Maybe it is because it was my first country abroad, but throughout all of my travels Lisbon, Portugal still remains my favorite city. Everything from the public transportation which was so easy, the overly friendly locals, the night life, the beaches, the architecture, the food/wine, absolutely everything was wonderful. Fortunately when you land in Lisbon the rail is right outside the airport and extremely easy to navigate. Everything was relatively close in walking distance so between that and the rail you are pretty much good to get everywhere.
If you do not know me you should know, I am a foodie. Legit foodie. That is part of the reason why I loved Lisbon so much. One place I would point out as a highlight was the Mercado Da Ribeira. This is a lot like Grand Central Market concept if you have ever been to the one in Los Angeles (only better since they have ample seating.) Basically it is a giant building/warehouse with dozens upon dozens of food options and drink options, very easy to kill a couple of hours here with tasting different vendors or just with wine and cheese plates. By far our best/favorite meal was found by pure coincidence. As we were patrolling the area on our first day we saw what looked to be a very small restaurant with no more than four tables inside and about ten outside. The cook… grilling on the side-walk.
Mind you I was a little skeptical about this, but my boyfriend was so set on trying it so I was down to give it a shot. What came off that grill was pure perfection. He had sardines and I had a white fish, complimentary tapas and we shared a bottle of wine he still talks about. Definitely a highlight of our trip.
The nightlife… my lord the nightlife. Where else is it a laid back atmosphere walk in and out of bars with drinks in hand and wander the streets? Besides Vegas and this is nothing like Vegas. We ended up in a very small tequila bar with a DJ who insanely resembled the Love Guru was phenomenal, in both music selection and personality. Being the people we are we of course made friends with him and he proceeded to show me how to tango, haha – a night I think neither of us will ever forget.
After bar hours you will hear everyone talking about “Pink Street”. Pink street is basically the after hour bars which, you guessed it, are on a street which is painted pink. With booze still flowing, meeting locals and tourists next thing you know it is 5 am and the sun is just starting to come up.
The architecture is also another huge highlight of this city. We did multiple tours as shown below of the old Carmo Convent which had lost its roof in the 1755 earthquake and other historical buildings/castles. Even to just see large castles located on the beach was mind-blowing to me since it was something I had never been accustomed to nor had ever seen anything like it. Not sure if Portugal is a “must go to” destination for most people, but if you take anything from this post – you must go to Portugal!