It’s the first time I talk about Portugal! Yay! I like to introduce a new destination on my blog, and what better way to do it than to tell you what I loved about the capital: Lisbon. Normally, I don’t say that you have to absolutely see the capital when visiting a new country, but in this case, Lisbon is so adorable that it’s a must-see, and I’ll tell you my 5 favorite things about this city.
1. The back alleys
The number one advice I got before going to Lisbon was to check out the back alleys and I’ll give you the exact same advice. The back alleys are where you can feel the citizen vibe, see the typical hanging clothes and watch kids running. Memories hid in the back alleys.
Tips : Even if I never felt insecure during my trip in Portugal, I would suggest you walk down the alleys by day. Not only will it be more secure, but it will also be more alive.
2. Lisbon is so colorful
Colorful places give me energy and make me want to create. I sure felt creative in Lisbon where every building has in own ceramic color that creates a rainbow with the typical orange roofs.
If you like to collect pictures of textures while you’re on vacation, it’s the perfect place to start a ceramic picture contest. I took a lot of them!
3. The food
Oh. My. God. If I had listen to myself, I would have just eat. As I always say, I like fish… and not just the ones who swim (I’m cruel, I know). If you go to Lisbon, eat as many fish as you can. It tastes like heaven, and Omega 3 is good for you! Double win! Yay!
Tips: If you’re not travelling alone and you want to save money, order only one plate to share. Portion are gigantic everywhere in the city (and everywhere in Portugal). I suggest you go in Bairro Alto for at least one dinner. The best restaurants are there, you’ll have to chance to hear Fado, plus it’s the place to be at night to party!
And I couldn’t mention Portuguese food without talking about the famous Pasteis de Nata, the traditional dessert. It’s an egg tart pastry that you can find pretty much everywhere. The best ones are supposed to be at the Fábrica dos pastéis de Belém. I must admit I didn’t taste those ones in particular, but the crowd in front of the pastry shop convince me. If you don’t want to wait in line, Pasteis de Nata on Augusto street are really good too.
4. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos
The Monument to the Discoveries.
I tend to feel more calm and at ease in towns that touch water. In Lisbon, you can walk along the Tagus river and admire the Monument in Bélem neighborhood. It has been conceive to celebrate the Portuguese Age of Discoveries and faces the river where the ships departed to explore the road to India and Orient.
Not all citizens like the Monument, and they call it « Stop shoving Monument ». Ahaha!
Tips: Try to go in Bélem during the week days if you want to avoid the crowd. It’s a little far from the center of Lisbon so everybody seems to wait for the weekend to go there. The Monastery of Jerónimos and the Belem Tower are all close from each other so it’s easy to visit them all in one day. On my side, I abandoned the idea because I was there on a Saturday and the line up was just completely insane.
5. The Poppies near the castle
I like to notice the difference between the wildflowers growing in my town and elsewhere. In the case of Lisbon, there were poppies growing everywhere near the Castelo de São Jorge. For us from Canada, it’s pretty rare to see those flowers. I liked the bright red color splash they created around the castle, bringing a fairy tale look to the landscape.
Over all, I passed 3 complete days in Lisbon and I think it’s the minimum to explore different neighbourhoods. While planning your trip to Portugal, try to be in Lisbon at least one day during the weekend, to party in Bairro Alto, and one day during the week, to explore some areas that are too crowded during the weekends. My best choice would be Thursday to Saturday, or Friday to Sunday. Be careful, a lot of places are close on Mondays in Portugal.
What are your favorite things about Lisbon? Did you notice the wildflowers?
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