There are cities you travel to with intention, and others you visit just to live.
Four months ago when I stepped off the plane in Berlin, I had my passport in one hand and a bucket list of “Berlin To Do’s” in the other. From touching the historic Wall to soaring to the top of the Fernsehturm, my weekend in Germany didn’t take long to transform into my own personal 72 hour Amazing Race. After only a few months and a few more hundred miles, as I stepped onto the tarmac of the Lisbon Portela airport, my weekend in Portugal carried an entirely different story.
From red roofs to red wine, Lisbon has a personality that reminded me instantly of my home, Pensacola. Steadfast in the love of their city and unlimited in beautiful water views, Lisbon carried a nostalgia for me from the moment I reached Baixa.
And as a city of life, Lisbon is also a city of food. From Pica Pau to garlic prawns, Portugese cuisine soon stole my heart (and a few too many of my Euros as well). Learning the hard way that every piece of bread was another mark on the tab and that “surprise” appetizers really meant a surprise on your bill, I spent the next three days eating my way from Baixa to Belém tasting the best sangria, Santiago cod, and mussels this costal capital had to offer.
Strolling first under the Rua Augusta Arch and through the Praça do Comércio, I soon buried myself in the hidden streets of São Cristóvão and São Lourenço. From graffiti art and rustic doors to passionate home dwellers and stray cats, the city of Lisbon held such detail in every crease and tile I wandered past as I attempting to find the Castle of São Jorge.
Rickshawing the next day to Belém for a view of the Jerónimos Monastery and a stroll through Santa Maria de Belém, I soon fell in love with the view of the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Christo Rei Statue just ahead of me. Only pulling myself away from the coastal panoramas in search of the best hidaways in Lisbon, I spent the rest of the day on a dizzying spree through foreign language and local hotspots.
Stopping first at the LX factory, a hidden nook reminiscent of NYC’s village feel, I immediately fell in love with the quirky restaurants, designer shopping boutiques, and sky high yoga studios all speckled between cobblestone streets and pick-able orange trees!
Taking the tram just a few stops east to the Time Out Mercado, the New York parallels continued as this Chelsea Market style mercado hosted seafood, natas, flowers & sangria. Ending my tasting tour at Lisbon’s oldest beer and seafood hall, Cervejaria Trindade, my time in this costal oasis sadly started to wind down as I packed up to head back to sunless London.
So, while Lisbon may not be a city of bucklists, it is definitely a city of love, life & food and a must for any beach loving wanderlust like myself. Check out how beautiful Lisbon really is and the shenanigans that made the most amazing weekend in the video below!