Five of My Favorite Discoveries from LISBON

 I just returned from a weekend trip to Lisbon with my husband. It was divine and dare I say, I loved the food more than my last weekend in Paris! Yes, the Parisians obession with beautiful food cannot be beat, but if you are talking pure taste served with a smile then I prefer Lisbon. Also, it is really fun to pay so little for such quality. Portugal makes my heart happy with its vibrant creativity and it now takes top place as favorite weekend getaway from London. 

Have a drink or a coffee on the terrace of the Hotel Bairro Alto. The view is divine. To help you score a seat at sunset, book a room as they give priority to hotel guests. The coffee is high quality and they serve it with these pillowy soft cinnamon cookie treats. For cocktail hour, I highly recommend the caipirinha.
The view from the terrace at Hotel Bairro Alto

Take a stroll in Principe Real. It is a neighborhood that is eclectic and chic. Make sure to wind down the streets and let yourself get a bit lost. This city is full of interesting streets and storefronts and there is an art of discovery to them. Visit Embaixada shopping gallery and  Entre Tanto market down the street. The buildings exude bohemian charm. Make sure to also have a coffee and a brownie at the delicious chocolate shop, Claudio Corallo. We spent time talking to someone in every store we visited in the neighborhood. They were all incredibly friendly, helpful, and eager to chat awhile. 
Loja Real Store 

Run or rent a bike to ride along the River Tejo from either city center (for a long run) or The Docas to the Tower of Belem. Once in Belem, stop at the Monument to the Padres and walk in to the Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos. You can wait in line for the famous Pastel De Natas at the Pasteis de Belem but I personally prefer the Pastel De Natas across from the Hotel Bairro Alto. You can enjoy it in the park and then take the tram or bus back to the city center. 
The impressive Monument to The Discoveries

Eat and drink constantly! It was incredibly fun to wander the city and stop throughout the day to have a glass of wine and a bite to eat. Lisbon is a very affordable city and the food (and wine) is some of the best I have ever had. Start your day with a Pastel de Nata as it is the famous pastry for the area and it is only a small bite or two. In the afternoon you simply must have a steak sandwich and some Portugese cheese. At some point you will want to stop to have a drink at a Kiosk (Quiosque) as they are very popular and located throughout the city. For dinner enjoy their fresh seafood but don't even think of  reserving a table before 8pm as it is a late night city and you will want to dine among the energy of the people. 
The steak sandwich at Tagide Wine & Tapas Bar

If you are in Lisbon on a Sunday, enjoy a leisurely day. Lisbon on Sunday is full of families at the park and in restaurants enjoying leisurely lunch. We had a long lunch at Doca Peixe on the waterfront. The lobster rice was amazing and we enjoyed watching the multi-generational families enjoying one another. It felt like a step back in time to sip wine, feel the sun, enjoy the view, and simply enjoy the company of another. 

The gorgeous waterfront

Lisbon is a wonderful place for singles, couples or families. If you have the time, be sure to venture off to Sintra and Cascais as well.


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