In celebration of my 40th birthday we decided to take a big trip! And after a lot of research and weighing pros and cons about the best places to travel as most of the world was just starting to open back up post COVID, we landed on Lisbon, Portugal. This turned out to be one of our favorite destinations ever, and I want to tell you all the reasons we loved Portugal so much!
We chose Portugal because:
1. Flight prices are typically on the low end, especially for Europe.
2. It’s an affordable country to visit – accommodations, food, transportation… everything is cheap in Portugal.
3. Portugal is one of the closest European countries to the U.S. Short and easy flights!
4. Anderson speaks Portuguese!
5. We could experience both a vibrant city vibe (our favorite!) in Lisbon and then drive 3 hours south and stay at some of the most famous beaches in the world in The Algarve.
6. Southern Portugal has one of the mildest winters in Europe!
I’m going to do several posts – this one all about Lisbon, another one with all the details about the beaches in The Algarve, then a short one about Belem. And then I’ll also write a post about Sintra, a fairy tale town full of castles and right outside of Lisbon.
Lisbon is known as the City of Seven Hills, and we definitely felt like we were walking up hill most of the time – ha! But we do think that walking is the best way to explore the city, especially Alfama, which is the oldest part of the city and our favorite area. So start training with your treadmill on a high incline if you’re planning to visit Lisbon! Because of all the hills, Lisbon has a system of bright yellow trams that make it easier to get around. We rode those several times, and we also took the metro a few times and found it easy to navigate. Walking was still our favorite though… well except for that one night when I got our directions and dinner reservation wrong and we had to walk up and down the same old, uneven set of 100+ steps several times. Oops!
What we ate:
One of the highlights of our time in Lisbon was, of course, the food! There are so many healthy, fresh options everywhere, and breakfast turned out to be our favorite meal each day. The best breakfast/brunch spots we tried were Dear Breakfast, Nicolau, and Fauna & Flora. We also happened upon a quirky Brazilian dinner place called O Boteco and tried a bunch of delicious options at Time Out Market. Before our trip, we watched the Lisbon episode of “Somebody Feed Phil” and Kingston begged to try the pizza place featured in the show. It was in the middle of nowhere, and we walked over a mile to get there but the boy had his pizza and was so excited about it. #worthit In between all the yummy meals we ate a lot of pasteis de nata, Portugal’s most famous dessert/pastry. We figured we needed to sample as many as possible, so we could come back and report the best places to buy them. 🙂 The pastel de nata is a custard tart, but that name doesn’t do it justice! The pastries have crisp, puff pastry crusts and are filled with a velvety not-too-sweet custard filling. After trying all of them that we could find, we all three agreed that the absolute best were from a pastry shop called Manteigaria. And lucky for all of us, there are Manteigaria locations all over Portugal!
Where we stayed:
When I started looking for a place to stay in Lisbon I had a few requirements: 1. I wanted a comfortable, spacious property near the city center 2. for under $200 per night 3. and it had to have a balcony! Once we decided to stay in the Baixa neighborhood (because of it’s central location) it was easier to narrow down our choices. Then I came across the Villa Baixa Luxury Apartments and realized they checked off all our boxes! We stayed in the Deluxe Studio and loved it. If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, definitely consider this property! They did a great job mixing the historic building with a clean, modern style. I included some pictures of it below, so you can see the whole apartment. We loved standing out on the balcony at midnight on New Year’s Eve and celebrating with everyone on the balconies of the surrounding buildings!
What we saw:
Because Lisbon is so hilly, the people have developed creative ways to get from one neighborhood to another without having to walk up hundreds of steps. Our apartment was right next to a really popular outdoor elevator called the Santa Justa Lift. We didn’t ride it but stood on our balcony and watched people wait in long lines to take the elevator from the Baixa neighborhood up 147 feet to Bairro Alto. The elevator has been in operation since 1902, and at the top there’s an overlook that gives fantastic views across the area. If you don’t want to wait in a long line to ride, you can just take the stairs up to the observation deck. Funiculars are another popular way to get up the city’s steep hills. They’re essentially cable railways that go up and down steep hills. There are three funicular railways in Lisbon, the Glória, Bica, and Lavra. The Bica Funicular is the most famous tram that takes riders up and down a steep incline. It has been in operation since 1892! Each route is also possible to walk. The streets are steep, but they make for great vantage points for photography. You’ll see a bunch of pictures of the Bica Funicular below. It’s the area with the yellow cable cars, stone steps, and lots of graffiti.
