portugal

Things to do in Portugal

I traveled to Lisbon, Portugal for 4 days in July 2017 to celebrate the end of four long years at university (yay!). I knew to expect pretty sunsets and a nicer ass thanks to all the hills.

Highly recommended! ✓ Not for me...  ✗

lisbon 1 - deeyandra

PLACES to visit:

  • Monument to the Discoveries • Padrão do Descobrimentos ✓
    This is, by far, the largest, grandest, most jaw-dropping monument I've ever seen!
    I studied about what great travelers the Portuguese were at university, and felt very inspired to continue with my own (not as impressive) travel adventures.

  • Praça do Comércio
    I happened to stumble upon a wine festival, and a school/club drum and bagpipe performance when I went! You can also admire the Rua Augusta Arch.

  • Santa Justa Lift • Elevador de Santa Justa 
    She approached, looking up at the lift in awe. Her eyes fell to the queue.
    Tourists. Dozens of them. She hesitated and then backed away.
    The lines for the Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower were also hours long and so I spent my time elsewhere.

  • The Convent of our Lady of Mount Carmel • Convento de Carmo ✗
    I wandered around for about ten minutes, tops. The open roof is interesting and you get a sense of the history that went on, but it's not a place that I would pay for or revisit.

  • St. Anthony's Church • Igreja Santa Antonio ✓
    The architecture and interior of this church was beautiful! I actually walked in on a church service which really enriched the experience. Lisbon Cathedral is also very beautiful!

lisbon 2 - deeyandra
  • Quinta da Regaleira ✓
    This place made for a nice day out to Sintra. It was surreal exploring the grounds imagining what it would be like to be a young royal. I spent all morning here and so didn’t have enough time to check out Pena Palace…no regrets though!

THINGS to DO:

  • Enjoy nightlife in Bairro Alto 
    The drinks were so cheap! Not as eventful as my night out in Seoul but I drank Sangres and Super Bock and danced until 5 in the morning!

  • Ride the famous #28 Tram ✗
    No. No. No.
    You could probably walk to your destination in the time in takes to squeeze into the tram.
    I had images of the trams being a bright yellow, reflecting beautifully in the sunlight...
    I did not expect adverts to be plastered all over it!
    Commercialism at its finest #touristtrap

commercialism in lisbon - deeyandra

THINGS to SEE:

  • A Fado concert ✓
    I'm usually very spontaneous and flexible when I travel so this was the first time that I booked something in advance. The Fado in Chiado concert was even better than I was expecting! It was cosy, personal, and interactive at times. I thoroughly enjoyed the sound of Fado, and even bought a CD of Mariza's best hits!

  • The beautiful floor patterns ✓
    I had a wonderful time exploring the city and taking pictures of every new pattern that I came across! It was just as fun as hunting for Clet's street sign art in Florence!
    Be cautious though because the cobblestones are very slippery when wet!

  • A beautiful sunset ✓
    Sunsets in Lisbon are quite a sight!
    The sun bounces off the orange rooftops and the whole city lights up as if it’s on fire.
    It's spectacular.
    There are several viewpoints around the city but I recommend admiring the view from St. George's Castle or from Cais de Colunas, one of my favourite sea-side chill-out spots.

THINGS to EAT:

pasteis de nata - deeyandra
  • Custard tart • Pastel de nata ✓
    These fantastic tarts are soft, gooey and sweet on the inside, and slightly crispy around the edges. A lot of people recommended Pasteis de Belém for the original recipe, but I walked straight past the queue with some in my bag from Fabrica da Nata, Cream Factory!

THINGS to DRINK:

  • Ginja
    Ginja is a sweet and strong sour cherry liqueur that, to this day, I'm not sure if it's okay to shot...I also don't know if you should shot Hungarian pálinka...
    If you like the alcohol/ chocolate pairing, some ginja are served in tiny chocolate cups.

  • Port
    Something just as strong and intense as Ginja is port wine, which was viscous and heavy and incredibly sweet! I'm not well acquainted with dessert wines since I tend to just east dessert, but I am willing to try it again.


Truth be told, I enjoy traveling with my stomach, and so I wasn't pleased that I couldn't enjoy many traditional Portuguese dishes like bacalhau since I’m allergic to fish and seafood…
However, I enjoyed the winding streets, hills and views of Lisbon and I will certainly be back!


Happy travels,

deeyandra x

© deeyandra
All images are my own and are subject to copyright.