The Tacky Tourist’s Guide to Lisbon

Tacky Tourists' Guide to LisbonIf you’ve now packed your sandals and the white socks to wear with them during your trip to Lisbon, and are now planning what to see and do in the city, this is the guide for you. After all, prides itself in the fact that it’s a guide for everyone, for all kinds of people coming to Lisbon. Here’s a suggested itinerary:

When you arrive at the airport, take a taxi to your hotel. Don’t worry about the language barrier. Just say the name of the hotel and thank the driver with a “gracias.” It’s Spanish, but he’ll understand. After all, Spain is right next door.

It’s now probably past your hotel’s breakfast time, so do the next best thing — go to Starbucks in the Belem district. As GoLisbon has already told you here, that great American franchise is opening in that neighborhood soon.
After your muffin and frappuccino, hop on an open-top tour bus. After all, you’re already in the Belem district and that’s where most of the city’s sights are. You get to see the entire city from a moving vehicle and still get to take pictures! The city looks particularly beautiful by the water. It’s not the Mediterranean, by the way. It’s a river called Tagus or Tejo in Portuguese (the local language which looks like Spanish but sounds like Russian). Across the river is not Morocco or even the island of Madeira as many tourists in the past have guessed. It’s a suburb called Almada. No use going there unless you want to take a look at the Cristo Rei. It’s a replica of that big statue in Rio de Janeiro. It’s kinda cool because it’s big and made out of concrete. Plus, no need to go to Rio after that! It really saves you some money.

You’ve now seen the entire city on that bus tour, and it’s time for lunch. Did you know Lisbon has one of Europe’s biggest shopping malls? When it opened in 1998 it was the largest in Iberia. Iberia is the peninsula that makes up Spain and Portugal. It’s in Southern Europe. In case you arrived on a cruise, that’s where you are right now. Anyway, Colombo is the name of the shopping mall. It’s big. It has such a huge food court! You can choose from McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and so many other fast food places that are familiar to you! Yes, Lisbon’s got them too!
Take the opportunity to shop around the mall. It’s big. So many shops! There are even two Zaras! Try finding that at many other malls across Europe! To recover from all the shopping, it’s time to rest a while. Take the subway and head back to the center of the city. Take advantage of Happy Hour at one of the Irish pubs in Cais do Sodré. There are two of them within walking distance from each other! The drinks are cheap and you can even get Guinness! Yes, Lisbon’s got it too!

OK, back to the subway. You’ve probably read that most restaurants in Lisbon are in Bairro Alto. Don’t bother. That place has so much graffiti, it’s scary. Besides, you heard that Portuguese food is all made with cod and who likes that stinky bacalao? Head to Parque das Nações. It’s so modern! It’s got so many tall buildings. And restaurants too. There’s an entire row of international restaurants, and a couple of them even offer all-you-can-eat buffets! Man, you can really stuff yourself for less than 15 euros! If you don’t go for the buffets, you can still be sure to have a fulfilling meal because many of these are chain restaurants and serve big portions like you get back at home. Obviously you can’t go straight to bed in a full stomach, so walk around the neighborhood. Parque das Nações really has many cool modern buildings! And did we mention they’re tall?! Best of all, there’s a casino! It’s so awesome!  It has the roulette, and you can even play poker or blackjack! Best of all is playing the slot machines. Just like in Vegas! Of course you should not get too carried away and spend all your money there. Once you’ve seen the free acrobatics show at the rotating bar of the casino (it’s amazing, filled with flashing lights during the show, and the music is really pumping), head back to the subway and get off at Restauradores in the center of the city. That’s where you’ll find Lisbon’s very own Hard Rock Café. How cool is that?! There’s a car (a real one!) hanging from the ceiling! Have your drinks as you watch the pop videos on the screens, listen to the loud music, and mingle with other tourists. Who knows? — maybe you’ll even bump into someone from back home. That would be one hell of a coincidence, wouldn’t it? Don’t leave without passing by the gift shop. Get your very own “Hard Rock Café – Lisbon” key chain or shot glass! After all, getting such a cool souvenir is the best way to end your stay in Lisbon. Isn’t it such a cool city?! Tell your friends.