Oh, Lisbon, you beautiful city, you! Covered in azulejos and dripping in charm, it was love at first tiled facade.
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
When: September 2016
Stayed: Baixa House
Em and I stayed at Baixa House, an authentic apartment full of natural light and Portuguese details. The location was perfect, as we were smack in the middle of the neighborhoods we loved most: the Alfama district, and Baixa-Chiado / Bairro Alto. The former is classic old Europe, with pastel walls, tiny mazes of streets and plenty of cafes to sit and people watch. The latter two are chock full of shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Baixa House is serviced like a hotel, and every morning, you wake to a refrigerator stocked with a full breakfast, and a fresh 8am bread delivery hanging on the door. It was a perfect choice, and we even ended up getting yummy Thai takeaway one night, just to hang in and relax. (With a couple of bottles of Douro red, of course)! The apartment made us feel as though we truly lived in Lisbon, not that we were simply visiting, and that always feels extra special.
Right outside Baixa House is a great little cafe called Nicolau, and two main roads filled with restaurants, tourists and a very city feel. We spent our first day meandering all over the Alfama district, sipping vinho verde while we walked, and enjoying lunch at Ao Pé da Sé. We also spent a couple of nights in Alfama, eating a delicious meal at Boi Cavalo, and catching the sunset at Memmo Alfama‘s rooftop bar.
Another morning was spent walking over to Belém, and exploring that area for a bit. Despite my very best efforts, the Jardim Botânico peacocks would not flash their feathers, but we did manage to squeeze into Pastéis de Belém to ogle the pastries.
On the way back, we stopped at LX Factory for lunch, and wandered into a few shops / galleries. When I tasted my iced coffee from Wish, I almost hugged the man who made it. Iced perfection! Also, if you have seen those rope sandals floating around instagram and wonder where you can get them, this is one spot. Not my personal style, but they do look comfy!
Another day in Lisbon, we ventured out to Sintra and Cascais with Portugal Premium Tours. We climbed castles, ate a loaf of sun-baked bread, and got lost on the mountain. After being rescued by our driver (who did not seem to find the situation as hysterically amusing as we did), we made our way to Cascais, to see the ocean and stop for sorvete.
The rest of our time in this pretty city was just spent wandering and stopping as we pleased. And having an afternoon cone of ‘radio comercial’ from Santini. We stumbled upon a little gem called O Alemão da Bica, and sat with pastel de nata at the grand Café A Brasileira. We passed so many cute shops, stopping to buy ceramics and some pretty tins of fish. (Do not buy these from the boutique shops – all of the souvenir shops have the same tins, at a fraction of the price)! One evening, we tried to eat at A. Cevicheria, but it was fully booked. Instead, we ended up at the open air market in Principe Real, with $5 plates of chorizo, plastic pints of sangria, and chocolate-covered ginja shots! There was live music all night, tons of vendors and people, and it was beyond fun.
Can’t wait to return to this gorgeous city!