Monday, March 5, 2012
Lisboa: a review
We have just finished 6 great days in Lisboa, Portugal, and are now on our way to Madrid, Spain. A couple of people have asked us to share a little bit more about this city, so we thought we would share some of our favourite things.
Favourite thing to do
M: Walking in the smalls streets of Alfama and getting lost was pretty fun. Wear good shoes, the cobbled stone pavements take their toll.
K: Visit the Thieves markets in Alfama. They are on every Tuesdays and Saturdays, and was a great mix of people selling goods. We picked up a few bargains, vintage dresses and second hand leather shoes for 4 euros is pretty good for me.
M: Principe do Calhariz -Traditional Portuguese food. This is a popular traditional restaurant that was super busy. Kim had half a chicken and I had two squids (you kind of point at something on the menu and hope for the best). The sides were as always rice and chips. I got potatoes and spinach. Very tasty. Just a heads up... they put bread and olives on your table... they are not free.
K: We had a lot of great food in our time in a lot of different places. Traditional Portuguese meals come with meal, rice and chips. I love rice and chips, so I was pretty happy most of the time. We found a little dinner a couple of blocks back from the city square which was super cheap and super tasty. Morgan had Pork Belly and I had their signature steak, which came with a fried egg on top.
Favourite region of Lisboa
M: Belem was a beautiful seaside region just out of Lisbon (but technically still part of Lisbon. We caught a tram there and visited Jeronimos Monastery which was beautiful but a complete rip off for 7 euros. I would say go there on a Sunday, I think it's free. In Belem there is Berado Modern Art Museum, Antique Markets on Sunday, The Coach Museum and the best Pastiel de Belem.
A great little independent region of Lisbon is Bairo Alto. Shops, galleries and cheap food.
K: We caught the tram 28 up towards the Sao Jorge Castle, then proceeded to walk down getting lost intentionally. It was so beautiful, all the cobbled streets and tiled buildings that winded down the mountain. I'm not sure we would be able to find that area again, we got pretty lost, but it was amazing to get away from everyone else and enjoy the old Lisboa.
Tips to know before you go...
- Not all the food they bring to your table when you order food is included in the price. We got caught out a couple times. When you order your meal, they bring some food to your table and its not actually included in what you ordered, and they have added another couple of euro to your bill.
- Don't buy a ticket when you get on the bus or tram. Buy a 24 hour pass in advance from a corner-store or metro station and you get unlimited entry for less than a return ticket on a tram.
- This city seems to really observe the Sabbath. Sundays the city is quiet with only a few shops and restaurants open. You can however take advantage of free entry to some of the museums
- Obrigado = Thankyou / Si = Yes / Quanto? = How much? / Frango = Chicken