17 April 2016

Travel Diary // Lisbon County

Belém is Portuguese for Bethlehem and this is THE PLACE for Pasteis de Belém. I know you can get Pasteis de Nata about everywhere but Pasteis de Belèm are the one and only originals and people are waiting in line to get some of the delicious pastries (don’t worry, they are so freaking fast and I only waited about 5-10 minutes to get mine!)

To get there, take the train from Cais do Sodro to Belèm. It’s cheap and only takes 5 minutes.

There are also lots of cool museums in Belém. I personally loved the Museu Coleção Berardo (modern & contemporary art), which we visited on a rather grey and cloudy day.

We took the same train we did to go to Belèm and rode to the final destination Cascais. The sun was pretty strong that day and the cool narrow streets of this coastal town were very inviting. Strolling around for about an hour we found lots of hidden street art and cute sideways. This town is such a gem! To make the day perfect, we relaxed at the beach and had amazing late lunch at one of the restaurants nearby.

Praia do Guincho
On our 5th day we rented a scooter from Alegria Ride (Riu is just the nicest guy J) and drove along the coast to Cascais and on to Praia do Guincho. The beach there is beautiful, especially with the wooden bridge which leads above the sand dunes to the windy beach. After a quick stroll we drove on to Coba da Roca.


Cabo da Roca & Praia da Ursa
The streets were narrow and steep but we made it to Cabo da Roca eventually. At one point we wished we would have gone for the faster scooter but it wouldn’t have been the same. We liked our little adventurous ride ;) Cabo da Roca is the western point of the mainland Portugal’s and Europe! After driving back for about 500 meters we parked our scooter on a tiny “parking lot” and followed Nisi’s direction to get to Praia da Ursa, a beautiful beach with rocks in the sea.

Since we were staying in Lisbon for quite a few days we decided to also check out Sintra, a small city about 25km outside of Lisbon. Sintra is a historic place with castles and charming streets. It took us a little longer to get back to Lisbon since we couldn’t take the highway and we probably got lost three times but we had a fun journey anyway.


Of course we couldn’t leave without visiting a shopping mall ;)
I recommend Centro Colombo. Basically you don’t only get tons of stores but it is also nice to look at. There are bridges and monuments inside the building and it’s simply huge! I’m pretty sure there’s something for everyone.

I hope you liked this little Lisbon diary and stay tuned for some NYC blog posts (and hopefully video) in June!




15 April 2016

Travel Diary // Lisbon City

Last week on Sunday we got up at 2am and headed to Geneva Airport. After 2 and something hours we arrived – still a little tired but very excited - in Lisbon, Portugal. My friend and I spent 7 days in Lisbon and stayed at the Lost Inn Lisbon hostel the whole time. I seriously have never been in a cuter or cleaner hostel! Breakfast was included and we also took advantage of the free walking tour. As I am a huge fan of the tour guide thing I am giving you one myself today. Though this is a virtual tour, I am sure you will enjoy Lisbon as much as I did!

Praça do Comercio
Surrounded by beautiful architecture and with sight of the Arca da Rua Augusta we enjoyed our first breakfast at a little restaurant on the left side of the place (face the Arc).


From Praça do Comercio we headed up the shopping street and already peaked into the stores. Bershka, Pull & Bear, Mango, Zara, Stradivarius etc. did line up between cute little restaurants and kiosks.

On the left side of the shopping street you got the neighborhood Baixa Chiado. On the right side Alfama is stretching up the hill. If you didn’t know this yet, Lisbon is a “up & down” city. You are constantly walking either up or down a hill and definitely work that butt and tights a lot ;) The highest elevation is about 200m I think.

Chiado & Bairro Alto
Chiado is the place to go, if you love literature! We went in this beautiful and magical book shop (I actually don’t think it was a store, maybe more of a library?) on R. Garrett Street. At first I thought it was all little and stuff but when I passed the first book shelves I saw long hallways stuffed with books right to the ceiling. It felt like a Harry Potter kind of thing where the corridor would never end.

Also Chiado and Bairro Alto offers many places to eat and I not once was disappointed in my dish! My recommendations:

·         Café Tati (Rua da Ribeira Nova 36)

·         Taberna da Rua das Flores (Rua das Flores 103)

·         Royale Cafe (Lg. Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 29)

·         Lost In – Esplanada Bar (R. D. Pedro V 56D)

·         Ginjinha sem Rival (Rua das Portas de Santo Antoão 7)

·         Mercado da Ribeira / Timeout Market (Av. 24 de Julho 49)


Tip: if you see Ginja on the drinks menu, try it! It’s a cherry liquor and sooo yum!

Don’t let you fool and go on the Elevador de Santa Justa which is labeled as a scenic lookout. The ticket to go up is way too expensive and you can get the same amazing view by walking up the hill (which you are going to do anyway to get to other attractions and shops). Some people are saying that Mr. Eiffel – yes, the one the Eiffel Tower is named after – built the Elevator but don’t let them fool you because that’s not true.


Heading east you’ll get in the Alfama neighborhood. I love this part of the city as there are lots of street art and historic sights such as Catedral Sé Patriarcal, Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Portas Do Sol, Menino Deus and Castelo de São Jorge.

If you got sent a postcard from Lisbon then there might was a yellow tram on it. The Tram 28 is pretty famous and if you get the chance, take a picture of it! They are pretty fast, so make sure to check your camera settings for a good one.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays there is also a flea market right behind the São Vincente de Fora. People are selling all kind of stuff there; cutlery, books, paintings, electronics, jewelry and the famous tiles. If you are thinking of buying some tiles, please check the back for a signature. They are selling lots of tiles which they actually stole from a building somewhere in the neighborhood!

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