CHEAP, CULTURED & FUNKY !
I decided to FINALLY visit the beautiful tiled city of Lisbon in Portugal. The trip was to celebrate the big 30th birthday. I’m glad to report it did not disappoint and my only real regret is not booking one more day. A city break with everything to offer.
Celebration trips usually deserve a lot more planning, but life unfortunately got in the way of that happening. Regardless, the spontaneity was charming and part of the fun and exploration. Three days in a city without anything except a Lisbon city guide gifted to me by my fabulous mother. The potential at the beginning of the trip was really unlimited.
- Arrived in Lisbon Airport early (Don’t buy coffee in the airport)
- Straight to the Metro which can be found right outside T1 in Lisbon Airport.
- Picked up our Viva Viagem Card from the machine, we usually went with the daily 24 Hour metro ticket for €6.40.
- Took the Red Line to Alameda and switched to the green line. We jumped off at Anjos. In total took roughly 30 minutes.
- Arrived at our cool hostel called Lisbon Poets Hostel which i booked on www.Hostelworld.com. The hostel cost us €150 in total for three nights with a private double room (small room) with an ensuite, the price included breakfast too(€25 each per night is fairly wicked) http://www.lisbonpoetshostel.com/en/
Day 1 Itinerary
- We first visted the famous and impressive Rua Augusta Arch & The Praca Do Comercio square. A very dramatic sight to start with as they overlook the sea and attract a vibrant energy.
- Walk around the corner towards The Santa Justa Lift.
- Walk up hill towards the amazing Castelo De Sao Jorge, through the small streets of Lisbon. Where the homes are all uniquely tiled, screaming with personality and colour. The castle offers some of the best views of the city and its still one of my trip highlights.
- Walk down towards Alfama and grab a photo of the rooftops.
Day 2 Itinerary
- We kicked off day two with a breakfast in our lovely hostel including pineapple, coffee and some lovely granola. Freshly baked bread from the local baker as well.
- Our second day was focused around The Belem & Alcantara area, which involved taking the train/bus. The transport in Lisbon is so quick and easy to navigate.
- Our first visits included The Monument to the Discoveries (Padrao Dos Descobrimentos) and The Torre De Belem
- After spending years in art college i was so excited to see an Andy Warhol and Picasso piece with my own eyes. They can be seen at The Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Lisbon, which is called Museu Coleção Berardo.
- We finished off our time in Belem at Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Rather than taking more public transport we decided to rent city scooters, which are available all over the city. Not only are they so much fun but they are so handy to navigate the city. Download the Lime App and upload money to your account, you can then unlock any Lime Scooter across the city for the period required.
- On our Lime Scooters we left Belem for Alcantara, we took a straight route down along the water front, which was beautiful. It lead us straight to The April Bridge & from them we made our way to LX Factory. We were so lucky to catch their Sunday market that day.
Day 3 Itinerary
This was the toughest day for us as we had to make a decision between a day to Sintra and the renowned Pena Palace or take a day trip to the beach. Usually FOMO would take over and i couldn’t bare the thought of missing a top site. Maybe its age haha, but i decided a day away from the crowds would be more suitable. Take a moment to actually catch my breath and recharge the batteries, after all that’s what a holiday is all about.
- The decision was made to visit the beautiful town and beaches of Cascais.
- Rather than our usual Viva Viagem card for €6.40 which only includes buses and metros, we decided to go for the 24hr Viva Viagem which also includes rail, metro and bus. This ticket cost roughly €10. The journey took us less than an hour.
- We wandered The Old Town and The Marina first, Took some cool photographs at The Fortaleza da Cidadela, visited the collapsed caves of The Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) and sat on rocks gazing at the turquoise waters surrounding The Casa de Santa Maria.
- After lunch we literally spent the entire afternoon until 7pm relaxing, sleeping and swimming at the beautiful Praia de Rainha beach. After a lot of research this seemed like the best beach, very scenic, private and not crowded.
One of the best things about Lisbon is the cheap and delicious food. I didn’t do much planning around cafes or restaurants, which i definitely regret. We still stumbled upon some great food regardless. After talking to other people we possibly missed some gems though, so i would highly recommend having a little list. Here’s some small gastro highlights ;
- Pastel Da Nata – The famous Portuguese tart. There are a few really famous locations to grab one of these tarts, but the ques are RIDICULOUS. We grabbed ours from a lovely little local place right beside our hostel called Pastelaria Tebas. Super cheap and
- We actually found this cafe restaurant by accident. Flower Power by Carlos Fillipe – https://www.facebook.com/Flower-Power-by-Carlos-Filipe-109866389083999/ We had been trying to find Park Restaurant Bar but decided to leave after almost an hour at a table without being served and crazy ques for the bar. The entire experience was very disappointing given it was meant to be a top spot. Then we came across Flower Power. Incredible customer service and the world BEST chocolate cake.
- Ginjinha – Local Portuguese cherry liqueur. Great way to finish off a meal at any bar or restaurant in Lisbon.
- O’Galhardo Tapas Bar – A beautiful little spot not to far from St Georges’s Castle. Quaint outdoor seating area where you can take it all in. https://www.facebook.com/ogalhardoalfama/
I hope you enjoyed my small piece on the incredible city of Lisbon. If you are looking for a European adventure, one with sun, fun and culture. Then Lisbon is your place to go.