A place to share my two loves: beauty and food.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lisbon: The City

Lisbon is one of my favourite cities: the weather is warm, the buildings are beautiful and it is near water. The week my posts have been Portuguese themed due to my recent holiday and you can read here about the Villa and Beaches. 

Unfortunately in 1755 there was a giant earthquake which combined with the subsequent tsunami and fires the city was almost completely wiped out. Near the port the city was rebuilt with a grid structure and wide straight roads. I love this as you can almost always see the huge River Tagus. My family have never been to Lisbon and I wanted to maximise the time we spent in the city so we got a Yellow Bus ticket and took the route to the old town of Belem. The bus takes about 40 minutes to get there and takes you on a scenic route with amazing views. 

Once we got to the old town of Belem we immediately head towards Pasteis de Belem for their world famous pastries Pastel de Belem, which is there take on the Portuguese Pastel de Natas a egg custard tart. I do not really have a sweet tooth but I can appreciate just how amazing these cakes are and for one euro an absolute bargain! The queue is always ridiculously long due to the cafes popularity in tourist books but if you walk through the many rooms to the back you get seated almost immediately and you can order food to take away if you wish. 

Belem is well worth visiting as it is only ten minutes from the city centre but as well as being home to such delicious treats it also the breathtakingly beautiful monastery and an excellent tower that overlooks Lisbon. It costs three euros to go to the top of the tower and the view definitely makes it worth while. 

After the bus we headed back into the city centre to explore the winding cobbled streets and for a spot of shopping in the popular Baixa Chiado area. 

In the evening I stayed out with friends and I forgot how much fun Lisbon is and cheap. After being in London for the last few years only having to pay 50 cents for a beer is amazing! First we went for cocktails with a view and then we headed to the pink street. The picture below is at 2am and the streets were still full of people partying. The other main bar area is Barrio Alto that has a similar exciting atmosphere. 

It was so much fun being back in Lisbon and I can't wait to go back and visit again soon! 

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