lisbon, portugal - a city for the broke, hungry, sun-loving anti-minimalist

We've been a heck of a lot of places, and a heck of a lot of people have asked me what my favorite city is, and my answer has been the same since our first visit back in 2014: Lisbon. Home of endless summer, hyper-fresh seafood, delicious rosé for every meal, colorful tiled buildings, graffiti galore, friendly and chill locals, and everything costs about 1/20th of what I'm used to paying in Switzerland.

As part of our dirtbag roadtrip of Portugal (see our photos from the road here and here) for my 28th birthday, Alex & I started and ended the trip with a couple days in (still) my favorite city.

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Enjoying the view from our suite at the Independente; we splurged, thinking it'd be worth it after two weeks of living cramped up, unshowered and uncivilized in a van from the 70s. Yes, worth it.

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape


Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Pharmacia, Lisbon restaurant
PHARMACIA - Rua Marechal Saldanha nº 2

Pharmacia, Lisbon restaurant
We ate here for my birthday lunch, and it was absolutely incredible. [We were starving and showed up banging at the gates, waiting for the 12:30pm open. No shame.] Couldn't recommend highly enough. Fantastic local specialties with a little twist.


Pharmacia, Lisbon restaurant

Pharmacia, Lisbon restaurant
Crazy dessert concoction with bitter dark chocolate gelato, fresh figs, almonds, and lime peel.

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Time Out Market Lisboa
TIME OUT MARKETAv. 24 de Julho nº 49

Time Out Market Lisboa
This is a huge market hall, with the outside lined with stalls selling crazy good, amazing, inventive food. Can't say enough. We ate here twice, two days in a row.

Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa
Octopus ceviche and salmon-seaweed risotto.

Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa
Alex and I can sometimes over-order. Cough.

Time Out Market Lisboa
The world's best edible thing. Dark chocolate ice-cream cake on chocolate chip cookie crust.

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape


Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Prepping for a dip at Dear Lisbon.

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal cityscape overlook

Lisbon, Portugal cityscape overlook
 
Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

Lisbon, Portugal buildings architecture streetscape

My first photo as a 28-year-old...

A Cevicheria, Lisbon Portugal
A CEVICHERIA - R. Dom Pedro V nº 129

Hugely popular as a hyper-chic spot to seen and be seen -- basically the opposite of everything I like in a restaurant. Plus, they take no reservations and have a continual 2-3 hour wait for a table. On the upside, they serve terrific, high-quality Portuguese-Japanese fusion under a humongous octopus. Alex said this was one of the best meals he's ever had.

A Cevicheria, Lisbon Portugal

A Cevicheria, Lisbon Portugal

A Cevicheria, Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal city overlook

I was so thrilled by Lisbon when we visited in 2014 (back in the days before I'd done much traveling at all) on so many fronts -- food, architecture, weather, prices, friendliness, views -- that I was honestly a little reserved to go back in the years since. You don't want the magic to be gone, you know? There was no need to worry: Lisbon is as incredible as ever.

We hope you enjoyed our series from Portugal. This trip was an experience I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. I couldn't recommend dirtbag van life and/or lush foodie living in Lisbon enough. Go go go go. Portugal was elected Travel & Leisure's destination of the year for a good reason...