A Weekend in Lisbon | Day Two
Our second day in Lisbon and we decided to start the day with some culture (and custard). Big thanks to Cate St. Hill who’s blog post on Lisbon inspired our entire morning…
We started off by heading to Jeronimos Monastery in Belem. This world heritage site is seriously stunning and well worth an uber out to Belem (ubers and cabs are so cheap in Lisbon which makes whizzing round lots of different places much easier). We wandered round the amazing courtyards and popped our heads into the impressive cathedral (?). Get there early doors for when it opens if you can as with all these kinds of places, it can get pretty rammed with tourists.
Feeling smug from our culture fix, we headed to something just as culturally significant… Pateis De Nata, or as we know and love them, Portuguese custard tarts. And the historical home of these pastries are just round form the corner of the monastery at Pasteis de Belem. We were saving ourselves for this place to properly indulge and hand on heart, these little filo cups filled with creamy, vanilla-y, cinnamon-y filling are as close to edible nirvana as I’ve got in a long time. We were very restrained and had one each before realising we 100% needed to order another round.
From there we headed out to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, a modernist museum just outside the city centre that sits in its own public gardens complete with a peaceful amphitheatre. Most of the art didn’t exactly get my blog pumping which was a shame but the space was really cool and it was nice walking through the gardens that were a size contrast to the brutalist architecture of the museum itself.
From there, we headed back into Lisbon. First off we grabbed lunch at the amazing Mercado de Ribeira which is a must on any trips. Imagine a sort of borough market situation with loads of food stalls and restaurants selling plates of food with everyone sitting at long tables running the length of the market. We ordered badly (a trap we seemed to keep falling into in Lisbon) but the variety of delicious food, people watching and atmosphere was the ideal way to get a feel for Lisbon and its foodie offerings.
From there we wandered up into Barrio Alto and Chiado, taking in the streets and shops. We stopped by A Vida Portuguesa, an amazing store to buy souvenirs and presents. Full to the brim of sardines, soaps, stationery, pottery, blankets and jams, all packaged so beautifully. From here, we headed out to just explore and wander. The great thing with a city like Lisbon is that unlike somewhere like Paris or New York, there’s not a mammoth must-do list you feel pressurised to tick off. Instead, its very open to interpretation and you can just get lost and see what you stumble upon. We ended with ice cream from Santini (be prepared to queue but 100% worth it0, a peer at the gothic Santa Justa lift before heading back to shower, change and head off for dinner.
From our apartment we headed to Park Bar, an awesome spot for drinks with incredible views over the city. Just like Frank’s in Peckham, it’s right at the top of a car park in Barrio Alto, super buzzy and ideal for sundowners. Someone once commented on my instagram that I say ‘sundonwers’ an irritating amount (ha) but I’m going to indulge myself right now because that’s exactly what exactly they were OKAY?
From there we went to Cantinho Do Avillez for dinner. Delicious Portuguese fusion food and a sweet setting, I’d definitely go back to this place. We turned it with throbbing feet and dodgy knees (I’m a granny masquerading as a twenty-something) ready for the next day.
Ph. by myself and James Wright using Olympus Pen and Olympus Om-D.