Things I don’t like about Lisbon

To point out the things I don’t like about Lisbon is a breeze compared to highlighting what I do: there are simply too many to count.


But as charming as this capital I’ve called home for the past two years is, there are always going to be some things that grate a little.

Dawdling at the checkout

I’ve concluded Brits don’t dawdle because we are too uptight and anxious to even consider it. I never realised how grateful I was for this tendency until I experienced Lisbon supermarkets.


Queues are a slow, painful process, largely because there is absolutely no sense of urgency amongst the Portuguese to pack at the checkout with speed. I have tried to develop patience about it and completely failed.


Sometimes, I think about the time I saw a British hen do in Lidl here: loud, sunburnt and decked in personalised Fruit of the Loom tops, buying at least four conveyor belt’s worth of items, three-quarters of which was alcohol. It was this latter aspect that gave themselves away to be British to the rest of the queue, provoking a quiet echo of tuts and giggles. I’ll concede it was mildly embarrassing.


But boy, did they pack at lightning speed – and for that, I felt just a little bit of pride. We may have an alcohol-dependent reputation that precedes us, but you can’t knock our efficiency.

Tiled pavements

Walking around this beautiful city can be akin to waddling along slowly like a penguin that is less acclimatised to his habitat, if you don’t pick some sturdy shoes. The streets are slippy and this predicament only gets worse if it rains. Say goodbye to heels.



There is so much wonderful seafood to be had in Lisbon, but dried and salted cod should not be included in this category. Worth trying at least once though.

Slow walking

I am a fast walking Londoner who has chosen to live in a country known for its slower pace of life, I can accept I may well be the problem here.

Dating Portuguese men

A bit like vinho verde, sweet but a little disappointing.

Pink Street

The Lisbon ‘strip’. Where the outrageously intoxicated and mediocre music harmoniously intertwine. In other words, it is a local’s nightmare.