Disclaimer: This post comes quite delayed because I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep this blog only for food or broaden the topics. Truth is, food is one of my favorite things in life but not the only thing. Talking about only 1 thing, in my case, would be like reading only 1 chapter of a book. 🙂
We went to Lisbon from the 18th to the 23rd of March, to escape the long winter of the Netherlands and go seek some sun and warmth. I was afraid of spring rain but in general we were pretty lucky with the weather (except for one really cold day in Sintra). Now I can say with certainty that this trip was the highlight of the year; I can't wait to go to Lisbon again with so many more things to see and do. Lisbon got my heart.
This was our itinerary. We managed to see most of the turistic places also with some time to relax and enjoy the city. Below you'll find Day 1, click on the links to go to the other posts.
- Day 1 - Lisbon
- Day 2 - Belém
- Day 3 - Cascais and Sintra
- Day 4 & 5 - Bairro Alto, Fado and the Oceanarium
Day 1 - Lisbon
We arrived around 11 AM, so after a quick drop by the hotel we immediately went in the centre. We started from Praça Rossio and went through the beautiful Rua Augusta towards Praça do Comercio.
When you walk through Rua Augusta you don't know where to look. In front you have the stunning triumphal arch with the ocean as a background. Then you're completely surrounded by historical buildings with all different and unique facades covered in colorful Azulejos, the typical portuguese tiles. Also the pavement made of black and white cobblestones creates beautiful patterns all along. It's jawdropping.
When we reached the huge Praça do Comercio we found a nice market with artisanal products. We bought here our first souvenir, a cute coffee cup with a fado guitar shaped saucer.
We gazed for a while at the ocean. Then, after watching the thousands of seagulls attacking people with food (yeah, I laughed a lot), we also started to feel hungry. We went looking for food, walking through a road full of restaurants. Here we were also "attacked" by the waiters of every single restaurant, just like seagulls; but instead of taking your food they were sticking their menus on your face. It's rather annoying but that's how it works there. We decided to go in the first restaurant that wouldn't harass us (it took a while to find one) and just get a simple salad.
After lunch we went to see the Santa Justa lift, built in 1902 and still functioning today. It's one of the main turistic attraction because of its beautiful architecture in neo-gothic style. You have to wait in queue for like an hour and pay 6 euros to go inside. In a few seconds you'll be in a terrace (which we then noticed was also accessible by stairs) with a nice view on the city.
We then decided to walk to the Cathedral and then the castle because, according to my boyfriend in charge of the map, it was "just there around the corner". It wasn't.
The Castle of S. Jorge is absolutely amazing, it's a huge space with well maintained gardens with peacocks and medieval ruins, plus the most beautiful view of the whole city. We watched a romantic sunset and then we went back to the hotel walking through the pictoresque Alfama alleys.
The best dinner
The restaurant we chose for the first day (and the only one worth of mention from this trip) was Restaurante Laurentina where I ate the best portuguese cheese (queijo de Azeitao), the best bacalhau (traditional dried and salted cod based dishes) and drank the best Vinho Verde. We finished the dinner with Ginjinha, a sour cherry liqueur which immediately went into my top 5 of favorite liqueurs of all time (second place, after Limoncello no less).
Now read: Day 2 - Belèm ------>