My boyfriend and I spontaneously decided to go on a long weekend to Lisbon, Portugal. We arrived in Lisbon on a very early Thursday morning and stayed until Sunday afternoon. If you are curious about how we spend those couple of days, keep on reading!
Just a week before departure we booked our flight tickets and apartment. Our minds were set on having an adventurous time in Lisbon. My boyfriend had already visited Lisbon about eight years ago. His memories were vivid and he couldn’t wait to go again, but this time with me. Finally I could cross it off of my bucket list! Other than Portugal’s strong history and the amazing soccer player Christiano Ronaldo I knew little about the country. That definitely changed after a long weekend right in the middle of Baixa-Chiado.
We booked our flight tickets via skyscanner and our apartment via booking.com. It was just a three hour flight from Schiphol Airport to Aeroporto da Portela. We choose to arrive early in the morning to start our trip with a full first day. After arrival at Aeroporto da Portela we took the metro towards our apartment. With the red line we went to Alameda and transferred to the green line which brought us to Baixa Chiado. The metro system of Lisbon was easy to follow and we had no problem getting to our destination.
While exiting the metro station of Baixa Chiado I became so intrigued with my surrounding. Everywhere I looked were detailed romantic looking buildings and cobbled streets as far as my eyes could reach. City life was beginning as more and more citizens of Lisbon walked around and opened their shops. I could see the rising sun reflecting rays on the river Tagus in the distance, right in between the hilly streets. And oh my, when I say hilly streets I mean super duper hilly hills! When trying to find our apartment it most definitely cost us a lot of calories walking up and down the hills.
The First Day
A lovely lady helped us settle in our apartment and informed us about Lisbon. We paid, she left the keys and took off. The first thing we did was going to a supermarket to get ourselves some lunch. Nearby our apartment there was a organic supermarket where we bought some bread and whatnot. We ate until satisfied. During lunch we agreed to go for a tram ride with one of the popular trams 28 or 15. Eventually we hopped on and off trams when we felt like it, walked through a bunch of streets and came across delightful architecture.
Most of the buildings are so colorful and enjoyable to look at. There are also a lot of old looking buildings that seem to be on the edge of collapsing. Because of this there is a lot of construction work going on trying to renovate whatever possible.
At a tram stop called Graça we exited the tram and walked towards Panteão Nacional. It used to be a church, Church of Santa Engrácia which took over 300 years to finish. I didn’t take good pictures of it, only the two above.
From there on we proceeded to walk to Place Du Commerce. A big square across the river Tagus where we sat down for a drink. I had an orange juice and my boyfriend had a smoothie with banana. I must say that the orange juices in Lisbon are the best I’ve ever tasted! Super sweet!
We strolled over the square and took a good look at the statue of King Joseph I (to be seen in my first vlog). Then we took a tram and stopped somewhere in front of the Embassy of Belgium. Or at least a building that had “Ambassade van België” written on it, haha. Without any idea of our whereabouts we walked, talked, shot some pictures and explored. Walking up and down all those hills got pretty tiring at some point. Luckily we managed to find our way back to our apartment for a quick rest.
Castelo de São Jorge
Later than afternoon we headed to the Castelo de São Jorge, São Jorge Castle. It was the perfect timing, right before sunset. We had a beautiful view over the historic center of Lisbon and the Tagus river.
When leaving Castelo de São Jorge we walked through some super cute streets.
Dinner at Jardim das Cerejas
Through a website called HappyCow I found out about Jardim das Cerejas. A vegetarian/vegan restaurant just a couple of minutes away from our apartment. I read that it was completely vegan so of course I wanted to go there for dinner. Just to be sure I asked the owner if the food they served was all vegan, and yes-yes it was. Dinner is served as a walking buffet. You can eat as much as you want for less than 10 euros!
Lisbon Travel Vlog Day 1
The second day
Right after breakfast at our apartment we left for Belém. It was easy getting there by tram which took a little less than 40 minutes from Praça da Figueira. There is a lot to see in Belém so we took a couple of hours to look around the area.
For lunch we went into a mainstream kind of restaurant where they had several types of dishes including salades, baked goods and fruits. Not much though. I only had some rice and broccoli, because there wasn’t much that I could eat unfortunately. But no worries, the day was too lovely and there was much to look forward to. We were about to go to Oriente. A very modern area compared to the historical center of Lisbon.
In Oriente you will find a lot of modern architecture. The station, the buildings, the artworks and the shopping mall were really different from what we had seen so far. It wasn’t our favorite place to spend time at so we didn’t stay for long.
We walked through the mall straight towards the riverside. With the sun setting in the horizon the sky and river turned into a mixture of pink and blue colors which was so beautiful to see. Right above us we saw the Telecabine Lisboa. Those are cable lifts that will take you from one side to another. When we starred into the horizon we could see the longest bridge in Europe, Vasco da Gama Bridge.
Dinner at Vegana Burgers
I also found this place via HappyCow. I was really excited to try vegan burgers from a totally vegan burger place. At first I thought it was a restaurant, but it was more like a food court with a ton of other food stalls around it. Anyhow, the burgers were alright. I liked the taste a lot, but the burger itself was kind of cold. I loved the interesting chips on the side. Crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Just like a french fry! Portion wise it was not enough for me for dinner. It looks like I just had one potato next to my burger haha.
The third day
On the third day we headed out to a beach in Oeiras. Not for swimming, but to check out surfers and other fun activity. We went there by train and hopped off one stop before our destination. We walked from there towards the beach through a lovely neighborhood. There were so many people at the beach practicing volleyball, surfing, skateboarding or just relaxing. I loved the vibe and liveliness, although the sun was unfortunately not shining. We sat down, ate pizza for lunch and enjoyed the rest of the evening there before we walked back to the station.
After 40 minutes with the train we were back in Cais do Sodré, the train station we took off from going to Oeiras. The streets seemed busier than usual as we walked further into the city. It was a Saturday night and that was noticeable by the amount of younger people walking in groups chatting about whatever they were going to do that night. Music was playing, people laughing and drinking on the streets and having a good time. Tatsuya and me had a snack at a tappas place and had some more food at a random Italian restaurant. Then we decided to observe the night life of Lisbon a bit. We didn’t enter any bars or places, but just walked around to see what was up. It was incredibly crowded around clubs and bars. Filled with a lot of tourists as well.
Eventually it got quite late so we fastened our pace back to the apartment. Fully satisfied we hopped into the bathtub and got ready for a good night rest. The next day our plane left in the afternoon, back to The Netherlands.
This trip was in the end of January. The weather was pretty good and the sun was always shining. I must say that Portugal is not only a place to visit during summer time!
Thanks for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it and it might help you with planning your trip to Lisbon.