I was especially excited to visit Lisbon. I had been to Lisbon previously right after high school and was enamored by the tile streets, the picturesque beaches and the cute gift shops and pastries.
We took an overnight bus from Seville to Lisbon. We left Seville at 11:30/12 pm and arrived to Lisbon at about 4:30 in the morning. We thought we were supposed to arrive at 7 but low and be hold we were out of the bus at 4:30 and had no idea what we were going to do. We emailed the hostel and let them know of our situation – they got back to us extremely quickly and let us know that our room wasn’t available but we could come and sleep in the tv room. We were beyond THANKFUL.
Our hostel was Good Morning Hostel and without a doubt I recommend it.
Really nice staff, tasty free breakfast, and centrally located.
The metro in Lisbon was easy to use, but everything – even the airport is close so a taxi to the airport was under 7 euro.
The sun is no joke in Lisbon – I got a bit burnt but that burn faded into a tan that I still have three/four weeks later. It was glorious – not the burn but the tan.
Getting to the beach from the main city center of Lisbon is pretty easy and convenient using the metro and a bus.
The metro is 1.40 each way and the bus round trip was 3.50. We took the metro from right outside of our hostel to Lisbon (Pca de Espanha) Terminal from there we got on the bus to the beach named Costa Caparica ( Torre Argolas).
One way was only 30 minutes.
It was foggy at the beach but this did not prevent us from getting a bit burnt. It was still hotter than hot despite the fog and the water was cold since we were in the atlantic ocean.
We never made it on a walking tour of the city – my fellow travelers were very tired of walking by the time we got to Lisbon but we did end up doing one of those open top, double decker buses. It actually was a cool way to get around and get off at varying points of interest.
With the tour bus purchase you also get to ride on buses and the trolley included in the price. We enjoyed this feature and I recommend taking advantage of this.
Like everyone will tell you, taking the trolley is a must. It is fun and will take you towards the cathedral on one end and the massive flea market and on the other a beautiful church and park where folks like to gather on Sundays for live music and picnics with friends.
We found an amazing restaurant called Restaurante Flor Da Estrela. The most amazing fish and only for 8 euro. We also got a liter of wine for 10 euro. It was a successful meal and one that I will not quickly forget. I would recommend this restaurant and wish I could go back.
Also in this same area we went to another amazing restaurant, same price point and really amazing fish again. It was an unassuming hole in the wall but it was such a great deal. I don’t have the name for this one but its a block or so from the last stop of the 28 trolley and on the same street that the trolley goes on.
A great day trip from Lisbon is Sintra. Sintra is beautiful small town where you can visit a moorish castle and the park and palace of Pena.
We rented these little golf carts right across the train station in Sintra so that we wouldn’t have to walk to the moorish castle and Palace of Pena. We were told it would take an hour to get up there.
The golf carts ended up being 25 a person for the day and to enter the Parques de Sintra it was 20 ( cheaper if you buy the entrance fees together).
Note: It was cold and windy in Sintra. The first time on this trip that I was cold, really cold and almost bought a random sweatshirt just to ward off the chill. However, as soon as we were back in Lisbon it was warm again.
Whatever you do try the Pastel de Nata. They have variations of this pastry and everywhere I went it was delicious and very rich.
These pastries are amazing and this is the only country I saw them in.
We didn’t go out in Lisbon at all, but oddly enough we did go to the Hard Rock Cafe ( my first time at a Hard Rock actually). They had a fun cover band playing and we all danced and sang our hearts out – it was a great time but the beers at Hard Rock were much more expansive than drinks found at normal bars in the area.
I loved spending time in Lisbon and feel that I could have spent more time in this region. There are many other places in Portugal I would like to go to.
If you are planning a trip to Portugal I would without a doubt recommend learning some Portuguese.
For the most part I could only communicate in English other than Hello, Thank you etc. and I think its much more fun when you can communicate in the countries native tongue.
Another note, I would also suggest not going in August – this is the hottest time of the year – and a time when a lot of city dwellers head to the country or the ocean to get outta the heat. We should follow suite and go there a cooler time of year. It makes it really hard to see the sights when its over 90 degrees outside.
On to the next adventure!