I've always wanted to visit Lisbon as a young adult. It didn't come true. When we boarded the flight to Lisbon, I had the feeling like a long-lost dream has resurrected from its disappearance all these years.
Portugal is a gem. A gem that many might have overlooked. I particularly like the public transport system in Lisbon, it's so affordable and accessible. The Aeoporto (Airport) station is indeed part of the metro network and one does not need to pay EXTRA to get to the city centre (unlike many other cities). A day ticket costs €6, and it's good on buses, metros, trams etc.
We chose to stay at Alameda, which is convenient to get to the city centre AND the airport. The first thing we did when we arrived at Rua Augusta was to buy two pieces of pastéis de nata (Portuguese egg tart pastry), stood in a local cafe and gobbled up the two glorious pieces of goodness. The satisfaction was beyond measure. Although some locals preferred having it with some cinnamon powder sprinkled on top, I personally like it the original way, no sugar no cinnamon.
We wanted to get onto Elevador de Santa Justa but were disappointed to find the (extremely) long queue. Alas, maybe another day (but the day didn't come). We particularly enjoyed the stroll towards Praça do Comércio, the shopping district wasn't too busy nor was it too crowded. We must admit that Rua Augusta Arch is not the most majestic triumphal arch-like building we've seen, but as an iconic structure in the city, it was still eye-catching.
The real enjoyment was hidden in Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon. The delightful maze of narrow cobbled streets and old houses is an ideal place to explore all time of a day. Its labyrinth of streets are best explored by simply getting lost in it as there are tiny plaza, unique shops and funky cafés nestled in this corner of city.
In the evening, we climbed up flight after flight of stairs for a dinner with great viewpoint. If you think the view from our dining table was marvelous, wait till you taste the food they serve. Portuguese food is definitely a must-try (and the portion can be HUGE!)
Lisbon is our love at first sight. And it will always be.
Disclaimer: Travel diaries are our first records of any trip. We write them after each day of our trip. Information might vary from time to time.