Destinations Europe

A “free” ticket but priceless memories of Lisbon and Sintra

February 25, 2015
Lisbon

Once upon a time there was big Austrian lingerie company which celebrated its 100th anniversary. On this occasion they wanted to give their costumers a very special present: A free round-trip flight within Europe once you spend 100 Euro or more on their underwear. Of course, as a travel junkie this “scam” got me right away not knowing how this campaign was going to fail. Anyway – long story short – after some discussion I finally got my free ticket to my desired destination: Lisbon! Originally I intended to go in spring or summer, but the travel agency only gave me one option: Beginning of February – take it or leave it! Glad I wasn’t going to Moscow or Oslo, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right? At the end it turned out very well – the weather was nice most of the time and the sun strong enough to get a glimpse of spring. After a comfortable non-stop flight with TAP and a quick subway ride (the airport is right in town and well connected) I checked-in into my hostel which was in Chiado, Lisbon’s chic city centre. The hostel was definitely the coldest part of the trip as there’s no proper heating in Southern Europe. However, I spent most of the time outside exploring: First of all I grabbed a quick seafood snack and walked through the alleys of Bairro Alto, a popular nightlife district. But I was tired from the journey, so I finished the evening rather quietly with a glass of port 🙂

The next day I took the train to Sintra, a UNESCO-classified hillside town, boasting with beautiful castles, great views and lots of history. Back in Lisbon there was a big flea market held on Saturday in the old quarter of Alfama. Going there included a must-do-tram-ride which reminded me a bit of an old roller coaster – the turns are sharp, the ascents steep. Alfama also is home of the fado, a melancholic mix of a guitarist and a female singer, so the neighborhood is cluttered with fado restaurants. The other parts of the city had their own charm too, like the big Praca do Comercio, the promenade along the Tagus River or Belém with the giant Jeronimos Monastery and Belém Tower.

Sintra

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Lisbon

Beautiful alleys of Chiado and Bairro Alto

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Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon

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LB29 LB32 Praça do Comércio

LB33 LB34 LB35Time Out Mercado da Ribeira

LB36 LB38 The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém

LB40 LB41 Lb45 LB43 LB44 View from Torre de Belém

LB45_1 LB46 LB47 LB48 LB49 A Ginjinha, one of the plenty spots to grab a sweet cherry liqueur, even in the morning (and for only 1.25 €)!

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LB53  Well, unfortunately let me state some negative things too: 1) The cobble stone. It looks pretty, but it rained one afternoon and got slippery as hell! 2) Apparently the city has a drug dealer issue. A dodgy character suddenly jumped in front of me with his hands open, offering his “selection.” But don’t worry the best part is yet to come: The food! As a sweet lover I felt like being in paradise! Literally every corner has a “pastelaria” where they sell the famous Pastel de Nata (custard tart) and other delicacies. The Time Out Mercado da Ribeira is a great place to taste yourself through the variety of Portuguese cuisine in little tapas-sized bites. And to rinse it off, there’s plenty of Ginjinha (traditional cherry liquor) bars which give you a shot for a bit more than a Euro. Any day and night time. Probably the best way to say Goodbye to Portugal’s wonderful capital!

8 Comments

  • Reply maomau February 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    i have to agree on the slippery tile, especially when its hilly. I can’t imagine the elders climbing up & down those walks.

    • Reply Sileas February 26, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Right!? I saw a few people falling, but all of them were tourists! I guess the locals are trained 😉

  • Reply Jessica @ Boarding Pass April 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I also loved Lisbon and Sintra! Beautiful photos and wonderful blog. 🙂

    • Reply Sileas April 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks Jessica! They’re such lovely places 🙂

  • Reply throughcityandforest July 22, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I loved Lisbon and Sintra as well! I wish I had more than a week to explore both places, but it just means I will have to go back at some point. Sintra was so magical, wasn’t it?

    • Reply sileas July 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

      I only had 3 days there, which was way too short! But you’re right, I might have to go back too 😉

  • Reply 2015 – A travel year in review | sweet/escapes January 3, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    […] The first city in 2015 which has been new to me, was charming Lisbon. […]

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    […] A "free" ticket but priceless memories of Lisbon and Sintra […]

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