Portugal: Lisbon in a hurry

July, 2018

“You need at least seven days to see Lisbon”

This was the advise of firends that we stayed with for one night in Lisbon. We arrived in Lisbon in the afternoon and left at midday the following day. Again, we were lucky to stay with friends that we’d made along the way and they helped us make the most of our time.

We stayed with Ondina and Jorge, who we met while walking the Camino Portuguese. Again, they went above and beyond to make sure we had a lovely time. They picked us up from the city, fed us an amazing dinner, gave us a tour of the city at night and helped us to organise our second day.

Highlights of our zoom tour

We managed to cram quite a lot into a very short time. I feel that we managed to get a bit of a feel of Lisbon but have left so many corners unexplored.

Pastel de Belem

This is a gorgeous little pastry shop with a lot of history. They sell famed pastel de nata which won awards for years, until they refused to surrender the recipe to their delicious treats. Daniel ate 3 and feels that it’s the best thing he has eaten while traveling. The cafe is in a lovely old building with winding passages and tiled rooms. You can also order to take away, the cues were out the door with people keen to buy the creamy treats.

Jerónimos Monastery

Practically nextdoor to Pastel dear Belem is a massive monastery. This is the former monastery of Saint Jerome. We took a walk around the outside but did not go in as we were short on time. It is a very impressive structure that towers over a beautiful courtyard below.

Belém tower

From the monastery you can walk towards the sea, through a lovely garden and past a massive fountain. You then cross under the road and come up below a huge tower. It is made of a massive sword and stands very tall over the courtyard below, where you can find a world map with New Zealand missing.

Lisbon by night

In order for us to see ‘the best of Lisbon’ Ondina and Jorge took us to the city to walk around during the evening and on a bit of a driven tour of the wider city. It was lovely to walk around the city at night. It was beautifully lit up and many people were out enjoying the evening. We really enjoyed seeing the Rua Augusta arch and the harbour at night.

On the way home Jorge drove us past a number of notable monuments. We were very excited to see the aquaduct, also beautifully lit. It’s a sight we’ll remember forever.

Tram ride

You can’t go to Lisbon without taking a tram. We caught the tram to visit São Jorge Castello. Jorge advised us to get a window seat, open the window and watch Lisbon go by with the wind on your face. Unfortunately we could not get a window seat so made do by standing at the back, without much view. It was still cool.

São Jorge Castello

This is the one tourist thing we did properly and it was totally worth it. We had one morning free before leaving for Seville and managed to spend a decent amount of time at the castle before having to leave. The castle was really well preserved and we spent an hour or so exploring the castle walls, gardens and outer areas.

It was worth going to the castle for the view over the city. You could see the whole city from different points in the castle or surrounding grounds. From many towers on the castle keep you could see a 360 degree view of Lisbon. Fortunately Jorge warned us to get there close to opening time. By the time we left the cue was down the street, if we’d arrived later we probably wouldn’t have had time to visit.

From the castle we enjoyed a nice walk down through the Alfama district to the metro station, where we zoomed off on a train to meet our ride to Seville.

Lisbon was beautiful and it’s such a shame we had to rush our visit, but also happy that we were able to visit at all. We hope that you enjoyed reading about our whirlwind visit and if you ever visit, take more time! Please like, share, comment and give us a follow. You can find us on Instagram @twokiwisgoroaming

Chloe and Daniel xx

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