Lisbon, the heartbeat of Portugal, where the hustle keeps going on and on.
This bustling city was the last pit stop of my 27 days Europe road trip. We drove over from Spain, entered Portugal from Aveiro, passing the high waves town of Nazare and ending up in lively Lisbon at night!
But that was just the beginning.
Lisbon is a gorgeous city with a certain energy in the air. Maybe its a mix of the Portuguese people’s mannerism, the mad traffic and the smell of eggtarts in the streets that adds up.
We checked in to our lovely accommodation Good Morning Hostel right in the central of Lisbon. We fell in love with this place immediately when we got there, and was warmly greeted by the friendly staff. The setting of the hostel is extremely cosy with an open concept, with the furnishing very modern/ trendy and well designed compared to the average hostel.
A little sneak peak of the grounds and common spaces here. It’s almost like a big cosy home given the choice of colours, textures and furnishing of the place.
The hostel had special events every night, and that day we arrived was ‘Free Soup’ Day, which was a lovely surprise, as I love soup, as everyone who knows me well would be aware. So while Cez disppeared off to park the car and hunt for eggtarts, I was having a big hot bowl of soup, all happy and warm before turning in for the night.
Rise and Shine Day 1:
Walking the City of Lisbon and Moreia
Bright and ‘not so early’ the next morning, we had a big hearty breakfast provided by Good Morning Hostel before we went on our walking tour to explore the city of Lisbon. I really love their soft waffles with Nutella and toasties!! Hardly do you find hostels with such a wholesome and tasty breakfast.
After the morning rush ( as usual ), we joined the group for the Wild Walkers free walking tour with bubbly and smiley Sophia as our guide.
Short overview teaser video of the walking tour!
Alfama and Laundry?
Before long, we were right in the soul of the city, from trotting up the little curvy and narrow cobbled streets in Moreia , to admiring colourful street art/ tiles, to spotting old ladies leaning out of their windows hanging their laundry and undergarments ( seems to be an astonishing common and popular activity done throughout the day, we literally seeing this sight nonstop throughout the day ). Try to look up and notice this when you visit.
Alfama area also had great look out points to see the city the Tagus River in the distance. Lisbon’s weather is a bit colder and rainy, so while we were there in January and caught in showers + strong winds occasionally, it comes and goes very quickly, so try to be ready with waterproof jackets with hoodies instead of umbrellas, which will fly away!
We learned a thing or two about the Portuguese history, culture and love…
- Lisbon is 3,000 years old.
- The country was under a very long dictatorship of a man called António de Oliveira Salazar, which ‘coincidentally’ , his seem to ring the same tune to the villain name Salazar Slytherin in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. Coincidence? I think not.
- Lisbon in the beginnings, use to be a port filled with sailors and prostitutes
- Fado Music and Song – the traditional Portuguese music sung by the locals about their everyday love/ sorrows/ griefs and lives. ( The Portuguese are melancholic romantics and brooders, which according to dear Sophia, makes their men very alluring and hopeless romantics ;). Fado music is usually performed by 2 guitarists playing a 12 strong instrument and singing to tunes, aka pouring their hearts out.
- Learnt a new romantic Portuguese word ‘Saudade’ which basically means immense longing and nostalgia.
Pretty portuguese porcelain plates in a row ?Sunday flea market in Lisbon:) ?Little joke shared by our guide, if you are lucky or ‘unlucky’, you might just miraculously find your watch ? that was pickpocketed from you the day before here sold at the flea. Surprise surprise! ? #lisbonlife . . . #lisbon #portugal #lisbonwalkingtours #lisbontown #lisboncity #lisbonfleamarket #lisbonmarkets #lisbonlovers #lisboa
Missing something? Find it at the Lisbon Flea Market
Our last pit stop was an an empty space near the flea market, where you can find all sorts of interesting items like Portuguese design plates, handmade items, food, and even some Portuguese design tiles ( some stolen! so don’t support them). One thing you should know is that the flea market also has some stalls that sells stolen goods, like phones, watches, hats and anything in the world pick-pocketed in Lisbon. So should you ever get robbed, you know where you can go and look for it.
Lisbon Attractions – Sights and Scenery
As you can see, Lisbon attractions and sights are located at high and low points in the city, and you can walk around in a full day if you go non-stop. Prepare to have proper walking shoes. There is also a popular street called the Pink Street, where the grounds are painted Pink! How cool is that!
We met a lot of solo travelers in this trip at the tour and at the hostel, and they all love exploring Lisbon on their own. So looks like its another amazing place for those who want to solo travel here.
Pity we didn’t get to visit it as we spend the day hiking at the nearby national park of Arrabida, which is a must-visit for those who have a car and love coastal views and the great outdoors. Lisbon beaches are also all spotted at this part of the island.
Hence concludes the best of Lisbon attractions and all it has to offer. If you would like to find out more about the cuisine and amazing seafood and sweets of the country, keep reading on.