a little bit of lisbon.
by victoria comment


a lisbon travel guide. / sfgirlbybay

as promised in yesterday’s post about our charming apartment in lisbon, i wanted to share a few ‘must-visit’ spots around the city if you happen to be headed that way — which i most certainly recommend. lisbon is a beautiful seaside city, full of colorful pastel architecture. it reminds me a little bit of a much older san francisco — it’s hilly (and there’s trams), and even has a bridge — the 25 de Abril Bridge that closely resembles SF’s golden gate. we only had a short time in lisbon, but what i prized most was just aimlessly wandering the narrow streets and staircases, taking in all the colors and breathtaking views. oh, and you can’t go wrong with one of the many local bakeries serving the traditional Portuguese custard tarts or pasteis de nata — i brought two home on the plane with me! here are a few of our favorite places to eat and shop in lisbon and for more of lisbon, visit my instagram.

pink building in lisbon with red 'hat'. / sfgirlbybaya look at my trip to lisbon. / sfgirlbybaypastel building exteriors in lisbon. / sfgirlbybayvintage inspired seafood tins in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaya lisbon travel guide. / sfgirlbybay

a vida portuguesa — hands down favorite shop (we went there twice!). it has a few locations, but we visited Chiado I which will have you lingering for a long visit, so give yourself plenty of time to peruse their shelves. Occupying a centuries-old David & David warehouse and perfume factory, they’ve preserved the historical interiors and have displayed the most beautiful and judicious of selections of jewelry, soaps, stationery, books, cookware and food products including the most divine selection of tinned seafood of which i took home a ton of. they also carry a beautiful selection of bordallo pinheiro ceramics — had i not feared breaking them all in my suitcase, i would have loaded up, but i did bring home a single black swallow — which has become a true Portuguese symbol.

lisbon's LX factory / sfgirlbybay
hip cafe in lisbon. / sfgirlbybayoutdoor dining area in lisbon. / sfgirlbybay

LX factory — this place also gave me san francisco vibes! it’s housed on the grounds of a historical old fabric factory dating back to 1846 located just underneath the aforementioned 25 de Abril Bridge and houses a multitude of independent design shops and cafes. think pop-up shops galore with tons of handmade goods from ceramics, to leather goods and textiles. the place was hopping with good energy and interesting food options and also host loads of events from fashion shows to music and the arts.

LX Factory in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaymodern light fixture in lisbon. / sfgirlbybayornate decor in cafe in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaya lisbon travel guide. / sfgirlbybay

embaixada — Embaixada is located in Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, one of the most iconic buildings in the trendy neighborhood of Príncipe Real. This XIX century new-Arabian Palace has been transformed into a unique shopping gallery with lots of unique national brands and artists focused on Portuguese design, craftsmanship, fashion, gastronomy, and culture. the architectural alone is enough reason to visit and be sure and drop into the gin lover’s bar in back — the views and the bartenders are both quite eye catching!

inspiring interior of a cevicheria. / sfgirlbybaysalmon ceviche at a cevicheria. / sfgirlbybay

a cevicheria — also located in the Príncipe Real neighborhood just a stone’s throw from embaixada, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the giant octopus (made from sponge) hanging from the ceiling above the prettiest blue tiled floor. this is some of the best and most unique ceviches i’ve ever tasted (try the salmon ceviche with an orange foam!) and the tartar tacos and sandwiches (like the surf & turf) are amazing. the wine they serve is delicious and they also specialize in a pisco sour, a yummy drink from Peru. they don’t accept reservations, but there’s a walk-up bar outside that you can order something cold from while you wait.

interior of pharmacia in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaywes anderson-like pharmacia in lisbon. / sfgirlbybay

pharmacia — one of our favorite meals! and, in one of the cleverest locations. chef Susana Felicidade has opened her very wes anderson-ish pharmacy-themed restaurant inside the Museu de Farmacia in the Santa Catarina district of Lisbon and decorated it in the most charming decor inspired by vintage pharmaceuticals — fancy a shot from a laboratory vile? sure you do! the views from the front terrace are heavenly, so be sure to have a cocktail on the ‘front lawn’ before you dine. think comfort food with a Portuguese twist — the lemon risotto with Razorfish was my favorite. it was a bit tricky for our cab driver to find, but it’s located at Rua Marechal Saldanha 1 and just tell them it’s in the old Museu de Farmacia.

teal wall tile in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaypastel cinema in lisbon. / sfgirlbybaya lisbon travel guide. / sfgirlbybay

7 responses to “a little bit of lisbon.”

  1. Your photos from the trip are beautiful. My husband and I went to Lisbon last September on our honeymoon (along w/ Porto and the Azores) and every photo you posted made my heart want to go back. It definitely has the feeling of SF with the water, bridge, and hills.

    We also went to a lovely little hotel you featured on your blog last year in Tavira called Pensao Agricola! A long time reader, I have to thank you for inspiring our spontaneous itinerary change. People asked how I found it and I’d say, “Well, I read this site…” If you ever go back, I cannot recommend it enough. We only stayed a night since it was a last-minute change of plans on our drive across Portugal, but I’d stay for weeks if I could. Sunny, quiet and peaceful, and PERFECTLY designed. Let’s just say we have a fare watch on Lisbon now!

    • thank you so much, lynn! i love hearing those kinds of stories. and i found our place at baixa house by reading petite passport, so it just goes on and on. i love word of mouth recommendations! :)

  2. What happened in your beloved SF is happening in Lisbon and so people in Alfama are getting priced out of their homes. When bloggers who have a big following post, you help this happen to them. You could say you are helping but if you could go back, wouldn’t you prefer SF stayed a bit more secret? I just feel sad that Lisbon is going to get overrun with tourists and become too expensive for locals.

    • Hmmm, I don’t think it’s the same situation because SF didn’t change because of tourists but instead due to the tech industry moving in with a lot of cash and buying up homes at way over asking prices. San Francisco has always been full of tourists and I don’t think it was ever a secret.

      And in Lisbon, I can see your point, however, the economy was struggling and tourism is helping with that. Also, what I heard from taxi drivers and many cafe owners was that that wanted me to share their places – they needed the customers and actually asked me to do so on Instagram by tagging them. So I suppose it’s a double-edged sword. The city needs the money from tourism, but I doubt that my blog post will change an entire city – I don’t think bloggers have the bandwidth to change an entire economy.

  3. I love lisbon – i went 5 years ago – and now planning another trip with my husband and friends this summer!! going to hit up both ceviche and pharmacy restaurants – thanks for the recos- and stunning photos!

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