Exploring Lisbon, Top Things to Do and See in this Capital
Portugal was one of the major destinations which I always wanted to visit. It has always been on top of my list for quite some time and being able to tick-it off my bucket is just quite a personal achievement. Growing up in the Philippines, they always teach in our social study classes as to how the Portuguese people has influenced our country. Well, basically, we were under the Spanish rule for 300 years and the famous Ferdinand Magellan who conquered the Philippines for Spain is indeed Portuguese.
Going back, I arrived in Lisbon from Paris, the flight only lasted for like around two and a half hours. After going through security at Lisbon’s Airport, I took an Uber straight to my accommodation, but upon arriving there, I was informed by one of the staff that I could only check-in after one in the afternoon and I looked at the time and it was only nine-thirty in the morning, so I was like, really?! But fortunately, my accommodation has a bar, so I just ordered some beer, opened my computer and did some photo-editing. And after being able to check-in, I left my luggage and bags in my room and went out to explore Lisbon’s old town.
It was summer when I visited Portugal, so aside from the great weather, there were also lots of interesting events happening during that time. The FIFA world cup for example, it’s like their religion. Since it wasn’t Portugal who was hosting it that year, Lisbon has set up giant screens to air the live football match in their main square! But that’s not the crazy part, the crazy part was seeing the square jam-packed with lots of people from different parts of the world wearing the uniform and waving the flag of the team they are supporting as they scream and cheer for them.
In this article, I will be sharing some of the best things to do and see in this beautiful capital.
JOIN A FREE WALKING TOUR
One of the best way to explore Lisbon and actually know the history of some of its monuments and landmarks is by joining a free walking tour. You can easily spot different guides offering free walking tours from Lisbon’s Squares.
EXPLORE LISBON’S ALFAMA NEIGHBORHOOD
Perhaps one of my favorite spots in Lisbon. Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest areas. Here you can find lots of shops selling traditional crafts and cozy cafes which offers some of the best coffees and pastries. You can also witness tons of artistic murals painted on walls here.
TASTE THEIR FAMOUS PASTEL DE NATA
Basically, it’s a sweet custard tart. I just drool whenever I think of this. Basically one of my favorite pastries in the whole world. I basically had at least five of these per day when I was in Lisbon.
photo courtesy of Pasteis de Belem
TAKE A SHOT OF THEIR FAMOUS GINJINHA
Your visit in lisbon woudn’t be complete if you haven’t tasted their tasty Ginjinha. Basically it’s one of the most well known alcoholic drink in Portugal. Traditionally, it is a go-to drink for those who are broken-hearted haha.
INDULGE IN LOCAL CUISINES
Sardines and cod dishes are some of the dishes which I highly recommend, they just cook and present it in a totally different level. Portuguese cuisine is just one of the best in the world. To be honest, I haven’t tasted bad food when I was in Portugal.
EXPLORE BARRIO ALTO
Barrio Alto is often dubbed as the Bohemian District of Lisbon. It looks amazing during the day cause you can see all the old houses in the neighborhood are decorated with vivid street art, definitely a great place to stroll and take instagram-worthy photos. And at night, a diverse crowd fill the streets and the pubs. I went bar-hopping one night and ended up tasting tons of different local beers! The ambience in this area is just indescribable, sort of like the high you get from smoking weed haha.