Now On To LISBON
After London we headed to Lisbon Portugal. I have been wanting to go here the past couple years and I was so excited for this leg of the trip. When we arrived I was a bit surprised. Lisbon was not as warm as I thought for the middle of July and was a much smaller city then I imagined but that didn’t stop me from loving it. I think we just thought it was going to have more big city vibes and more beach vibes but it feels more like a small quaint city with more marina type vibes. Not bad vibes at all, just different from our expectations. The city beaches are a little further out, a train or UBer ride away about 25-45 minutes depending on which one you want to go to. Cascais is a good area to find beaches not to far from Lisbon. If you want to go to the really nice beaches you see on Instagram, you have to travel south hours away to towns like Porto or Algarve.
Jenna got sick on the flight so we didn’t want to do too much on our first day. We ended up checking into our Airbnb but it wasn’t quite ready so we found a place to eat. Before I move on, Lisbon is a place of many many stairs and that includes the apartments. If you book an Airbnb, you will most likely be climbing up a bunch of stairs. Normally I’m a light packer but because I was shopping for Locks & Trinkets on this trip I had a large bag. When we arrived to the Airbnb there were about 6 flights of very steep, very short (in length) stairs, my size 6.5 foot could barely fit on a step haha. Our host literally picked up my suitcase and walked it up all 6 flights of stairs like it was nothing. Mind you, she was small like me an Jenna but man was she strong. I’m guessing living there has got her very used to stairs. Meanwhile, Jenna and I struggled to get just one suitcase by ourselves up the stairs. (You’ll see the struggle on the vlog haha)
Our Airbnb was in Bairro Alto which I would say is the best area to stay in Lisbon. We ventured to different neighborhoods but that was our favorite by far. And the food in the area is really good. It’s just super convenient and nice. The only downside of our Airbnb though was the lack of privacy. Jenna and I got to know each other real well on this trip haha. The bathroom was literally open and it was basically in the bedroom with no door and the door from the bathroom that led to the living room was clear. So yea, no privacy haha. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you are not traveling with someone VERY close to you. Other than that it was really cute and had the most amazing rooftop view.
Ok so back to food. The first place we saw was Doce Real which is a bakery that sells empanadas and I was like yessss. I LOOVE empanadas. I love anything that’s remotely like a Haitian pattie, it just gives me real joy. They don’t speak english so you’ll have to use your pointing skills if you don’t speak Portuguese and it was cash only so we found an ATM to get some cash. Danny would be so disappointed in me cause he always in telling me to carry cash when I travel but since I wasn’t with him on this trip I think I was being rebellious and didn’t take any cash. But there are ATMs everywhere and deepening on your bank you can find a sister bank with no fees. But even with fees sometimes it’s not that bad. But don’t be like me and make sure you have some cash especially in Lisbon. Most places will take card but it’s good to have the cash on you. The empanadas were so good, even cold, and you better believe we went back the next morning!
Wearing: Locks and Trinkets suit
When we got back to the Airbnb and were settled, I realized that I had wanted to visit Palacio dos Marqueses da Fronteiria. Thank God I remembered because it was a Friday and it’s closed on the weekends! So we basically got ready real fast and took an Uber there before it closed! Uber is pretty accessible in Lisbon which was great, once you go outside of Lisbon though, it can get spotty. By the time we got to Palacio dos Marqueses da Fronteiria we could only explore the garden area because the inside of the Palace was closed as it is still occupied. But the garden alone is worth the visit. It reminded me of a smaller version of Versailles in a way. It was absolutely stunning and full of beautiful intricate art. It was definitely worth the rushed visit.
We headed back to the apartment and changed into more casual clothes to walk around and vintage shop. Luckily our airbnb was walking distance from all the shops I looked up. Lisbon is general is very walking friendly. They do have trolleys but we honestly didn’t see that many around the city which was surprising because I thought they would be everywhere but we ending up reading that there are less in the city now which explained it. The vintage shopping in Lisbon was not that great. Nothing stood out to me or looking that different from regular US vintage shopping so I only got a few things. But I love the pieces I got. Including a bunch of 1980’s chain belts. Some shops didn’t take card though, so I would bring cash if you’re looking to vintage shop in Lisbon.
After shopping and A LOT of stairs, we went to dinner at The Decadente. This place we found on our walk and was only a block from where were staying. The menu looked yummy so we bookmarked it to eat there on our walk back. BEST. DECISION. EVER!! The food at The Decadente was absolutely amazing. I got the Oxtail and Jenna got the duck. Both were delicious. Afterwards we got the chocolate fondant cake which was LIFE!! It was a molton chocolate cake served with ice cream. We literally ate chocolate cake every night on out 10 day trip haha!
On a random note, between the narrow roads, glass on the floor, and cobblestone. I highly recommend wearing closed toe + comfy shoes around Lisbon if you plan on walking a lot!
The next day we ended up back at the empanada place because….you know why! We decided to walk around to different neighborhoods since Lisbon is a small city and easily walkable. We walked through the Chiado, Pricipe Real, Almafa and Castello neighborhoods. It was cool to see the different neighborhoods but we ended still liking Bairro Alto the best. We were going to try a restaurant in Alfama called Taberna Sal Grosso that was recommended by our airbnb host but changed our minds and headed back. We then tried to go to another spot with great reviews Taberna das Flores but it was so tiny and they said the wait would be 1.5 hours but the way they do service in Lisbon I knew it was going to be a much longer wait. Lunch can literally take you 4 hours there. I really want to try it though on my next trip. So we ended up at McDonalds only because that’s a thing we like to do, trying McDonalds in different countries. I NEVER eat it in America but other countries have stricter food regulations so I think it’s something fun to try because it’s the one restaurant basically in every country. We were SUPER disappointed though and super regretted that decision. It was gross. So we ended up back at The Decadante and had some sautéed prawns which were bomb and you guessed it….Chocolate cake haha.
