Since finally getting a passport a few years ago, I’ve been visiting new countries and taking in new cultures. My most recent adventure involved the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. My boyfriend and I had been searching for a cheap European city break, and Lisbon ticked all the boxes, so off we went.
Lisbon is a beautiful city. I first saw it properly as we came up from the underground to a bustling street with gorgeous architecture and sunshine. The streets are often rustic and uneven (a novelty which quickly wears off) and the buildings are coloured and patterned. We stayed in the Chiado neighbourhood; Lisbon can be split into smaller areas each with their own reputation. Chiado is the main shopping area of the city, with traditional and global designer stores mixing in the streets. Although we didn’t do much shopping, it was a great place to be based as it was close to many of the main places of interest.
We spent a lot of time simply exploring Lisbon. It’s hilly in many places, which was exhausting, but finding a hidden bar or a friendly street cat in an odd corner made the upwards struggle worthwhile. When travelling, I don’t like to feel pressured to see all the sights; we ended up stumbling upon the Elevador de Santa Justa and Rossio Square! The architecture and statues in the city were highlights for me, and Lisbon is home to some incredible graffiti and art installations, which made for some great photographs and memories to take home.
[pullquote]Taking a trip out of the city gave me a new perspective of Portugal, and I highly recommend it[/pullquote]
On a day trip we also explored Sintra, which has a brightly coloured, straight-out-of-a-fairytale castle up a huge hill. Looking out over the castle walls was mind-blowing as we saw Lisbon stretching out below us. Taking a trip out of the city gave me a new perspective of Portugal, and I highly recommend it. The food throughout our trip was amazing, which is surprising as we’re both vegetarian and Lisbon is known for its fish and meat. The Time Out Market is a must-see, with so many stalls of amazing food in one place! You can find any dish you want in Lisbon, and vegetarian and even vegan options weren’t too difficult to find. And of course, the traditional pastel de natas are to die for (egg custard tarts are better than you may think!) You’ll fall in love with them – and the city.