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Have you ever been somewhere on a whim?
You just thought, this place looks cool, why don't we go?
This was exactly how I came to fall in love with Lisbon, Portugal.
I had been to Spain in 2011, and I was close to the border of Portugal and Spain. However, it did not register in my brain that maybe I should visit Portugal. It is a place that is so small. It is sometimes forgotten.
It may be tiny, but it is full of amazing culture and great people.
From the red roofs, to the numerous statues, to the colorful buildings, to the smell of Pastéis de Belém, there is so much to see and do. If someone had ample time to visit this country, I could see them wanting to see everything from north to south.
For this article, I will only dive into the top five recommendations, but if you are wanting more, just reach out! I only spent a few days in this amazing country, but I packed my days as full as possible!
Lisbon: To See
- Padrão dos Descobrimento:
- This is a statue of the maritime explorers. With it being right on the bank of the Tagus River, you get the coastal vibe as well as incredible views.
- Belém Tower:
- While you are along the river, continue your walk just a ways and you'll run into the Belém Tower. This is a medieval defense tower. It provides estuary views and is very picturesque. I took pictures from every angle, and I guarantee you will too!
- Praça do Comércio and Arco da Rua Augusta:
- This is the main square that features some restaurants and amazing views. I recommend Can the Can for dinner and mojitos!
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara:
- I did not get to see this scenic view, as with walking the city, we did not make it that far north. However, it looks beyond beautiful and I would for sure recommend it.
- Time Out Market:
- A food hall created in 2014, before the food hall rage began, Time Out Market features such a large selection. They are a "have it all" destination. It also features some beautiful mosaics that are worth viewing.
Lisbon: Where to Stay
I have one recommendation, and one recommendation only.
Stay in a hostel. This is a cultural experience that is worth giving a try. Especially in Lisbon, where the amount of hostels are abundant.
The Living Lounge Hostel is the one where my friends and I stayed, and I have zero complaints. It was in a great location, and it also featured a free breakfast in the morning. This breakfast was not only a cultural experience, but it was quite tasty as well. Who would not like some substance before a day of exploring?!
If you are someone who is used to hotels, I truly recommend looking into an airbnb or hostel. Not only will you find it to be more of an experience, but you may also meet some fellow travelers along the way. Get out of your comfort zone!! It is worth it. No one ever had the best experiences by doing something they have already done.
Lisbon: To Eat
I do not have the best recommendations of where to eat in Lisbon, but I do have a few musts for you.
- You have to have a Pastéis de Belém. It is a custard pastry that is beyond delicious. Just like potato chips, bet you can't have just one!
- Fish. Anywhere that serves fish, it is bound to be fresh and also beyond delicious. In a coastal country like Portugal, you can't pass this opportunity up.
- By the wine—José Maria Da Fonseca. Here you can find a wine bar that is beyond amazing. The male workers alone make this destination worthwhile. Along with tasty wine, you can also have fresh oysters. They called them Oyster Shots and we all took them like shots of alcohol. It made the experience unforgettable!
If you're going to visit the city of Lisbon, may I also suggest you visit Porto? For scenic views and an even more cultural experience, this city is for you. Do you like port wine? This destination is for you.
Portugal is a must see country. Hands down.
Have you been in Portugal? What are some suggestions you have? Are there any other cities that are worth visiting?