For my first four day weekend, I took a trip to Portugal with my roommate! We went to Portugal for four days and three nights. The trip went by kind of quickly but was the perfect spontaneous getaway. We were literally sitting on the couch in the living discussing the upcoming long weekend which was less than a week away and decided to go to Lisbon and purchased tickets right then and there!
We arrived on Friday morning into Lisbon and from the airport made our way to our hostel. By making our way, I mean taking the metro into the center. We stayed at the OK Hostel which was maybe a five minute walk from the metro and very centrally located to a lot of things. It took about maybe 30 mins to get from the airport to our hostel and with the help of google maps we were able to find our way! The metro system was pretty easy to navigate and figure out. I found it much easier than trying to figure out the New York subway.
After checking into our hostel, we rested for about a half an hour and then decided to walk around. We used TripAdvisor to find a place to eat and as always, TripAdvisor didn’t disappoint!
After eating, we explored around a little bit and then found somewhere to watch the sunset over the water. Walking around Lisbon was pretty fun because I love adventures and getting lost in foreign countries. The people were extremely nice and I really didn’t have too many complaints of Lisbon. The only things I would complain about are the customer service at restaurants which is pretty typical throughout Europe and the fact that the streets of Lisbon are extremely hilly! Basically what I’m saying is that walking around the streets of Lisbon is the equivalent of doing a glut workout, which is great because now your trip has turned into a workout!
It rained the night that we arrived in Portugal so we didn’t go out and just stayed at the hostel and socialized in the common areas. While at this hostel, we met a guy named Robby who is from Australia. We quickly became friends and offered him a place to stay while in Madrid. I must say THIS is the reason why I LOVE staying at hostels. You meet so many people while traveling and exchange information and make friends all over the world so you’ll always have somewhere to stay when you’re traveling. I’m not sure when I will make it to Australia but it’s on my list of places to visit.
The next day we went on a walking tour of Alfama and learned about the history of Portugal more specifically Lisbon and Alfama. I’m ambivalent in my feelings about walking tours but it was a good experience and I learned a lot more than I would have, had I just walked the city by myself. To be honest, the only reason that I don’t particularly love walking tours is because sometimes I feel rushed and I’m the type of person that likes to take countless photos. So other than this reason, walking tours are actually great and a lot of times are free and you just have to make a small donation to the guide(s).
After walking around Alfama, we ate and then headed to Belem to see the tower. Very important that you remember to get as many pastries while in Belem as possible! Belem is known for its pastries so stock up while you’re there! After sightseeing in Belem, we went back to the hostel and napped and then got dressed up to celebrate Halloween. Before leaving, we had our nightly free shot at the hostel with all of the guests and then we headed to Barrio Alto to bar hop. The area was very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed the nightlife in Lisbon. Barrio Alto is the go to place for bars and clubs in Lisbon, so I highly recommend going to this area if you love the night life!
The next day the weather was not very nice at all. It was cold, wet, and rainy and mirrored typical London weather. Not the most ideal weather for sightseeing but we made the best of it! We went to Sintra and toured a castle and saw the infamous well that you always see on instagram. I must say that this castle was one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited. There was so much history and interesting things about this castle. It was the sight of initiations into the FreeMason’s club. I still haven’t done all of the research but basically this place had ties with the illuminati.
Overall, my trip to Portugal was amazing and I can’t wait to return! If traveling to Lisbon, remember to get pastries in Belem, to go party in Barrio Alto and eat all the codfish (bacalo) that your heart desires!