Recently, Rick Stein visited Lisbon as part of his Long Weekend Series for BBC 2. Knowing that this episode would inspire others to visit Lisbon, I’ve put together a list of the places he visited so that you can create your own long weekend in Lisbon.
If you’re looking to re-create any of the dishes in Rick Steins program, he has a new cookbook out: Rick Stein’s Long Weekends. This book contains recipes for pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) along with a few other Portuguese dishes.
- Pasteis de Belem
- Cervejaria Ramiro
- A Valenciana
- Águas Livres Aqueduct
- Restaurante D’Adraga
- Mercado 31 de Janeiro
- Mercado Da Ribeira
- Ponto Final
Pastéis de Belém
The Pastéis de Belém café in Lisbon is probably the most popular café in Lisbon. The pastéis de nata are obviously great, although it’s worth noting they’re not necessarily the best in Lisbon. Several newcomers have popped up over the past few years, and they may even be better than the originals.
Our blog post about the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon features several other cafes that are worth visiting like Manteigaria and Aloma. If you visit Pastéis de Belém, be sure to compare them to some of the others and let us know what you think.
Of course, if you’re already visiting Belém to see Jerónimos Monastery or the Belém Tower you should go to Pastéis de Belém. It’s an institution, a historical landmark, and definitely worth a try.
- Website: pasteisdebelem.pt
- Address: Rua Belém 84-92, 1300-085 Lisbon, Portugal
Cervejaria Ramiro is one of the most popular cervejarias (seafood restaurants) in Lisbon. It used to be a fairly off-the-beaten track place but was made popular when Anthony Bourdain visited it a few years ago when he filmed No Reservations in Lisbon.
Now that it has been featured on two TV programs, it’s become incredibly popular and reservations are definitely recommended. They don’t always take them in which case you’ll need to queue. Getting there early (before 7.30pm and ideally before 7pm) means you’ll have a better chance of getting a table.
- Website: cervejariaramiro.pt
- Address: Av. Almirante Reis nº1 – H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal
Piri-Piri chicken (frango asado) is more of an Algarve dish. Many people say that if you want good piri-piri chicken, then you need to visit the Algarve. Restaurante Ramires in Guia is probably the most popular Algarvian restaurant, but I tend to go to Churrasqueira Valdemar in Silves or Churrasqueira Guerreiro in Portimão.
If you aren’t venturing towards the Algarve on this trip, then you will have to “make do” with the piri-piri in Lisbon. Rick Stein’s recommendation is A Valenciana, which is near Marquês de Pombal. Tip: It’s also quite close to Mercado 31 de Janeiro (the fish market Rick goes to) so you could cover both of these in a morning.
- Website: restaurantevalenciana.pai.pt
- Address: Rua Marquês de Fronteira 157, 1070 Lisboa, Portugal
Águas Livres Aqueduct
The Águas Livres Aqueduct is an incredibly beautiful attraction and definitely worth a visit. You can visit the aqueduct and its museum every day except Sundays. To visit the aqueduct using public transport, get off at Rato metro station on the yellow line.
- Address: Calçada da Quintinha 6, 1070-225 Lisboa, Portugal
On his way to Sintra, Rick Stein stopped at a beach-side restaurant for prawns and clams in garlic and coriander.
You’ll need a car to get here as it’s away from where the tour buses stop. The Agrada beach is nearby, so if the weather is good you have a good opportunity to combine it with some sunbathing or a walk along the coast.
- Website: restaurantedaadraga.com
- Address: Almoçageme, R. da Praia da Adraga, 2705-065 Colares, Portugal
Mercado 31 de Janeiro
Mercado 31 de Janeiro is one of Lisbon’s many fish markets. If you’re short on time, you can visit the main market in Mercado da Ribeira (the Time Out Market) which was the big food hall that Rick later visited.
If you’re a little more relaxed time-wise, Mercado 31 de Janeiro is worth a visit and you may even bump into the famous Acucena Veloso. The market is near the Picoas metro stop on the yellow line. As mentioned, it’s also close to A Valenciana if you want to try the piri-piri as well (if you’re not visiting the fish restaurant).
- Address: R. Eng. Vieira da Silva, 1050-094 Lisboa, Portugal
Mercado Da Ribeira
The Mercado Da Ribeira food market (Time Out Market) is one of Lisbon’s most popular markets and attractions. Here, you’ll find a number of food stalls offering everything from traditional Portuguese dishes such as leitão (suckling pig) and octopus salad to international dishes like burgers, sushi, and pizza. Rick tried the pig cheeks, bacalao with fried potatoes, and deep fried beans but you’ll see this is only a fraction of what’s available to try.
- Address: Av. 24 de Julho, 1200 Lisbon, Portugal
At the very end of the show, Rick visits Restaurante Ponto Final in Almada. This is on the other side of the river, giving you a good opportunity to visit the Christ the King Statue that you’ll no doubt have seen from the city. To get across to Almada, you will either need to go across the bridge or take the ferry. If you don’t have a car, the ferry is the easiest way to go. Just head to Cais do Sodré metro/train station, conveniently located next to the Time Out Market, and take the ferry from there. The ferry is part of the metro network so you can use your rechargeable metro card (available from any metro station) to pay for the trip.
(Thanks to Clare Keates for spotting this restaurant and letting us know which one it was.)
- Website: /
- Address: Rua do Ginjal 72, 2800 Almada, Portugal
Rick Stein visited Lisbon during the Dia de Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony’s Day). This takes place every year on the 12th/13th of June but be warned: it’s quite a popular time to visit Lisbon. Avoid making the same mistake as Rick by booking your hotel well in advance.
In terms of areas, I tend to avoid the Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré unless I’m certain that the hotel is fairly soundproof. Both of these areas are popular with late night drinkers and can be fairly noisy. Hopefully, the hotel you’re visiting will have soundproofed itself but it’s always worth double checking to make sure. If you go to the hotel’s page on tripadvisor, you can search by keywords such as ‘noisy’, ‘loud’, etc. to see whether it’s likely to be a problem.
Personally, I would look at hotels in Principe Real, Santos, and Alfama (the oldest district in Lisbon) for short stays in Lisbon. Those are just my choices, though. Although the hills are steep, the city is very accessible on foot so as long as you’re close to the centre, you won’t have a problem visiting the places mentioned above.
Or, if you want to copy Rick’s long weekend in Lisbon completely, stay at the Novotel Hotel (Tripadvisor link). It’s about five minutes from the Praça do Comércio. Oh, and they serve baked beans as well.