Although we are a Dubai based blog, I love travelling and think its high time I started sharing my Non-Dubai based travels. I did a post about Spain; Salou and surrounding areas a few months ago and will hopefully get one up about living in Edinburgh sometime soon! Now we have established a base for our Dubai articles, we will be branching out to other travels and trips we have made over the years!
Last weekend I went to visit my best friend (And maid of honour) in Portugal, she had a fantastic 2 day itinerary planned which I will highlight as I go on, but also list at the end for you all! I also met a few girls on the plane who were taking free walking tours. My flight were pretty cheap, at £58 return, I think there were a lot of people taking advantage of it, as the girls I met were on the same flight back!
So, as my friend lived a bit away from Lisbon we had to wake up at 7AM and left by 8.30AM to ensure we could see all the sights she had planned! I must note, although my friend is originally Portuguese, she grew up and lived in Dubai (Where we met) most of her life, so on Day 1 we were accompanied by her local cousin, who knew all the nitty gritty details too!
The first stop was the Abril Bridge and the Christ statue; Which is inspired by the one in brazil! – The bridge reminded me of the san Francisco bridge and due to the way the sun was facing (As you can see below), the majority of pictures had shadows, This was unavoidable.
After this we headed into the main city, parking at an all day car park opposite the “Parque” metro station; We used the metro at the end of the day to return to the car as we were very tired. As a quick side note, I would recommend you wear trainers, comfy shoes or flats, there is a LOT of walking to see all the wonderful sights and everything Portugal has to offer is much better on foot! I had originally packed heels but I am glad I took them out upon my friends instruction!
The next stop was park Eduardo, passing by the Avenida Da Liberdade, walking all the way down into Rossio, which was a wonderful courtyard like area, with wonderful fountains, architecture and the hustle bussle of the city was awake and alive by now. The sun was shining and it was more than just great to be in the beautiful 20/22 degrees, as opposed to the 5-7 I left behind in the UK!
After this we walked back down to the city and had a coffee and a pastry at one of the famous cafes in the area!
As we walked around the city, the wonderful historic buildings and retention of the cobbled pavements was wonderful to experience, even if my feet didn’t seem to agree by the end of the day! I loved walking down Av. da Liberdade, seeing how even the most expensive and high end shops such as Prada, Michael Kors, Porche, Burberry and much more were embedded in the historic brick buildings! It’s certainly the place if you want to do your shopping!
After Rossio Square we walked down Rua Augusta and stopped by Santa Just a Elevator, which gave us a wonderful high 360 degree view of the city, including the castle, the streets where we just walked from and further where we were yet to explore! The ticket pricing for this was 5.50 Euros.
After this, we had lunch at the food court of a small mall, my friend Ana and I ate Chinese and her cousin had McDonalds, there was a variety of food from Sushi, to Chinese, pizza, burgers and fast food! It was great! After lunch we visited Praça do Comércio, which was by the sea. We then hopped on a tram and got off by the castelo de Sao Jorge (The castle). The castle was unfortunately on strike, so we walked all the way up, to get one or two pictures outside, just to be told we can’t go in! I did feel for the people walking up as we walked down, I feel there should have been some warning? But, I was also too tired to tell them and with the variety of accents and languages I heard, I don’t think I would have been able to tell them all anyway!
After this, we saw a few churches and went back down to the Praça do Comércio for some coffee and ice-cream (Not together). We got the metro back to the car as I mentioned earlier, as by this time we were VERY TIRED! The metro was easy to navigate and not so busy, considering it was the weekend? The traffic getting home was crazy, but we made it!
As we were coming back down from the castle we came across this bridge like arch which had a cartoon like comic strip about the history of Lisbon and Portugal, as you can see I was very interested!
On day two we woke up a bit later (Purely because we were up all night talking and catching up), but it wasn’t too much later as we did have another fun packed day ahead! We woke around 7 but decided to get up and start to get ready more like 8-ish! We were to get the boat into Lisbon today! An activity my Best Friend does everyday to uni… Such an interesting thing to pop into conversation eh? “So how do you get to uni?” .. usually one would drive or take public transport… Ana? “Oh, I get a boat!” .. EPIC!
The firs place we went after we got of th boat is a famous cafe to try the famous tarts; Pasteis de Belem. These are available throughout Portugal, from coffee shops like Starbucks to normal ones, but the best ones are at the Pasteis de Belem cafe! However, be prepared to queue for a while at certain times! We managed to get there in time and the queue was quite short, but when we came back at the end of there day there must have been at least 50 people queuing OUTSIDE.
After this we went to see the Padrao dos descobrimentos, a monument that is located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient, the monument signifies the Portuguese Age of Exploration during the 15th and 16th centuries. It has an excellent view point of the city and when we looked down on the top end we could see the world map on the walkway that we walked across to get into the monument. The entrance is discounted for students (So remember your student cards!)and free on Sundays for locals! We did intend to go see the Mosteiro dos Jéronimos too, but didn’t fancy the wait.. So we had pictures outside and in the gardens beside it.
After this we went for lunch at a cute little cafe by the water, as the queue for the Belem tower was too long to wait in! We shared pizza for .. I want to say 6 or 8 Euros? Sorry I haven’t included a lot of pricing… I will try add in things I remember as I go along but I took 100Euros and came back with at least 25! This included spending maybe 15/20 on gifts, 10-15 on food and 10-30 on tourist attractions including transport and I left a wee bit to chip in for petrol!
The final stop of the day was eventually the Tower of Belem, once again Locals were free on a Sunday and normal entry was 6Euros as far as I remember! The previous one in the images above was 2 or 3 due to student discount, usual was something between 5-8! I must say we spent the most time in the Belem tower, and it was my favourite monument, for all its floors and history and scenic places (For Instagram pictures), for us to see! I have shared a few below!
We then walked through a market where I brought a few magnets for 1 euros each and some quirky gifts in a gift shop by the tart cafe! We decided to get a bus to the boat station, ended up getting a taxi and JUST making the next bus… Thats why my final photo of Lisbon is a little bit blurry.. Nonetheless it is still beau!
Overall I would like to Thank my best friend Ana and her family for being so welcoming, friendly and taking the time out to show me around, It is definitely a WALKING City, but beautiful and full of wonderful people and places! I had a wonderful few days and my final day we just relaxed and watched my wedding& Henna Movie at Anas house!
ITINERARY; (Some things may not be but most are!)
Praco De comerçio
Av. Da Liberdade
Elevator Sta Justa
Castelo S Jorge (Was on strike)
Monesteiro os Jeronimos
Torre de Bélem
Pateis de Belem
We also had plans to go to the Sintra City, but that takes a day itself- So maybe next time!