2.5 Days in Lisbon, Portugal (& Sintra!) [Part I]


I’m not even sure where to begin!  I am warning you now…I took almost 500 photos in the last 2.5 days and while I won’t be sharing all of them, you may start to lose your mind with the number of photos that I ammmm sharing.DSC_0199

This trip was, without a doubt, an amazing trip.  When I booked a last-minute, quick trip to Lisbon, Portugal, it was more because I rather be alone and mopey in another city then be alone and mopey in Madrid.  I’m happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong!  There was no mopey happening on my trip.DSC_0234

While I did spend a lot of time alone, it was a completely different type of being alone…a chosen loneliness and I spent the 2.5 days with this goofy grin on my face because I was enjoying myself THAT MUCH in Lisboa.  And!  There was sun!  Like 90% of the time!!DSC_0108

Portugal is absolutely incredible, but it is 5000% better with sun, blue skies, and the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals.DSC_0136

In short, if you want a quick getaway for some sun, walking, sites, and water, go to Lisboa.  2.5 days was the perfect amount of time, but I probably could have spent another day sitting by the water with my book.

Trip Run-Down

Dates: March 21- March 23

Flight:  TAP Portugal, 7:45 am and TAP Portugal, 6:00 pm. 160 Euro  (*TAP was great.  They are not a budget airline, but the flight wasn’t bad since it was Semana Santa.  I paid about 160Euros round trip and while it could be significantly cheaper, I didn’t think it was outrageous.  They also gave the passengers sandwiches on both legs of the trip, even though the flight is only one hour!!)

Hostel:  Lisboa Central Hostel.  Great location, easy to access from the airport, super friendly staff, and most importantly- SUPER CLEAN.  This was the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in in terms of cleanliness and value for money.  (14 Euro/ night, included breakfast every day AND the owner made soup and mini sandwiches for guests both nights I was there.  It was like having a hostel mom)DSC_0284 DSC_0285

Also, how GREAT are those stairs?!  I had the top bunk and was so happy not to have to climb any ladders.  And the room looks super clean, doesn’t it?!

  • Price of Flight: 160
  • Price of hostel: 14/ night (28)
  • Price of food and other expenses: 40
  • TOTAL:  About 240 Euro

So, I guess I should start from the beginning? This post is already wordy and it will probably be incredibly long, so I will split it into two.

I was having a really hard time falling asleep on Sunday night, which was the night before I left for the airport. I had my alarm set for 4:00 am since I thought I should probably be at the airport by 6:00 for a 7:45 flight. I tossed and turned for awhile and eventually fell asleep close to 2:00 am, so you can imagine how happy I was when the alarm went off at 4:00.IMG_2786

I felt like a zombie but I chugged the coffee I had made, grabbed the last of my things and walked down the completely quiet streets of Madrid. Like completely dead quiet and deserted. I almost wished the African and Afghani guys that are usually out were out, but they weren’t. I made it to the 24 hour airport bus fine, but ended up going with a group of other travelers in a taxi because it was the same price as the bus if we all went together…and much faster. Everything went smoothly at the airport. I impressed security with my water chugging skills, haha. Then I waited for my flight and tried to stay awake.IMG_2787

I slept through the entire fight, true to my normal fashion and woke up around 8:00 am- in Lisbon!!IMG_2790DSC_0155

I easily navigated the metros to the area of the hostel, but it took me a good 45 minutes to find the actual hostel. People kept pointing me in different directions and I was cranky!!! And I desperately needed coffee…or a nap…I found it eventually, checked in, then paid for breakfast at the hostel. Breakfast #2. I was in no mood to talk to anybody and actually sat down at a communal table but when some girl sat down next to me, I got up an moved. Haha…#antisocial #forever. I felt better after having a tiny drop of coffee. (Side note: the hostel advertised having free coffee and tea available always. Um, they had free coffee POWDER.. Not the same and absolutely disgusting. I took one sip of that poison and dumped it before I had even swallowed it.)

I left my luggage, grabbed my big camera, and I was out! The benefit of a super early flight is that you have the entire day ahead of you.DSC_0093

I took the map the hostel gave me and then just walked in the direction of the water.  Like a turtle.  I walked and walked and snapped photos along the way, just taking in the sites and the sounds.DSC_0111 DSC_0112 DSC_0115 DSC_0120 DSC_0124 DSC_0130 DSC_0143

I sat down by the river and just stared out into the blue.  I laid back at one point and actually dozed off.  Small miracle that my belongings and I didn’t end up in the water.  Or in someone’s trunk.  Ha, kidding mom.  Relax.IMG_2791DSC_0142

Then I had coffee while I eavesdropped on other people’s conversations since I had no wifi and no book and I can’t just, you know, sit and do nothing.  It was fun!  DSC_0146

With new-found strength pumping through my veins, I walked and walked more.  My only goal was to keep walking UP so that I could get a nice view.  I knew a bad storm was brewing, so I wanted to see as much as I could before it inevitably poured.DSC_0157 DSC_0158 DSC_0162 DSC_0168

Look at those clouds…DSC_0180

The storm held off long enough for me to see San. Jorge Castle.  I was debating whether or not to go in on my first day or save it for another day, but since I was there, I figured why not?  And it was cheap, since I’m a “student” (of life…. 😉 ).  The castle was cool, but the views were incredible!!DSC_0193 DSC_0206

You can see where daunting storm clouds met beautifully clear skies.  Fortunately, the rain held off for my whole visit to the castle!DSC_0211 DSC_0220 DSC_0226 DSC_0231 DSC_0242

And I snapped approximately 15,000 photos in there.  Most of which I will never look at ever again.  And I took a number of selfies, which should be burned and buried.  4:00 am is not a good wake-up time, let me tell you.DSC_0266DSC_0248 DSC_0262 DSC_0254

As soon as I left the castle, it started storming (italics are necessary to convey that it was reallllllly storming).  While I waited for it to blow over, I had a “cappuccino” from some hole-in-the-wall place.  It was warm and tasted ok, so win-win.  After about 20 minutes, I asked the bartender for directions back to the hostel and he ranted for about 3 minutes in loud Portugese while I stared at him blankly and then told him I had no idea what he said.  I figured since I had walked up, up, up to get to the castle, then walking down, down, down would get me home.DSC_0271 DSC_0274 DSC_0275

I was right and within about 45 minutes, I was “home” and completely spent.  I had stopped on the way to the hostel at a small market to get some dinner, which after dropping off my bags, I heated up.IMG_2848  I was planning to eat alone, but another guest sat down with me and we chatted for almost two hours.  Hostels are good for that!  I got invited to join a group of them for drinks, but they left while I was in the shower, so I sat in the kitchen and drank tea with some other guests- one of which ended up being my adventure partner to Sintra the next day!DSC_0333

Since you have most likely stopped reading this post about an hour ago, I’ll write about Sintra in another post.



You may also like