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A long weekend in Lisbon & Sintra—where to go for the best seafood, sweeping city views & after hours drinks

A long weekend in Lisbon is perfect for getting to grips with the super cool, laid back city but you won’t regret a longer stay if you have the time. Whenever I get to a new city, whether that's ancient Athens, pretty Padua or quirky-cool Lisbon I like to head to a high point to get sweeping views and to figure out how the city is laid out. St George’s Castle sits atop Lisbon’s highest hill so is the place to begin your long weekend in Lisbon. 

red tiled rooftops of bison from st georges castle
View from St George's Castle

I stayed in a cute Airbnb right in the centre of hip neighbourhood Barrio Alto, the cobbled streets, beautiful buildings and ornate tile work give an insight into local life, it’s also this area of town where I discovered BA Wine Bar. With just a few tables inside it’s worth booking ahead so you don’t miss out of on dreamy local cheeses and expertly paired Portuguese wines.

plate of cheese and chutney at BA wine bar lisbon
Lisbon's BA Wine Bar

As the sun begins to lower, take a trip on one of the cities ancient elevators that move up and down steep parts of town. My favourite, Ascensor da Gloria dates back to 1885. Gloria will take you from the garden of Sao Pedro de Alcantara to Restauradores Square without having to climb the 18-degree slope leaving you with more time to hunt out the best Pastel de Nata. These incredible custard tarts are too good to miss and don’t cost much at all, pay around 1 euro from any good bakery in the city.

Ascensor da Gloria going down a hill in lisbon
Ascensor da Gloria

Where to get the best seafood in Lisbon

For dinner, don’t miss Cervejaria Ramiro, the seafood is out of this world so there’s always a massive queue to get in because everyone knows how good this spot is. Get there early and be prepared to wait a while, the surroundings are simple but Cervejaria Ramiro’s crab and king prawns were a real highlight of my time in Lisbon, I think about them way more then I should and long to go back.

prawns and lemon at cervejaria ramiro lison
Prawns at Cervejaria Ramiro

Lux Fragil nightclub stays open until 6am over the weekends and is part owned by John Malkovich. This hip club has two dance floors, roof terrace, good music and a fun crowd, it's 12 euros to get in and that includes a drink.

views across sintra near lisbon
Mystical views over Sintra

Blast your hangover away the next day with a magical few hours in the mysterious town of Sintra. A short train ride out of Lisbon city centre Sintra is worth a trip to see the Moorish National Palace and absolutely stunning 19th century Pena National Palace. The landscape here are truly stunning and there's a nearby beach when it all gets a bit much!

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