For my master I decided to move to Lisbon and to spend 1,5 years in that new becoming hip city. Convincing points were the lovely weather, cost of living and various leisure offers.
To get an overview of the places in Lisbon where you would like to go during your stay I recommend taking the free walking tour (lasts for 3h) or using the Hop-on Hop-off Bus. The
most popular thing to do in Lisbon is the roundtrip with the Tram28. It’s pretty touristic but even so I enjoy myself doing it. If you want to have a seat, get on the tram at the starting point in Martim Moniz. Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood of Lisbon, really beautiful and has various viewpoints.
Baixa-Chiado is downtown where you find the shopping streets. Alternatively you can go to one of the shopping malls (e.g. Colombo, El Corte Inglés). Next to Baixa-Chiado is Bairro Alto. That’s where you go at night for drinks. It gets really busy and noisy there. I prefer going out at Cais do Sodré. Portuguese people usually go there, and it has not that mainstream flair as Bairro Alto.
My absolutely favourite neighbourhood is Príncipe Real. The streets are really beautiful and it has lots of lovely cafés, restaurants and bars. Breakfast is really big in Lisbon right now, which took my brunch craving to a whole new level. Keep in mind that you'll have to expect a queue everywhere, especially on weekends. My preferred ones are Heim Café, Fauna & Flora, Zenith,
Frutaria and Nicolau. Normally I don’t go to clubs too much in Lisbon. However, if you are looking for electronic music, go to Lux or events of LX Music. Good alternative would be Bosq.
If you don’t want to drink on the streets (as you do in Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré), there are some bars which are really nice: Pensão Amor (also for dancing), Loucos (very local), Cinco (more relaxed, great cocktails), Foxtrott (30s style, need to ring the bell to get in, amazing cocktails), Gin lovers (specialized in gin), Casa Independente (mainly locals, alternative).
There are also lots of rooftop bars in Lisbon: Park Bar (Roof of a parking garage, very touristy, also for dancing until approx. 2 am), Lost In (also for dinner), Topo (at Martim moniz, good music), Topo chiado (more café), Madame Petisca, and Rio Maravilha. There are also some open airs: Brunch Electronic, register on “Ela east Lisbon afters” in FB and check Village Underground.
In terms of restaurants, Lisbon has also a lot to offer as well: They really know how to do Pizzas (favorites: Zerro Zerro, Mercantina, La Puttana, Luzzo's). If you feel like eating a steak, go to Atalho (nice location) or Cabaças (your 300g raw steak will be served on a hot stone).
At Palacio Chiado you can choose from all kinds of dishes (very nice locations).
At Time Out Market you also getvarious food, but typically very busy there. Great Mexican food you get at Mez Cais (best), Guacamole, Pistola y Corazón or Las Ficheras.
To get really good Portuguese food, you need to go to Toma Lá Dá Cá or Ponto Final (expensive), which is my absolute insider tip. You get there by taking the ferry to the other side of the river and will enjoy a stunning location & view.
Never to forget ice cream: best ones are at Nannarella and Davvero.
For any restaurants try to make a reservation!
One thing you shouldn’t skip is the LX Factory, an old industrial zone with cafés, bars, restaurants and shops. I love going there on Sundays because there’s a market.
There are lots of beaches around Lisbon. For surfing go to Costa de caparica (at the final bus stop there are nice beach restaurant) or Praia do Guincho. Just for chilling around, go to Cascais (nice village) or Carcavelos (closest one). Absolute insider tip is the peninsula “Tróia” but takes some time to get there.