Lisbon has been on my wish list for years! And because I have a bit more time on my hands now I have decided to do it! Flights from Prague to Lisbon are not very convenient so instead I flew from Berlin which was super cheap but the actual journey took me almost the entire day. I arrived to my guest house in Lisbon in the evening, got some dinner from the local supermarket and went to sleep as I wanted to be well rested for the next day of exploring this magical city.
Where did I stay
Finding the perfect accommodation in Lisbon might be a bit overwhelming because there is a lot of options, from hostels to pretty apartments on AirBnb. I chose my room with shared bathroom at a lovely Chalet d’ Ávila Guest House, that is only a minute walk from the metro station Saldanha. I loved this place! The interior was bright, simple, chic and most importantly it was super clean. There was available also kitchen with fridge for everyone and the breakfast was included. There was a lot to choose from and they even had soya milk. Can only recommend this place.
Public transport in Lisbon
Public transport in Lisbon works very well. I was using mainly metro and my own foot. There are four metro lines and the way they label them got me a bit confused. Each of them has its own colour with a name and I thought the name is the name of the final stop. Only later I found out those names were actually colours in Portuguese. Silly me! Anyway, when you purchase your first ticket, don’t throw it away. You can recharge it next time without paying additional fifty cents just for the paper. You can also get a daily ticket that is valid for all the public transportation and costs around 6€.
WHAT I MANAGED TO SEE DURING MY FIRST DAY IN LISBON
Praça do Comércio
The biggest square in Lisbon is called Praça do Comércio, commonly known also as a Palace Yard. It’s framed by three yellow building blocks and from the fourth side it’s lined with the river Tagus. When you get here, make sure you visit the terrace of the Arco da Rua Augusta (Rua Augusta Arch) that creates the transition between the square and the main shopping street Rua Augusta. From the top of the arch you will have the whole city on the palm of your hand.
Convento do Carmo
This former Roman Catholic convent is located nearby Rossia square and is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. It was hit by an earthquake in 1755 and was never renovated after. There is also a museum with stone tombs.
I walked across the entire Bairro Alto district during the day. It was really quiet and I had some streets only to myself (perfect for taking photos!). After the dusk the streets go crazy as there are many bars and restaurants in this area. It’s also a great place for all the shopping lovers because Rua do Norte is full of luxurious stores. You can also visit Santa Catarina viewpoint or the Carmo Convent I have mentioned above.
I found this café on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! It has a stunning interior and a terrace that will make you feel like you just landed in Bali. I came for lunch and struggled to choose from the menu as there are so many delicious options. I opted for home made ice tea that was perfect (sugar free with a hint of cinnamon) and chicken super bowl with avocado, egg, veggies and amazing dressing. You have to come here!
Jardim da Estrela
On my way to Amelia I came across this lovely park that gets occupied by Portuguese families at the weekends. There is no wonder. Park is well maintained, it has cute little pond, exotic plants and during my visit there was a book market going on. Ideal place for rest and if you get bored, you can visit the Estrela Basilica that is just next to the park.
My original plan was to go and see the bookstore Ler Devagar only. Ler Devagar means “read slowly” and is one of the ten most beautiful bookstores in the world. Once I approached it I found out that it’s part of a historical industrial complex called LX Factory that houses many cool and unique restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. There’s also a lot of beautiful street art to admire.
Ponte 25 de Abril
This suspension bridge looks alike the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This one connects Lisbon with the municipality of Almada on the south bank of the Tagus river. Ponte 25 de Abril was put into service already in 1966 and it’s name commemorates the Carnation Revolution. Right under the bridge is long promenade ideal for long walks or running. From the centre of Lisbon you can get here by bus or train but crossing the main road is a bit tricky as in the middle of it leads a fenced train track. You need to search for the footbridge to cross the road. Unfortunately, there are not many of them.
So this was my first full day in Lisbon. I saw many sights and walked about 25 kilometres but I enjoyed it!
The next day I went to visit Cascais and I also tasted the best pastel de nata from Belém. I will write more about these adventures soon!
Have you been to Lisbon before? How did you like it?
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