Lisbon and Sintra! I must say from the beginning that I liked Porto a little bit more. But that might be because we visited Porto first and it is a smaller, more coquette version of Lisbon. That doesn't mean that I didn't like Lisbon, it's a wonderful city, with a great history, a lot to offer and I will go there for another visit one day!
I’m going to start with a DO NOT GO THERE: Rua dos Correeiros and the parralel streets are way to touristic, the food is not great and waiters are rude and annoying! If you want to experience Lisbon, don’t go there!
You can go and I highly recommend to:
- Mercado da Ribeira Time Out: even if it’s crowded and you hardly find a place to sit, the food there is excellent. It’s Lisbon biggest fresh food market and all the best restaurants from Lisbon have a kiosk there.
- Cervejaria Ramiro: it is a must eat there, for seafood lovers! If you want to have dinner there you must have a reservation. At lunch we got lucky and we got a table. It was crowded at 2pm, that’s why I said that we were lucky.
- Principe do Calhariz: the place to go for a fantastic octopus and a delicious shrimp starter. Keep in mind that it has very weird schedule: from 12 to 15 and from 19 to 22:30. 😉
After all the seafood and vinho verde (because what is food without a glass of wine) there is always room for dessert and Santini is your go to place! Try the honey melon ice cream, is to die for!
Also, don’t forget about pastries. Fabrica da Nata was our place to enjoy one or two (sometimes three 🙈) Pasteis de Nata. These little custard tarts are the only dessert you can’t leave Portugal without tasting.
If you’re a smoker you must know that Lisbon still has some bars that allow indoor smoking and Janela da Atalaia is one of them.
We spent two nights listening to great live music and admiring the sun setting over the city at Miradouro de Santa Catarina. It’s a place where people gather to relax, have a drink there or one they bring from home and listen to music. Worth to go at sunset or even a little bit later.
Wander around Alfama neighborhood! It’s the oldest district of Lisbon, it is a labyrinth with wonderful buildings, colorful streets and great coffee shops. It was the least affected area by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, tsunami and fire. At that time it was the poor district from Lisbon and was less affected as it is constructed on a large rock hill that shock less in the quake and was high enough to avoid the tsunami. A week after the 1755 earthquake over 90% of the buildings in Lisbon were either collapsed, flooded or burnt.
And if you want to see the most adorable creatures ever aka Sea Otters, go to Oceanarium. It’s a must if you’re traveling with your little ones!
Parking and driving in Lisbon are not a great idea, so we returned our car from our first day there, therefore I cannot give any advice regarding parking.
Wow, it seems that I babbled a lot about Lisbon but I’m still sure I missed something.
If you want to visit Sintra and you don’t have a car, there are trains that leave every 30 minutes. We took one from Rossio Railway Station (awesome building, hard to believe from the outside that it is a train station). Try to leave as early as possible because the trains are crowded, the line is long and Sintra is overwhelmed with tourists.
If you overlook the touristic part, Sintra is like a fairytale! The castles are wonderful and worth to visit them and stroll around the gardens. There is a bus that leaves from the train station and you have a tour for all three castles included in one ticket. Of course there are also other museums and castles that you can visit, but we resumed to: Pena Palace (the one that looks like a Disneyland castle), Castle of Moors and Palacio National de Sintra.
Be prepared to walk a lot, to climb a lot of stairs and to be amazed by the beauty of those places!
If you’re traveling by car you should also pay a visit to Cabo da Roca! I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place. We didn’t had enough time to go there so it’s on our list for next time! 😉
I guess that’s about it about Lisbon and Sintra, don’t be shy to message me if you have any questions! 🙈
Thank you for reading! Cheers to great adventures! ❤️