With a few annual leave days left to use up this year, Micu and I decided to do an impromptu city break to Lisbon, Portugal for a long weekend.
Lisbon is a wonderful and eclectic mix of old and new with its steep hills, wide boulevards, winding streets, vibrant street art, ancient crumbling buildings, beautiful tiled houses and cute trams racing up and down the city. We spent hours wandering through the streets, exploring the different neighbourhoods and soaking up the atmosphere. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best at times so we didn’t get a chance to visit a few things on our list, but we both really loved the feel of the city and want to go back again in summer next year to explore some more.
Where we stayed: Travellers House – it’s central, inexpensive, super spacious and really friendly.
Where we ate:
- Ramiro – famous for its fresh, simple but delicious seafood. Get there early to avoid lines or make a reservation because it is very popular, and rightly so!
- Mercado da Ribeira – a wonderful market which re-opened this year. It showcases dishes from some of the top Portuguese chefs in an upmarket (but not expensive) food hall. It’s definitely worth visiting for lunch or dinner.
- Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (also known as Pasteis De Belém) – one of the best Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tart) I have eaten. The cafe turns out up to 20,000 tarts a day, all hand-made on the premises using a secret recipe and served warm with cinnamon. One tart is not enough.
- Belém – for the famous custard tarts, Belém tower and the Berardo Museum (a free modern art gallery showcasing Warhol, Picasso, Dali and many others).
- Barrio Alto – really fun nightlife. The streets are lined with lots of tiny bars; perfect for bar-hopping all night.
- Taking tram 28 up to Estrela – it’s quite touristy but it covers some really beautiful areas along the way and takes you high up past the castle. We walked back down so we could take our time to stop off and explore the side streets.
- Tram watching – the quaint trams cover quite a bit of the city and are an efficient way of getting around. Our favourites were the one going up to Estrela which is tiny so it can navigate the winding, narrow streets, and the Elevador da Bica in Bairro Alto which is surrounded by picturesque streets and covered in graffiti.
Photos by Micu and I.
© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.