Sintra Part I: Quinta da Regaleira

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Rossio Station in Lisbon

If you have enough time while in Lisbon, the most popular day trip is to the resort town of Sintra at the foot of the Sintra Mountains – only 25 minutes by train. The city is beautiful and filled with many historical palaces and castles (and also a ton of tourists!). Just google Sintra and you’ll see all of the picturesque sites and understand why it’s such a popular destination!

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Lisbon: Belcanto

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Belcanto by José Avillez

Koen and I are married 10 years today! Where better to celebrate than the 75th Best Restaurant in the World, Belcanto by Chef José Avillez? We really had such a wonderful evening discovering Portuguese cuisine. The food and service were outstanding. We also loved how the food was served in riddles and poems!

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Lisbon: Downtown Sites

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Rua Augusta Arch

Downtown Lisbon consists of the neighborhoods Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Baixa. We were staying in Alfama, in east Lisbon, and walked downtown to explore these neighborhoods over a few days. On my list of things to see and do included: Praça do Comércio, the Rua Augusta Arch, Ascensor da Gloria and da Bica (didn’t do either – so crowded with tourists!), Jardim de Sao Pedro de Alcantara Miradouro, Café A Brasileira, Livraria Bertrand, and the Elevador de Santa Justa.

 

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Lisbon: Time Out Market

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The Time Out Market in Lisbon

I don’t think anyone goes to Lisbon without visiting the Time Out Market. To quote their site:

Have you ever heard of curated burgers? Curated nigiri? Curated pizzas, sandwiches or even curated cod? Probably not. After all, Time Out Market is the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tasted and tested (with four or five stars, and not one star less) by an independent panel of city experts: Time Out’s own journalists and critics. More than 40 spaces with the leading representatives in all the food categories that help make Lisbon what it is – and tastes – all together under one roof. Find out everything you need to taste – and what Time Out had to say about it.

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Lisbon: A Ginjinha Espinheira

 

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A Ginjinha

I read that in Porto you have Port wine and in Lisbon you have ginja, so of course we needed to try this sweet cherry liquor! Like most of the people waiting in line for a shot at A Ginjinha, we first heard about it by watching Anthony Bourdain in Lisbon. Located on Rossio Square, you can try ginja for only a couple of euros – with or without cherries (we preferred with). It was delicious enough for us to drink 4 each, but when it came to bring back a bottle we passed. And be careful – the sweetness makes it easy to go down and then hits when you once you start walking to your next destination 🙂

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Lisbon, Portugal: Alfama

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Our orange house

Sometimes things just work out. While planning for our trip to Portugal, it can get overwhelming try to decide on where to stay in each city. For Lisbon I had debated between Alfama – the eastern part of the city – or a central neighborhood like Chiado or Baixa. Luckily in the end I chose Alfama! What a romantic, beautiful neighborhood!

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