Best of Portugal

Portugal is the country that has been on our Bucket List for quite a while now. When we decided to finally plan this trip, we couldn’t be any happier; picture perfect country bordered along the coastline of long sandy beaches, friendly people, lots of seafood, and laid back lifestyle. This country met our expectaions and much more!

When we decided to travel through this diverse country in just one week , we were on the go. we started planning way ahead before we actually went on the trip. I researched the most iconic places to visit, what to see, expect and how to travel through the country. A little help we used from our Portuguese friends was a plus for us!

As we arrived to Lisbon, most popular tourist destination; Portugal’s capital, we were ready to drop our stuff off and take away to explore this iconic, cultural centre of Lisbon city. Our hostel with private room was in Rua Presidente Arriaga 37,  located in the neighbourhood of Alcântara. Ten minute walk to all tourist attractions and very easy access to all via transportation. Our stay cost us $51 CAD per night and we were there for 2 nights!

first day in Lisbon we spent it in the west side of the city centre along the Tagus River with our motorbike that we rented for about $40 Euros per day! We were roaming the streets of Lisbon and first stop was Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos ( Jerónimos Monastery). Followed by the Belem Tower exploring the Belém district, filled with some iconic landmarks and many architectural and historical sights. In fact, Belem is still one of the to do-list when visiting Lisbon. While walking along side the river, we stopped at Pasteis de Belem where they have the original pasteis de nata, 187 years old recipe. This pastry shop is one of the most popular in Lisbon and ohhhh it tastes so delicious.

The second day into our Lisbon discovery, we walked to Cotidiano for breakfast, located in Rua do Crucifixo 2. I highly recommend this place because my avocado toast with pomegranate sauce was out of this world. no reservations needed and they have vegan options as well. Hands down the best one I’ve had yet!

After the breakfast fuel, we continued on exploring the busy city of Lisbon. We walked through Rossio square that is full of shops, restaurants, and pedestrian streets. it could be pretty packed especially during peak season. It is also the start of the famous Rua Augusta Arch in Praca do Comercio. I recommend going to the top to see some breathtaking views of Lisbon and the entrance is fairly cheap at about 3€ per adult.

In the main city centre at Rua Augusta Arch in Praca do Comercio, we rented a guided tour guy driving a carriage. He was friendly and knowledgeable about everything Lisbon has to offer to its tourists! He helped us see all of Lisbon in just 2 hours and he charged us 120€, but hold on I know you would say this was expensive but trust me if you’re time is short in such a big city, You NEED this! He drove us to :

Tram28 to see a traditional yellow Lisbon tram.

Avenida Liberdade, beautiful tree-lined Avenue happens to be the most expensive street.

Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara, Príncipe Real highest point of breathtaking and brilliant views over the city.

Miradouro De Santa Luzia, popular observation deck of top views of Lisbon and Tagus River.

Praca do Comercio!
Views from the top of the Rua Augusta Arch. Stunning!

Sintra, Pena Palace

The same day we saw all those stunning places and views of the city, we were ready to head to Sintra, Located just outside of Lisbon. We drove there with our motorbike for about 45 minutes. The best time to visit the palace is between 6-8pm, the crowd dies down. The later you go, the better, because you basically have the palace all to your self! We definitely saw some out of this world views that can’t even be talked about unless you go and see it yourself! Don’t miss Ericeira town though, a super trendy vibe! We had an amazing dinner at Coyo Taco, highly recommend.

Our last day in Lisbon and we started it off right at the La Boulangerie Cafe for some real authentic breakfast before we head to one of the most unreal beaches and views in Algarve Coast. This was not planned but we rented a car just for a day to go from Lisbon down south to Algarve, and drive up north to Porto, which is another city in Portugal. Because it was last minute plan, the car cost us about $260€ for one day. After 2.5 hours driving we finally arrived to Algarve Coast, and Ohhh my I can’t even describe how clear the water was, however, the water wasn’t warm enough to swim in for a long time. We still loved this place though! We had lunch at Beach Club Resturant just on top of the hill!

Approximately after 6 hours of driving from Algarve Coast to Porto we finally crashed into our next private hostel called Hostel GaiaPorto in Cidade De porto, located just 5 minute walk outside of city centre of porto! It cost us about €55 per night, it included breakfast, private bathroom and balcony, and lots of space up on the rooftop to hangout and watch the sunsets of Porto! This city is known for its bridges and port wine production. Ribeira Rio Douro is very well known river of porto where you can walk around and see lots of shops and restaurants on both sides of the river. Cafe Do Cais was one of our favourite spots right on the river, with stunning view and delicious food, highly recommend it.

Yes Teleferico de Gaia is touristy..but fun so why not get off your high horse and enjoy yourself a ride full of amazing views. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the other side. Surprised it moved at a steady and quick pace. Have your camera ready to take in the beautiful views of Porto! If you are around during sunset, go to the top and take pictures over the river, simply breathtaking! The cost was €9 round trip per person.

How can we visit porto and not taste wine, thats what everyone says right? Well obviously went to wine tasting at Porto Calem. We visited the cellars in English, a very well put together guide—clear, knowledgeable and nice tasting experience. The duration of the tour was about 1 hour and cost €13 per person.