The highlights of Lisbon


Somehow I’d forgotten what a hilly city Lisbon was. Don’t ask me how (trauma perhaps?!), because I feel like all Andy and I seemed to do was climb – but I suppose we were grateful for the exercise after our ongoing consumption of pastel de nata. They say there are seven hills to Lisbon, I think there were more! 

The street art in Lisbon is a highlight: lots of murals and well executed graffiti. The golden 28 tram is rather reminiscent of San Fransisco (along with the bridge and taxis) and the city’s ancient buildings have been beautifully preserved rather than being left to ruin. Miradores are the viewing points dotted around the city: I think the best is up near the castle, in Graça. 

An excursion to Belém is an absolute must. Not only do they have the best tarts in the world (at Pasteis de Belém), but the area is also rich in history with the Jeronimos monastery and the Belém tower – which somewhere survived the massive earthquake/tsunami/fire tragedy back in 1755. We walked out to Belém but it was quite tiring so we rode Lime scooters back along the waterfront – very fun! 

Visiting Sintra is also a common day trip. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra is comprised of jaw dropping castles, palaces and gardens. We had every intention of visiting, but we (foolishly) didn’t check the train station departures and we went to the wrong station. (We were then reluctant to spend too much time transporting as there was still quite a commute out to Sintra so we changed our plans and stayed in Lisbon instead). I’d been before though, and have zero hesitation about insisting on it to others! 

There is lots to do and see in and around Lisbon. It’s such a well-maintained pretty city. Aside from the men on street corners offering drugs at all hours of the day, most of the neighbourhoods are extremely charming. One of the cutest (and well known) is the Barrio Alta area, also well known for its nightlife. There are lots of cafes and view points from up on this hill; it’s highly worth the walk. An interesting city, well worth exploring for a couple of days.

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