While I write this blogpost, I’m sitting in the train on my way back home from Hamburg Airport. I spent the last six days in Lisbon. I can’t compare it to other cities in Portugal, because it was the first Portuguese city that I visited, but I can definitely tell you that it’s worth a visit. No matter if you’re doing a trip through Portugal or just want to see its capital.
The first thing I’d like to mention is that I travelled alone. I started this trip alone, because I wanted to challenge myself. It’s been the first time (except my internship in Belgrade last summer) that I travelled to another country without being joined by a friend or family member. Right now I can tell you that I stressed myself way too much. I took the easy way and booked my flight and hotel in a travel agency. I know it’s not common nowadays anymore, because you can book everything online but I just felt such an overload when I saw all the different offers on the internet…
On my first day (Monday) I joined a Free Walking Tour through the city center organized by TakeLisboa and got the pleasure to have João as a guide. He’s a really friendly guy who tried to give us as many information and recommendations as possible. The tour took almost three hours. It was quite long and exhausting, but it was worth it to hear some historical facts about Lisbon (and Portugal in general) and to get to know the tourists attractions in a better way than by just crossing them. Here you can see the spots and historical dates that we covered during this tour: Chiado – Bairro Alto – Carmo Monastery – 1755 Earthquake – Pombaline Lower Town – Fernando Pessoa – Luís de Camões – New State – April Revolution – Sebastianism – Jewish Massacre – Praça do Comércio. Besides I discovered my favorite restaurant „Eight Health Lounge“ which is located at Praça da Figueira 12A in the city center. I loved their fresh salads and went there almost every day to taste a new meal! In the evening I watched the beautiful sunset at one of the amazing viewpoints (called miradouros).
My favorite viewpoint is „Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte belvedere“. If you’re lucky, there will be an old man playing the saxophone while you’re watching the sunset!
On Tuesday I joined another Free Walking Tour through the old districts Alfama and Mouraria (my favorite ones!). This time it was organized by „LiveHistory“ and we were guided by the wonderful Alexandra who told us many interesting facts. After that I went to the famous flee market „Feira Ladra“ close to the castel which takes place every Tuesday and Saturday.
One of my favorite activities was the Rooftop Yoga class I took on Wednesday in the morning at 9 a.m. I found it by using the app „Meetup“ where you can search for events and groups to get to know new people. There I met the German girls Linda and Carolin and enjoyed a nice brunch with them in the cute café Nicolau afterwards. In the afternoon I took the train to Belem to watch Torre de Belem, the bridge Ponte 25 de Abril and LX factory. I enjoyed the walk across the river and the fancy concept stores at the LX factory. I can highly recommend you to have lunch or dinner at the restaurant „Ao 26 – Vegan food project“ and to enjoy the sun at the riverside with a tasty cocktail or lemonade. If you’d like to taste some different kind of cuisines and prefer crowded places, you’d probably enjoy having a meal at the “Mercado da Ribeira Nova” next to the train station Cais do Sodré.
The only city I visited besides Lisbon was the magical place Sintra. There you can take a look at a castle and several palaces. When we arrived in the late morning, the sky was still so foggy that we couldn’t see the castle on top of the hill. During our Free Walking Tour the sun came out and could finally see the castle. If you’d like to discover the palaces, I’d advice you to make the trip on your own. Then you’ll have enough time to walk through the parks and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Please take into account that it is usually five degrees colder in Sintra compared to Lisbon. The train ride will take about 40 minutes.