Where we stayed: Portugal Ways Culture Guest House – highly recommend!
This hostel was an amazing value. Not only was it exceptionally clean, but it was in a lively, central and beautiful location. We paid about 115€ total for 3 nights, split between 3 people it came out to about 13€ per night. It has a beautiful patio which is nice to have access to whenever you need a break or some quiet time. The girl who ran the front desk was very welcoming and nice- greatly appreciated when you’ve been traveling around and trying to find your way. Felt like home away from home.
What we did: São Jorge Castle, Santa Justa Lift, City Centre, Tower of Belèm
São Jorge Castle- When we first walked over to the city centre and saw the view of the castle- we decided it was a must to make the trek up top to see it. It is located on top of the tallest of Lisbon’s 7 hills, and only about a 15 minute (uphill, cobblestoned, stair-filled) walk if you enter from Rossio area. Well worth the hike. Walking in, you’re greeted by a huge, open courtyard, lined by the shallow castle walls and provided with a breathtaking view of Lisbon. It cost about 8€ to get in- which was worth it since you’re given free reign to explore the castle and its magnificent views. It provides an amazing outlook of the 25 de Abrile bridge- which connects Lisbon to Almeda over the Tejo (Tagus) river. As seen above, the bridge remarkably resembles the Golden Gate Bridge- and the Bay Bridge- in one. Turns out it was built by the same company shortly after the Bay Bridge. Beautiful and breathtaking- this view is a must if you’re ever in Lisbon! Can’t miss the peacocks either!
Santa Justa Lift- A famous elevator in the heart of Lisbon that also provides a brief view of the city. After experiencing the views from São Jorge Castle, the standards were definitely set high. The Lift was fun and gave a nice view over Lisbon, but if you’re deciding between this and the castle- choose the castle.
City Centre- Simple, yet amazing. The centre located nearest to our hostel was one of the best parts of our experience. Interesting crayon-shaped platform fountains, lines of small food & drink booths, and plenty of friendly people. Accompanied by a refreshing cup of Sangría, the calming fountains, and the bustle of Lisbon- we were happy to spend hours here. During those hours we made our first friend in Portugal. We were thrilled to meet someone on the same page as us. Her name is Kezia- she is originally from Mozambique, South Africa, but she lives in Lisbon studying film & performing arts. It was wonderful to feel at home among great company in the city of Lisbon.
Belèm Tower- A beautiful, limestone, Manueline style tower on the bank of the Tagus River. Though it seemed to be a bit more crowded than the other attractions in Lisbon, it was well worth it. Built in 1519, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each level was stunning. It had a majestic, medieval type of feeling to it and felt like an adventure to explore. The watchtowers were fun to step into and view Lisbon and the river from different directions.
(*more pictures coming…)