<— First read Day 1 – Lisbon , Day 2 - Belém and Day 3 - Cascais and Sintra
We used the last 2 days to relax and visit and experience the other main things on my list.
We started the day with a delicious breakfast in a bar/bakery near the hotel. The ambience reminds me a lot of Italian bars, were all the locals meet in the morning for coffee or cappuccino to have a chat and gossip. There was a huge counter full of many delicious pastries, it was very difficult to choose! In the end I ordered a Cappuccino (well made) and a short pastry hand pie filled with Nutella (so heavy and so delicious). I felt at home for a moment.
Next stop was the Campo Pequeno, which is a big arena used for corridas and concerts. We literally exited the metro, took a photo and went back in the metro. I actually don't know why we even went there. Anyway, we continued our tour: next stop, Parque Eduardo VII. A cool city park built as a vertical uphill strip of green. Also today we started looking for a ghost lake which appeared in the map but was nowhere to be found. After a nice walk my boyfriend convinced me to go to the shopping mall we saw nearby.
We had a quick lunch and then we went to the supermarket to buy some local products to bring home: cheese, biscuits and, of course, bacalhau.
Next stop was (finally) Bairro Alto. We actually only walked like 50 metres in Bairro Alto because I just wanted a photo with the famous Tram 28, the oldest Lisbon tram which does the "tour" of the city . I actually wanted to ride it but it was too full (and quite expensive too).
We then decided to go back to Praça do Comercio to buy some more souvenirs: ceramics, a magnet and a colorful stuffed sardine toy for my cat. (I swear I don't usually buy souvenirs for my cat but this was too cute!).
A magical dinner
For dinner we made a reservation to a Fado restaurant. I was really looking forward to this and I was right, it was an amazing night! We ate at Povo, a cute little intimate place with nice food and great music in Cais do Sodrè. The Fado is a typical Portuguese guitar (with a funny shape) and a typical Portuguese folk style of music. The Fado player was accompanied also by a guitarist and the singer with her amazing voice singing the beautiful Portuguese songs made the night even more enchanting. It's an experience that I certainly recommend you do in Lisbon.
After the dinner with entertainment we go towards the station which is near the ocean so we decided to sit a few minutes on the shore to look at the beautiful city lights at night, breathe the warm air and enjoy every second of this peaceful happy moment. We love Lisbon.
Day 5, Last day
For our last day I insisted on visiting the Oceanarium as it is the biggest one in Europe and I haven't been in one since I was little.
We go quite early in the morning and the first wow moment was at the metro station which I didn't know what build for the EXPO in 1998. Beautiful architecture.
We took a walk along the river to reach the Oceanàrio de Lisboa and with our luck we encounter a Kindergarten field trip entering at the same time, what fun. We try to go faster, to leave behind the screaming kids but they catch up, so we decided to slow down and stay behind, but somehow we catch up again. So in the end we didn't really enjoy the visit but it was still really beautiful. And I saw penguins and otters, which is enough to make me happy.
We had lunch at the Oceanàrio, big portions of cheap good food, thumbs up! Then after lunch we went back to Cais do Sodrè for our last stop: Landeau Chocolate. I've read about this place in many articles and it has been proclaimed as best chocoate cake in the World. I don't know if it was the best in the World but it's certainly one of the best chocolate cakes I've eaten so far.
A perfect ending for a perfect holiday
After this delicious break we head back towards the hotel to start packing. In front of the station we noticed a bunch of people but we just went past it and went inside. And that's when I noticed the Masterchef logo everywhere. I freaked out, screaming like a little girl and taking pictures behind the curtains where there was the temproary kitchen. My boyfriend was imbarassed by my b
ehaviour and acting like he didn't know me (I can't blame him). So I ran back outside and saw all the cameras and the contestants in the blue and red teams trying to sell the food they made to get more points. I was as happy as a clam and didn't want to leave. My boyfriend had to drag me away at some point. What a day!
Note: only recently I found out that that was actually an episode of Masterchef Celebrity. Of course, being the celebrities all Portuguese I didn't know any of them. I also watched the episode and sadly noticed that they cut me out of all footage (sad face).
I certainly want to go back to Lisbon soon, as I felt the time we spent there wasn't enough to see everything at to absorb the fastastic vibes the city has to offer. The main thing I loved about this city is that it looks like a happy place, even though the economic situation is not so good. There are colors, songs, food, art everywhere you look, it's such a joy for the eyes and the soul!
The city has a lot of history and even though it's a touristic hotspot, you can still feel the impact of the Portuguese culture all around.
The best season to visit Lisbon is certainly Spring because in Summer it's way too hot to walk around. My other recommendation would be to look well for restaurants on TripAdvisor in advance to avoid bad surprises. Not every restaurant makes great food.
Lisbon got my heart, and here I leave you with one of the many reasons why:
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