Now we’re back in the routine of work and home life after coming back from holidays, of course I have to share some of the sights and treats that we experienced on our trip in the UK, Portugal and Germany. It ended up being quite a foodie holiday with lots of opportunities to try different cuisines and local delicacies – which I will share with you in the next few days. I’ve already posted a few pics of the Kaffee und Kuchen (Coffee and Cake) that I enjoyed at a family party in Germany, but that’s only one of the stories I have to share!
However, today’s post will share a little about the local landscape of Lisbon and where we visited. I should mention Gill from Tales of Pigling Bland gave me lots of pointers from her recent trip. So thanks Gill!
First up – accommodation. We thought about staying in a hotel but in the end booked this self catering apartment for 4 nights via airbnb – a site where privately owned accommodation is listed. This was our first time using airbnb and I would recommend it – the process of booking accommodation was very easy and I was able to email the owner of the apartment with our queries before booking. We made sure we looked at the photos and reviews of the listings before settling on our eventual choice – which was a winner because the apartment was perfect for us and the owner, Isabel was so lovely and met us upon arrival to give us information about the apartment and the local area. Even spare toiletries, a coffee machine and a welcome pack (including wine) were provided, and there was a patio area where we could enjoy breakfast. Do have a look at the link above to see the lovely place where we stayed.
Lisbon is a city that can be explored on foot, if you like to climb up the odd steep hill or slope. There are also tram, bus and metro networks, so a lot of the city is accessible for a small cost. We bought a 24 hour pass for 6 euros each when doing our sightseeing (though it did take a lot of walking about to find a place that sold the passes), which also covered the funicular trams. We also got the train out to Caiscais for a day at the beach – again it was very reasonable (less than 5 euros each for a 40 minute journey out of Lisbon)
One ‘must do’ activity we did was catch ‘ Tram 28’ – though we made the mistake of turning up at the departure stop in the early afternoon – it was very busy and we queued for about 45 minutes in order to get a seat on the tram. The tram goes up single track cobbled streets, which wind up the streets in the direction of the castle. We were warned about pickpockets operating – apparently at the tram stops and tram itself are hotspots in Lisbon. I have to say that we didn’t notice anything untoward on our trip. The round trip takes about 40 minutes but we got off halfway to find a late lunch and to wander around the Chiado district.
There are neighbourhoods in the centre of Lisbon which have their own unique character, we stayed on the edge of Biarro Alto neighbourhood which had a thriving nightlife scene. We enjoyed eating an evening meal at one of the outdoor restaurants, listening to the chat and local music nearby.
We had two days in Lisbon and Belem and one at the beach in Caiscais. I think I would have preferred a little longer to visit other places mentioned in our guidebook, there were really cool markets that we didn’t quite get time to go to and also really random places like a shop that is dedicated to mending childrens toys!