Who here would get excited by free tea? Like there’s just always free tea for you to help yourself. Not excited? What about mint green tea ice-cream for only 1 Euro? Okay that might get the rest of you. Well either way, I enjoyed both of those at the Gorreana Tea Plantation on São Miguel Island in the Azores, Portugal last month.
“And after this, were headed to the ghetto,” said our tour guide from the driver seat of our 8-passenger van that was taking us all over Lisbon, Portugal.
We all kind of laughed.
“That sounded like more of a nervous or scared laugh,” he responded.
Well the truth was when I heard Lisbon street art tour, I envisioned looking at cool murals in those cute Lisbon streets that the little trollies drive on. And while the tour started out in more of the downtown or classic streets of Libson, where we spent the majority of our time was a neighborhood none of us would have sought out on our own. And I loved that.
Now I can say that I have been to Lisbon, Portugal twice. Looking back over my travels throughout Europe this past year, Lisbon is one of my favorite cities. It has this sort of gritty charm to it that I just love. Combine that with nice weather, friendly locals, amazing food and cheap prices, and it will be hard to find a city I like more.
On my second trip I again stayed with Destination Hostels. I had one night in between coming back from the Azores and going home to the United States for a bit. The first time I traveled to Lisbon, I stayed at Lisbon Destination Hostel which is located inside of a train station right in the center of the city. I wrote about my experience here. This time, however, I opted to stay at their Sunset Destination Hostel Lisbon location. It’s right by the water and has a rooftop pool. What more could you need for a June trip to Lisbon?
Last week I was on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Who here has heard of the Azores? It’s okay if you haven’t. Up until a few months ago when my friend Karla invited me along on her adventure, I had hardly heard of them either. However I’m always down for an adventure. And thus we planned an affordable getaway to the Azores.
In the middle of the ocean
During my stay on the island of São Miguel, I sent a Spanish friend of mine a screenshot of where I was on the map. It basically looked like this:
So if I were to sum up my trip to Lisbon in three words, they would be pastries, parties and castles. Of course there was much more to my long weekend in the capital of Portugal. But these are the three things that stuck out the most during my time in the yellow and pink city. I had an absolute blast and have to return one day. Lisbon is one of those cities where a weekend simply is not enough. It’s also one of those capital cities that’s very easy to get around in. While I also love Madrid, Madrid to me feels like New York city. It’s big and you have to take public transportation everywhere. Lisbon, however, is different. You can easily walk from one place to another.
I just returned from a much-needed weekend away in Lisbon, Portugal. Life overseas is not always full of beautiful Instagram photos, delicious food and laughter. Yes, much of it does involve those things. But choosing to live full-time in a culture different than you own can be challenging at times. I’ve found that a little traveling can do wonders. So, it was so great to get out and play tourist for a weekend. Lisbon Destination Hostel played a big part in my lovely weekend of being a tourist.