We checked out of our Airbnb this day to head to Sintra. Sintra is a little town about 25 minutes from Portugal that people often do as a day trip. I didn’t want to rush so we decided to just stay in the area for 2 nights so we could explore the sites when the tourist left the area. Sintra was recommended by so many people but literally no one told me it was in the mountains. This made the temperature much cooler then the already not so hot Lisbon. I found myself needing a jacket in Sintra, it was about 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Before calling an Uber to take us to our Airbnb, we decided to grab breakfast at a local spot. We went to a place called Tapas Bar 52 and Jenna got the Eggs and chirotta (chorizo sausage) and bravas patatas, and I got eggs and camarones (shrimp) also with bravas patatas. The Bravas potatoes we could have just shared because it was a big portion. Bravas potatoes are a Spanish dish consisting of potatoes with a sort of tomato sausce. I didn’t love them but I didn’t hate them. The food there reminded me of bar food, it was good but didn’t blow me away. (We did end up having bomb Bravas Potatoes in Spain though!)
Then we lugged our suitcases down the million of stairs and caught an Uber
LISBON WRAP UP
WHERE WE STAYED:
Bairro Alto Area: Our AIRBNB
Get $55 off your first airbnb stay with my code: HERE
WHERE WE ATE:
Taberna Sal Grosso (didn’t go but was recommended and has amazing reviews)
Taberna das Flores (super good reviews, recommend going right when they open or wait will be super long)
WHERE WE WENT:
Palacio dos Marqueses da Fronteiria
Explored the different Neighborhoods on foot
As De Aspadas
A Outra Face Da Lua
After 25 minutes of windy roads, we ended up in Sintra. We LOVED our Airbnb, it was in the optimal location and had the cutest décor. Plus It was HUGE. The host was very nice and very informative. We got dressed and decided to just walk around a bit.
Sintra is very small and very walkable. It’s a very cute mountainous town. But there is not a whole lot to do beside visit various castles. I could see why people just do a day trip there but I was still happy we spent two days. We also stopped at Casa das Queijadas
Wearing: Locks and Trinkets denim jumpsuit
The next day we were going to visit Pena Palace. It is the biggest attraction of Sintra and a gorgeous colorful palace high on the mountain. We woke up super early to catch an Uber to get there right when they opened to avoid the crowd but the Uber literally never showed up. The weather was quite cloudy and it started lightly raining so we also decided to just wait it out and go at the end of the day once the tourist had left.
So instead we ended up at Saudade café (another recommendation) which was also super close to our airbnb. We split the spinach (and tuna they didn’t mention was in it🤔) quiche and chicken panini. The Panini was so good and the quiche was a bit weird as it just said spinach quiche and they put tuna in it which didn’t really go with the quiche vibe. Also a reminder that you always have to ask what’s in things in Europe even when it seems self explanatory. If I was vegetarian I would not have been happy. I also tried saudade tea which is a must and so good and fragrant. Seriously the best tea I’ve had, I loved it so much I bought a pack of it from the shop.
We then chilled at the Airbnb for a while since it was chilly and rainy until it was time to try the palace again. We were able to catch an Uber this time and it brought us up a windy narrow road. We just kept going up and up and up. The higher we climbed the foggier it got until I realized this probably wasn’t going to work out. How on earth were we going to see the palace when we couldn’t even see two feet in front of us? It was literally our only day to go as we flew out the next day so we decided to just try. Once we got there it was cold, windy, and so foggy. I can’t even say cloudy because we were literally in the cloud. It was just cloud. We bought our tickets then found out it was another 15 minute walk to get to the palace. Once we go there to my expected fears, you could barely see it. It wasn’t really worth it. I tried to get a picture but it was just ok. And there were crazy wind tunnels. My hair was literally ruined after this, such a crazy experience as I thought the wind was going to knock us over. So we left after spending only 10 minutes there. Because it’s so far up, grabbing an Uber was impossible with our lack of service, and they were all so far away, it just wasn’t working. Thank God there was bus to take us down. We didn’t have cash but the palace had an ATM that literally saved us! I really learned my lesson not carrying cash on this trip. We were a bit traumatized after that experience and didn’t want to think so we ate one more time in Incomum by Luis Santos. I got the sea bass this time and Jenna had ravioli dauphine and we both got chocolate fondant again.
Wearing: Zara top, Mango Skirt
I would say Sintra is definitely just a day trip. You can take the train from Lisbon. But if you want to stay, I would highly recommend our Airbnb. It was perfect. I would say though if you go to Sintra, take the bus around instead of trying to Uber. It actually ended up being the better option.
Honestly, I really want to go back to Lisbon and Portugal and experience it again now that I know more. I think I would enjoy a second trip there more without the learning curves!
SINTRA WRAP UP
WHERE WE STAYED:
Airbnb right in the perfect location also right next to the train
Get $55 off your first airbnb stay with my code: HERE
WHERE WE WENT:
Other palaces recommended:
WHERE WE ATE: