After a year of radio silence, I finally had the time to sit down and type a post for my blog. Its been too long, I know. Sometimes I forget how much I appreciate the written word, and how much I love just writing about anything BUT school related things…
To keep up the flow of travel stories on by blog, today I wanted to tell you about Lisbon. I visited the capital of Portugal beginning of this summer and I must say I fell in love with this city. I’ve been to Portugal once before, in 2012. Actually, I’ve written about that trip as well. Anyway, this time I visited the land of Fado and sardines with a few of my friends from school. For an assignment, we could go abroad to ‘develop ourselves on a cultural level’ so the choice was quickly made to go somewhere sunny and warm.
First things first. We flew with TAP Portugal, which was really nice and a good airline. Since we are all poor students, we booked an apartment through AirBNB. I highly recommend this, even if you have more to spend. Hotels are great, but staying in the apartment of a local gives you a much better picture of the country and city you are staying in.
Many compare Lisbon to other bigger cities such as Barcelona. When walking the streets of Lisbon vs Barcelona, you will both understand and deny this comparison. Lisbon is smaller and cosier, compared to big city Barcelona. Also, Barcelona is better maintained as far as I’ve seen when I visited but Lisbon’s rough edge makes up for the lack of maintenance. Lisbon has many gorgeous landmarks, such as the monastery and tower in Belem (a district of Lisbon), castle St. George (or in Portugese: castelo Sao Jorge) and the oceanarium of Lisbon. If you are into museums, I recommend the Calouste Gulbenkian museum. Armenian dude Gulbenkian was a big fan of art and donated his immense art collection to Portugal. His collection consists of peaces from all eras, with the Lalique jewelry as climax of it all.
Next to your regular sightseeing, Lisbon is great for going out and having an awesome time. The Bairro Alto offers lots of places (bars, clubs) to go and have a drink, dance and enjoy the international scene of people. Trust me, if you are into bar hopping and secret clubs under bridges and in our factories: the Bairro Alto (and Lisbon in general) is perfect for you. If you are not a bar hopper but enjoy listening to live music, don’t worry. Portugal has a wonderful tradition when it comes to music. Have you ever heard of Fado? Traditionally Fado music is performed with only a guitar and a voice. The songs are about anything and everything in life. It is about emotions and typically Portugese. You can find it in lots of little restaurants, where the staff will perform it in between courses. My friends and I wanted to experience this at least once when in Lisbon, so on our last night we walked into one of the hundred Fado restaurants in Lisbon and enjoyed the guitar music, emotional voices and Portugese food. An absolute must-do when you go to Lisbon and want to see the real Portugal.
Speaking of food, Portugal has a great, diverse cuisine. It mainly consists out of fish (since it is positioned next to the ocean) such as sardines and ‘bacalhau’ (codfish). They also eat lots of ‘chouriço'(which is a kind of sausage) and ‘arroz’ (rice). But the best part of the Portugese cuisine is the desserts and pastries. Oh.. my.. god. One thing you for sure have to try is ‘Pastéis de nata’. I’m pretty sure I already mentioned these delicious pastries before in a post, but they are so worth mentioning.
All images in this post are made and owned by me.