On our first full day in Lisbon, mom and I decided to take a Tuk Tuk tour in order to get acclimated with our new surroundings. Tuk Tuks are EVERYWHERE when you get to Lisbon. I associate them so much with South East Asian countries like Thailand so it was kind of funny to see that they have such a big presence in a European country like Portugal. There are plenty of tour companies offering Tuk Tuk tours around the highlights of the city but we went with Local Tuk Tuk because of the rave reviews they had on TripAdvisor— and they did not disappoint!
We did the “Wonders of Lisbon” 4 hour tour. While Local Tuk Tuk offers a variety of different tour options and lengths, I liked the look of Wonders of Lisbon because it promised to show us all of the things I already knew I wanted to see in Lisbon plus a few more!
We met our wonderful guide, Madalena, just down the street from our hotel and took off on our Tuk Tuk adventure.
Our first stop was up toward the Alfama area. We weaved and wove through the steep, narrow streets of Alfama. Dodging other tuktuks and the quintessential yellow streetcars of Lisbon along the way. Madalena was certainly an expert in navigating the little roads.
We loved checking out some of the incredible views Lisbon’s many hills offer. We visited the viewpoints of Santa Luzia, Portas do Sol, and Nossa Senhora do Monte. Our jaws dropped at the wonderful sights over the Tagus river and city.
We particularly loved Portas do Sol because of the little market there. We both went a little crazy buying necklaces and bracelets from one vendor.
Another thing I really loved was taking photos of all the interesting street art we saw. Of course, there are the beautiful tile artworks sprinkled all over the city, but I was surprised by how many interesting murals there were as well.
Next up, we tried a classic Portuguese liquor… Ginja. Ginja tastes sort of like a strong cherry liquor. It’s made from infusing ninja berries in alcohol and adding sugar. The best part about it is that it is traditionally served in this perfect little chocolate shot glass. Mom and I weren’t sure how we were going to like it, but it turns out we were pleasantly surprised! We even bought a little bottle to bring home for my dad and Lewis to try.
Another highlight was visiting Belem with OF COURSE a stop at the famous Pastéis de Belém for the OG Pasteis de Nata… a DELICIOUS custard tart that you MUST try if you visit Lisbon. The line for Pasteis de Belem is super long because it’s that famous but when you travel with Madalena she sneaks you through a special back door and skips the line to pick up some warm, freshly made pastries just for you! Amazing!
After devouring our pastries we started to make our way back toward the city center where we were picked up. But not without a few stops on the way.
I was in absolute awe of this man… he had coins from all over the world and used a teeny, tiny saw to carve out shapes in the coins. I couldn’t resist but buy a few.
By the time we made it back to central Lisbon we were pretty hungry for dinner by the time our tour was over so we had Madalena drop us off at Time Out Market so we could find something to eat. Time Out was a little overwhelming — so many options! — but we settled on some Thai food which turned out to be really, really good!
Overall, I would definitely reccomend checking out Local Tuk Tuk if you are in Portugal! We loved learning all about Lisbon through the eyes of a native. It was also a really great experience to tour from a tuktuk, we were able to enjoy the fresh air while covering much more ground than we ever could on foot or even bicycle. The tour pace was great as Madalena allowed us time at each stop to get out and walk around or take photos. We never felt rushed or bored. Thank you, Madalena and the team at Local Tuk Tuk!
If you’re interested in checking out the exact tour we did click here.
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