Days, Days, Days, before Ben and I were going to Portugal we planned everything into detail. We had worked really hard over the last year, both new careers and renovating the house we bought together definitely took some time from us.
Not complaining tough, we are very happy with everything we have achieved so far, but the trip to Portugal was something we really looked forward to after all the hard work. Our first destination, of course: Lisbon. We would stay in Lisbon for four days, which I still think is enough to explore the whole city. Of course I spend an endless time scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest to find the most “instagramable spots” in Lisbon. And beside Instagram and Pinterest, Ben and I have developed an advanced way of planning our trips with Google’s MyMap.
However, the real question of course is: Is Lisbon really as beautiful as the pictures on Instagram and Pinterest tell us? I will be honest, Lisbon is a beautiful city. It has a lot of amazing squares, royal buildings, green parks and endless shopping streets. But nowadays, all areas are crowded with tourists. Somehow the authentic city is hard to find between these people from all over the world. Of course it doesn’t help that the city needed to be rebuild after the devastating earthquake that ruined most of the city
Without the Alfama district, it would not have had my interest for four full days. Alfama is the oldest part of the city, the only part in the centre that actually did survive the earthquake. I loved to walk through the old small streets and get amazed with an amazing view on each corner. It’s the part of the city that seems most authentic and living. There is music, food and colourful buildings everywhere.
The city is clearly separated into district, it is easy to spot when you walk from one into the other. This is both because of the many hills the city counts, but also because it is clear to see which parts are built before the earthquake and which parts are built after.
Besides Alfama, Belem and Almada are parts of the city where the older history of the city can still be found. As historical and authentic lovers, Ben and I spend most of our time in these parts of the city. After the earthquake, the king of Portugal made sure that his city was build up with impressive buildings. Although it lost its authentic vibe, the royal squares, statues and glamorous buildings will makes sure you walks through the city won’t get bored at any point.
The many tourist from all over the world may make the city less authentic, it does however make it very vibrant and living.
We Loved This
Ben and I were not at all happy with the Portuguese food, we’re honestly not seafood likers at all. But for me there was one thing that made it all great again, the Portuguese pastries, especially those in Lisbon. I am kind of a sweet tooth and these multi-layered, flaky crusted, filled with custard baked inside is all I need to make my day. To make it even more complete, you receive extra sugar and cinnamon powder with it, just to make sure you will feel guilty but satisfied for the rest of the day.
Pasta del Nata’s are a typical Portuguese pastry, but taste differently in each part of the country. Its origin is in Lisbon’s Belem, and only here you can call them Pasta del Belem, which was without a doubt my favourite.
As I prefer to eat healthy, also when traveling, it can be hard to find a good place for breakfast or lunch. Carlie’s is located near the Via del Liberdades, from where many busses leave. This made it for us easy to stop by in the morning.
The menu has various, mostly healthy options. My favourite was the celery juice, with mint and lemon.
Lisbon Book Fair
We got so lucky this event took place on the first day of our arrival just around the corner of our hotel. It was perfect to have an easy start of our trip. Located on Eduardo VII parquet, this book market is one of the best I have been so far. Starting on the bottom, strolling through the book stalls, eventually ending on top of the parquet, where food trucks sell various kinds of food and you can get surprised by the amazing view on the park, the city and the Tague.