& where you can REALLY get the best Pastéis de Nata!
As if I hadn’t barked on about Lisbon enoughhhh, I wanted to share what we got up to with you incase anyone is thinking of going and needs some itinerary inspiration, I got chuuuu! This took months of trawling through Pinterest and recommendations (not by me, by Emma and Michaela – thanks babieeees!) to plan what to do with our week in Portugal and we were not disappointed; despite turning up to our Airbnb on day 1 and not having electricity, you can’t plan for that!
And if you came here just to find out where the best Pastéis are, you’ll be please to know that I won’t make you read the whole thing. We headed to Time Out market on the first eve which was the most incredible food hall with so so many options (have the Pad Thai at the Asian Cuisine stand, you won’t be disappointed – would it be bad to say it was better than any Pad Thai I had in Thailand?!) and there we found THE Pastéis de Nata, the only ones you need to try. Thank me later! Now on to what we did…
Airbnb disasters aside, we thought it best to stay local (incase we needed to run back, re-pack and move to another apartment) so we made our way up to Lisbon castle in the AM but not before stopping in McDonalds to charge our phones (glamorous!). The castle was veeeery impressive and gave the most incredible views of Lisbon since it was so high up, you could see all of the pastel houses (Instagram goals!) and rooftop bars and just yeh, you should go!
On our way back down we found ourself wandering through the Alfama district which was probably my favourite area, it was essentially a maze of pretty tiled houses and cobbled streets littered with restaurants and gift shops. We also discovered the most amazing viewpoint called Miradouro de Santa Luzia where musicians play music and it’s just all the chill vibes!
After the stress of the no electricity saga (it was sorted by Monday eve!) it was only right to spend Tuesday relaxing at the beach, and on the Queen’s beach none the less, but not before trying to navigate the trains which saw us buying 648354 more tickets than we needed! Apparently things were not going in our favour this holiday…
All of that was forgotten once we pitched up on Praia da Rainha, picnic and drinks in tow. The beach itself was teeny tiny and quite jam-packed so we were lucky to find a space, but there are a few others to choose from along the coast at Cascais (we found the most amazing churros at a beach further down!).
In the eve we ventured in to Bairro Alto and ate at Grapes & Bites which was recommended to us where we were serenaded by the cutest guitar duo. Atmosphere 10/10, food 5/10 (but only because it was waaaay too fancy for me – the only thing on the menu that wasn’t duck or liver or goats cheese (ugh) was mushroom and egg so…).
Another day, another form of public transport. This time we got the tram to Belém which was an experience comparable to the LDN underground + hot weather + sweat, lovely. I didn’t mind, especially since we were on route to the birth place of the pasteis and therefore THE place to get the best pastéls in all of Portugal (says the internet). Let’s just say don’t bother waiting in the 10 minute queue outside Pasteis de Belem and get your pastry fix at the Time Out market instead!
Whilst we were in Belém we went in Jerónimos Monastery, saw a massive monument and visited Belém Tower, all of which were worth a visit.
In the evening we went up the Santa Justa Lift to watch the sun set which was probably one of my favourite things to do, despite the rickety elevator I would 100% recommend it as an evening activity because it’ll so pretty in the dark!
Sintra is the one place EVERYONE who had been to Lisbon before recommended; amazing palaces, pretty streets… shame we didn’t get the ‘arctic weather conditions’ memo! There was us in our summer dresses and barely there shorts whilst everyone else swanned about all toasty in their jeans and jumpers, but hey not even the weather could distract from the amazingggg palaces in Sintra. We only went in one – Pena Palace, apparently the most impressive – but we drove past a few on the windy bus journey up the mountains!
Thursday evening we discovered an amazing rooftop bar just 2 mins walk away from our Airbnb called Topo which was very fancy and served what can only be described as a fish bowl of the most amazing strawberry G&T (their cocktail menu looked pretty delicious too if cocktails are your thing!). Drunk on said G&T’s we made it back to the Time Out market and I went in for round two of Asian cuisine and of course a Pastéis (although wishing I ordered 10).
Don’t you just hate that feeling when you wake up on the last day of your holiday, all sad and gutted that it’s over so quickly – that was us Friday morning before our flight! We still had pretty much the whole day and wanted to make the most it so we went out for breakfast, wandered back in to the Alfama district which we loooooved and (obviously) went shopping to spend any leftover €€€!
So there we have it, 5 nights in probably the prettiest city I’ve ever been to! Let me know if you’ve been before and if we missed anything we should have seen – I’ll definitely be back!