Lisbon – the city of modern lifestyle and old architecture. But how can you travel vegan and sustainable in a city like that? I give you a quick guide through the city with all the sightseeing and restaurant tips!
Visiting Lisbon was a long time dream of mine, so when my man (Now Ex) told me we should travel there in our summer vacation I was beyond happy and super excited! I first thought ten days would be a bit much for a city trip like that, but I was convinced otherwise very fast!
the seven day train card
We got an Air BnB near Alfama and could easily discover the city per feet. We nearly walked everywhere ourselves. But when we wanted to visit Cascais, Sintra and the LX factory, we realized that we can’t do that by walking. So we went to the mainline station called “Cais do Sodre” and took the train from there. We bought a 7 day train ticket that cost us 12€ per person and gives us unlimited access to all the trains for 7 days. This was perfect for us. We had a ten day stay, dicosvered Lisbon city the first three days and then bought the ticket for the last 7 days to discover the rest of the town via train.
You can get to many destinations with the bus, if you don’t want to walk, like we usually did. A bus ticket costs around two euros and on weekdays the busses arrive every few minutes. But rather take the bus in the morning or evening, because they can get quiet full with all the tourists traveling from A to B.
I never used uber before and I know that it might not be the most sustainable option, BUT carrying your luggage for 3 kilometers up a hill isn’t what I would call a good start into a vacation either. ( To be honest I think I would never have reached the flat with my bag in tow, because the streets aren’t really traveling friendly!) While a taxi from the airport to our flat in “Bairro Alto” would have cost us around 30€ the uber only cost 10€ and it brought us directly to the front porch of our Air BnB! I think it is a great way if you don’t have a train or tram station near your flat!
Baixa seems to be the most touristy part of the city and also the main part. Here you can find the “Elevador de Santa Justa”, the “Praça do Comércio” and the “Arco da Rua Augusta”.
We started to discover it from the “Praça Marquês de Pombal” in the middle of a rotary, then down the luxury shopping street called “Avenida da Liberdade “down to the “Rua Augusta” the normal shopping street. Here you can find the “Elevador de Santa Justa”. If you still have some energy you can go down through the big “Arco da Roa Augusta” to the river called “Tejo”. There you can also find the mainline “Cais do Sodre” that leads you to the other great destinations outside of Lisbon, like Cascais and Sintra.
Parque Eduardo VII
This is a huge park located at the Pavilhao Carlos Lopes and gives a great view across the city. Its super beautiful to look at and relax in. There is a labyrinth in the middle of the park and even some sporty attractions and pavillions.
Though people told me very often to visit Alfama I dont think we’ve really seen it! We passed some streets of Alfama, but mainly stayed down this part of the city!
Also called the “coolest neighbourhood in town”. And yes you can find a few little vegan restaurants over there, but for me it wasn’t THAT cool or interesting at all.
We only visited Belem shortly, but we saw the “Torres de Belem” from far away and visited the “Mosteiro dos Jeronimos” and the “Padrão dos Descobrimentos” which was really impressive. We also loved the huge park in front of the church. “Jardim da Praça do Império” was a good place to relax in the sun for some time. From this part of the city you can also see the big bridge crossing Lisbon and Almada called “Ponte 25 de Abril”.
What we didn’t do, but you totally should was seeing the actual living place of the portuguise president called “Palácio de Belém” and eat one of the famous “Pastel de Belem” in the “Fábrica Pastéis de Belém”. We didn’t went there, because they don’t have vegan ones, but its called one of the most important things to try in Lisbon!
We also saw the “Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar” with all the names behind the statue of the soldiers who died in the African civil war from 1960 to 1970. It was very impressive and lots of police men were present.
Bairro Alto and Chiado
Bairro Alto is famous for it’s night life. There you can find one Fado Cafe after the next one and it was great to slender past it in the evening. Students and also older people meet here to sit at the tables on the streets, listen to music, eat and drink. No one gets discriminated here, means there are LGBTQ bars directly across of the standard club for the older generation.
You can also find this huge “Miradourous” that will show you the best view on the city below. It’s name is “Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara” and we visited it shortly. After strolling through the streets it was a great alternative!
When we went by this part of the city we also found two of the famous trams that only drive up and down the mountain, called “Elevador da Gloria and Elevador da Bica”.
One big “Must see” for me was for sure the “Pastelaria Batalha”, because they have vegan pastries and also the famous “Pastel de Nata” in vegan! They were delicious and I went there twice to get more!
Cascais is a big tourist magnet, but also many Portuguese people relax here after work. It’s the most beautiful beach around Lisbon, being located between the cliffs with the coziest sand. We stayed here two days, just to relax and tan a bit. The beach was also super clean and the little city on top of the cliff was cute!
Sintra was the first thing I saw after the yellow trains, when I was searching for Lisbon before the trip and I immediately fell in love with it! We nearly didn’t make it to Sintra because of the weather. The entry into the museums and palaces are quiet expensive, why we only visited on of them from the inside, and only saw the other ones from far away.
If you are not on a budget or buy the tickets some time before the trip starts, you might get a better offer! I recommend wearing flat shoes and comfy clothes, because we wandered up the hill, because all the cars and busses that are driving up the mountain every minute aren’t sustainable at all AND you get a much better feeling for the city when you walk through it and climb the hill. You can also be proud of yourself afterwards and loose some calories, that you can later put in again with some delicious pastel de Natalees. Win win if you ask me 😀
The LX Factory was a big favorite of mine. It reminded me a little of an artist city. The LX factory is build around several abandoned containers and includes many alternative shops, cute restaurants and fair fashion/ artsy shops with cute styles. It was heaven for me! Every wall was full of street art and for me as a designer the interior designs of the shops were just great! So if you are searching for cute fair produced stuff from for example “Näz” and “Nae Shoes” you should totally visit the factory 🙂 There is also a super cute Bookshop and some amazing wall art to discover!
