I have been planning to go on this trip for a good year now and I finally got to go after many months of researching, planning and booking accommodation and flights. I have been and lived in Brazil in the past as well as traveled other countries in South america and wanted to see the difference in culture and history in Europe.
I started my adventure with a 13 hour flight with West Jet, Ottawa to Toronto, Toronto to Porta Delgra, Porto Delgra to Lisbon. This waslong day and by the time I got to Lisbon I was ready to head to my Hostel. I spent $407 with tax (one way) for my flight and I booked my flight two anda half months in advance. This was definitely a great deal considering the price went up to almost $600 by September.
When I got to Lisbon I got a little lost with all the narrow streets however finally found myself to Living Lounge Lisbon. This hostel was clean, very homey and just comfortable. I slept in a 8 bedroom mixed dorm for $23 a night which is such a good price. They had three floors of accommodation, a living area, laundry services, free breakfast, countless tours, great staff and three course traditional Portuguese meal every night for only 10 euros ( which is amazing). May I add all you can have wine 😉 The hostel was .5km away from the center so we were literally in the middle of the city which was great and made it cost efficient for transportation as we walked most places.
Checking out the City
Where do i start. I started on the first day participating in a free walking tour hosted by the hostel ( at the end of the tour you pay by tips) for two hours where we got to see the main attractions by foot, got to visit a great Portuguese bakery, learned all the tourist traps and the history of what makes Lisbon what it is today.
We then were on a hunt to find amazing Portuguese dinner and we were guaranteed to find a restaurant full of locals which we did in a small narrow road with an outside patio. We sat down as my friend and I shared a traditional Portuguese meal of cod fish and sardines with potatoes and salad on the side. These two dises was only 12 euro together( about $24) which is amazing. We then had to get a nice cold 1.5 liter jug of white wine to share for one 2.75 euros. May I just say we hit jackpot with this one?
After a long day of walking all over the city and have a delicious meal we decided to have a nap at the hostel before we had dinner and headed out to check oout what was in store for Lisbon.
We ended up having a Portuguese rice a seafood dish with a Portuguese vegetable soup along with a coconut cake with ice cream for dessert ( and of course some white wine). Then we were ready to check out what Lisbon had to offer at night.
We stumbled across a local Jazz and traditional music called Fado performance that was amazing in the center square of Lisbon. I was in awe with the talent that Portugal had to bring in the music scene. After an hour and a half we decided to head to a underground bar with locals and travelers from all across the world where they served beers for only 1 euro. With a cold local lager and connecting with people all across the global while hearing their stories reminded me why I love to travel.
The next few days happen so quickly:
- We ended up trying Gijinha which a sweet liqueur that is poured in a cup made out of chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth you will love this treat
- I had Pastel de Natal probably every day with an espresso for lunch which is a small custard tart that is nothing but heavenly.
- We went to Sintra for a day which was amazing. I wish I had more time in the city. It is 45 minutes away from Lisbon and you can get there by train. I suggest not doing a tour to save you more money and buying the train ticket your self. Before you go there choose what you would like to do as Sintra has endless sights to offer. If you like castles, nature, gardens, history and cute village looking cities you will love Sintra
- I watched the sunset over looking the city. This sis a must as I try to see the sunset in every city I travel. Sunsets are so magical
- Last night we went out to the pink street which historically was where all the soldiers used to celebrate with their friends and partners after the war was done by going out and enjoying the nightlife. We decided to celebrate the pink street in the modern days on our last night and be warned that the Portuguese know how to party. It is a fun time just remember to be fun and go with at least one other person as it can get really busy especially on a weekend night.
Those were all the main highlights of my trip over the course of the four nights in Lisbon. Overall, Lisbon was honestly a treat to experience.
Here is what I would recommend budget wise based on my experience. I was staying at hostels in this city, eating out once a day sometimes twice a day at mid range cost places and I did not spend on souvenirs only experiences. This price can reduce by eating out less:
- Accommodation- $20-35 a day
- Food- $30 a day
- Spending money – $15 a day
- Total a day- 65-75$ a day
Out of all the places I have been, for Europe it is definitely one of the cheaper places to go. So any one that are on a budget Portugal will definitely give you the European experience without damaging your wallet. The food is amazing, the people are great, there is a lot of history for those who are into that and you will never get bored in Lisbon as there is something for everyone. I am planning to come back to Lisbon soon and I hope you can visit this amazing Portuguese treasure soon as well.