Lisbon, Portugal has been on my city-break list for a few years and I have just come back from there.
We got the Aerobus from Lisbon Airport to Saldanha where we were staying, it cost 6 euro and we could use the ticket on the bus network for that day.
We stayed in Neya Hotel Lisboa, it was an eco hotel which was sufficient and we had a lovely breakfast. The hotel was located 8 minutes from the Saldanha metro. The staff were very friendly, learnt a lot about the Portuguese education system and learnt a lot about Portuguese wine. Tried a beautiful wine and can’t remember the name, it was gorgeous! Learnt a new tip, take photographs of the products you like so you can buy it from the supermarket.
The next day we used the metro and we bought a one day ticket which cost 6 euro. You can use it on the buses and trams too. The metro is easy to navigate.
It was interesting to see the Portuguese using a natural resource for seating aka cork on the metro!
It is valid for 24 hours when you first activate it. We were only there for two days and there was no point buying the Lisboa card as we wouldn’t get value for money and we were there Sunday- Tuesday morning and the museums were closed on Monday ( you can get a discount with the Lisboa card on attractions).
Guess what we did next? If you have read my previous posts there is a running theme something called a Walking Tour. I book with Sandemanns throughout Europe, we went on one for 3 hours.
We went to a square where we met the statue of Portuguese version of Shakespeare.
We walked to an old square there is changing of the guard .
In this square, look around you. You will see something if you are a Harry Potter fan. You will see something which inspired J.K.Rowling who lived in Portugal as a language teacher in the early 1990s.
There is a water fountain which inspired The Chamber of Secrets.
There was an earthquake in 1755 which demolished a lot of the old buildings and claimed many lives.
We saw the Elevator de Santa Justa which was designed and inspired by the French designer Eiffel. You can see a vista of the city for 5 euros return or you can use the Viva Vagem card for 1.45. It connects the Baixa Chiado neighbourhood to Bairro Alto district
There is the castle which you can hike to, it is a bit hilly with cobbled streets so leave the high-heels and brogues at home!
We walked around the castle walls and did not enter the castle as you can get views for free around the city. There are winding streets with little side streets with restaurants bbqing sardines and their wears. There are some shops for you to browse and you will see some..
Walking along the winding streets, we saw lots of street art and festive decoration:
The Portuguese people are friendly and warm and so helpful
You can buy Menu of the day from 12-3pm in most restaurants, for three courses and a drink the lunch will cost between 10 euro and 15 euro. Be mindful the Portuguese eat late from 730/8pm so make sure you choose your time to eat or head to a bakery and treat yourself to a Pastenata- a Custard tart for touring on the go.
You can also try the Cherry Liqueur too as an appetiser. I tried the local beer which were called Sagres and Superbock they were refreshing and reasonable.
We walked through the heart of Lisbon to the main square which was impressive and so spacious.
You can walk along the river and you’ll see a bridge that looks exactly like the Golden Gate Bridge because it is a copy by the same architect.
You can visit places such as Sintra which has a fairytale castle and gardens which you can get the train to, it takes about 30 minutes. You should also goto Hipster haven called LX Factory which has a funky book shop, places to eat and drink too.
Visit Belem too, again using the train, there is a tower you can climb and there is a pastry shop where you can buy the famous pastelnata.
I enjoyed Lisbon, after spending two days in Lisbon, I felt that was enough. I was ready for my next adventure to Porto which was via train from Santa Apolonia train station to Porto’s Campanha station.