Lisbon is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world. Filled with beautiful tilework, rich history, and an endless amount of kindness for both strangers and neighbors, this city captured my heart and I can’t wait to be back one day! I stayed about 3 days in Lisbon, and took day trips to Cascais, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Obidos.
The airport in Lisbon is small but bustling with activities so I made sure to keep my belongings safe and kept a watchful eye out. I ended up getting a metro card called “Viva Viagem” for an unlimited amount of travel for the days I stayed in Lisbon. With its intense hills and fascinating transportation system, this city offered everything from trams to buses to the metro and I wanted to be able to try all of them.The option I got was 10.15 euros per day and it included trams, buses, metro, and the suburban train and the actual card costed .50 euros! The line outside the airport is usually very long, but it’s worth waiting in, because the lines downstairs where the metro was ended up being twice the wait!
I stayed at an Airbnb in the Bairro Alto district which was central to everything I wanted to see. The Airbnb was a picture perfect location, with its colorful houses when the windows were open to our extremely friendly and helpful host! It was the perfect size and the amenities were extremely comfortable. I cooked and even did laundry here since I was backpacking and it felt like an authentic experience.
The infamous yellow tram 28 stopped right in front of the Airbnb, and I used it to get around everywhere. With its rickety wooden seats and old fashioned interior, it reminded me of the cable cars in my hometown of San Francisco. Since many of the locals use this as their method of transportation around the city, it was very crowded at times, but it made the experience even more authentic! Just keep an eye out for your purse since this tends to be a pickpocketer’s favorite location to steal from unsuspecting tourist.
I went to Belém Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and the famous Pastéis de Belém by the Tram. There are more amazing places to go if you have time in this area like the beautiful National Coach Museum or the infamous Monument to Christ ( similar to the one in Brazil) across the river; however, I was pressed for time!
After exploring the beautiful monastery, I took a quick detour to Pastéis de Belém. If you ever had egg tarts, you know how delicious these sweet treats could be! Established in 1837, the pastry shop boasts that these delicious pastries were invented at this location years ago by the monks at the monastery years ago. With its flaky crust and warm caramelized eggy insides, this was by far the best egg tart I’ve ever had in my life! It definitely beat San Francisco’s and Hong Kong’s egg tarts. It was a wait to get inside and an even longer wait to find a seat and order, but the inside of this place has a beautiful tile collection and is quite large in the inside! I might have had a solid 6 pastries (3 with powdered sugar and 3 with the cinnamon powder left on each individual tables) before calling it a day and heading over to Belém Tower and to watch the sunset over the river.
The Belém Tower has such a rich interesting history. While being an UNESCO World Heritage site it was also a prison back in the day! I watched the sunset over the river and looked at their version of the Golden Gate Bridge while enjoying my time there. I took a tram back to Rossio Square and walked back to my Airbnb while exploring the area and grabbing a dinner of malandrinho ( or octopus rice! ).