I got to thinkin': can there be any feeling better than walking down cobbled streets with someone you love? I'm going to say something bold; if you choose the right place to remain, (making here we are at a vacation to Sintra), Lisbon might well be probably the most romantic placed you could go for any city break. (Paris? Pffft.)
It seems I'm not the only one who thinks so. Lisbon is this year's hottest city destination, with seemingly valid reason. It's hard to quantify a city's unique atmosphere without throwing down wild Carrie Bradshaw cliches, but Lisboa includes a special energy that is difficult to explain.
Lisbon: What to Expect
Imagine the gesticulatory exuberance of Rome, combined with splash of Moreish Istanbul and some drops of Jerusalem's old city charm, all topped off by the liveliness of the city which has rebuilt itself from the ashes (the town was all but destroyed inside a 1755 earthquake), and you’ll come close. To get the best feeling of the city, we massively recommend that you go around the walking tour ran by Relax Tour By Locals – which was probably the most anthropological walking tour That i have ever been on. You'll be guided with the city's various districts with a local, and get a flavour of the culture which throbs through Lisbon's veins in ways you simply wouldn't jump on your own. Watch out for the guys in yellow t-shirts who meet at Luis de Camoes Square everyday at both 10am and 3pm. And then try to do the walk on your first day there, to provide some delicious context to the remainder of your vacation.
There are countless other things you must do while you're in lisbon, until then I'll elucidate just two more: 1. Visit Balem. Go ahead and take tram, or even the bus. Predict the windows and watch Lisbon's old ladies start their days, doggedly trudging down streets holding countless carriers. Queue at Pasteis de Belem provided it bloody takes to get your on the job their pastel de nata. Don't modestly think one or two will be enough. Get six. Each.
And 2. take the train to Sintra. You have to, you need to, you can't not. Sintra is much like something plucked from an enchanted fairytale – it kind of doesn't feel real. While you are there, buy a tourist bus ticket; yes, Yes, it sounds vom, and from 'authentic', but it is handy AF, and enables you to hop on and off at the good spots. You'll also need a ride in the mountain to the palace. Oh, did I forget to say? There is a palace on top of a mountain. It's like Disney World on crack, accept not artificial and gross and hollow. Instead it's probably the most beautiful things you'll ever see – voted the “best castle in Europe” – and it will fill your soul having a feeling of wonder. We recommend going at sunset, once the place assumes a particular type of glistening golden magic within the dying during the day.
Lisbon: Where to Eat
To Eat: Visit Cervejaria Ramiro. Probably the most famous seafood joint within the city, this place is teeming with tourists, but you will get over that small niggle. It's worthwhile. Be prepared to queue for any table (you should use the beer vending machine while you stand in the bustling courtyard). We advise trying the classic portuguese clams cooked having a gargantuan volume of garlic, and also the whole crab – which comes replete having a hammer and is just so much fun to eat. Also make time to dive into one of the numerous hip-hop-happenin' restaurants and bars in Bairro Alto – the city's rowdy hub at night.
Lisbon: Where you can Stay
Now, to rest. This area is among those rare locations that I wish to message all my friends about, just like a great book you just need to share immediately with everyone you love: Casa Amora. The guesthouse resides in the fashionable and trendy Praca Amoreiras, and backs to the pretty little Jardim das Amoreiras, where locals drink their coffees and beers sitting outside a little kiosk, sometimes along with a casual live gang of a night time. Casa Amora has that cosy quaint believe that you imagine; imagine the best Airbnb experience you've ever had, then x that by 10 and add a dollop of 5* luxury. There is a little breakfast room where one can help yourself to fruit, homemade biscuits and port during the day, a little terrace where you can spend your mornings grazing on fresh coffee, croissants, cured meats and native cheeses, and an variety of gorgeous rooms (11 as a whole), which range from the fundamental double, to the Duplex Suite.
Like opting for the 2nd cheapest wine at a restaurant, we recommend you need to do the same with the rooms at Casa Amora, and go for the Double Room within the Basic – which feels just slightly cramped in comparison. The Double has a type of Beauty and the Beast vibe, in that you feel the furniture could spring to life and burst into song at any time – so beautiful and warming the item of furniture feel. The area comes beset having a spectacular and huge bathroom. I'm not usually one to gush over a matching suite, there is however something so luxurious about using a cavernous marble-clad bathroom at your feet. Not to mention the little balcony which looks out within the little cobbled street and it is walls covered in beautiful tiles – it is a room you'll mourn leaving.
If you fancy something a bit bigger and have a little more cash to splash, choose the Studio Duplex. It's house away from the main building, just around the corner and nearer to the square of Jardim das Amoreiras. It seems like getting your own pad within the city, as you'll walk in to find a large light living area with enormously high ceilings, with a small sofa and kitchenette (which is hidden behind chic shutters). Stairs will give you up to the mezzanine bedroom, replete with lush textures of velour and silk. There's something special about feeling at home in a city that isn't yours, and if you typically like that Airbnb sense of using a home away from home, then the Studio is going to be ideal for you.
Now, what are you awaiting? Book a room.