Lisbon has been on my travel list forever so I was very excited when we finally went on a 2 day trip to Lisbon over a weekend in May. We decided to go on a Friday and Saturday as we have often experienced being in a city somewhere in Europe where everything is closed on a Sunday.
Lisbon is not a small city so to experience all of it you would need some form of transport to get from one end of the city to the other. We spent the Friday doing a hop on hop off bus tour as it saved us having to hop on and hop off the metro and we could at least see the city while on board a bus. On the Saturday morning we tried to take a tram ride and attempted to visit the hilltop castle Castelo de Sao Jorge. As it was pouring with rain by the time we got to our stop we decided not to do the walk up to the castle and caught a tuk tuk instead to the closest indoor venue, Timeout indoor food market. By the time we got there, the market was absolutely heaving with people. Obviously everyone else had the same idea as us – eat and drink inside while it’s pouring outside 🙂 I’d definitely recommend trying the many different foods at this market but you’ll need to go there on an empty stomach 😉 It was disappointing that the weather wasn’t great but I’m thankful that Friday was at least not a washout in comparison to Saturday and that we still managed to experience a few things. This leads me to…
My top 5 Lisbon highlights
- Casa Amora guest house – we usually stay at hotels rather than B&B’s or guesthouses on getaways but this time I wanted to stay somewhere different for our weekend in Lisbon. We got to the guest house sometime after 9pm on the Thursday night where we were welcomed by our host Juan. From the moment we walked in to when we left the guest house we were amazed by Juan’s friendliness, hospitality and eagerness to make sure we were happy and comfortable. I loved our experience at the guest house and it was definitely a highlight of our trip. We were also surprised to find out that Juan is actually South African which explained the typical South African “big personality” 🙂 Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos of the guest house except for the lovely outside area where breakfast was served and where the food and wine walking tour started 🙂 (Read further on about that…)
- Historical monuments and sights – Lisbon is filled with history, arts and culture and is great for history buffs. Some sights I was impressed with were the Tower of Belem, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Águas Livres Aqueduct and Jerónimos Monastery.
- Lisbon street art – if you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know that I love street art. Whilst researching Lisbon I found there’s a lot of street art to check out in Lisbon. After our hop on hop off bus tour on the Friday we went back to the areas we passed on the bus to take photos of the colourful street art.
- Pasteis de nata – a visit to Lisbon would have been incomplete without having the famous pastei de nata at a Portugese pastelaria (pastry shop). I’m a sucker for custardy desserts and have always loved eating these. This is an egg tart pastry which should be light and not overly sweet. We visited the famous Pasteis de Belem shop for their heavenly tarts. I would recommend bypassing the takeaway queues outside and going inside to sit down and eat. You can also order extra to take away from your table. I probably could have stuffed my face with a few of these tarts but wanted to save my appetite for the evening outing.
- Food and wine walking tour – in conjunction with JourneyIn the Casa Amora guesthouse also offers walking tours. We decided to do the Friday evening food and wine walking tour with a lovely Canadian family that were also staying at the guesthouse. Juan started the tour off in the pretty outside area of the guest house where we had some wine and Portuguese tapas. I was enjoying the tapas so much that I could easily have sat there for the rest of the evening eating and drinking in such charming surroundings. After about an hour, Rui, our tour guide for the evening then arrived and proceeded to take us on a memorable evening with 3 food/wine stops. Some highlights of the evening was an introduction to the delicious easy drinking Vinho Verde (Portuguese green wine), the surprise stop along the way and the traditional Portuguese singing called Fado.
Overall I had a really nice time in Lisbon even though it was only one full day of sightseeing. I’d love to visit the city again when the sun is shining as there’s still a few things I would love to see. And the food…the food is always a good reason to go back to Portugal 😉
Have you been to Lisbon? What did you enjoy about Lisbon? I’d love to hear about it.
This week’s theme on the Blog Tag is Travel and this post covers the “Recent Holiday” topic. If you would like to take part in the fun on The Blog Tag click on the link or the picture below.