Portugal | Lisbon & Sintra

Portugal is one of my favorite countries that I have visited in Europe. When I was there I visited Lisbon & Sintra. I highly recommend both locations and anywhere else you can get to! I traveled Portugal with my youngest sister Lizzie and we had the time of our lives! 

Lisbon: If someone asked me to describe Lisbon in one word it would be "breathtaking". The overall vibe is Europe meets San Francisco combined with small hints of Mexico with a Portuguese dialect. They even have a red Golden Gate Bridge just like San Francisco in California. Lisbon was not that expensive compared to other places I have traveled in Europe so if you're looking to be frugal GO! Cobblestone streets, amazing architecture, the best shopping, beautiful outdoor cafes, wicked street art and graffiti, famous trolley cars for transportation, and lots of history. You must hit every view point possible when in Lisbon which are called Miradouros. You won't even believe how incredible the sights are. Every building is a different color and you're right on the water so its insanely gorgeous. We went to dinner in lively neighborhoods and sat outside and enjoyed people watching and eating incredible food. You can even get empanadas and a small salad at any hour of the day for just a few Euros which is nice if you're walking home from a club or a late night stroll and need a snack before bed (which I always do). The city is very hilly so you will get a decent workout just from walking around and some of the streets are so narrow like alleys and are decorated with lots of homes and shops to explore as you walk down. We stayed in an incredible Airbnb in a really pretty neighborhood close to the center of town! The only downside was that doing laundry in Lisbon was more than timely - one wash before the dry took a total of 5 hours to cycle through - haha! Lisbon is a place that you can just walk around with nothing planned and be satisfied due to the aesthetics of the city! Did I mention that its also very simple to be vegan or vegetarian here? I had no issues at all! If you need tips when traveling Lisbon I wold be happy to give you the lowdown.

Sintra: My sister and I also visited Sintra when we were in Lisbon. Sintra is an easy easy train ride from the Lisbon Train Station and you can literally just spend a day here and see everything you need to see. Think royalty, castles, and coastline when thinking about Sintra. Medieval Sintra is a resort town in the mountains that is studded with palaces and castles that housed Royalty in the 19th Century and before. If you're into Romanticism and history this is the place for you. You can buy a ticket that is good for bus rides from each castle and palace and even a trip to the cliffs of the coastline for about 14-25 Euros depending on the ticket that you get. My sister Lizzie and I spent the day hiking to the tallest points of castles, exploring the insides of the King's palace, and looking at art inside of the Royalty's homes. The intricate details and color of the architecture in Sintra is mind blowing. Sintra is very green and each castle and palace is surrounded by tons of nature so it feels very refreshing when exploring as we got a lot of time in the sun! You will spend a lot of time outside on this adventure so bring a light jacket if you're planning on going as we got pretty cold with the wind when we were up high or by the ocean. If you plan on going to the coast here I highly recommend checking out Cabo da Roca and Cascias as its the westernmost point of Europe with a monument of this attribute on site. You will stand on cliffs overlooking the ocean at 100 meters of height and be able to see crystalline rocks and beaches for miles. So worth it! If you end up in Lisbon make sure to take a day or two to head out to Sintra- it will be a memory and day trip you won't ever forget. 

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Thomas Harris