What to do on Your Birthday in Lisbon
Another year around the sun and you’re celebrating in Lisbon? Must be nice!
Lisbon is a popular birthday getaway destination for European nationals who can fly in and out of the city relatively quickly. It is thought that Lisbon’s birthday popularity stems from the availability of over sized Airbnbs that cost next to nothing to rent for a weekend.
You can essentially cram ten of your closest friends into a single space, each of you paying just a few euros a night. Chiado is the neighborhood most popular for these kinds of short getaways and inexpensive accommodation.
What to get up to around the city on your big day? Here’s a few options worth exploring in Lisbon.
Wine Tasting at The Lisbon Winery in Lisbon
Bairro Alto is a traditional yet notably bohemian part of Lisbon; it is my favorite area through which to venture on free guided walking tours.
The Lisbon Winery is situated in Bairro Alto which poses the perfect location for this 16th century cellar.
Portugal is often overshadowed by the French and Italians when it comes to wine. The reality being that Portugal has an extensive history within the wine industry and are producers of some of the finest wines in the world. A visit to the Lisbon Winery will give you a glimpse into this world.
The winery are happy to conduct specially curated birthday tastings for groups of two and up.
They start daily from 3pm and run for three hours per session. Included in your ticket cost are all of the following:
- Complimentary breads and water
- Guided Portuguese extra virgin olive oil tasting
- Cheese and charcuterie boards consisting of a variety of authentic Portuguese produce
- Portuguese Pata Negra Ham
- A guided commentary and wine tasting with a specialist
It’s a wonderful, fun way to spend one’s birthday afternoon with friends. If 3pm and later doesn’t suit the schedule of the day the winery is open to private bookings at alternative times. Simply contact them to make this happen.
Cost Per Person: €65
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday – 3pm to 10:30am
ADDRESS: R. da Barroca 13, 1200-047 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Baixa-Chiado
Sunset Cruise on the Tagus in Lisbon
Sailing the Tagus at sunset by yacht is a must in the summer months in Lisbon.
Yes, it is touristy. Yes, you’ve probably done it somewhere else in the world. But the Portuguese coast from the river bay is a vastly different experience to regular sailing on the open ocean.
There are many companies available to take tourists from the banks of the Avenida Brasília onto the water and around the bay. Lisbon by Boat is the company I would recommend when it comes to sunset sailing.
There are sunset cruise departures every thirty minutes or so starting at 5pm. To optimize the experience on your birthday you’ll want to catch the 7pm departure to ensure you’re actually on the water as the sun goes down.
The trip includes Portuguese wine, beers and appetizers. Alternative arrangements can be made for anyone who would like to bring their own meals on board.
Prices start at around €30 and can go up into the €200 region if private sailing is your preference.
Attend a Fado Show in Lisbon
Bairro Alto in the neighborhood for celebrations. It is where Lisbon’s nightlife is at its best; a balanced mix of restaurants, bars and performance venues .
On the eve of your birthday in Lisbon I suggest making your way into Bairro Alto in search of one of the only 18th century palaces to have survived the great earthquake.
In the palace cellar one finds Café Luso, one of the oldest fado houses in the Portuguese capital. The fado performances start at 8pm every night and run through until 2am with 20 minute intervals in between for refreshment.
The cellar can get packed, as this is considered one of the top venues in which to see fado in Lisbon. Arrive early for a drink and a snack so that your seats are pre-reserved. Mention there is a birthday and there’s chance of a small ode being made to acknowledge the person.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 7:30pm to 2am
ADDRESS: Tv. da Queimada 10, 1200-365 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Restauradores
A Three Course Dinner at Restaurante Laurentina o Rei do Bacalhau
If you’re celebrating your birth in Portugal you may as well dive deep into the traditional cuisines of the culture as well.
Amongst the fado houses in Chiado there is a gem of an authentic Portuguese restaurant called Restaurante Laurentina o Rei do Bacalhau. As you may have guessed from the name, the restaurant specializes in the Portuguese dish called bacalhau, which is basically salted and dried cod.
I recommend Restaurante Laurentina o Rei do Bacalhau for anyone who is dining either alone on their birthday (sorry) or with an intimate partner. It’s a romantic evening out, best experienced in smaller groups.
If you are treating someone to dinner at Restaurante Laurentina o Rei do Bacalhau for their birthday, excuse yourself from the table upon arrival and find the manager. Let him know your company is celebrating and that you’d like dessert to come with candles or some sort of elaborate gesture; they are always too happy to pull something together for the final dish.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 12PM – 11PM
ADDRESS: Av. Conde Valbom 71A, 1050-067 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Campo Pequeno
Picnic in the Jardim Botânico Tropical in Lisbon
Not to be confused with the garden of Belem, the Jardim Botânico Tropical is across the street just slightly north.
The Jardim Botânico Tropical is a lush, tropical public garden that offers a complete city escape. There are free roaming wildlife and a range of birds to be spotted once inside the park, which is already a more exciting birthday than you probably planned.
Picnicking in the park is encouraged. Bring along blankets, drinks, snacks — even music is allowed so long as it is kept low enough so as not to disturb the peace.
The Japanese garden is the best place to settle for long periods. There is a €2 entrance fee per person which goes toward the up keep of the gardens; well worth it.