I was recently fortunate enough to take a short trip to Lisbon (the cheapest city in Western Europe according to The Guardian), staying in the Santos region of the city.
I was surprised by how culturally diverse and beautiful Lisbon is. There is so much to do in the city, and one could easily spend a good week there, only getting to know a small area. I was also taken back by how friendly and helpful everyone we came into contact with was. I had tried my best to learn a bit of Portuguese before hand but I kept getting it confused with my fairly limited Spanish! Fortunately near enough everyone we met had a pretty good grasp of English and was always really happy to help.
Our first evening and morning was spent exploring the local area, and part of the central area, and just taking in all the sights. We also unwittingly toned our leg muscles with the incredibly steep hills that Lisbon is so well-known for!
One of our priorities was getting to a beach (being British and all). So we took a short train ride from Santos to Sao Joao, which has a beautiful coast line that in the month of May is fairly quiet. The beach was well-served with a couple of reasonably priced snack bars that looked out to the sea. It is no exaggeration when I say that here I had the best tuna sandwich I have EVER eaten!
And then the last sight-seeing stop for our short trip was the beautiful ‘paradise’ town atop a hill of Sintra. There was so much to see in this town, we only caught a small glimpse of it’s beauty, but what we did was breathtaking.
On our last night we received a recommendation for an amazing fish restaurant called Zapata. We were not disappointed. On the menu were regional fish dishes amongst others, very simply cooked but extremely tasty. We went for a local grilled white fish which came with boiled vegetables and potatoes, simple but so, so tasty! I only wish my own boiled veg could turn out that good back home!
And then the return to London. With this view it was hard to leave. But fear not Lisbon, I will be back! xo