Lisbon is one of the most amazing places I have ever had the privilege of visiting! In a short three days I got to see all the basics. I think it is only fair to share my mini escapade with all of you. Below I have listed the MUST visit stops of the Portuguese capital. ♡
Our first morning in Lisbon we decided to wander the streets a bit to get a feel of our surroundings. We ended up at a central plaza near all kinds of commercial shopping and dining called Praça do Comércio, located next to the Tragus River.
This huge open yellow plaza was one of my favorite places in all of the city. It was located right by the river, which then transformed into cement stairs that descended into the water.
After exploring the city all morning we were quickly becoming hungry under the shining sun. A friend that had been to Lisbon previously could not stop recommending the Mercado da Ribeira (“Time Out” Market). We made our way over by foot (only about a 10 minutes away from the Praça do Comércio). I can not recommend this spot more to waste three hours away eating, chatting, and drinking. It is essentially a giant, glorified and highly refined food court. There are about 30 different stations all offering various types of high quality food, drinks, and pastries. In the center there is plenty of seating (think Oktoberfest but smaller).
Next we decided to visit the historic neighborhood of Belem. Deriving from the words “Bethlehem”, Belem is not only famous for its bell tower, but for its pasteis de nata. Belem is legendary for these flakey cups of cream goodness. If there is anything that should be of top priority when visiting Lisbon, is stopping by the famous bakery where they make these little bites of heaven and don’t be shy to order like 17! These pasteis de nata don’t really taste quite the same anywhere else.
The next day we decided to head out of the city to Sintra. This little town is about a 35 minute train ride from the city and is the home to some of the most spectacular palaces I have ever seen. This longterm royal sanctuary is made up of mountainous terrain spotted all across with pastel colored palaces, ancient Moorish-architecture and breathtaking views. We only had time to visit two locations in Sintra, but there is honestly so much to see in this town you could spend 3 days exploring all of its grandiose villas. My personal favorite, and the most famous, was the Palacio da Pena. This huge royal castle is reminiscent of any Disney princess movie, and of course my childhood dream.
Lisbon, Portugal is a very colored and expressive city. All around you can find tiled buildings and floors, poetic phrases graffitied on the walls and bright color all around. They say Lisbon could be the European San Fransisco with its hilly streets and winding trollies. If I ever have the chance to visit this coastal capital again I will do it in a heart beat!