You’ve got to love how easy it is to get away for the weekend now that there are so many budget airlines linking London and other major cities in the UK with our European neighbours. For the price of a meal out, my friend and I were able to hop on a plane first thing on a Saturday morning and spend a weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. We spent two days and two nights based in the Sofitel, Lisbon, exploring the different sections of the historic yet cosmopolitan city.
The first day was spent mostly in the older historic area of Lisbon, exploring narrow cobbled alleys lined with shops and homes, many of which seemed derelict or in the midst of being restored.
The larger squares were home to live street entertainment, food markets and main tram stops.
We took a number 12 tram up the hilly lanes on a round trip tour, catching glimpses of the castillo, cathedral and other tourist destinations. We were knackered from our walk and my friend was quiet ill, so we didn’t actually get off of the tram to go inside these places, but since we had a 24 hour metro card, we’d have been able to hop on and off as many trams and trains as we wanted all for the reasonable cost of 6 Euros, which we paid at the airport when we first arrived. Luckily the trams run in a loop so you can’t really ever get lost! You just sit tight and eventually end up in the same place you started.
As some of the streets are super steep, there are trams which run up and down, in the same way you would take a ski lift. When we stopped to take photos of one tram, we were approached by a guy trying to sell us three or four different hard drugs. Casually. In the same way you’d be offered tour bus tickets or a night club guest list. Scary. An older man approached us selling weed a few minutes later in a separate location. It seems the economy is making people much braver in the way they direct illegal business?
After hiking up one of these hilly routes to find breakfast on the second day, we were a little disappointed by the offerings at the Pao de Canela brunch buffet. For something that was so highly recommended on Trip Advisor, the food turned out to be cold and bland. It was worth the trek if only for the view of the square over brunch and the wonderful places we walked past during our escapades.
Luckily, I met up with one of my lovely work colleagues Tiago, who is a genuine ‘Lisboeta’ or in other words, a Lisbon native. He and his wife gave us some great tips on where to go for dinner and it didn’t disappoint. Our dinner at Decadence was delicious, reasonably priced and in a fashionably decorated building. Tiago was charitable enough with his time to take me around some of the harder to reach areas of Lisbon, including the Cabo de Roca, the most western place in Portugal and also introduced me to Pasteis de Belim, which made the most delicious custard tarts ever. A favourite for locals and tourists alike, the queue to buy these delicacies went right out of the building and past the shop.
Here are some of my favourite photos from my instagram feed. Nope, it’s not the usual @circusmum_ feed, this one is from my second blog, @kinkdredspirit which will focus on more lifestyle and travel posts and reviews. Feel free to check out that blog and subscribe to my insta feed too!
Dinner last night. After walking for hours trying to find something off the beaten path, we settled for a quiet, touristy restaurant with pizza and pasta. Very cheap meal and tasty to boot. Hopefully we’ll find something more exciting today! #pizza #lisboa #lisbon #travel #wanderlust
A photo posted by Tinuke (@kinkdredspirit) on
I loved my time in Lisbon and would definitely go again. In fact, Princess has already made me promise to take her. There was so much of the city to explore that it warrants at least another few days. There’s a load of museums and galleries I want to see as well as the graffiti art and the beaches. It was too cold this late in November/December to visit, though when we passed, there were loads of hard core surfers braving the cold to ride some waves, as well as local families wrapped up warm and chilling on the board walks.
Only 2 hours 50 minutes from London Standsted to Lisbon Airport, Lisbon is a wonderful city to explore on a weekend break. Let me know if you’ve been before and where you’d recommend I visit on my next trip!