Also just a few blocks from our apartment, the Rua Augusta Arch is a triumphal arch-like, historical building and often photographed spot. It was built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake that destroyed most of the city. I didn’t realize this until we were in the area, but you can ride an elevator up into the arch and walk around on the roof giving you gorgeous views of the city. If you haven’t noticed a theme yet, Lisbon is full of high points that look out onto beautiful views all over the city. The Rua Augusta Arch is found at the end of Rua Augusta (Lisbon’s main pedestrian street) and faces Comércio Square.
Lisbon is known for its intricate tile work. Unique tiles are literally everywhere – they cover the walls of train stations, homes, restaurants, public murals, and fountains, churches, and are even on the streets – a feast for the eyes (and my camera!) everywhere we looked. There was so much to take in! Even the laundry hanging on clotheslines in front of tile building was beautiful.
Okay, time for a confession. I don’t enjoy spending time inside old churches. And there are SO MANY old churches in Europe. I mean so, so many. Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful. And I know they can be meaningful for some people, but my family just doesn’t want to spend hours inside them. We went to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and okay, it was amazing! Truly. But everything after that just feels like another old church. And there are so many other incredible sites to take in! So, we typically skip them or just peek our heads in, oooh and ahhh, and move on. But Carmo Covent was an exception! It’s a former medieval convent turned cathedral that was mostly destroyed during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Now it serves as a small archaeological museum, with pieces from all periods of Portuguese history. The most fascinating thing about the building is that while the roof collapsed during the earthquake, the gothic arches still stand. So when you walk inside you’re actually in an open air courtyard. The place is beautiful and was a short walk from our apartment.
The famous Pink Street was lame, but Green Street (Rua Verde) was one of my favorite spots! We happened upon both locations while walking somewhere else and were glad we didn’t make a special trip to Pink Street. But Green Street was a fun surprise. I took a lot of pictures, so you’ll see it below! It’s “green” because the tiny street is lined with/covered in plants. Both the smallest (Livraria Simao) and oldest (Livraria Bertrand) bookstores in the world are in Lisbon! We loved the long and complex fado mural along the Escadinhas de São Cristóvão (Steps of St. Christopher). Fado is the music of Portugal and is widely celebrated in Lisbon. I got our dinner reservations wrong one night (it was on my birthday :)) so we ended up at a local place with live music. It was a happy mistake!
We almost didn’t make it to LX Factory. It wasn’t until we drove back into Lisbon after being in The Algarve that we made time for it, and I’m so glad we squeezed this in before making ourselves go to bed before our 2:00am flight home! LX Factory is a historical industrial complex that’s full of artsy shops and unique restaurants. We especially enjoyed all the murals, Ler Devagar – a fun bookstore, and Landeau Chocolate where we had the legendary chocolate cake that is considered by many to be the best chocolate cake of all time!
Since we were visiting Lisbon at New Year, all the Christmas decorations were still up all over the city. That and the people roasting chestnuts in some of the busier areas gave everything a festive feel as the sun set in the evenings. If you can visit during the holidays, do it! I think it’s the perfect time, because the weather is amazing and the crowds are smaller than at other busy travel times. Lisbon is on our list of top 5 cities we’ve visited, and we definitely want to go back!
Stay tuned for more Portugal adventures, including a fairy tale village full of castles!
I simply desired to appreciate you all over again. I am not sure the things that I would’ve handled in the absence of the entire opinions contributed by you about my concern. This has been the frightening dilemma in my position, but encountering the professional fashion you processed it forced me to weep over fulfillment. I’m thankful for the help and as well , pray you comprehend what a powerful job that you are getting into training the mediocre ones with the aid of your webpage. More than likely you haven’t got to know all of us.
I needed to compose you the bit of word to give many thanks over again considering the fantastic advice you’ve discussed on this site. This is extremely generous of people like you giving publicly all that numerous people would’ve offered for an ebook in order to make some money for their own end, and in particular since you could possibly have tried it in the event you decided. The concepts as well served to provide a great way to comprehend most people have the identical zeal similar to my very own to understand a whole lot more with reference to this matter. I believe there are numerous more pleasurable sessions in the future for those who examine your blog.
I’m also writing to make you know what a helpful encounter my cousin’s daughter undergone checking yuor web blog. She discovered many issues, including how it is like to have a very effective helping heart to have the others without difficulty learn some extremely tough things. You really did more than people’s expectations. I appreciate you for showing these good, safe, informative and also fun tips on that topic to Evelyn.
