Winding cobblestone streets, world-class wine, impeccable seafood, the passionate sounds of Fado music, and pink-hued sunsets to die for—those are just a few reasons to consider spending your honeymoon in Lisbon. Portugal's capital is often overlooked as one of Europe's most romantic cities, but the coastal city has been attracting many visitors lately, and for good reason. Not only is Lisbon incredibly romantic (just try not to hold hands as you stroll up and down the tiny streets of the old Alfama, or kiss as you hop onto one of many trollies around the city), but it's become one of the more affordable European cities to visit—music to a bride-to-be's ears! While we could spend weeks navigating Lisbon's ancient mysteries—not to mention the countless day trips to surrounding country and beachside towns—we're giving you the ultimate three-day crash course in honeymooning in the gorgeous city. Just make sure to pack comfy shoes, Lisbon's hilly landscapes are no joke—at least you'll keep up with your Fitbit after the wedding.
Settle into one of the boutique hotels in the Chiado neighborhood. You'll be right in the middle of the city's hustle and bustle and within walking distance from everything you want to see. The recently opened AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado aims to capture the city's romantic history in an 18th-century building with all the modern amenities (rainfall walk-in shower!). The hotel's honeymoon suite even features a fireplace, and breakfast is included (so many Portuguese pastries, so little time).
Walk down to the Baixa neighborhood, Lisbon's downtown, to begin to get acquainted with the city. The area was built back from scratch after the famous 1755 earthquake that decimated the city. If you want to get your bearings and have a professional guide you through parts of this complex city, we vote you hop on a "We Hate Tourism" jeep to save your feet from walking up and down the hills. You'll get a unique perspective on some of the top sites from locals.
For your first sunset in town, head up to the Bairro Alto Hotel's rooftop for a glass of Portuguese wine or Sangria and take in the city's pink hues as you enjoy the views. Next, start your dining tour off right with a seafood extravaganza at neighboring restaurant Sea Me—where fish are so fresh you can pick your own from the daily catch. Your wedding diet is well over so head to Santini for some of the world's best ice cream before strolling hand in hand with your loved one as the city's pink lights up the romance factor.
Get up early and make your way just outside of town to Belém (easily accessible by public transport or taxi). First things, first: get in line at Pastéis de Belém—don't be scared if it's long, it moves very fast. The iconic pastry shop holds the original recipe for Portugal's famous custard pastries, pasteis de nata. Indulge in these amazingly creamy treats right from the oven with a coffee, and make sure to take some to go (you'll want more later, trust us).
While you're in Belém make the most of a perfect slice of sightseeing. The 500-year-old Monastery of Jeronimos is a perfect example of the Age of Discovery's architectural masterpieces that marry European and Mourish styles. The Tower of Belém is another great Age of Discovery monument dedicated to the patron saint of Lisbon, St. Vincent. If you're curious about Lisbon's golden age, make sure to visit the Discoverers Monument on the water in Belém for spectacular views and a little slice of explorer history.
Lisbon's waterfronts have experienced a renaissance and one great example of this is Mercado da Ribeira, the city's old marketplace that's been transformed into a foodie's dream. The market is like a high-end food court with everything from fresh seafood, to cod fish croquettes (a Portuguese classic you can't miss!), cocktail tastings, and wines galore. Work off the food with a stroll uphill back to the Chiado and Bairro Alto area.
Take the Santa Justa lift or one of the funicular trams (such a fun experience!) up to the bohemian Bairro Alto for a romantic night of exploring the cobblestone streets and listening to Portugal's classic Fado music. Reserve ahead at Tasca do Chico for a more laidback, local experience, or head to one of the bigger concert halls for dinner and a show (we find the latter more romantic!). Before a night of music, make time for an amazing culinary experience at local favorite 100 Maneiras—the 10-course tasting menu makes navigating the food easier.
Morning and Afternoon
Hop on the old-fashioned 28 tram line to avoid the hills from the Baixa area to the castle and the old neighborhood of Alfama. Lisbon has no shortage of beautiful sights to see, and Castelo de Sã o Jorge (Saint George's Castle) is one that should not be missed. All of Lisbon's history can be experienced in this hilltop fort, where some ruins date back to 48 B.C. If history and ruins are not on your list of honeymoon priorities come for the panoramic views of Lisbon. The surrounding Alfama area is ideal for shopping for handcrafted souvenirs like Portuguese tiles (pay attention to these exquisite tiles as you walk around the city).
Make your last night a culinary experience you and your new spouse won't soon forget. Book a table at Portuguese chef du jour Jose Avillez's Belcanto restaurant (reserve this way in advance!). The top of the Avillez food chain, Belcanto has been awarded 2 Michelin stars and been included in several best world restaurant lists. If a formal dining experience is not your thing, Avillez's more casual Cantinho do Avillez still holds the chef's inventive culinary tastes, in an unfussy setting. Either way, save room for the chef's delectable desserts.
If you have an extra day or two, make your way to the ultra-romantic city of Sintra, where an ancient royal castle (the Portuguese King's summer home) will have you living all your Cinderella fantasies amidst glowing sunsets and incredible views of the coast. Or head to the adorable seaside suburb of Cascais for a beach day and some of the best seafood you've ever tasted—locals recommend Furnas do Guincho for excellent fish and beach views.