Last week my boyfriend and I went on a weeks holiday to Lisbon, Portugal. We booked it way back in February after spending the month before that getting more and more excited about the prospect of going on holiday. Of course, at that time I was living in the US and he was here in England so the thought of getting to spend A WHOLE WEEK TOGETHER was pretty great. We decided on Lisbon on a whim. Neither of us are really sure why it was selected but both of us were happy, so that’s where we would go. It turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. Not just because of the company but also because Lisbon is a lovely city which I would recommend to anyone. Here’s why.
1) Oh my god, the food!
Anyone who has ever travelled with me will know, as far as I’m concerned, the major high point of any trip is getting to try the local cuisine. I’ll spend hours looking at restaurants on Trip Advisor, determined to hunt out the best restaurants on offer. (On a side note, I cannot recommend using Trip Advisor enough while travelling if you don’t already, especially for finding restaurants). Thanks to this obsession of mine we managed to find some pretty amazing food while we were out there.
2) See some cute animals
I’m not a massive animal person but Lisbon happens to be the home of Europe’s largest indoor aquarium; Oceanário de Lisboa. So, given it’s Europe’s largest, we figured we should give it a go. I surprised myself by enjoying it quite a lot. My favourite part by far was the fact that they have three sea otters which we saw being fed. If you have never seen a sea otter being fed then be warned that it is really, really cute. The aquarium overall is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Lisbon and I’m sure kids would enjoy it just as much, if not more than, my 22 year old self! On our last day we went to Lisbon Zoo which happened to be right next to our hotel, mainly because we were looking for something to do close by to kill time before we went to catch our flight. It’s a pretty good zoo with a wide selection of animals. I was most thrilled by the elephants of course, they have five of them and they’re cute as ever.
3) Perfect climate
Although it was the middle of July, we found Lisbon to have one of the most perfect climates. It was really sunny and warm but it’s proximity to the coast meant that it stayed breezy the whole time, perfect for my boyfriend who is prone to getting particularly cranky when it’s hot!
4) It’s not too expensive!
As both of us are used to capital cities being extortionate, it was a pleasant surprise when Lisbon actually seemed to be very reasonably priced. I didn’t even spend all the money I had set aside for the holiday…that NEVER happens! The restaurants we went to were all offering lovely food but didn’t cost us that much, in particular we noticed that alcohol was cheap although go for Portuguese beer and wine if you want the best prices.
5) Best of both worlds
I’ve always loved visiting European cities; the food, the architecture, the culture…they always have so much to offer and Lisbon is no exception. Still though, despite having got a lot of travelling in to the first half of this year I still felt a little deprived of beaches and so I was really glad that Lisbon can offer that as well. On our last full day in Lisbon we took a 20 minute train journey out of the city and went to the beach in Carcavelos. A big and pretty beach it was really nice to get a few hours of sunbathing in as well, and still be able to go back to the city for dinner. From our research, Lisbon appears to have loads of close by beach towns which are easily accessible through public transport or by driving so it’s perfect if you want both a city break and some beach time.
So those are my top fives. Of course there are loads of other things I could recommend doing in Lisbon that didn’t make the top five. Take a trip to one of the many parks or gardens throughout the city, go and sit in Rossio Square and people watch and go to Belém and try the world famous custard tarts (which are just as good as everyone says), just don’t do what we did and go on a Monday when pretty much everything is closed!
Hope you’ve all had or have as great holidays as I just had, wherever you’re going!
That’s all for now