Feel-good things you can do in Lisbon during lockdown

Pairing feelgood and lockdown in the same sentence seems counterintuitive, but then today I felt genuinely overjoyed over the sight of a crumpled big leaf, and not a particularly attractive one either. So maybe, all it takes is just to lower your expectations.

All jokes aside, grappling to find something hopeful and edifying as each day dwindles on has its challenges. In Lisbon, this takes a particularly strange turn, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colour, yet filled with nothing and no-one that makes it colourful.

But things keep ticking on, and there are cheerful things we can do in Lisbon whilst stuck in this lull. Some altruistic, others not so much, and some of which also depend on cash, which may not be freely flowing right now. But there is something for everyone below living in Lisbon right now:

Learn coding online at Le Wagon

The internationally renowned coding boot camp regularly hosts introductory courses at its campus in Lisbon (HTML, CSS and more), but luckily for us, the kind fellas at Le Wagon have built an extensive program of coding webinars we can take part in during lockdown too.

Buy weird and wonderful house plants online from independent Lisbon florists

Out of lockdown, one of life’s small pleasures for me is accumulating weird plants from florists with odd collections. Getting excited about the rejects I’ll find that only a mother could love, and that my resigned boyfriend will have to put up with, is something I miss.

 

Bonding with florists in store over greenery, like we are talking about much-loved offspring isn’t really possible right now, but supporting local stores like Oficina Verde, Saudade, Limbo, and Super Botanica and buying plants online is.

Use Too Good To Go

Maybe purchasing a three-course meal right now is out of the question, but what about purchasing reduced, unsold food from Lisbon bakeries and restaurants and reducing food waste? Too Good To Go is where it’s at. You can collect a ‘magic bag’ for less than 4 euros from the likes of Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Mezze and Baguette & Cornets. And who doesn’t feel thrilled (and a little nostalgic) by the mere thought of getting a ‘magic bag’?

 

Too Good To Go has also created the #SupportLocal not-for-profit project during the pandemic, which helps local businesses sell special takeaway (not surplus) menus that customers can buy and collect through the app. This includes acclaimed restaurants such as In Bocca al Lupo, Bowls & Bar and Polpetta.

Write an online review for your favourite locals

Not everyone is in a financial position to be spending money supporting local businesses, but everyone can spare a few minutes to leave a glowing review via Google Maps, Yelp or TripAdvisor for their favorite independents in Lisbon. It’s small, but it counts.

Go to Campo Mártires da Pátria park to see some chickens

Most parks I’ve been to in Lisbon are rightly closed at the moment, but I’ll admit I was secretly thrilled to discover that this wasn’t the case about my beloved Campo Mártires da Pátria.

campo-martires-park

This is a tiny, lusciously green park filled with chickens and geese, randomly located in a very urban, very downtown part of Lisbon. Whilst I’m not suggesting everyone should head down there en masse for a big germ party, passing through for a quiet walk is one of the few remaining joys to be had in lockdown.

Volunteer to deliver food to the elderly

If there is one thing most of us have too much of currently, its time. So, sign up for the Lisbon food delivery volunteering scheme SOSvizinho (providing you are healthy, of course) and help the vulnerable and elderly by delivering food to be left on the doorstep. If you aren’t motivated to do it for altruistic reasons, do it to feel saintly about it afterwards.

Walk along the river

If you need to just get away from it all, and let’s face it, who hasn’t felt that urge at some point in the past weeks, walking along the vast stretch of the river may be the medicine you need. Whether it’s down by Alcântara, or all the way up past Oriente, the whistling breeze whilst watching the few lonely ships slowly making their trips to god knows where is as soothing as it gets.