When I originally made my list of places that I wanted to go this semester during my travels, Lisbon Portugal was definitely not on the list. I honestly had never heard of it before and had no interest in going there because I wanted to save my weekends for places like London, Rome, or Madrid. Somehow I ended up being alone the second week I was here and last minute booked a cheap flight and tagged along with my roommates on the adventure. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made here! It was nothing like I expected it to be, it was so much more. First of all, every street is absolutely stunning and the cobblestone and buildings were breath-taking. I fell in love right away. Not many people I know have been there before and so it felt very good to have an experience to myself that was so special. The people there are ones I will never forget. Every person my group and I met was amazing, kind, genuine and honestly wanted to help us have the best time possible starting from our amazing Airbnb host.
Our first night was by far the best. We got a casual dinner and then decided to head out to the bar strip which was such a hike I needed to buy two bottles of water before I reached the end (yikes). The strip was full of locals and tourists alike and the bar we chose was very laid back and had a live musician playing in the back. By the end of the night, we had met some amazing worldly travelers and had danced so much our feet would barely let us walk.
The next day was a struggle to get a grip on but we managed (in the rain), to get to a small wine and cheese tasting parlor, 2 of the amazing viewpoints and one of the historic castles that had wine tasting outside. It was breath-taking to say the least and I couldn’t have expected a better view. We bought postcards and went into some local shops that had unique and very interesting products. We then headed out from the hike towards dinner. We were unable to find anywhere to go and ended up stumbling upon a small restaurant that only had a few people, was dimly lit and seemed like it was a bakery. We were desperate and needed food though so we compromised. Believe it or not it ended up being the best meal I’ve had abroad to date. The sangria was impeccable, the cheese was to die for, the risotto was the best I’ve ever tasted, and better yet the staff was so social they ended up talking to us for most of the night. This was the perfect way to end such a surprise trip that exceeded my expectations in every way possible. If you are thinking about going to Lisbon you MUST.