Because I always find it very difficult to find good vegan restaurants or places that offer vegan/ vegetarian alternatives I collected some I found online and some I tested myself in this google maps card. So if you ever travel to Lisbon you can just use this card to find a good restaurant near your flat/hotel. 🙂
Rua Dom Luís I 19, 1200-109 Lisboa
12pm – 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 12pm – 12am Thursday to Saturday, closed Sunday.
R. Rodrigues Sampaio (also in Cascais and Santos)
9am until 11pm all week
Princesa do Castelo (Alfama)
Rua do Salvador 64A, 1100-466 Lisboa
Café Janis, R. Moeda 1A, 1200-109 Lisboa
R. Horta Seca 1, 1200-243 Lisboa
8 the health lounge
Praça da Figueira 12A, 1100-241 Lisboa
9:30am – 8pm Monday to Thursday, 9:30am – 3pm Friday, 11am – 8pm Sunday, closed Saturday.
AO 26 – vegan food project
R. Vítor Cordon 26, 1200-484 Lisboa
12:30pm – 3:30pm Monday, 12:30pm – 6:30pm and 7:30pm – 11pm Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday
R. Cavaleiro de Oliveira 53B, 1170-086 Lisboa
12:30pm – 4pm Tuesday to Saturday, also 7pm -11pm Thursday to Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
Open daily, 9am – 7:30pm Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Rua Afonso Cordeiro, 71 Matosinhos
Open daily 12pm to 3:30pm and 7pm to 10:30pm
Calçada Do Monte 92, 1170-251 Lisboa
Open 1-3pm and 7-10pm Monday to Saturday, 1-3pm Sunday
Rua da Prata 242, 1100-423 Lisboa
Open daily 12pm – 11pm
The Food Temple
Beco do Jasmim 18, 1100-289 Lisboa
Dinner only, 7:30pm – 12am, closed Monday and Tuesday
Quintal de Santo Amaro
R. de Santo Amaro 6B, 1200-803 Lisboa
10:30am – 7pm, closed Sunday and Monday
Jardim das Cerejas
location in Chiado at No. 36 Calçada do Sacramento
and Rua Andrade Corvo 7B
Open daily 12pm – 3:30pm and 7pm – 11pm
Calçada Nova de São Francisco 2, 1200-300 Lisboa
Monday to Wednesday 12:30pm-3:30pm and 7pm-10pm; Thursday to Saturday 12:30pm-3:30pm and 7pm-11pm, closed Sundays.
Bio Restaurante Vegetariano
R. Francisco Sanches 39, 1170-140 Lisboa
Dona Flor Cafe (Cascais)
10am – 7pm Monday to Thursday, 12pm-3pm and 7pm-10pm Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday
Solo Cozinha Macrobiótica (Bairro Alto)
Rua dos, R. Poiais de São Bento 62, 1200-349 Lisboa
Open 10am-3pm and 5pm-8pm Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday
That was a really hard part of the trip, but I’ll still try to give you some tips. Portugal isn’t known for their futuristic thinking or sustainable culture at all and it was way harder than I thought to live here, like I do at home.
First Problem: The Water
In Portugal there aren’t any glass bottles, or when, they are 0,2l. And people from another country shouldn’t drink the tap water, because our stomachs aren’t used to the bacteria here in the water and will most likely result in you having some stomach problems for the first days. So there are only the plastic bottles left and I hated that!
After some days I finally found a better alternative. Not a good one, but still better than buying dozens of plastic bottles. There is a recycled refill bottle station in some of the supermarkets here. There you buy a 3l bottle, made from recycled plastic, once and can refill it every time in the store. The water costs 18 cents a liter and is filtered, so no stomach problems!
Second Problem: The Plastic
In Portugal there is plastic everywhere! Like literally. Some streets are super dirty and whenever you order drinks to go, you get a plastic cup or a plastic bag and that made me quiet sad. I thought about a better alternative for the first days and found some!
Thats why I carried my “Dopper” Bottle everywhere. I filled in water or coffee in the morning and when it was empty, I cleaned it in a bathroom of a restaurant and asked them, if they could fill in my drink to go. But the most time I tried to sit down in the local restaurants and consume the food or drinks in the restaurant itself. There you get glasses and ceramic cups and can just breath for some minutes. Its a great way to relax in a busy city like Lisbon.
When I went grocery shopping, I always carried a bag with me. There are only plastic bags in the supermarkets, so I really needed my backpack! I tried to buy fresh fruit and vegetables without packaging, but Portugal is super crazy! You can get readily cut mushrooms in a plastic packaging for much less money than the loose uncut ones. I still tried to refuse the plastic. There are also many bio-markets in Lisbon. In some of them there are zero-waste stations where you can refill nuts and rice and stuff into your containers. Its a great option when you are cooking for yourself, like we did a lot.
in big cities like Lisbon there are temptations behind every corner. The bus who drives faster, than we can walk. This cute dress in one of the little Boutiques and the great food, that you can get everywhere. But I tried to resist. I informed myself before hand where I can get good vegan food, when I want to eat outside, and searched for the next bio-market before walking into the city. I tried to pick up some trash I saw and not buy lots of things with plastic. In my opinion seeing all the shops we don’t have in our hometown is super tempting to buy something, because we can’t get the things at home. But I still asked myself every time: Do I really need this?
Thank you for reading!!
I hope that this little Guide was helpful for you, but if any questions are left, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and ask 🙂1