In Love with Lisbon
Both Jake and I are in love with all of the Latin countries and we realised that we have been to almost all of them except Portugal! We haven’t heard many people even talk much about Portugal and we didn’t know anything about it before we decided to go. So this may not be a surprise to some but Portugal was our unexpected delight.
Jake is from San Francisco, we met in Brazil and fell in Love with Lisbon
So, shortly before our departure, we read some blog posts to get inspired, bought our tickets and booked a small apartment through Airbnb. When we first arrived we didn’t have much expectations but for some reason, we assumed it would look and feel a bit like Barcelona. And wow, were we wrong!!! We were completely blown away by this city and amazed that no one had really told us about this place.
Jake is from San Francisco (so that might explain why he loved it so much here) and we met in Brazil, so therefore we were quite surprise when we took our first walk through the city and saw an almost exact replica of The Golden Gate Bridge and The Christ Redeemer standing next to each other! Like a beacon of the two places we love saying welcome home. What a coincidence!
Why did we like Lisbon so much?
The scenery. Well, to start with, the city is beautiful. The city has a lot of character, with its old colorful buildings all smushed together along it undulating hill sides. This city is really fun to just take a walk and enjoy the surprises you’ll find around the corner. You will find anything from new modern buildings with beautiful terraces and still a lot of intricate details or small old houses with tile on the facade and laundry hanging from the windows. It reminds you a bit of Barcelona but a bit more modern and colorful. I would say if you mix Barca with San Francisco you would get Lisbon!
Next is the people, almost everyone we met were super friendly and surprisingly all spoke great English. They all loved to tell us recommendations and give their own personal stories. The locals seem like they haven’t gotten tired of tourists yet, which is nice and what we think is common in a lot of other European cities.
Food and Drinks. Finally, the food and the drinks. Although it’s not super touristy in Lisbon, they have almost every kind of great food you could ask for. You will easily find amazing Portuguese seafood, seriously if you like seafood, you should just come here for this. Jake thinks it blows Italy seafood away and he’s a proud Italian.
Warning, you have to like a lot of spices and salt with your main dish. Portuguese are also infamous with making something as simple as grilled cod, taste like a home cooked meal that mom would make. Besides this, Portuguese restaurants offer lots of great meat dishes as well as other restaurants offering some pretty amazing international foods like Mexican, Japanese, Italian, etc.
Bars and Clubs. If you are a fan of cocktails/bar/clubs you will have no problem with that here. There is definitely something for everyone in Lisbon. In Baixa/Chiado you will find everything from hidden bars to clubs, beautiful rooftop or cellar bars, fancy cocktail places or even several parks with great views where people hang out drinking.
If you are interested in a newer area, walk or take the train 5km along the coast and it will take you to the newly built Doca Alcântara. Similar to the Marina in San Fran, you will find nicely designed trendy bars/clubs/restaurants with a great view of the bridge, sunset and the National Sanctuary of Christ the King.
What else? Well, the main reason why I loved Lisbon is because there is so much to do and so easy to get around! With all the trams, trains, cable cars, metro, buses or boats; you can find a way to get almost anywhere. It’s amazing how much public transportation there is here.
And you can use all those mean of traveling to get to the many small little beach towns, national parks, mountain biking or hiking trails and even surfs spots. We are planning to come back soon to do some more exploring; maybe do a camp/surf trip along their 30 kilometer beach which starts only 30 minutes away from the city center.
Have you booked your flight yet or still not convinced? Just Stay tuned and we will posts about each place we have been to and what to recommend from there…
Dine and Wine in Lisbon – Where and what to eat and drink!
5 things you need to see in Lisbon – Our top 5 attractions!
Finally! These amazing blog posts inspired us to go to Lisbon:
17 things you need to do in Lisbon by (Every) Steph
Several blog posts about Lisbon by One Tiny leap
10 things to do in Lisbon under 30 Euro by YouBloodyTourist