Last week we used a couple of Spanish public holidays to explore a new city – Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is about a 4 hour drive from Sevilla so we hired a car and headed to one of the Europe’s most historically important cities. As we sat watching the sun set at Praça do Comércio (pictured below and above) on the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean we talked about how crazy it was that people used to think this was the end of the world! We only had a couple of days in Lisbon and I easily could have spent a week there. The city is so incredible with colourful architecture and beautiful tiles. I didn’t know anything about it before visiting, but it reminded me of a mix of San Francisco and Paris’ Montmartre district. San Francisco because of the bridge you cross on your way in to the city (built by the same company – American Society of Civil Engineers) and because of all the hills! The architecture and the feel of the city, however, was more like the area around Sacre Coeur in Paris.
There are old fashioned trams transporting people around the city centre. We stayed very central (in an apartment I found on Airbnb) so we didn’t need to use them but took one for fun! It’s wooden paneled and like travelling back in time.
There are a great selection of restaurants in Lisbon offering food from all over the world. It’s a city famous for it’s seafood due to its location, but we’re vegetarians so can’t really comment. However, our friends went to Cervejaria Ramiro (Av. Almirante Reis, 1) and absolutely loved it. You have to wait a while for a table, but apparently it’s worth it. We went to Jardim Das Cerejas (Calçada Sacramento, 36) which is a vegetarian restaurant with a buffet of delicious hot food, I would definitely recommend it.
You need a reservation for a lot of restaurants in the centre, but even if you go there in the afternoon to book somewhere you’ll probably get a table. I checked out Lisbon tips from Katie before going and couldn’t wait to check out Mahjong bar (Rua da Atalaia, 3). It has cabbage light fixtures (photographed above) and an excellent selection of cocktails what more could you ask for? Also, there is a great Indian restaurant directly opposite.
Eating cake for breakfast in Portugal is more than acceptable, it’s encouraged! We fully embraced that by eating a million pastel de natas. I’ll blog about them some more really soon – they’re that good. Overall, I felt there was a sadness about Lisbon. By the buildings and the architecture, you can tell it used to be a really important and grand city but recently financial events have really left it quite battered. There are a lot of derelict buildings, empty houses and broken windows. I wish someone would restore it to it’s former beauty before it is ruined forever. I would definitely recommend visiting Lisbon, I don’t understand why more people don’t.
See below for more photos and stay tuned for analogue ones!
All photos taken on a Sony NEXC3.