Getting to know Lisbon
When travelling, I tend to plan just enough so we do not miss out on things, yet leave enough space for new adventures. Before arriving to Lisbon, we did the usual guide book read-over and picked a few places that sounded interesting.
We stayed at this quirky little apartment we found on airbnb.com near the Praça do Comércio building. It was a cluttered loft with character and the smallest bathroom I had ever seen. The toilet literally stuck out of the doorway and a curtain went around you when you had to go.
What I love about travelling in European cities is the amount of walking we get to do. Everything is close enough it can be walking distance, but far enough you stumble upon new and exciting historical elements on the way there. Lisbon, or Lisboa, is very walkable, but keep in mind there are huge hills!! I had no idea Lisbon was such a hilly city, they even have street cars to bring people up some steep streets.
We would start our day with a smoothie from Liquid in the heart of downtown. From there it is a beautiful area to walk around to window shop at all the nice stores.
We spent a half day exploring Belem; walking around to the Tower of Belem and the Monastery of Jerónimos which were both beautiful. We did, however, have a hard time locating any vegan food in this area and Colin had to settle with some french fries! It killed us to even walk in.
We walked around to many different markets, view points, and other interesting things we found along the way. We visited Sao Jorge Castle which was a bit underwhelming in terms of European castles, since it is basically just the ancient walls and no interior rooms.
On the two hour walk back from the castle, we found ourselves accidentally walking through the Alfama district. This is one of Lisbon’s oldest and most historic districts that is famous for Fado music. It has old-school Lisbon charm and intense livelihood everywhere.
We even managed to find time to hop on the train to Estoril and walk along the boardwalk to see some beaches.
Lisbon, I cannot wait to visit you again.