Yes. I did it. After thinking about it several times before I finally had the guts to go to Lisbon and not tell anyone about it.
It was my first holiday with a friend and I took her to meet my lovely city, Lisbon.
Being a tourist in my own city was amazing. We used public transport and Uber a lot, visited some of my favorite places and even discovered new ones.
We stayed in a very central hotel and loved the place. The beds were so good that we were fine with an average of just 5 hours’ sleep per night.
We dropped the bags at the hotel as it was too early to check in and headed to Belém for lunch. We had steaks with river views at Portugália. Grabbed some “pastéis de Belém” and visited the tropical gardens nearby. We got a Uber back to the hotel as we were super tired then and needed to recharge our internal batteries to be OK for the night ahead of us.
Later we had a light dinner at Chiado before our big night out with live music at Templários bar with XPTO.The show was incredible and the fact that we can smoke inside mind-blowing for my friend. Even though we were tired we stayed up until pretty late that night.
We spent endless hours at the Oceanarium and strolled around Parque das Nacoes enjoying the sunshine. I was pretty much dead by the end of the day and needed to lay in bed for a quick nap before going out for dinner. We had a lovely fondue, good wine and chocolate mousse for dessert in great company. The conversation flow was great even with the non-fluent English.
The 28 tram! What a mission it is nowadays to get to ride on it. I used to take this to and from school every day and I swear it was not nearly as busy. We still did it but it was not the best experience. We visited Basilica da Estrela and got the stairs all the way to the rooftop. Back on the 28 we headed to Alfama and from there we walked to get the boat to the other side. It was a cute short boat ride on the old “cacilheiro”. It was cool we got an old boat and not the new ones that might be faster but like in character.
We used Uber from Cacilhas to my favorite beach. We had lunch at the beach bar and decided to walk a few miles back to town by the sea. Walking made us hungry so we ate some “caldo verde” (cabbage soup) and “pao com chourico” (bread with chorizo). I thought I wasn’t going to be hungry to have dinner but after a spa session back at the hotel and close to 11pm I decided I wanted to have dinner! Got Sanam to put on some clothes and we walked around the corner for delicious burgers and Caipirinhas at Honorato.
We were lucky enough to get our own personal tour guide for the day. He drove us around the Arrábida area, we walked the most beautiful beaches, visited cape Espichel and Sesimbra castle. Chilled at the beach before a dinner of grilled sandwiches with the most entertaining service. And finally had drinks at Fonte da Telha at a beach bar. I never expected to do so much in one day! I don’t get to visit that area very often so it was amazing to revisit and share it with friends made it even more special.
Sintra! We got there by train and it was an easy and cheap journey. The first stop was Quinta da Regaleira and the queue was of a decent size. We walked around one of the most photographed places in Portugal and enjoyed it. It was my first time there believe it or not. From there we decided to get a Uber to Palácio da Pena and were lucky enough to get one with a panoramic roof! If you’ve ever done that road you will know how amazing that is. The queue for the palace was not as bad and we got in pretty quickly. Visited the palace and after that we were dead and ready to get back to Lisbon.
It was time to leave so we chilled at the hotel after a good breakfast at our usual spot around the corner at Delta. We finished packing and checked out. On our way to the airport we stopped at Vasco da Gama shopping center for lunch outside in the balcony with river view. From there it is a quick tube ride to the airport.