The Best of Portugal (Part 2)
To continue on my experiences in Portugal, here are some recommendations on where to stay, what to eat (arguably the most important), and random tips to make your trip the best!
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at the Dom Carlos Park Hotel which was roughly a 25-minute walk from the city center. I would recommend trying to stay closer to Rossio Station of Amalfa area because it’s a much easier commute to where you want to be. Although, the good part about our location were the local markets that lined the sidewalks. We were able to pick up some handmade rings & paintings for very cheap! (This was located up Avenida de Libertade - a long road leading up to a park area).
What to eat:
Well, luckily for us, we stayed during June which happened to be the month-long Portuguese celebration. This meant beer-tents & pastel de nada everywhere. These egg tarte creations are a must-try. Pasteis de Belém is the most iconic place to try them. Now, I have to admit, we did skip this to try them elsewhere because the restaurant was so far from the town center. So, instead I would recommend going to Fabrica de Nata located on Rua Augusta (a main street area near the water). Pay 1€ for a warm delicious pastry and then head upstairs to sit near the balcony where you can overlook passerby’s. It’s the best experience.
Our other favorite food was the Doner Kebabs. Now if you have been to Europe, you may have seen these before. They essentially shave the meat in front of you and throw it in a pile mixed with lettuce, tzatziki and other delicious toppings. We found the perfect shop, with the best flavor that we went to literally 2-3x within our 4 days there. Just keep in mind many of them don’t take credit card that isn’t Portuguese - so bring cash!
Sangria, sangria, sangria. I’m serious. Get it. It was THE BEST I have ever had. They offer both white and red almost everywhere, both were equally refreshing. As mentioned in the previous blog, there are lots of parks with bars where you can get drinks so be sure to give it a try! Portugal is also known for their Port wine, which is definitely different than your traditional wine as it has brandy in it. Definitely go for it at least once - it wasn’t our favorite but it was worth the try!
Tips & Tricks:
Skip the Hop-on Hop-Off Bus. Now I’m usually an advocate for these services, especially in large cities, but to be honest this was a bust. We found ourselves frustrated that we wasted time & money to sit on a bus that took us through very random outskirts of the city. You are better off trying a tuk-tuk car which are located all over the town.
Pena Palace, worth it? Well… if I’m being honest, we thought this was over-rated. Since we only had 4 days in Lisbon, we felt like taking 1/2 a day to Sintra was unnecessary. We took a train from Rossio Station that went directly to Sintra for fairly cheap. I will warn you that once you get in the palace it is swarmed with tourists. I’m talking, standing in lines to even move in the palace to tour the rooms. It certainly is picturesque, but I say save your time and stay in Lisbon!
So there ya have it! All you need to know about Lisbon in a few paragraphs. As always if you have any questions please let me know, I would love to help! And if you are heading to Lisbon tell me so I can daydream about it with you ;)