Welcome friends! In case you’re new around here, allow me to introduce this crazy adventure! Last summer I did the craziest thing of my life so far and walked 500 miles across Northern Spain with my 18 yr-old brother as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago. We spent a total of 8 weeks in Europe: a week and a half in France before the Camino (check out the Pre-Camino link above for those posts), 5 full weeks walking the Camino, and then another week and a half in Portugal at the end of the Camino. Be sure to click on the links above if you’ve missed any of the earlier installments and hit the subscribe button to be the first to know when new travel posts go live!
After completing the Camino, JP and I took a 7-hour bus to Fatima Portugal and after a few days there, we took a short bus to Lisbon. The bus dropped us off at a busy train station outside of the city where we hopped on the metro and got off at the station closest to the airbnb I had reserved for us. After staying in a new place every night for five straight weeks while on the Camino, I knew we would want to just stay put for the last leg of our journey. So I reserved a full week for us in Lisbon. We stayed in this airbnb and we were super pleased with the location and the quiet neighborhood it was located in. When I was planning this trip, I discovered that there are numerous options for easy day trips outside of Lisbon so we ended up taking two separate day trips to Sintra, and two separate day trips to Cascais which left us with three full days to explore Lisbon itself.
From the moment we stepped outside the metro we were amazed by the colors and details that cover almost every square inch of this city. Every single corner brings you something new to admire and soak in. The tiles that cover EVERYTHING are stunning and definitely one of my favorite parts of Lisbon and I could not stop taking pictures of them all.
Above are a few phone photos I snapped while we walked to our airbnb for the first time and below is the view from our window in our airbnb. Although we couldn’t see the ocean from our apartment, we could smell and feel the glorious ocean breeze and we loved it. Our airbnb was tucked back into a quiet side street but it was less than two blocks away from one of the biggest flea markets in Lisbon, only a ten-minute walk from a metro station, and about a ten-minute walk from streets lined with cafes and stores, so really it was a perfect location.
One of my favorite things about Lisbon are the numerous Miradouros (“viewpoints”) scattered throughout the city. Each one has a slightly different view of the city and I loved each one we stopped at. It was late evening by the time we first arrived at our airbnb, but we needed to go to a grocery store for food and I made us take a quick detour to the Miradouro da Graca which was closest to us. We ended up going back to this Miradouro several times over the course of the week.
Easily my favorite Miradouro was the Miradouro de Santa Luzia with it’s stunning views of the turquoise water and the gorgeous flowers, pillars and blue and white tiles that surrounded it.
I had to include the photo below so you get an honest look at what these Miradouros look like at the busiest parts of the day, don’t let my photos above fool you, it was jam-packed with tourists all fighting for the best views.
We ate almost every meal in our airbnb during the week to save money but we did eat one breakfast out on Sunday morning and I indulged in DELICIOUS crepes. No regrets.
One of the craziest things about Lisbon was how the trams, cars, bicycles, tuk tuks, and pedestrians all shared the often narrow and steep cobblestone streets together. There was more than one occasion where I was amazed no one was injured and no accidents were taking place.
On our last evening, we went back to the Miradoura da Graca one final time to watch the sun go down over the city.
I can’t recommend Lisbon enough, but be prepared to walk a lot and to walk up and down steep hills all day (it’s impossible to walk anywhere without a steep incline or decline at some point of your journey).
And that’s a wrap on our 8 weeks in Europe last summer! But have no fear, I don’t have any plans to stop my new tradition of travel posts on Friday. Up next I’ll be breaking down specific questions about the Camino (such as budget, food, and lodging, what a typical day looked like, etc) and I have plans to share some of my tips and tricks I’ve discovered from all my travels as well as some itineraries and photos I’ve never shared from other past trips (Ireland, London, Austria, Italy and Ecuador being some of the top ones I want to share more about.) If you have any questions or suggestions for me, please let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future!