Lisbon – Belem

We felt resheshed and like new after a bugless nights sleep.

To our surprise, our new hostel offerered a great inclusive breakfast, including coffees, granola, pancakes etc which made our morning.

We then met my mum and step-dad to take the tram 28 up to the Castle and show them the Alfama district that we had seen the day before, as it was too pretty for them to miss out on.

After making our way back down to the waterfront, we walked to the ‘Time out market’ for lunch.

It is a huge food court offering lots of different types of traditional Portuguese cuisines, with many tables in the middle to eat at (if you can find a space!).

Prices here are definitely a lot higher than in the rest of the city, and it’s very busy, but the atmosphere is lively and a fun place for a lunch break.

After lunch we took the 15E bus to Belem, which took about 30min.

For some reason the bus dropped us at Jeronimos Monastery instead of the Tower of Belem, but we walked up and back to see the Tower, the Padrao dos Descobrimentos and the monastery.

The Padrao dos Descobrimentos looked very impressive with all of the carved explorers displayed on the monument celebrating the extensive world exploration that the Portuguese are so proud of.

The Tower of Belem on the other hand was…Small! It was pretty but was a little underwhelming, we weren’t sure if a couple of storeys would qualify for tower status!

After a few kilometres of walking, we then fought the crowds to get one of the famous Pasteis de Belem. Queues outside for take away were huge, but we walked in and queued a little for table service. We’re so glad we waited. It was sooo good.

I’ve seen these sugary treats many times in the past and never cared for them as I thought I wouldn’t like them, but I was so wrong. They are so good we had to order a second round. At 1,6€/pastry I should have ordered 10!

They started making these here in 1837, and continue to do so by hand ever day using the secret recipe that originated from the nearby monastery. You’ll see them everywhere in Lisbon, but this is THE place to sample them.

We then made our way back to the city and walked up to Park, a popular rooftop bar sat on the top floor of a multi-storey car park in the middle of Bairro Alto.

Amazing view from up there. Though it was busy we managed to find a table and enjoyed our aperitif to chill after a busy day.

For dinner we walked around the streets of Bairro Alto, and funnily ended up having dinner at a restaurant 2 doors up from our hotel called Tasca do Manel.

We had a lovely meal (we got the veal) and a great time.

Tomorrow we’re starting our road trip up the west coast towards Porto. First stop: Sintra!

#TheDexplorers

TIPS

  • Get to Park early. By the time we left at 8.30pm, the place was packed and seats were impossible to get.
  • Tasca do Manel was a great spot for another traditional Portuguese meal in the buzzing Bairro Alto streets.
  • Time Out market is a must do for lunch. Walk upstairs for a cool view of the entire place (and on this floor is one of the best rated fine dining options in the city).
  • Don’t queue at Pasteis de Belem. Even if you want take away, you’d be better off walking straight in and getting table service. It seats 400, but on a busy day you may still need to queue a little inside, but much quicker than the main outdoor queue.

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