My holiday experiment. You suggest it, I’ll do it.

So I’ve just booked a flight to Lisbon.  Naturally as a seasoned traveller I like to take things a bit free and easy, so I’ve planned no more than that. It’ll be me, myself and some reading matter.   Hopefully the good people of Lisbon enjoy a spot of Foursquare, but I’d be delighted to hear your tips.   I need a good central budget place to stay – guest house/hostel sort of place so  I can meet like-minded folk.   I like a spot of culture. I like a spot of photography. I like a bit of food and wine (who doesn’t).  I like the unusual, off-track stuff.  I’m willing to try most things (so long as no extreme heights are involved).  I have two novels lined up but could so with some more.

Can you help me enjoy my trip?  I’ll jot down my  experiences  (maybe at the time if WordPress sort out their iPhone app).  It’s my first holiday for 18 months, by the way.  So no pressure!

About londoncharlotte

Hello. I’m Charlotte Beckett. I’m Head of Digital at The Good Agency. These are just my thoughts about fundraising, campaigning, communications, engagement, advertising, that type of thing. And maybe some other types of things. I believe in integration, but not matching luggage.
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14 Responses to My holiday experiment. You suggest it, I’ll do it.

  1. First tips in, from Twitter:

    @intagenta – Take a bus down to Belem and wander round in the atlantic breeze, stop for lunch halfway back into city; Lisbon is lovely! I think everyone’s jealous that you’re going, please bring a 30 year old bottle of Port back with you…

    @glynwintle – I recommend the expo site. Especially the hands on science stuff & the aquarium. delicias de Goa (great Goan cuisine), 2 rua do conde redondo. Nearest tube Picoas

    And from Facebook:

    Richard Gray – If the weather’s nice and you want a beach to read those books on, take a train from the main station to Estoril. Otherwise, eat lots of sardinhas.

    What do you think?

  2. Tia Fisher says:

    Hi Charlotte – ooh, I used to live in Lisbon – it’s a beautiful city, although much changed since I lived there.

    Try the Feira de Ladra (thieves market) on a Saturday, and if it’s still there, have a steak in the resturant upstairs in the building in the middle of the market – which is surprisingly expensive, but best steak I ever had.

    Go on the no.28 tram ricochetting round corners down through the Alfama (old arab quarter) , across the main squares in the middle and up into the Chiado on the other side.

    Go walking in the Alfama, and just allow yourself to get lost – take every tiny alleyway you see. When thoroughly lost, head down hill and you’ll come out – somewhere :-)

    Looking for a link to the tram, I found this site – might be useful

    Enjoy! Drink Caipirinhas and Amêndoa Amarga and have a lovely time.


  3. Hi Tia

    Thank you! Very civilised ideas. I’m there for 6 days, including a Saturday, so will definitely check out the market. And thanks for the web links too. As an ex-resident, any thoughts on where to stay? Budget (ish), central, characterful would be ideal.



  4. Mr Omneo says:

    It’s been about 20 years since I was last in Lisbon so of course the memory cells have forgotten the names of some of the restaurants I discovered and loved. I’ve spent the afternoon rummaging around some boxes looking for my old travel diary (when did I stop keeping one of those?) but there was a fabulous fish restaurant that was owned by 2 brothers. I dare say they have passed it on as they were in their late 60’s back then but come the weekend there would be a queue of locals hoping to eventually get in as they didn’t allow you to reserve a table. I’ll keep looking for that damned diary, just in case the restaurant still exists.

    On a slightly less budget kick, today’s Independent had a hedonist guide to Lisbon. Largo sounds good to me…

  5. Yeah that hedonist itinerary is a tad out of my budget – but good to know how the other half live, huh? I’ll search for the fish restaurant instead!

  6. Tia Fisher says:

    Sorry, can’t give any decisive pointers on where to stay really – all my guests stayed with me! I took the kids out there a couple of years aago and we stayed in the Alfama, in an apartment. Something around that area who always be the most ‘colourful’ and probably cheapish – watch out for smelly drains!


    • Thanks Tia – should have picked that up before I booked somewhere to stay! But think I’ve come up trumps thanks to a bit of research: a spot of luxury at hostel prices. Also just discovered Nice to get recommendations from other bloggers.

      Now, some tips on what to read would be good. I quite like to theme my holiday books, so maybe some Portuguese authors?

  7. Hi Charlotte
    worth taking a train ride out to Sintra, where the royal palaces are. Quite a good Sunday lunch pm type visit.
    The other worthwhile thing is to go to the port institute which is at the top of the hill where the fenicula railway goes. You can smoke cigars and drink port that costs £100 a glass (not all costs that).
    Very good shopping, Zara et all
    Also the Bario Alto, is where the cool designer, tapas and clubs are.
    You’ll find lots of cheap hotels there.


    • Thanks Denise – that all sounds fantastic (except perhaps the £100 glasses of port – not sure my holiday budget stretches quite that far!) I’m really starting to get excited about this trip…..

  8. Tia Fisher says:

    Oh, a PS – unless the city has tightened up its morals since I lived there, pickpockets, esp. on the crowded buses, are a real danger, Keep yr bag tighly closed and clamped to your body! I wouldn’t want your visit to be spoilt. Agree on a trip to Sintra – the most amazing buildings and microclime – through cool and damp may not be what you are seeking out of course …

  9. Bex says:

    When you go to Belem, if you do stay for lunch, go to this local restaurant – ‘A Maritima’. Fresh fish grilled beautifully. It’s in the street behind the CCB – the new design museum and cultural centre – just follow the 15 tram line, it’ll be on your left.

    For a night out, after you wander around Bairro Alto go to LUX – best club in Europe some say. John Malkovich owns it!

    Chapito, on the castle hill, is space that has a restaurant + performance room +outdoor balcony overlooking the river. Go up to the castle, then come down after sunset for cocktails, nice tapas type stuff and whatever might be going on.


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