Sunday, July 05, 2015

Lisboa's a Goer.

Here are my 10 humble recommendations for Lisbon/Portugal:

1 Olá! is hello, Bom dia is good morning (a nice one to know), Obrigado is thankyou, Por favor is please/excuse me. These will make the locals very happy and they'll then teach you anything else you need to know.
2 Try and stay as close to the river end of Av de Liberdade as you can, on the Bairro Alto side. There are good hostels in Baixa/Chiado and Bairro Alto areas, and these are great for nightlife, but down near Av de Liberdade will be quieter (and still close).
3 Spend some afternoons at the little kiosk cafes up and down the middle of Av de Liberdade - there's six to choose from and they all have different vibes, live music, and play the football if it is on.
4 Get lost in Alfama for an afternoon. It's pretty easy to do. Don't even try to use a map, just use your 5 senses instead.
5 Pastéis de Belém is THE place to go for the Portugese tart (Pastel de nata - said pashta d'nada). You can get them everywhere, but this is the ultimate (and of course touristy) tick box for Lisbon, and the Portugese are very proud of it. So get on the train and go to Belém, and then afterwards you can walk it off back up the river to the city (you'll also go under the big bridge - good for photos). Stop at the Dock area under the bridge for dinner too - there are some really good restaurants there.
6 By far the best and least known lookout (when I was there) is Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. The most fun to try and find, but totally worth it when you get there. Allllll the Lisbon hotspots in one shot, and some nice leafy trees to sit under and cool down smile emoticon
7 A little bit out of Lisbon for half day trips - Sintra - you MUST visit the castles in Sintra. And Cascais is good for the beach and sweet little village to wander around and eat ice cream in.
8 Have an afternoon beer up at Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcântara for the opposite views of the city you'll get at Senhora do Monte. It's so nice up there!
9 The best free walking tour - if you're down for it - is this one ( and it goes every morning at 10:30. It's really good for learning some history and stories you might otherwise miss. You just tip them what you think it is worth at the end.
10 Order Bruschetta at the big yellow cafe in the corner of the big main square where the Palace is (Praça do Comércio). Best. Bruschetta. of. my. life.

I spent most of our week in Lisbon itself (I went with my dad), except for a day up in Espinho, but the South and North of Portugal are very different, and competitive (like Sydney vs Melbourne), so I hope you have the time to get out and see the rest of the country too.

Até mais (see you later)! BIG LOVE X