Our last stop in Portugal matches the Portela International Airport in Lisbon from where we will fly back to Montreal. Lisbon, a fairly large city is divided into several neighborhoods that each have their own charm. A minimum stay of 3 days is necessary to comfortably visit the city and its surroundings. We chose to stay with Airbnb because it was easier to accommodate our family of 4 adults. In addition, we have selected the historic district of Mouraria, within walking distance of Chiado and Baixa, as well as Rossio train station. The 3 bedrooms apartment was beautiful, overlooking the Sao Jorge Castle from the pool terrace. Booking on www.airbnb.ca (there is also a discount code if you go through the link on our home page for new users of Airbnb).
Portugal being closely linked to navigation and the first explorers, it is advised to start the tour of the city with the neighborhood where are located the monuments commemorating this past. This is the Belém district with the Torre de Belém, the Padrao dos Descobrimentos, the Jerónimos Monastery, without forgetting to taste a unique local specialty; the Pasteis of Belém. Indeed, since 1837, they have been making these small tarts from a secret recipe from the Jeronimos Monastery in the factory located at No. 84 rua de Belém .... not to be missed!
Near Belém, under Ponte de 25 Abril, is a creative and original place, the LxFactory. In the heart of an old Portuguese fabric factory was refurbished a village with lots of restaurants, bars and shops that are really cool. We visited, among others, Landeau Chocolate for one of the best chocolate cake, the Ler Devagar bookstore, the Retro Shop and Wish for original gifts.
Obviously, it is impossible to go to Lisbon without visiting the district of La Baixa, the most commercial district of the city. Avenida da Liberdade, the most majestic avenue is more than a kilometer and is filled with cafes, shops and terraces. In addition, we find in this area, the elevator of Santa Justa that allows you to reach the Bairro Alto, as well as Rossio station from where you can reach Sintra by train.
It's in Bairro Alto and Chiado that we find the most pleasant atmosphere with, in addition, the restaurants and shops that are worth seeing. Thus, the streets of Carmo and Garrett are must see.
Several attractions can be found around Lisbon such as Sintra, Cascais and Obidos. Our time being limited, we visited only one attraction, the city of Sintra. On the other hand, it has several monuments to be seen. It takes only 40 minutes by train to reach Sintra from Rossio Station in the historic center. A train ticket from zone 4 must be purchased at a cost of 2,25Euro + 0,50E for the Viva Viagem card per person. Given the large number of attractions in the city, it is better to leave early in the morning. We chose to visit three attractions: Quinta da Regaleira, Palace of Monserrate and Castelo dos Mouros. The Quinta da Regaleira Park is a 15 minutes walk from the train station and this was our first stop. The palace is in a lush park of 4 hectares filled with mysteries and works of art. The Well of Initiation is a must see , moreover it is pleasant to walk among the vegetation. It is possible to download an application (Regaleira 4.0 in App Store) on your mobile phone and participate in a historic hunt !! It costs 6E per person for an unguided tour.
Our second monument, the Monserrate Palace, is a few kilometers from Quinta da Regaleira, but getting there is difficult and requires patience. On the other hand, the palace and its gardens are worth the difficulties. In addition, we took advantage of the small cafe in the gardens to take a break and have lunch. Another stop that we recommend! It will cost you 8E per person, however if you visit more than one site in the Sintra's parks, you will save: 5% for 2, 6% for 3 ... booking on www.parquesdesintra.pt
The last visit to Sintra was the most spectacular, Castelo dos Mouros. Built in the 9th century by the Moors to oversee the city, it was abandoned during the conquest of Portugal. Now restored, it retains an undeniable charm with its robust ramparts from the top of which it is possible to have a spectacular view. Indeed, the view of the hills of the Serra de Sintra, as well as the castle of Pena are unbeatable. The historic center of Sintra can be reached from the castle by small footpaths that crisscross a lush forest. Our favorite site in Sintra!
Foodie Top Picks:
Coffee and Lunch:
-Landeau Chocolate, 103 rua R.Rodrigues de Faria, open from noon to 7 pm until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.
-Pasteis de Belém, 84 rua de Belém, 8 am to 11 pm, A must!
-Nespresso, 8 rua Garrett, 10 am to 8 pm, closed on Sunday.
-Santini, 9 rua do Carmo, 11 am to midnight, good gelato.
-Time Out Market, 49 Av. 24 de Julho, 10 am to 2 am, great experience!
-Casanova Pizzeria, 7 Avenida Infante D Henrique, 12:30pm to 1 am, great pizza with a view of the Tage.
-Nicolau Lisboa, 17 rua Sao Nicolau, 8h30 am to 8 pm, excellent brunch.
-Bairro do Avillez, 18 rua Nova da Trindade, noon to midnight.
-Honorato, 12 Largo Rafael Bordalo, noon to midnight, good burgers!
-Bistro 100 Maneiras, 9 Largo da Trindade, noon to 2 am. Our top foodie pick in Portugal!
-Mini Bar, 58 Antonio Maria Cardoso, 7 pm to 1 am, for a spectacular night!
-Park Resto and Terrace, 58 Calçado do Combro (5th floor of a parking lot), 12:30 pm to 2 am. Grab a glass of Sangria with a beautiful view of Lisbon!
-Casa Piriquita, 1 ou 18 rua das Padarias, 9 am to 8 pm, for a loca specialty the Travesseiro.
-Café Saudade, 6 Av Dr Miguel Bombarda, 8:30 am to 7 pm.
Until next, happy travel!
January 17, 2020