After making our way around Spain and Gibraltar, the next destinations on our cruise were in Portugal. I had already been to Portugal once before and loved all that I had seen, so I was very excited to have the chance to experience it again—though this time a little bit older and wiser.
While we stopped in two Portuguese cities, Lisbon and Porto, we had very limited time in the latter so I’ve decided to focus this travel diary strictly on Lisbon. If you find yourself in the area though, definitely check out Porto for a smaller town feel only a couple hours away by car.
Much like in Barcelona, we hit the ground running in Lisbon as soon as we were able to depart the boat in the morning. Since we were right by the water already, we decided to start our itinerary in Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. Atop the tallest hill in the city is the São Jorge Castle, which offers stunning views of the city and of the peacocks roaming around the grounds. And if you remember from my Mexico City travel diary, the peacocks at the Dolores Olmedo Museum were the cherry on top for me so I was very excited to take even more peacock pics 🙂
After weaving in and out of the charming alleyways and streets leading to and from the castle, we made our way to three additional historic sites: Lisbon Cathedral, Santo António Church, and Praça do Comércio. All three are very close together and can be done within about 30 minutes—perfect for the tourist trying to squeeze as much into a day’s travels as possible!
My boyfriend’s sister and her fiancé are quite the foodies, so it came as no surprise that they found a more casual restaurant by one of the most famous chefs in Lisbon: Bairro do Avillez. The whole restaurant is beautiful, but the patio is a real show-stopper. Even if you’re not the biggest foodie, I’d highly recommend this central spot for the ambience alone.
Once we wrapped our lengthy lunch, we all could have easily headed back to the boat for a nice siesta. But because we only had the one day in town, we powered through it and made our way to the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Filled with cobblestone streets, gorgeous tile, and interesting graffiti, this neighborhood gives you an excellent sense of Lisbon’s architectural beauty. From the Church of São Roque to the Miradouro de São Pedre de Alcantara, there are also several attractions to not be missed, especially if you’re seeking more panoramic views paired with some sweet sangria.
Hope you found this travel diary helpful, and can’t wait to share my full London travel diary with you tomorrow!