Portugal – the guide to Lisbon & Cascais

Welcome to the very last Portugal post! It’s been very fun and I’m sad that it’s ending, but I’m glad that the complete guide for our trip is now up!

So for our last few days in Portugal, we flew back to Lisbon and spent three nights there. Once we landed, we took the metro to our AirBNB, and let me just say, Lisbon’s public transport system is wonderful! I’ll be talking about it more later.

Day 1: 
So first our first night in Lisbon, we visited Alfama, a lovely old neighborhood of Lisbon filled with old streets and beautiful lookouts. It’s lovely, but fairly touristy – around 7pm, the streets were bustling with people touring the neighborhood and waiters waving around free samples to attract patrons. Regardless of all that, it was a lovely little village that really captured the heart of Portugal. There are some great viewpoints and restaurants in there. We were exhausted that night and didn’t think to take many photos, but we got these:

Day 2:

On the second day, we followed the neighborhood roads to reach Lisbon’s downtown. The best part about this city is that you can start in an old neighborhood, follow Lisbon’s tram lines, and end up in a bustling downtown!

We explored and found some viewpoints:

As well as some historical buildings. First, we visited this lovely chapel:

Afterwards, we visited Igreja da Santa Engrácia – (they offered a student discout, funnily enough! 3 euros each.) The place was beautiful:

But we mostly went for this gorgeous view:

And after that, we went to a spot that I’d been dying to visit in Lisbon, after reading about it on another blog – Gelados Fragoleto. I was excited the whoooooole trip for this place! The ice cream shop was right downtown, and the walk there was beautiful. It had sort of a 50’s ice cream parlor kind of vibe, and they had amazing like caramel crunch and pistachio, apart from vanilla and chocolate. I tried the  two former ones, and they were sooo delicious. I made a point to take a picture of it, but the  photo has since gone missing :(.

We also stopped at a cute little place downtown for flatbread – and they even have a vegan specific flatbread! It was right near the Castelo de Sao Jorge.

The very last thing we did in Lisbon was admire the graffiti – because there’s so much of it, and it’s all beautiful, so you have to.

Day 3: 

By this day, we were both a little city-ed out, so we decided to catch the train to Cascais, the beach down closest to Lisbon. The commute there was so easy – first we took the metro from our AirBnB to the train station, and then all we had to do was go upstairs, buy a ticket, and hop on a train for an hour! It was the easiest thing ever, and it only cost 6 euros each.

Once we arrived in Cascais, we rented two bikes for 10 euros each, and rode around town! First, we visited ‘The Mouth of the Devil’ – a beautiful, char coloured rock formation at the coast. There was a pier down at the base of it that was empty, so we decided to take a dip – and the water was cooooold! It’s true what they say about Portugal – aside from the Algarve Coast, the water is absolutely freezing.

Afterwards, we visited a beach a few kilometers down the road. It was lovely, but the water was freezing! We ended up spending most of our time lying in the sand and soaking up the sand, which was the perfect end to our trip.

So that’s it – you’ve read all about our two-week trip! Soon, I’ll be making a full itinerary. Also, in May, we’re going to be doing a month-long tour of Southeast Asia – so stay tuned!

In Summary

TOP THINGS TO DO IN LISBON & CASCAIS

Walk the neighborhoods: Lisbon’s neighborhoods have much to offer in terms of the city’s history – there are so many lovely, charming neighborhoods and they all have beautiful sights and viewpoints to offer!

Visit the cathedrals: Lisbon has an abundance of cathedrals, and they’re all beautiful – walk around downtown, and you’ll find many of them.

Take the tram: The tram is a trademark of Lisbon, and the lines go all around the city – if you take it, it’ll be like a tour of the city.

Visit Castle de Sao Jorge: This is Lisbon’s central castle. We didn’t visit it because we were pretty castled out – but if you don’t have a chance to visit Sintra, this is a perfectly good substitute.

Admire the street art: Lisbon is know for its abundant, beautiful, expressive street art – walk around the city and get to know it.

Cascais

Rent a bike: Cascais is known for its biking trails, and getting around with them is super easy and convenient.

Visit the mouth of the devil: These beautiful views, which you can catch from beautiful black rocks, are an amazing sight.

Chill out at the beach: Cascais is known as a beach town! So either ride down on a bike, or take the bus – and hang out in the sand.

Lisbon 

Food: Lisbon is super vegan friendly, and there are tons of accommodating restaurants! Visit some, visit them all!

AccommodationLisbon is one of the most popular places in Portugal, so of course, one of the more pricey ones – but not crazy! You could easily find a cheap hostel. However, if you rent an Air BnB, you’ll get a look into what Portuguese living is really like!

Lush Soap

Time for more cruelty free recommendations! The other day I was feeling like treating myself (and wasting time before a bus came) so I wandered in to Lush, with the intention of buying my usual soap. While I was there, though, one of the girls working (it was my roommate, fun fact) pointed out one of their holiday items, that keeps running out of stock, that they just happened to get a shipment of that day!

Vegan Spot Wednesdays!

Last week, Ian and I finally decided to visit a restaurant we kept walking by and looking into – Pihro, on Elgin Street. Pihro is self-labelled as Greek and Mediterranean food (with gluten free and vegan options). I was super stoked about this place because one of my favourite pre-vegan foods was pitas! (I’m still dedicated to making vegan tzatziki. It’s HAPPENING.)

Portugal – The guide to Madeira!

Our second to last stay in Portugal was on the beautiful island of Madeira. Madeira is off the southern coast of Portugal, so you have to fly there. For that reason, we almost didn’t go – but Ian did some research and thought it looked amazing, so we did. And I’m sooo glad we did; Madeira was definitely my favourite part of the trip. Honestly, it’s a fairy tale tropical island. We stayed there for four days, but I wish we could have stayed a lot longer.