Lisbon food, drinks and entertainment

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In my last post I described the views of Lisbon city. In this post I will talk a  bit more about the food, drinks & entertainment. From my last post I guess you understand by now that my biggest entertainment was my daily private Portuguese classes 🙂 But I also managed some more highlights that I would like to share.

During my two weeks in Lisbon I stayed in a central hostel called “Home”. It has among the best reviews on-line and seemed like a good choice. Despite some sleeping problems (the beds were good but all the noise from the wooden drawers underneath them and the terrible buzzing locker system kept me awake many times a night) I enjoyed very much the special “Mamas dinner”. Every evening apart from Tuesday´s you could sign up for home cooked food, made by the hostels mother herself. For just 10 Euro per person she made soup, main course & desert and along with that red wine, beer and Port wine was served. I enjoyed this dinner many times as it was great value for money, very tasty and a good way to meet fellow travelers. And Mama was an amazing lady!

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On my one and only full weekend in Lisbon I had signed up for a dance weekend with Joana Machado and Avelino Chantre, running the Ultimate Kizomba school. My biggest motivation was the Kizomba part. Kizomba is a sensual couple dance from Angola that has hit Europe (and the world) big times. In Sweden Kizomba has gone from basically unknown to almost more popular than salsa in 1 1/2 year. I started dancing half a year ago and I love it. The weekend with Joana & Avelino was so much fun. Not only did I dance Kizomba but I learnt some Kuduro (also Angolan) and other Afro styles as well (naturally afro tunes are popular in Portugal) + special lady styling. I also managed to visit the most popular Kizomba spot in Lisbon twice, Bairro Latino! The dance weekend left great memories since it was a very local happening.

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One especially nice Australian girl that I had met in the hostel, and who actually was brave enough to join me to Bairro the first time (which was a bit out of the center), came back for a second time to Lisbon after  traveling around for a few days. On her last night, before returning back to Australia, we decided to go for a great dinner. And we were extremely lucky to find “Sinal Vermelho” where we ate amazing food. From my three weeks in Portugal I have to say that although the ingredients are fantastic (especially all the fresh fish) the Portuguese cuisine sometimes lacks a bit of flavor, in my opinion. (Extra note added 140826 after comment from a reader: I have not tried the food from all different regions in Portugal. In fact the food in Alentejo was much more spicy than around Lisbon, I just gave a personal reflection which I always do in my blog. Maybe my taste buds are damaged by too much chili in the past 😉 AND Mamas food was terrific. Maybe home cooked is the thing!) Signal Vermelho served more interesting food than many other places I tried and the flavors were great! Not to forget the deserts. The Portuguese really knows how to make both great deserts & pastries!!! (I will come back to the pastries part ;-))

After dinner we took a stroll in Bairro Alto which is a very much alive area at night. The small alleys fills up with people and  becomes one big party. Many mini clubs along the small streets offers a variety of music and themes. Below in the first picture Erin is getting ready for dinner in our dormitory :-).

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About 20-30 minutes with tram away from the central parts of Lisbon lies Belém, most famous for their pastries. Everywhere else those pastries are called Pastel de Nata but in Belém they are called Pasteis de Belém and they are the original once. In my opinion they are not much tastier than any other Pastel de Nata (and I ate two a day during three weeks from different places 😛 .) But to go there was kind of an adventures. Below queue and crowed is only because of those pastries. Belém also has many other beautiful sights as well. Nice green parks and a great waterfront promenade with some beautiful sights along the way. Not to forget the stunning Jerónimos Monastery that makes the trip very well wort 🙂

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At the end of my Lisbon stay my boyfriend arrived to join me for around 12 days :-). He started with spending three days in Lisbon with me and after that we traveled south (later posts). I had wanted to try one of many wine bars that Lisbon has to offer but I waited until Robert arrived to get his company. I had been looking at one just across the street from “Home” for many days and one night we went there. In the wine bars you drink wine (rather obvious ;)) and enjoy delicious cheeses and other tapas. We found the big mirror in-front of us rather amusing and had a great time making many selfies 🙂

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In Portugal prices are very good compared to many other parts of Europe. One thing I really appreciated was the low prices for Caipirinhas. I love Caipi´s but in Sweden you pay at least 12 Euro for one and that is just not worth it for me. But in Portugal I could enjoy them whenever I wanted  as you can understand from below price list 😉

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Fado is a special type of music that Portugal is very known for. It  features sentimental songs sung in a very emotional way. The way the Fado is performed, the facial and body expressions, are sometimes even more powerful than the actual words. Many restaurant in Lisbon, especially in the area Alfama (where the Fado was born), has free Fado entertainment if you dine at their place. I am so happy with the place we picked, “Esquina de Alfama” Many felt like it would be a tourist trap but this one felt genuine and the four Fado singers, including one of the waiters, gave an amazing show. At one moment tears fell down my cheeks when the younger lady in blue below was singing. Portuguese people enjoys to get in touch with the feeling of nostalgia, despair and desire. This is the way they do it and it is a very beautiful and strong memory for me to have witnessed a live Fado performance.

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Lisbon is a beautiful place with many interesting  things to do and see. I love that Lisbon feels very genuine and it´s people are laid back and very friendly. I will be back for sure! 😀

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About Jenny Trozell

Swedish girl with a passion for travelling, Latin dance and meeting new interesting and fun people :-)

Posted on August 24, 2014, in Portugal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Fun stories. Fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing both. Safe travels!

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of useful Lisbon information! Cheap mojitos and custard-filled pastries, -sounds like my kind of city:)

  3. Amazing…it seems to me you had lots of fun in Lisbon! Its nice to see the city through your eyes, Ive been to Lisbon before and didnt have so much fun as you did! With all your nice tips, Im guessing I will have to go there again and have some fun 😀 great photos!

  4. Congrats! Next time try to discover the movie locations in Lisbon 😉 (www.lisbonmovietour.com)

  5. All great ! Just can’t agree at all with your statement “the Portuguese cousin sometimes lacks a bit of flavor, in my opinion”… Besides the obvious typo :=) the Portuguese is anything besides lacking in flavor ! Other then that, thanks for writing about our beautiful city and country.

    • Thank you Olivier for finding the typo 😉 I have corrected that now. I fully understand that not everyone will agree with me regarding the flavor thing. Maybe it just had to do withe the region. In Alentejo I experienced more flavors. But I gave my personal overall experience. Maybe I didn´t find enough “genuine” places? But as you can read in this and my previous post I love your country I will for sure be back. So there will be plenty of opportunities to discover the Portuguese flavors 😉

  6. Hi, Jenny. I’ve booked to go to Lisbon in a couple of weeks, so reading up as much as I can to see where’s best to go and what to see. Definitely going to plan a visit to Esquina de Alfama. May I ask which bar you are at in the pic with the sea views behind you? Looks lovely.

    • Hi Natalie, the bar is the one on the Largo das Portas do Sol, with a view over Alfama. It is a good combo with Esquina de Alfama 🙂 Good luck with your planning and have a fabulous time!

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