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To Spend a Weekend in Lisbon, Portugal

by Briona Lamback  from United States 

Before I jetted off to Lisbon, I had no idea what to expect. I’d seen the brick rooftops on Instagram and I had heard about the fresh food, but still I didn’t know that I would love Lisbon as much as I did. Lisbon is a vibrant city with a slow pace. Lisbon just feels good. The locals are warm, the food is impeccable and I stayed in the best hostel, ever.

 

My trip planning began where it always does, Skyscanner. I plugged in my travel dates for an epic 3-week backpacking trip around Europe. I’d explored Europe before and this time I was determined to visit countries that I was always curious about. Lisbon was recommended by multiple travel buddies of mine, so I decided to make the trek.
The trip began at Yes Hostels in Lisbon. It’s quirky, fun-loving hostel with an authentic family vibe. The front desk staff was so warm and truly accommodating. One of the best parts- besides the comfy beds- was the authentic Portuguese dinner that I ate every night with my hostel mates. For 10 Euros, we had unlimited food and drinks- score!

lisbon
Lisbon  by Briona Lamback

Speaking of food, you can’t go to Lisbon without trying  pastel de nata. It’s a traditional Portuguese egg-custard tart and it’s delicious. You can find them practically anywhere, but of course there’s debate about who has the best. I tried a few and my favorite were from Casa Brasileira. They were fresh, flaky and the perfect amount of eggy sweetness!

Lisbon, pasteis de Nata by Briona Lamback

If you’re in the mood for sampling multiple cuisines, head to Timeout Market in Lisbon. It’s a mecca of foods from around the world including 24 restaurants, 8 bars and 12 shops all-in-one. I had wine, pizza, mexican, duck and steak. They have everything you can imagine, so come hungry.

I wasn’t leaving Lisbon until I rode the infamous Tram 28. It’s the oldest form of transportation in the city and many locals still use the tram to get around. Tram 28 in particular is touristy because its route passes through each part of Lisbon and allows you to see the most iconic Lisbon spots. Avoid the midday rush by hopping on the tram just before sunrise or sunset.

lisbon-tram-28
Lisbon, tram 28 by Briona Lamback

Castelo De Jorge is where you go to see the best sunsets in Lisbon. It’s a steep hill to climb, but the breathtaking view that you get of the City Of Seven Hills is worth it. Come here to people watch and enjoy the city in it’s purest form.

lisbon-view-from-castelo-de-jorge
Lisbon, view from Castelo de Jorge by Briona Lamback

After exploring the city for a few days, I wanted to get away to a nearby town called Sintra. Located just 30 minutes the city, Sintra has old town charm. It’s full of locals, small shops and great food. I had Ginjinha- traditional cherry liquor in a chocolate cup and sampled local port wines and cheeses at Catinho Gourmet. ( Cantinho Gourmet) You should  also visit the many castles in Sintra like Pena Palace.

lisbon-pena-palace
Lisbon, Pena Palace by Briona Lamback

I truly loved every second of my time in Lisbon. I loved it so much, that I am thinking of going back soon to volunteer in a hostel and live there for a month or so. Lisbon was nothing short of a dream. It’s right by the river, has a great local cuisine and the city is lively. What’s not to love? Lisbon is a place that you go not knowing what to expect and leave completely in love with the city.

 

If you want read more about Briona Lamback click on youmelunch.com

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