Lisbon is known as the city of seven hills bathed by the Tagus river, with its old neighborhoods packed with locals and many hidden corners. Have you ever thought about what it would be like to spend a lovely Saturday in Lisbon? Rita, our local editor from Lisbon certainly has. Take a look at what Lisbon locals do on Saturdays!
I love Chiado. It came to life again after a huge fire. All types of people come here – sometimes too many – which is why I prefer to visit on Saturday mornings as the shops begin to open and the sun gets higher and fills the streets. Maybe you’d like to reinforce your first breakfast with a croissant and UCAL (the only chocolate milk I drink) at Brasileira. There’s a shop on Garret Street that I always pass by just to experience the wonderful smell “Paris em Lisboa”. Enter Bertrand bookshop to browse the new books and promotions, or simply to check travel guides for your next stop!
Continue walking and take a look over Lisbon at the renovated viewpoint São Pedro de Alcântara then head to Principe Real where the food market awaits. I like to watch the old men playing cards or rest on the benches with the sun on my face before buying bread and fruit from the market.
Head down from Principe Real to Liberdade Avenue, passing Praça da Alegria where you can look for clothes, crafts and gifts at the fair. Take the subway to Santa Apolónia (hopefully there won’t be a cruise ship docked to spoil the river view). Enjoy lunch outside at Pizzaria Casanova in the good weather. In summer I like to eat pizza with figs and ham, and a glass of white wine.
Now head up the hill through the labyrinth of Alfama, passing Largo do Chafariz de Dentro (maybe check if something is happening at Fado Museum), meet the locals, ask for a ginginha at an old tavern and listen someone singing Fado Vadio. If it’s June or even another summer month, the streets will be filled with little colourful flags. On the way I usually buy some lupin beans (tremoços) and when I get to Santa Luzia Viewpoint, I rest a bit and watch the river and the sailboats while eating my beans!
If it’s not too crowded, take the tram and get off at São Vicente Church (or else walk) and head to Feira da Ladra – it could be still running if it’s good weather – and buy something for the house or simply look at old pictures and postcards. Lie on the grass at the small garden next to the imposing National Pantheon and just relax, or read a book that you bought in the morning.
At night, grab your first drink at Terrace BA and watch the sun set over Lisbon. Then head to the cosy restaurant Fábulas to have dinner with friends. If the table has drawers, be sure to check them to see what written papers were left behind!