So I should start by saying that the title of this post is technically a lie! We weren’t in Lisbon for a weekend, but actually Monday-Wednesday. We spent the weekend in the Algarve at a wedding, and on Monday morning got the train to Lisbon. The trains were very easy (although we nearly messed up the tickets) on time, and strongly air conditioned!
We arrived in Lisbon around 12 and were very determined to use public transport to get around. We initially tried to get a bus but after totally failing to find the right stop for the bus that we wanted, we decided to go with the metro instead. The system was very easy to use and we never had to wait long for a train. This did, however, end up with us (well mostly Nick) dragging suitcases up a large hill in the midday sun as we walked to our Airbnb.
We decided to stay in Barrio Alto on the basis that we could walk to most places, and found a lovely Airbnb. We had loads of space, and it was a lovely cool place to come back to when we wanted to relax at the end of the day.
I was pretty determined to get us to our first stop – the Time Out Mercado di Ribiero. It’s essentially a food market, but with some very high end offerings, inside and all very civilised – you order your food and get buzzers so you can get a drink and a seat and go and collect what you’ve ordered when it’s ready. We had some amazing croquetas, cones of ham, delicious figs stuffed with ham, a little tin stuffed with egg – random but wonderful things. I actually spent most of the trip trying to persuade Nick that we should go back again, but never succeeded.
Happily refuelled, we were ready for some sightseeing. It was pretty hot, but we were determined and spent the afternoon walking around the waterfront and then up to the castle, for some amazing views of the City. We were also particularly entertained by the peacocks at the castle – and their very slow way of getting up trees! We also managed to pick up a souvenir (because every holiday needs shopping).
After a trip back to the flat to cool off, we were ready for the evening which naturally started with gin. We were staying very close to Park, a bar on the rooftop of a car park! This provided more beautiful views – and a nice breeze – as we watched the sunset.Through some determination, we got a table by the edge with a wonderful view.
After a failed attempt to get to a restaurant that was closed on Mondays, we ended up eating outside on a random street, where I enjoyed seafood rice. Finding somewhere was pretty tricky though – must remember to be better at checking opening times!
The next day we started with that Portuguese essential – custard tarts. I had done my research, and rather than going to Pasteis de Belem, where I’d read of long queues, we went to Mantegiara, which was nearby – and fantastic. I had a coffee with mine – and they were so good we shared a third tart between the two of us!
Then it was off to Belem, where we started with the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a wonderfully cool break from the sun. It was beautiful inside, with a particularly impressive cathedral.
We then walked down to the Tour de Belem – the Tower – for more amazing views, but also queuing in the heat! We had lunch in Belem, before making our way back to town and getting amazing ice cream at Santini.
It was on the way back to our flat to change for the evening that I managed to slip and break my poor baby toe 😦 but I was determined to let it interfere with our food-based plans for the evening! We headed into the Barrio Alto, and had a drink outside in a little bar, before moving to The Old Pharmacy, for wine and snacks. We actually ended up back there at the end of the night for port – we couldn’t leave without drinking any!
On our final day, we decided to walk up to the Portuguese Parliament and saw some very impressive graffiti. We then went to the beautiful Jardim de Estrela where we saw an impressive combination of wildlife happily hanging out.
Then it was tram time!
One of our final stops was peri peri chicken! Again, I had done my research and we went to Bonjardim, where we were lucky to get a table – and the chicken was amazing!
That just left us with time to head back to the apartment, pack up, and get to the airport (on the Metro – very easy to navigate). Lisbon was a great place to spend a few days or a weekend – I hope we’ll be back.