Portugal’s capital is packed with Old World Charm. In my humble experience, this amazing city is a traveler’s playground with its unique neighborhoods (like Graça, Alfama, Belem) and many cool areas to stay, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, delicious and addictive pastries, and friendly people. This bustling city also has the best hostels in the world.
Since I’m a teacher, I have some pretty epic breaks built into the school calendar. So why not use my 10 free days to jet off to … dun dun dun … Portugal!!
I couldn’t have had a more incredible time!
Upon landing, jetlagged and delirious, I stumbled around cobblestone streets and ogled at Lisbon’s gritty and gorgeous architecture. Pink, purple, yellow, blue houses galore! Way different than the McMansions in my corner of the United States. Lisbon’s old quarter or Alfama is an ideal place for you to purposely get lost.
Another Bonus: Lisbon is one of the few European capitals that overlooks the ocean! If you take the local train, you can lounge on the beach, underneath the glorious Portuguese sun, with ample time to enjoy the city’s famous nightlife. Sadly, the trains were on strike during my visit; however, I still had plenty of opportunities to appreciate the water.
I particularly loved Praca do Comercio – a massive open square near the waterfront – and spent a lot of time people watching at sunset.
Personally, I regret not having time to venture down to southern Portugal’s Algarve. However, Lisbon’s oceanfront location definitely made amendments.
I visited Lisbon on Easter Weekend so the city was teeming with tourists, but the crowds didn’t negatively impact my stay. Despite a lack of Easter festivities, such as parades and street processionals, Lisbon’s many cathedrals were decorated beautifully for the holiday. Fresh white, yellow, and pink flowers everywhere! At night, I enjoyed a fabulous lamb dinner at my accommodation Home Lisbon Hostel.
Plus Easter was early April. As a result, the weather was SPECTACULAR. Warm, sunny, and comfortable every single day of the week!
I know I’ll definitely return.
What European capital have you fallen deeply in love with? Have you ever visited Lisbon? Are you planning a visit?
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