Since I'm a young child, I've fallen in love with this amazing region. French people usually said that "Portugal is only a cold sea region with hairy people", or "they're eating cod at breakfast". Portugal is more than all of these clichés.
Today, I've decided to share you some amazing spots to see in the Lisbon region. If you're staying on Lisbon, I strongly recommend you one thing: please rent a car. That's a nice thing to be free, and be able to travel in this region without any limit due to local transports.
Lisbon isn't a city like Paris, or London. Main activities are located outside the downtown area. For example, if you want to go to beach, you have to go approximately 33 km of the Portuguese capital.
Cascais to Estoril coast - Top 5
What could be better than to walk on the seaside, high up to have a magnificent view? With a walk between Estoril and Cascais, you will enjoy the perfect trip to relax. Just walk, observe, and chill. The sea breeze in front of the multi-million euro luxury accommodations, with fine sandy beaches and a different holiday atmosphere.
My tip: if you like to run in a natural place, don't hesitate, wake up early one morning during your trip, get your running sneakers on, and run with the marine wind.
Centro Comercial Colombo - Top 4
This shopping mall is just crazy. Even if I'm living in Paris, and I used to go to similar shopping malls, that's just an amazing experience. It's all about the overkill, excess, call it as you want... You will enjoy more than 340 lojas (shops in Portuguese), and you will find absolutely what you want. Located in Lisbon, you can access it via local transports, car (with a free parking), or by walk if you're brave enough. You will also find classical shops for french peoples: Fnac, Adidas, C&A, and more other French brands... But you will also find great portuguese shops, like Area, Aki, Benfica Official Store, and more other.
A fun fact about this giant shopping mall: since his opening in September 1997, there was an amusement park, which one the largest indoor amusement park in Europe. With more than 12 000m2 of fun: bowling, karting, roller coasters, hockey. Due to an unknown reason, this park of the shopping mall was closed.
Also, if you want to buy some traditional Portuguese food, I strongly advise you to go to Continente and buy everything you want: cheese, chorizo, wine, Pasteis de Nata (we will talk about it later). All prices are lower on "large stores" like this one.
My tip: if you want to launch here, I advise you to eat at "Alentejo - Pao Azeite e Alho" which is a traditional and successful restaurant chain. You will be able to eat all "pratos" with the best region meal, and the best Portuguese "arroz".
Restaurante Don Pedro Guedes I - Top 3
This one is a little far from Lisbon (located in Sintra region), and you will absolutely need a car. That's clearly one of my favorite moment when I'm in summer, or winter vacation. This is a crazy restaurant/self-serve buffet with all the best Portuguese food. Only local food is available and you will enjoy the best price for this kind of restaurant. For the launch, that's €8,50 with self-serve buffet, one drink, and one coffee. And for the dinner that's €12,50 with sames advantages.
You will enjoy for example, chorizos, traditional sausages (more than 12 varieties), cheese (more than 15 varieties), 27 traditional dishes, and 24 desserts. Also, all of these products are home-made, or made by locals farmers.
Also, please note that this restaurant is only visited by locals, so you will be the only tourist. That's a very good plan, you won't regret it, trust me, you won't find a better deal.
My tip: please come as soon as possible, to avoid waiting and queuing, to find a table. This restaurant is huge, but as it's a wonderful deal, all local are used to came here.
Mercado da Vila - Top 2
You want to taste local farmers vegetables and fruits? It will be the best place to buy it. Located in few kilometers of Lisboa, on the luxury city of Cascais, you will be able to find fruits produced and picked in Portugal at the lowest prices. All the producers present on the market sell their own harvest. You will find non-esthetic fruits and vegetable, because that's their normal looks. No chance to find fruits full of pesticide from Spain.
My tip: don't forget to get some cash, only few merchants have a payment terminal. You can easily find any ATM where you can withdraw any amount. Also, don't forget to eat a "Pao com Chorizo", which can be bought on small stores across the market, on the same place.
Praia do Guincho - Top 1
That's my favorite place in Cascais, and Lisbon region: Praia do Guincho. Portugal is known for its large waves and long sandy beaches. This one is so special, so large, and clearly amazing. The size, the view, the location, the sea breeze, and the atmosphere will see you fall in love with this beach. Don't forget that's not the Mediterranean Sea, but the Atlantic coast. When you're on this beach, so far from your work, the pollution, your boss stress, and all of your normal life, please just breathe, and you're going to get goosebumps.
My tip: don't hesitate to drink a Portuguese "bebida" like Sumol if you don't drink alcohol, or a "cerveja" (beer in Portuguese). Relax, drink and chill.
If you want to see this beach in live, you can have a look at this livecam: Meo Beachcam - Praia do Guincho Norte.
If you have any question about your trip, feel free to email me!