Life, Travel

Girls’ Holiday In Lisbon – A Colourful, Varied, Fun City

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Every year I go on a girls’ holiday. The destination of choice for 2018? Lisbon, Portugal.

It’s been on our radar for a while. I’ve heard very good things about Lisbon. ‘It’s such a cool city’ they say. ‘You’ll absolutely love it’, I’m told.  But why? What exactly makes Lisbon so special?

Let’s delve a little deeper into why Lisbon won the title of the world’s leading city break destination in 2017. Oh, and what we got up to on our amazeballs girl’s holiday of course.

Overall impressions

Honestly, Lisbon was one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring. It’s definitely in my top 5 city breaks I’d say, especially when it comes to having an absolute blast with the girls. 

I’m not sure I’d be that fussed about taking my other half there, because it’s strength lies in being fun and flirty rather than romantic and scenic.

As soon as we entered the city we were transfixed. Beautiful purple trees line the streets, the multicoloured houses make you feel instantly cheerful and cool buildings appear out of nowhere.

Yes, Lisbon is a happy city that will instantly put a smile on your face. Sure, the buildings are jumbled together and there’s a lot of graffiti sprawled across street walls. But that’s all part of the charm.

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A Few Things to do in Lisbon

We actually added our girls’ holiday onto the end of a hen do. So we had three days of partying and mayhem and then some much-needed relaxation and time to explore the city. Here are some of the things we got up to.

Rooftop yoga – Seriously, you have to try this. To be fair where we did yoga was probably one of the best places to enjoy sweeping views of the city. What better place to get your zen on? This is Lisbon Hostel hosts yoga classes on their rooftop terrace.

We had great fun listening to the sounds of the city and admiring the impressive views whilst we perfected our downward dog. The teacher was really lovely and catered the class to all abilities. We also enjoyed an uber healthy brunch afterwards. And to be fair, if you’re looking for budget accommodation in Lisbon, this place is pretty darn nice for a hostel.

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rooftop yoga class lisbon portugal downward dog pose

Boat trip – we booked a private four-hour sailing trip on a yacht for around 19 people (this was for the hen do). I wouldn’t recommend the company we used because of how bad the food was, but the actual boat and overall experience was good. There are lots of boat trips that go from the marina. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see the city’s landmarks from a different perspective.  

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Tuk-tuk tours – Hands down, one of my fave experiences was going around Lisbon on a little tuk-tuk. Ours was extra special because it had the Simpsons on it and it was covered in Insta worthy flowers. It was relaxing whizzing round town to all the best spots.

Our driver gave us a little historic tour and stopped off for us to take pictures at some amazing viewpoints. Do this at the beginning of your trip and it will help you get your bearings a little and also figure out which landmarks you want to see. I think we paid about 15 euros per person for an hour tour.

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Street parties – We went to Lisbon at the best possible time, especially for a hen do. Because they had an epic festival on and all the streets were laced with brightly coloured decorations. Festas des Lisboa runs throughout June, but it seemed the biggest parties went on while we were there. All the locals dine on barbecue sardines, you can definitely smell it as you walk by!

One of the nights there was a massive parade around town and street performers and musicians filled the side streets. The atmosphere was electric. It’s a very local festival so it feels quite authentic and great to be a part of their celebrations. Another favourite moment was when we joined in with a street party, drank locally made alcohol and danced to some big tunes. It was soooo much fun.

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Cascais town & beach – If you’re staying in or around Lisbon, I’d definitely pay Cascais a visit. It’s the most adorable beach town with an abundance of lovely restaurants and a soft, sandy beach. You can get the train here from Lisbon, but we just jumped in an uber as it worked out cost effective with four of us.

Cascais is pretty, charming and a breath of fresh air after spending a lot of time walking up and down winding city streets. We ate lunch at this ahhhmazing vegetarian/vegan restaurant (Cafe Gelaria House of Wonders) and tucked into an epic healthy salad. This laid-back hippy style quirky eatery also has a gorgeous rooftop terrace. If you love super healthy food this one’s for you. Cascais also has a few shops should you fancy a spot of retail therapy.

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Time Out Food Market LisbonFoodies will feel right at home at the Time Out Food Market. Although, don’t be picturing little stalls with authentic local cuisine at cheap prices. This is more of an upmarket international food market with lots of mini restaurants and a central dining area. The dishes are quite pricey, though it’s worth having a peruse and seeing if anything takes your fancy. We treated our taste buds to some unreal eclairs.

Value for money

We’ve been on eight girls’ holidays, and to be fair I’d probably say Lisbon was the best value for money. Especially when you get there, because meal prices, food and drinks are very reasonable compared to other big European cities. You can eat out in nice restaurants for around £10-£15 per head.

Getting around Lisbon

We mainly used Ubers to get around town because there was a group of us, and we were surprised by how cheap they were (maybe around 4 Euros for short trips). However, there are plenty of other ways to get around the city. You can get the bus, hop on one of the classic Lisbon trams, jump in a tuk-tuk, cycle or walk. Although if you attempt to get from A to B on foot, keep in mind Lisbon is VERY hilly and there are lots of cobbled streets, so sensible footwear is a must.

Here are some more pics of our adventures in this super cool city. Enjoy…

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