. The signature Portugese pastry is a flaky crust filled with a cinnamon flavored custard. Topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon, it’s like the Portugese version of a beignet!
Dine with the locals at Restaurante Cabaças where you cook your steak to your liking on a hot stone. You won’t find as tasty a piece of meat at home at this price tag. The drinks are also so cheap so you’ll have lots of fun while you’re at it. Just be careful not to burn your steak, or yourself 😉
Famed Portuguese chef, José Avillez, combined four restaurant concepts in one at Bairro do Avillez . We are going to just go ahead and admit, we spent a lot of time here! There was so much to see, and so much good food to be eaten. The massive space, is home to a gourmet deli, a Taberna, a menu accompanied by a cabaret show, and Peruvian inspired brainchild of Avillez and his good friend Diego Munoz, Cantina Peruana. Dining at a traditional taberna is a must in Portugal, so we gave Chef Avillez’s Taberna a try first.
After the Taberna, we headed to check out Cantina Peruana’s Pisco Bar. Aside from getting your fill of sangria and port while in Portugal, the craft cocktail scene is as amazing as the food. The local bartenders at the Cantina were the cutest and made the best-tasting and prettiest cocktails in Lisbon. I mean, look at them! We couldn’t help but to stick around for a few 😉
We also had amazing cocktails and views at Topo, and Park, a super trendy rooftop bar that you have to go through a parking garage to get to.
Party in Bairro Alto and on Pink Street
Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s liveliest neighborhood for nightlife. After a couple of cocktails, hit a few of the bars. The fun part is, you can drink on the street so we felt right at home! Lot’s of people hang out outside of the bars talking, drinking and even seeing an occasional street performer.
Pink Street in Lisbon is the equivalent of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The former home to Lisbon’s red light district, the street is now filled with rowdy bars. We recommend heading here to end your night. Once you have a solid buzz, squeeze into a club and dance the night away.
Visit the Port Cellars in Porto
Visiting the port cellars in the city that port literally gets its name from is obviously a must while in Porto. Similarly to a visit to wine country, you will be able to do tastings of some of the best ports in the world, and learn a lot about what you like and dislike in the process.
We first visited Taylor’s, one of the first cellars to open in the Douro region that has been making port wine since 1692.
Then, we were off to Croft where we tasted their Croft Pink (the rose of ports!), their Reserve and a Tawny 10 year. It was a cold day, and we loved their lodge like atmosphere with a fire to warm us up.
Perhaps one of the most widely known in the states, we saved Sandeman for last.
Portugal was truly one of the most special places we have ever visited. We can’t stop thinking about when we’ll get to go back. Comment with your questions, or your Portugal tips!
Babes & Beignets