I want to express thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular predicament. Because of exploring throughout the the web and meeting recommendations which were not helpful, I figured my life was over. Being alive minus the solutions to the problems you have resolved through your entire blog post is a critical case, and the kind which might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your blog. Your main ability and kindness in handling a lot of stuff was valuable. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a point like this. I am able to at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for your impressive and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to refer your blog post to any person who would like care on this matter.
Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a terrific opportunity to read from this blog. It’s always so excellent plus packed with amusement for me and my office friends to visit your blog at minimum 3 times every week to read the fresh issues you will have. And lastly, I am always impressed with the wonderful creative ideas served by you. Selected 1 areas on this page are truly the most impressive we’ve ever had.
I intended to put you a very little word to say thanks a lot again for your striking tricks you’ve provided at this time. This is extremely generous with you to deliver publicly just what a few individuals could have offered for sale as an ebook to get some profit on their own, specifically since you might well have tried it if you wanted. The strategies as well served to become a easy way to comprehend the rest have the same desire like mine to know the truth whole lot more with respect to this condition. I am sure there are a lot more pleasurable instances up front for many who see your blog post.
I must convey my gratitude for your kind-heartedness supporting men and women that really need assistance with the subject. Your real dedication to passing the solution all over appeared to be rather informative and have made people much like me to realize their goals. Your entire helpful recommendations signifies this much to me and much more to my office workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.
Thank you so much for giving everyone a very pleasant possiblity to read articles and blog posts from this site. It’s usually very fantastic plus packed with a good time for me personally and my office acquaintances to search your web site on the least three times every week to read through the latest things you have got. And of course, we’re at all times amazed for the staggering points you serve. Some 2 areas on this page are rather the most impressive we have all had.
I intended to draft you that bit of observation to thank you very much once again for the breathtaking basics you have featured above. This is really unbelievably open-handed of people like you to convey publicly what exactly a number of people could have marketed for an e book in making some money for themselves, chiefly since you might well have done it in case you decided. These tactics additionally acted like the good way to comprehend someone else have the identical passion similar to mine to realize a little more with regard to this problem. I know there are a lot more enjoyable sessions ahead for folks who start reading your blog post.
Thanks so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally terrific possiblity to discover important secrets from this website. It is usually so sweet and as well , jam-packed with a great time for me personally and my office co-workers to visit your site at minimum three times in a week to study the new things you have. And indeed, we’re always motivated with the splendid tricks you serve. Some 1 facts in this article are ultimately the most effective I’ve ever had.
My wife and i were now cheerful that Raymond could carry out his preliminary research while using the precious recommendations he came across from your very own weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to just be handing out thoughts which usually most people may have been trying to sell. We really keep in mind we’ve got the website owner to give thanks to for that. Most of the illustrations you made, the simple web site navigation, the friendships your site help to create – it is mostly extraordinary, and it’s letting our son and our family do think that idea is fun, which is certainly really important. Many thanks for all!
I and also my pals were studying the great tips and hints located on the website while the sudden I had a horrible suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for those strategies. Most of the women were definitely as a result very interested to learn all of them and now have extremely been having fun with those things. We appreciate you actually being so kind as well as for going for varieties of fabulous themes millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. Our own sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.
I simply needed to thank you so much yet again. I’m not certain the things that I could possibly have made to happen in the absence of the actual creative ideas provided by you on my subject matter. This was the frightening difficulty for me personally, but discovering your specialized strategy you treated that took me to leap for gladness. I am just grateful for the help as well as have high hopes you recognize what a powerful job your are undertaking educating people today thru a site. More than likely you have never encountered any of us.
I needed to draft you this tiny note to thank you so much over again for all the nice suggestions you’ve shown above. It has been wonderfully open-handed with people like you to allow freely precisely what a few individuals could possibly have sold for an e-book to help with making some cash for their own end, most notably since you might well have tried it if you ever decided. The suggestions likewise worked to become easy way to fully grasp that other individuals have a similar eagerness really like my very own to realize a good deal more on the topic of this problem. Certainly there are many more pleasurable times up front for those who look into your blog post.
Right here is the perfect webpage for anybody who really wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject which has been discussed for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!
My wife and i were really peaceful that Jordan managed to carry out his reports because of the precious recommendations he came across from your own site. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be handing out guidelines which usually other folks have been making money from. And we also do know we’ve got the website owner to be grateful to for this. All of the explanations you made, the simple site menu, the relationships you make it easier to instill – it’s everything impressive, and it’s assisting our son and us believe that the matter is satisfying, and that is truly essential. Thanks for the whole lot!
