Se apaixona por Portugal or falling in love with Portugal would be an understatement. I just returned back to Prague from my Spring holidays traveling throughout Portugal and when the time came to go, it was a very hard to say goodbye. There are only incredible things to say about Portugal, along with everything and everyone in it.
Arriving late in the evening, I was able to see Lisbon at night. Lively, sexy, dimly lit beautiful alleys and cobblestone for as far as the eye could see. I could only imagine how beautiful this city was with the sun shining. Waking up the next morning, I walked out on to the terrace at our hostel and was greeted with the most breath-taking view. Bright orange rooftops crammed next to one another and a beautiful cloudless blue sky.
As with most of my travels, I tend to not have any solid plans that I need to abide by or fulfill. Most often I love to get an early start and simply wander throughout town, the streets and enjoy getting lost. In Lisbon, this was the perfect place to wander. Around each corner were the most beautifully tiled and decorated houses, streets and buildings. The embellishments on the exteriors of the buildings changed constantly and kept your eyes staring at the beautiful patterns. It is a photographers dream. I'm pretty sure I stopped to take pictures every other building I walked by. In addition to the beautiful tiles that Portugal is known for, the street art in Lisbon is incredible as well. It filled the alleys and stairways and was amazing to see how much detail and effort is put into this.
Markets: Time Out:
If you consider yourself a "foodie," or simply just love good food, eating and socializing, Time Out market is one of the best places to go in all of Lisbon. Opened in 2014, Time Out market has a concept of a market feel, while having high-end restaurants and shops within it. 24 restaurants to choose from all with various cuisines and incredible chefs, 8 bars and a farmers market. Also, absolutely do not miss getting an "egg tart" from the incredible Manteigaria in the market.
Market: LX Factory
Another incredible area to check out when in Lisbon is the LX Factory. With over 200 business ranging from Cafes, restaurants, design houses, show rooms, clothing stores, bars, it has everything to offer. LX Factory offers amazing culture and design to look at. While there, make sure you stop at Mez Cais LX. This quirky, yet incredibly lively restaurant is the place to get amazing margaritas, listen to good music and eat good food (do not miss out on the avocado mousse)! It has a great vibe and both times I went there (yes I went twice in 7 days), every table was full.
After spending our first days in Lisbon, my friend and I took the train to the city of Porto. As being the birthplace of Port wine, I knew I was going to be in heaven. Give me all the red and white port wine, please! Porto was a lovely, very walkable city. Small and incredibly charming. Incredibly friendly and warm people. I can't say enough amazing things about this town. Since we visited during the winter season, it was raining most of the time we were there. I would highly recommend visiting in Spring/Summer.
First things first, we checked into our adorable Airbnb and scoped out the best places to brunch, grab wine and to eat good food. We walked around town and stopped by the infamous library, Livraria Lello. Although being overly congested with people, the library itself was charming. It felt like stepping into a Harry Potter novel, with the beautiful hanging staircase and old, worn wooden shelves. There is an entrance fee of around $11-12.
We then braved the wind and rain and wandered throughout the streets, looking at the architecture and made sure to stop and do a port wine tasting. Also, make sure you try the local and famous dish of Porto, Franceschini. This sandwich is filled with various meat, and covered with melted cheese in a hot tomato and beer sauce. Yum, right? It was actually incredible.
After exploring both Porto and Lisbon, I can truly say that Portugal has been one of my favorite places I've been to. If you are planning a trip there, see all of my recommendations for places to eat and cafes to stop by below.
Places to be obsessed with: Lisbon
Cafe: Organic Cafe Estoril - Rua da Misericórdia 139
Cafe: Bowl Lisboa
Cafe: Royal Cafe (incredible veggie burger)
Restaurant: A Cevicheria** (has 1 michelin star) - absolutely do not miss going to this place. It doesn't take reservations, but has the best fresh ceviche I've ever tried and the vibe is incredible.
Restaurant: Costa Do Castelo
Drinks/Food: Mez Cais or Mez Cais LX (Mez Cais LX is located in an incredibly cool and trendy area call the LX Factory).
Drinks: Fox Trot
Drinks: Park Bar or Topo
Places to be obsessed with: Porto
Cafe: Zenith cafe (great vibe and amazing food)
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