If you haven’t been to Portugal, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to go!
I traveled to Portugal last month and had an amazing adventure. Here’s the recap with tips if you’re considering going. There was so much to write about that I split the trip into two posts. Check back soon for part 2. This post will feature everything we did in Lisbon, or as they spell it- Lisboa.
We booked our flights on Delta Vacations and saved a ton. For the same price of just the flight from DFW-> LIS on Delta.com, Delta vacations offered the flight, hotel, and car! We splurged for delta comfort+ seats, which was totally worth it. Delta Comfort+ gives you an extra 6 inches of legroom for $50 more than economy.
We arrived in Lisbon and checked into the Clarion Suites as part of the Delta Vacations package.
Then we decided to use the rest of the day to stay local and explore the city. Here’s what we did:
- Ate lunch at the café at Jardim do Príncipe Real
- Bought tile at Solar Antiques. Solar Antiques has been owned by the same family for three generations and sells reclaimed tile and art.
- Walked from Carmo Archaeological Museum to Praca do Comercio. This is a great way to see the heart of Lisbon and many historic sites.
- Quick snack at Bairro do Avillez
We ended our day watching the sunset from Castelo de São Jorge. It was amazing and a must-do if you visit Lisbon.
The second day was all about Sintra. We drove to Park and National Palace of Pena. Bring your walking shoes because there is a lot of walking involved at the Pena Palace. The Palace had remarkable Portuguese tile and was full of history.
After walking for a few hours around the Palace an garden we headed to the beach and ate lunch at Bar Do Fundo. I would highly recommend eating at Bar Do Fundo and getting a reservation beforehand. Most of our trip was focused on food and trying the Portuguese cuisine. For dinner, we went to the famous Time Out Market. Just imagine a mall food court on steroids with all the best restaurants in town offering a limited menu at discounted pricing and that is basically Time Out Market. We could have spent hours there! If you go during dinner the outside vendors are closed, so go for lunch to get a fun souvenir. Also, getting a chair to sit down and eat is difficult… we even saw a fight break out over a chair. So be prepared to wait for a seat during peak hours and be ready for a remarkable dinner.
This day was all focused on Belem. We started with getting breakfast at Pasteis de Belem and then walking around the town on Belem. Some of their top highlights are Belem tower and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Both are amazing to see from the outside, but not worth the wait in line. In Lisbon, all the museums are free the first Sunday of the month, good and bad for us because it was free, but very long lines everywhere.
We quickly escaped Belem as a few tour buses came in and headed to town to get lunch. Tip: Lisbon has Uber so it was easy to get around in the city. We tried to go to Park bar and realized that it is closed on Sunday. With so many details that come together for vacations, it’s easy to overlook business hours so double check if it’s something you really want to see. Instead of Park bar, we ate at Madame Petisca, the restaurant had equally great views of the city and delicious sangria and food. After having a great lunch we went to check out The National Tile Museum. The tile museum is a little farther out of town, but worth a visit. The museum showcases tiles organized by era and has an outstanding collection.
The next highlight was dinner… see our trip did really revolve around food; we went to dinner and a show at Sr. Fado. What an experience, Sr. Fado is run by a family that cooks dinner and then puts on a show afterward. The dinner for two was enough to feed four and you sit at group tables for a community feel. After dinner, the family plays the tradition guitar and sings Fado music until midnight. I’ll never forget the experience.
Day 4 was our last day in Lisbon. We woke up early and hit the road for our drive to Lagos. We could have driven to Lagos in three hours, but wanted to take the scenic route. The scenic route brought us through Arrabida Natural Park. The park had many beaches with restaurants and places to stay overnight. I wish we had stayed here! We relaxed at the beach and then took the ferry to continue our drive through the countryside to Santiago Hotel Cooking & Nature. More details about the hotel in my next post.
Comment if you have questions about Portugal or what to do while you’re there. Thanks for following along while I grow my travel & lifestyle blog!