I’m not sure I get everyone’s fascination with Lisbon. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the city, it definitely had the charm of a quaint old place, but I just don’t think there was anything all that special to make me want to go back there.
In the past couple of years I’ve spent a fair bit of time travelling around Europe, and when I wasn’t travelling, I was making plans and looking for places to go. After a multitude of magazine columns, blog articles and instagram posts about the unmissable Lisbon, I decided to see firsthand what all the fuss is about.
Almost everyone I talked to before going had either been to Lisbon and loved it, or had also heard very good things and really wanted to go soon. My housemate even said she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to move there permanently. So naturally, I was pretty hyped about finally making it to this marvellous city.
On our way from the flat atop a hill in the Alfama district down to the city centre.
Vintage tuna tins.
Churros! I believe they are a Spanish invention, but definitely try them, wherever you see them!
Praça do Comércio, the city’s main square looking out to the beach.
The walk down the riverfront wasn’t bad at all! Natural beauty is always appreciated on a city break.
The imposing equestrian statue of Dom José I is the first thing you see at the plaza, before your eyes move to the beautifully ornamented triumphal arch.
Arco da Vitória, crowned by statues representing Glory, Valour and Genius.
Exploring the winding streets of the Baixa & Rossio districts.
Convento do Carmo in the Chiado district was definitely a highlight. An earthquake caused the roof to collapse during worship on All Saints’ Day in 1755, and the atmosphere inside the skeleton of the building really carries the horror of that event, even on a bright sunny day.
For a panoramic shot, get yourself atop the Elevador da Glória.
No trip to Lisbon is complete without some fresh sea food from a local restaurant!
Possibly the tastiest treat you could have in Portugal. Pastéis de Belém (custard tarts) from the original Antiga Confeitaria in the Belém district. Trust me, there is more to them than meets the eye!
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was built in 1501 to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India. It was the most impressive sight of my whole Lisbon trip – definitely worth the visit!
So that’s it I guess. As I said, Lisbon is nice, but I just didn’t feel the magic as much as everyone else. I think it might be because I visited while still fresh with excitement from my trip to Cuba, so I was less impressed with the ‘undone’ look and the quaintness of the place.
Did you think Lisbon is absolutely amazing and that I’m talking nonsense? Did I miss anything essential that might have changed my mind about the place? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more shared experiences!
Thanks for reading,