Between my week in Cascais and my 4 hour bus journey to the Algarve, I managed to spend a few hours chilling in Lisbon.
I say chilling, but initially I was in a bit of a stress. You see, no one told me that Lisbon is in fact on a BLOODY MASSIVE hill, and I had my enormous 18kg suitcase with me.
I did finally manage to find one of those bag storage shops, thankfully, but it still took me half an hour to find with me dragging my suitcase up and down the street which I swear to God was like a 70 degree angle… EVENTUALLY I coped and was finally able to spend a few hours luggage-free to wander the streets of Lisbon.
Have to say, I did get a bit lost at one point. I was wandering through the beautiful Barrio Alto and ended up walking parallel to the main street for miles because I couldn’t find a cut through and was too stubborn to turn back.
There are worse places to be lost though I suppose! With Lisbon being the oldest city in Europe, and one of the oldest in the world, it’s awesome to get a feel of the history by just taking in your surroundings and not worrying about a map.
Once back on the main street, I stopped to watch the old art deco style trams rattle past and down the hill and walked past the very brightly coloured Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art), before heading down to the famous Time Out Market by the harbour.
This large indoor marketplace of delicious food stalls only opened in 2014, but is already the number one tourist attraction in the city… which I have to say I do find a little odd considering all the history of Lisbon, and that this market (while it’s epic!) isn’t particularly Portugese at all!
I guess it’s like the Eden Project in Cornwall… like it’s cool and everything, but considering it could probably be located anywhere in the country and still be exactly the same, it’s weird that it’s considered our top attraction.
I treated myself to a delicious vegetarian Pad Thai curry followed by the most INSANE salted caramel eclair (highly recommended – always leave room for dessert, folks!), but it did take me a good half an hour to walk around the market and decide what to eat.
After that I wandered along the sea front and had an icecream before heading back to pick up my suitcase (look it was a hot day and I’d burned a heck of a lot of calories up that hill okay?).
Transport to, from and within Lisbon is super easy by the way. The airport is just a few tube stops away, and there are plenty of overground trains to take you to the coast within an hour too. The tube itself is very small, with just 3 or 4 lines, so it’s really easy to navigate, and the bus I got from the station to take me to the Algarve was perfectly on time and very cheap too! #justsayin
Overall, considering how cheap flights are from the UK to Lisbon, I totally want to go back and spend a full weekend there. I missed out on a lot because I didn’t have much time, so I really want to return soon and tick some things off the list!
Also, if you’re staying in the area and have some extra time on your hands, definitely take a day trip to Sintra National Park (just around 30 to 40 minutes away), or head over to the fancy seaside town of Cascais for the beach life!