First of all, I’m sorry my blog content has been a little sporadic recently. I’ve been feeling extremely stressed and writing book reviews, or finding time to write book reviews, has not been the easiest thing to do. But in the interest of keeping in touch, I thought I’d let you know that next week I’ll be writing to you from Portugal! (Side note: I have some posts planned, so I will be posting!) Aside from a very quick trip to Iceland and England in 2016, I haven’t been to Europe since I was 15! That’s almost 15 years ago! I planned an itinerary I’m excited about, so I wanted to share what I’ll be doing in Portugal.
Some background: The reason for this trip is that I am presenting at a conference in Lisbon — but the rest of the conference isn’t totally up my alley, so I’ll only be attending some parts of it outside of my presentation. Because I’m only in Portugal for a short time, I’m planning to stay just in and around Lisbon. Based on my research, there will be plenty to do!
There are three main neighborhoods in Lisbon that I definitely plan to check out: Barrio Alto, Alfama, and Belem.
Barrio Alto is known for it’s night life but is also full of wonderful cafes. I’m planning to take the bus down to Barrio Alto in the morning for some café time at Hello Kristof, The Mill, or Pharmacia. If I have time in the evening I’m definitely planning to hit up Park Bar or Noobai! The views and décor look to die for.
Alfama is the touristy/historic neighborhood – although hey, I’m a tourist so I’m going to check it out. Two things high on my list: Ginja de Alfama and Clube de Alfama. The first Ginja – is a local Portuguese liquer. I’m very interested in trying this! The second, Clube de Amalfa is known for live music to celebrate Fado, which is the historic music culture in Lisbon. Aside from those two spots, I plan to wander the streets, check out the National Tile Museum, the Time Out Market, and grab a glass of wine at the Riberia Das Naus!
Belem is probably the neighborhood I’m most looking forward to! This seems to be a major culture center for Lisbon. The Belem Tower is one of the biggest tourist attractions, and while I don’t plan to go inside, I am definitely looking forward to seeing it from the outside! Besides that there’s the Berardo Collection, the LX Factor, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the MAAT (museum of architecture and technology!) For food, I’m most excited to visit Darwin’s Café. And of course – I can’t miss Pasteis de Belem.
I booked a few excursions/tours that I’m excited about! It’s a little bit of a splurge but I’m traveling alone and not a fan of driving alone in a foreign country so this seemed like a good idea!
First up: a paddle boarding tour! This came highly recommended by a friend and will be a great way to get out to the coast. After that I’m planning to relax on a beach for some of the day and then head back in to the city to explore some vistas and probably end the night with some wine in a park.
And a trip to Lisbon would not be complete without a trip to Sintra and Cassais! I booked a tour with a company called We Hate Tourism. A friend of mine said this was one of the best parts of her recent trip to Lisbon!
Since this is a book blog… 🙂
I’m planning to take four books! It’s only 10 days, so this may be ambitious but I’ll be alone for most of it and have some good train/plane time.. plus solo meal time and hotel time! If I run out of books, I have some extras on my kindle.. but I don’t anticipate that happening. Here’s what I have packed:
- The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
- The Witch Elm by Tana French (Kindle)
- A Girl’s Guide to Missiles by Karen Piper (Kindle)
- Less by Andrew Sean Greer
In terms of bookish excursions — the oldest bookstore in the world is in Lisbon! It’s not in one of the areas listed above, but I’ll try to go at some point!
And then I’ll come home! Did I miss anything? Let me know!