I just spent a lovely weekend in lovely Lisbon! What a tonic for the soul.....
Originally I was going on my own, but I booked a three bedroom apartment, with the idea that if a friend wanted to join me, they could. Luckily me friend Nicky was able to come at the last minute and we had a fab time, meandering round the cobbled streets, sampling good food and wine and generally loving the city.
The apartment was in the Santos area, out of the main area, but we loved this as it was quieter and more local, and meant that we had a nice walk into the centre.
There were lots of lovely little bars scattered around that you could dip into for a refreshing cocktail on your way to dinner. The evening starts much later in Lisbon!
On our first night we had dinner at the Time Out Market, an amazingly massive space filled with a choice of eateries. Choose your food and drink and then find a shared table among the masses enjoying a night out.
The trams look fab and really create a wonderful feel for the city, but one short journey on the very crowded number 28 tram (the touristy tram) was enough for us and we preferred walking and discovering things as we went.
There are churches dotted around everywhere to dip into.
The Saturday book market in Chiado.
The vast riverside square called Praca do Comercio, where the king used to live, is certainly grand and stunning in the bright sunlight. It's also a great place to have breakfast and watch the world go by!
Meandering up to the castle, we found ourselves in amazing little squares. I loved this blossom tree that had found a home, nestled between the buildings.
There was always a little street-side cafe to stop at, rejuvenate, and order tapas....always with a glass of vino verde of course!
We loved the pasteis de nata, gorgeous custard tarts that use filo pastry as the base. It's a wonderful combination of crispy, flakey pastry and soft and sweet inside.
It was fun to watch the chefs preparing the tarts, whilst eating one.
Being on the edge of a massive river meant that we had to get out on the water and see Lisbon from another point of view. The terracotta tiles of the roofs make it really stunning against the blue sky.
Once we at the other side, Cacilhas, we walked around the coast and up to the rather awesome Cristo de Rei, a smaller version of the one in Brazil.
The view from the statue is stunning, looking over Lisbon and the dramatic bridge, similar to the Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco.
We then found ourselves on the other side of the bridge at the funky LX Factory, a little enclave of rejuvenated warehouses, housing shops, restaurants and bars. We headed for the bar on the roof that has stunning views of the bridge.
There was quite a funky young crowd there, and a live band playing great music.
I also made it to the beautiful Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. It's a series of modern buildings housed in beautiful Japanese-inspired gardens. I highly recommend a visit.
There were many areas to sit and enjoy the sun, with lots of water features and streams.
There was a great selection of modern art, Portuguese art through he ages, as well as decorative arts and I spent a good few hours there, soaking it up. My favourite artist was Antonio Soares who painted beautiful women like this one below.