Last September my mum offered to mind the girls for us for three days when my Husband was home from working abroad in October. I immediately snapped her up on her offer and started planning. The first decision, home or abroad… the quick answer definitely abroad, I wanted to get away from the rain! Next decision where to go? We wanted a short enough flight so we could make the most of our three days, which then turned into four days, and somewhere where we might have a chance of sunshine. I’ve wanted to visit Lisbon for a while, I’ve heard such great things from so many people who have visited so, in the end, it was an easy decision. Lisbon is such a colourful city in every way, a feast for the senses with inspiration at every turn. The city really captured my imagination.
01. Tiled Walls, Cobbled Streets And Wall Art
When I arrived in Lisbon and saw whole buildings were covered in wonderfully vibrant ceramic tiles in all shades of blue and green I was in heaven. I love tiles, I’m a little obsessed and seeing whole building covered in them was just joy to me. When the sun shines and reflects off the shiny ceramic tiles the city comes alive with colour. Lisbon is teeming with character, it’s old cobbled streets meander up and down hills lined with vibrant tiled and whitewashed buildings, topped with terracotta tiles and chimney stacks. Something that caught me by surprise, was the wall art in Lisbon. I love coming across unexpected vibrant artwork, graffiti, and murals.
02. The Hills Have Views
The hills are steep and the steps are in their hundreds, no thousands, and by day three our calves were screaming but the views once you get to the top are just breathtaking if you have any left! I think what we loved too was all the little discoveries we made walking up and down the hills and through the narrow streets. But if your legs give in or you want to save your energy the many vibrant Tuk Tuk’s are a great way to get around so you don’t miss out on all there is to see. And I can’t talk about Lisbon without mentioning the E28 yellow tram, unfortunately, it was just too packed so we choose to walk instead admiring them as they passed us on the street.
03. The Contrast of Bleme and LX Factory
We left the city center for a day taking the train 15mins west to the district of Belem. We walked along the water’s edge taking in the views and admiring the monuments celebrating Portuguese explorers. It was a nice break from the buzz of the city, the pace was slower and the breeze along the water was so refreshing. We, of course, had to visit the famous Pasteis de Belem to sample the original and some say the best Pasties de Nata.
Once we’d finished indulging in the local pastries we hopped on the train and traveled back towards Lisbon getting off two stops short and made our way through a very industrial part of Lisbon to LX Factory. We really didn’t know what to expect but we were so glad we made the effort to check it out. LX Factory which was originally an industrial site full of factories has become a haven for creatives. It’s brimming with murals bars, cafes, restaurants, workshops, retro shops, vintage shops, craft shops, art spaces and so much more. I was in my element here and only regret that we didn’t have more time to take it all in.
04. Eat, Drink and Be Indulgent
We really did indulge when it came to food and drink in Lisbon. We walked far and wide to sample the best the city had to offer from food markets to rooftop bars and Charcutaria’s to John Malkovich’s waterfront restaurant and everything in between. The array of choices for every budget is wonderful, we really didn’t have a bad meal.
05. Seven Hills, A Glittering River And Chocolate Sardines
Lisbon is a wonderful cocktail… a European city mixed with a Mediterranean climate on the edge of the water. It’s laid back but it’s very much alive, an old beauty with a modern outlook. A Vida Portuguesa, an emporium of everything Portuguese celebrates the country’s passions. It’s a designer’s fantasy and for me, it celebrated Lisbon perfectly. I could have spent all day looking through its vast stock of Portuguese brands, wandering through its many rooms and displays. If you only visit one shop in Lisbon this definitely has my vote!