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Portugal

Portugal

 

I am in love with Portugal! The Portuguese people are so generous and kind. The nature and landscapes are amazing! The buildings, tiles everywhere, colours, so happy, also great vibes!

 

Lisbon
What to write about Lisbon… Well, my mind keeps screaming. IT IS AMAZING! I love Lisbon! Words will definitely fail so I will add some pictures, but better you go and see for yourself.

The city is built on seven hills and that makes that you have a lot of viewpoints, Miradouros, everywhere in the city. It also makes that you are often walking up and downhill; here we go sightseeing and training the calves at the same time!
Castelo de São Jorge, built on the highest hill of the city, the place to be for watching the sunset over the city and the river the Taag.
 
It is an old city with its own ambience, it has a lot of different suburbs with a different feeling. Wander around in the small streets in Alfama, go shopping in Chiado or enjoy one of the squares in Baixa. A must do; Belém, I personally like to walk there, it is a beautiful walk along the river. Along the walk you come across a few different highlights for example; Ponte 25 de Abril, the famous bridge of Lisbon, MAAT, which I wrote a blog about that you can find here and Torre de Belém.

When in Belém don’t forget to go to the bakery famous bakery ‘Pastéis de Belém’ and eat a Pastéis de Belém. Portugal is famous for its pastel de nata, it is a custard tart and it is delicious. De bakery in Belém is according to my taste and that from many more people the best ones you can get!

Take also a visit on the other side of the river, a beautiful area and it will give you a great view over the whole city!

Interested in art? I wrote a blog about art in Lisbon that you can find here.

Portugal; Lisbon
Portugal; Lisbon
Portugal; Lisbon
Portugal; Lisbon
Portugal; Lisbon
Portugal; Lisbon

Sintra
First of all, I want to make clear that Sintra is a big area. It is not only the historic centre and the palaces there, it is way more… It’s a big area with a lot of nature, with a few towns in it, numerous beautiful gardens, some mountains, several palaces, a castle and a beautiful coastal area. The whole area is classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is around 40 minutes away from Lisbon if you go by train. The train stops near the historic centre and it is called ‘Sintra’. You also have a stop called ‘Portela de Sintra’ which stops in the town Portela de Sintra what lays next to the historic centre.
I definitely recommend visiting Quinta da Regaleira, the gardens of Palacio da Pena and the coastal area, especially Praia da Ursa.

If you want to know more about Sintra, I lived there for three months and wrote a special blog about this area that you can find here.

Portugal; Sintra
Portugal; Sintra
Portugal; Sintra
Portugal; Sintra
Portugal; Sintra
Portugal; Sintra

Coastal area and Cascais
The coast between Lisbon and Cascais is perfect if you want a beach day.
The walk from Cascais to Estoril is beautiful. You can walk all the way along the coast and it takes around 40 minutes. But were good shoes if you do this walk… My shoes, that joined me for a while already, decided to die when I arrived in Estoril.

I found Estoril and Oeiras both less touristic, it are beautiful places with nice beaches.

Cascais is more touristic but at the same time, it is a really nice city with also some palaces and surrounded by nice beaches. Due to the fact that there are more tourists, the beaches are more crowded. I like the nice shops and a great ambience with restaurants and cafes everywhere. On a sunny day, it really gives me the perfect holiday feeling!

About two kilometres north of Cascais you find Boca do Inferno, also called Hell’s Mouth. It is a natural arch in the rocks made by the ocean that smashed a hole in the cliffs. Still, the ocean is pretty rough there, the power of nature is quite special to see.

Portugal; Cascais
Portugal; Cascais
Portugal; Cascais
Portugal; Cascais
Portugal; Cascais
Portugal; Coast

Ericeira
The town that reminds me of Greece. It is a beach place with mostly white buildings; when I was there it was warm and sunny, this together made me feel like I was in Greece.

A real surf town, so if you like to surf go to Ericeira. But there is more, you can also relax at one of the beaches or walk around in the centre where they have a few nice restaurants and cafes.

Portugal; Ericeira
Portugal; Ericeira
Portugal; Ericeira

Porto
I love Lisbon but Porto made me doubt which I love better. Porto feels so authentic, so real, fewer tourists.
It has everything I was hoping for and so much more. Colourful buildings, good food, kind people, great views and so many cathedrals and churches. They also have some churches completely covered in tiles, amazing!

The churches and cathedrals are beautiful but also so many at some point I had seen enough of them. But there is way more to see than churches so don’t worry!
 
Definitely go to the other side of the river. First of all, you have a great view of the city, but second, you can walk over the famous bridge ‘Ponte Luiz I’. The latter already is a very nice experience: if you walk to the other side at the bottom level of the bridge you find several shops and wineries, a great vibe and here you already have a nice view over the city. If you walk on the top level you end up in Jardim do Morro, because you are a lot higher up you can see further over the city. Watching the sunset from here is amazing!

The city itself surprised me. It feels small, you can easily walk everywhere but it has completely different areas! It is a great city to just wander around and see what you get.

Portugal; Sunset Porto
Portugal; Porto
Portugal; Porto
Portugal; Porto
Portugal; view over Porto
Portugal; Luis I Porto

What to know before going to Portugal:

  • Visa: Do you need a visa? This is different for the country you are from, so check this before!
  • Vaccination: No special vaccinations needed.
    But to be sure check with your own medical health centre for travel vaccinations. It also depends a bit from which country you are from!
  • Best time to travel: March to May or September to October. The weather is quite warm, the hotels are cheaper and there are fewer tourists than in summer. In those months you still be able to have a few beach days. In the summer months, it can be hot in Portugal and way more people especially at the coasts. Personally, I would recommend May or September then you also have less chance of rain.
  • Water: Can drink the water from the tap, but it taste a little like chlorine.
  • Wall outlets: Type F, the same as in most of Europe.
  • Food: You can find supermarkets everywhere, but a lot cheaper food you can find at the fresh markets! Ask at the place where you are staying if there is a local fresh market.
  • Pre-Book? You can pre-book but it is not necessary, a lot of hostels are a bit cheaper with pre-booking. Most places in Portugal have enough hostels and hotels that there will be an empty bed somewhere.
  • More:

  • Don’t stay in one place, go around in the country there is so much to see in Portugal
  •  

    I’ve not been in the south yet but one day I will be there (like everywhere…)

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