I’ve just come back from 10 days in beautiful Portugal and it was incredible! In Lisbon for 5 romantic days with the boyfriend, then 4 party days in Porto joined by all our Belfast friends for a rock’n’roll wedding! Let’s start the guided tour!
You know how I’ve said that I was now eating more healthy yaddi yaddi ya? Well that didn’t apply to these 10 days. My advice: GET. SOME. WINE. AND CHEESE. AND ANY KIND OF FOOD! It’s SO GOOD and SO CHEAP and SO GOOD!!
So first things first: what to see in Lisboa (pronounce the s “sh” to sound like a true Portuguese!).
There are loads of museums, castles, churches and other places to visit in Lisbon, but the weather was so perfect, and let’s be honest, we don’t get much sun in England, that I thought I might as well make the most of it! So my experience of Lisbon was mainly to walk and walk and walk around the various beautiful parts of town. We were staying in a super cute Airbnb apartment in the heart of Alfama, with an amazing view over Lisbon and the Tagus River.
We spent a lot of time walking around Alfama, which is mainly made up of sloping narrow streets full of tiny bars, restaurants and other mysteries! We spent the majority of our time trying as much food and drinks as possible in these tiny cute restaurants and bars, listening to Fado (traditional Portuguese music, you can’t escape it there!) while savouring the succulent Portuguese dishes.
We also walked around Bairro Alto (more trendy, loads of shops, bars, restaurants, markets and a stunning view over Lisbon), Belem (where the famous Padrão dos Descobrimentos – or Monument to the Discoveries – the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery are) and Sintra (most beautiful, deserted beach ever and a village that looks like Alice in Wonderland!) and loved each and every square meter of it!
I thought Porto looked a lot like Lisbon, except smaller. It also has much nicer docks, although I think that, somehow, I liked Lisbon a little bit more!
Like Lisbon, Porto abounds with narrow sloping streets where you can find hidden shops and traditional places to eat and drink! Like I say, the docks are really beautiful, over the Douro river, magnified by a bright sun that followed us the whole time (except on the wedding day, such a bummer!), and guess who got sunburnt? -_-
Also, the Livraria Lello & Irmao is a must-see in Porto! It’s one of the most beautiful book shop in the world! I couldn’t take any acceptable picture as there were too many people, but you can check it out here.
My friends’ wedding was a little bit outside of Porto, in a gorgeous remote estate with a view over the hills and forests. The theme was Doctor Who (awesomest wedding theme possible after Harry Potter, right?!!) and… OMG the food! Needless to say, we ate for about 14 hours non stop! One traditional Portuguese dish after the next, accompanied with an open bar with the coolest cocktails ever! Which leads me to…
One word: Bacalhau. If you’re not already fluent in Portuguese like I am (!), it means cod, and you simply cannot travel to Portugal and not try one of their thousands of recipes with bacalhau! Baked, fried, raw in salads, in fish cakes, in gratins,… you name it! And it’s so delicious! Well, except raw, I couldn’t finish it, which is weird since I normally love sushi and raw fish in general, right? But otherwise, I loved it all!
Of course the cheese and wine are **HEAVEN**, I could give you a list, but I fear it would be much too long and kinda boring… But if I had to pick only one of each, I’d pick the Queijo de Azeitão (the creamiest cheese I’ve ever had… and I’m French!) and the Vinho Verde (green wine, any kind! I’m not an expert yet as you can only find it in Portugal, so I’m still discovering! However, all the different ones I tasted were delicious).
Because we’ve literally eaten so much and it would be boring to list, I’ll let you discover it all in pictures! Enjoy!