Following on from last week’s post about Edinburgh as a city break, today I thought I’d take you to Lisbon!
Back in April, my family and I took some time out of the busyness that was A-level and GCSE years, and spent four days in Lisbon. It was the best way to get away from everything, and the city was beautiful!
In my eyes, Lisbon is a great city that combines history, architecture and an easy escape to the beaches if that’s what takes your fancy. The public transport facilities are excellent; easy to navigate and a reasonable price too.
On the first day we explored the main town, old town, and the district of Belem. The seven hills that surround Lisbon link closely with the old town, and the Alfama district is potentially the most famous of all.
One of the first things we came across was the Praça do Comércio, in the main Baixa district of town. It was a beautiful plaza, and the best place to stop for a drink and bask in the spring sunshine.
We even spotted a wild Pikachu!
Next up was a walk up one of the hills to the old town. The trams here were very popular – and often very crowded. The walk was manageable, and we found some delicious fresh strawberries at the top from a street seller!
One of my favourite spots to visit was the district of Belém, which is not only home to the famous pastry shop – Pastéis de Belém, where they sell the ‘pastéis de nata’, but also the Torre de Belém!
On our second day, we took a trip back to Belém, and visited the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos; a beautiful 16th Century monastery with some fabulous architecture. The sun glinted through the arches, and I was very much reminded of scenes from Harry Potter.
After exploring the monastery (and waiting in the very long queue – advice: get there early!), we took a short train ride to the coastal town of Cascais (pronounced Cash-Cash).
It was really nice to get away from the bustle of the city for an afternoon, and spend some time soaking in the sun!
On our penultimate day we took a trip into Sintra – somewhere I’d found from a bunch of Pinterest research. It looked beautiful from all the photos – like a fairy-tale adventure in the mountains. Unfortunately, we hadn’t accounted for the sheer number of crowds and tourists. It detracted from the joy of the whole day – but we could have been better prepared. It was still a beautiful place, regardless of the number of crowds.
To finish our trip and make the most of the day before heading back to the airport, we visited the Lisbon Zoo, Jardim Zoológico. Parts of this were brilliant, and it was a great day out. A particular highlight was the Dolphin show, where the keepers worked and played with the dolphins, even bringing in some sealions. We loved it so much we went twice! There were school children everywhere! And I found it hard to see some of the animals that I’d seen in the wild in Africa in small enclosures. Here are a couple of pictures of the day:
I hope you’ve enjoyed a quick adventure to Lisbon! Have you visited? Are there any cities you’d recommend for a short break away? Let me know below!