Thanks for all of the efforts on this web site. My daughter really loves participating in research and it is obvious why. We learn all concerning the dynamic ways you convey useful ideas on this web site and as well boost contribution from some others on that concept while my child is certainly understanding a lot of things. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are always carrying out a stunning job.
I in addition to my guys ended up following the good solutions found on your web blog and so at once got an awful feeling I had not thanked the website owner for those strategies. All of the guys are actually for this reason stimulated to study all of them and already have undoubtedly been making the most of these things. Appreciation for being quite thoughtful and for having this form of helpful useful guides most people are really needing to learn about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
Thank you for your entire work on this web page. My mother take interest in doing investigations and it’s easy to see why. My spouse and i notice all relating to the compelling manner you convey priceless solutions via the web site and as well attract response from visitors about this point then our own princess is in fact being taught so much. Enjoy the rest of the year. You are always conducting a splendid job.
That is the best weblog for anybody who desires to seek out out about this topic. You realize a lot its almost arduous to argue with you (not that I truly would need?aHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just great!
I really enjoyed reading your post, it was well-written and informative. How can we communicate further?
Thank you for your entire effort on this web site. Ellie loves working on investigations and it is obvious why. We hear all regarding the dynamic ways you deliver vital tricks by means of this web blog and therefore encourage response from others on the area of interest then my daughter is actually studying a great deal. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You are always doing a brilliant job.
I needed to draft you the very small observation to thank you over again for these stunning methods you’ve featured on this site. This is seriously open-handed with you to make freely precisely what a number of us would have distributed for an ebook to get some cash for themselves, certainly considering that you could possibly have done it if you ever decided. These strategies likewise worked to be a easy way to be aware that other people online have the identical eagerness like my very own to realize way more on the topic of this matter. I’m sure there are thousands of more enjoyable moments in the future for those who view your blog post.
“Your blog is a true source of inspiration. You’re not afraid to tackle difficult topics or challenge conventional wisdom, and that’s what makes your writing so compelling.”
My husband and i were very happy Albert could round up his analysis through the entire precious recommendations he made while using the web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just continually be making a gift of key points which usually many others might have been making money from. We really keep in mind we need you to appreciate for that. All the illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you can give support to engender – it’s most fabulous, and it’s really helping our son in addition to our family understand this issue is fun, which is certainly extremely serious. Thank you for all!
A lot of thanks for every one of your effort on this website. My mother really loves doing internet research and it’s easy to see why. Many of us know all relating to the compelling tactic you render reliable guidelines by means of this website and as well as increase response from website visitors on that point then our favorite daughter is always becoming educated a lot of things. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one doing a useful job.
Needed to write you a very little note so as to thank you very much again on the great tactics you have shared here. It has been certainly remarkably generous with you to deliver unhampered exactly what numerous people could have offered for an electronic book to make some profit for themselves, notably given that you could possibly have done it in case you wanted. The basics in addition acted like a good way to fully grasp the rest have the same keenness really like mine to know the truth good deal more when it comes to this condition. I know there are thousands of more fun occasions up front for those who find out your site.
Your post was both informative and enjoyable to read, thank you.
Thank you so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally remarkable opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this website. It’s usually very enjoyable and as well , packed with a great time for me personally and my office friends to visit your web site at the least 3 times in a week to study the newest things you have. Not to mention, I’m just actually happy with the unique hints served by you. Selected two points in this post are completely the best we have all had.
My wife and i have been so joyous that Ervin managed to conclude his basic research through the entire precious recommendations he was given using your web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be freely giving secrets and techniques which many people may have been selling. Therefore we take into account we have got the blog owner to be grateful to for that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the simple blog menu, the friendships your site make it possible to foster – it is everything incredible, and it’s making our son and our family consider that the issue is brilliant, and that’s particularly important. Thanks for the whole thing!
I as well as my guys ended up checking the nice suggestions located on the website and so before long came up with a terrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the blog owner for those tips. The men happened to be for that reason warmed to read them and have simply been tapping into these things. Thanks for turning out to be well thoughtful and then for considering varieties of ideal topics most people are really wanting to understand about. Our sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.
I am writing to let you understand what a useful experience my princess had studying your blog. She came to find many details, most notably what it’s like to possess an incredible helping style to let certain people with no trouble have an understanding of specified problematic subject matter. You truly did more than people’s expected results. Thank you for displaying these interesting, healthy, explanatory and also easy thoughts on this topic to Mary.