Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal in Winter

I honestly didn’t know where to fly this winter but Lisbon, Portugal sounded sexy. Blame it on La Casa de Papel addiction and Somebody Feed Phil’s episode that made my mouth water over Pastel de Nata and dream of riding Tram 28 and with Portugal’s 300 days with sun, I was hopeful even if I have read that January is still the coldest time of the year there.

Lisbon winter itinerary

I booked the flights and it didn’t really matter where I was going. All that mattered was that I was going to go back to one of my first loves which is traveling. Survival mode is over and it’s time that I enjoy everything this life has to offer and that includes going somewhere to relax and give my over-stimulated senses a break and tons of sunshine.

Read also: How a Painful Break Up Pushed me to Travel the World Solo

Not that I have a life I needed an escape from but since going back to school, spending the same amount of time in the field although gives it gives me so much fun and fulfillment, having 36 years in this world, this body is already starting to notice the huge difference compared to when I was few years younger and few pounds lighter.

And no. I am not complaining. I am just really thankful for the fact that I am able to heal my entire life and it’s time to come out of my shell.

Read also: Goodbye Freedom Lifestyle: A New Chapter

No plans and no bucket list

I really had no bucket list for Lisbon but I got myself a tiny book for some ideas. I have lost patience googling. I needed something that I could hold with my two hands to get information from. Also, even if I had no more wish of traveling alone, I also couldn’t wait until everyone has the time to be my travel buddy. I had no problems flying solo.

Read also: How Traveling Solo Stopped me from Sabotaging Myself.

I didn’t really know what I was thinking but I messaged my cousin in Spain whom I have not seen since we both left the Philippines eight years ago and got the confirmation that she’ll fly there to meet me the following day. She was even the one who searched for the hotel and booked it. Ah. Travel bug runs in the family.


The tropical girl in me is still confused about what’s winter cold and what’s not. It is still Europe and for me, it is always cold and it is better to over-pack instead of freezing there.

I brought two winter jackets, five pullovers, three leggings, two pairs of pants, two dresses, one cardigan, five shirts and three pairs of shoes and though I knew that I have gone way overboard and I might not be able to use them all, I still wanted to have plenty instead of feeling frustrated that I didn’t have enough.

Arriving in Lisbon

Clear blue sky.

I couldn’t stop myself from taking photos of the clear blue sky while I was in the airplane. The view from reminded me of how Thailand looked from above with its sea and lush greens that I could only wish we flew a little bit longer for eyes to feast on the view.

Getting out of the plane reminded me of Germany‘s spring weather I didn’t dare wearing the winter jacket that I was holding. The one that I was wearing on my way to Cologne airport and the one that I’d be wearing when I fly back.

It was such a breath of fresh air from Germany’s gloom.

Getting around Lisbon

The hotel’s staff was so friendly and helpful that I didn’t expect she’d give me tips as to how I’d get to the hotel. She whatsapped me the night before my flight asking me what time I’d arrive and for me to inform her once I was on my way to the hotel from the airport. She even messaged me when she knew that my plane has already landed. She even told me that with my luggage, it’d be better to take the cab because it doesn’t really cost so much.

Read also: 100 Little Things That Make Me Happy

I just wanted to take the public transportation. I knew that my arrival wasn’t rush hour so there shouldn’t be a lot of people using the Metro or even the buses.

I am also thankful that I could use my phone as if I was in Germany. That gave me so much comfort knowing that I still felt connected and that I could always find my way given how little I researched and knew about Lisbon.

Even if until now direction still doesn’t count as one of my strengths, the little research that I have done has shown me that it isn’t so hard to get around Lisbon using its public transportation and Metro.

Plus the fact that they spoke English there unlike when I was in Laos where I had to ask the owner of the cafe where I ate to write the name and the address of the hotel on a piece of paper so that I could show it to the person on the street I’d see to point where I must go.

It’s probably the number of sunny days Lisbon has but it gave me a feeling that I was in Malaysia. The people weren’t scowling like how Germans do as if it’s their default face.

I was able to buy the card that I was supposed to be using for the Metro and hopped in the first one that stopped not knowing where I was really going. A lady hopped in with a luggage too and I remembered her from Cologne Airport.

We spoke for a bit and I panicked a little when I couldn’t tell her where I was really going. I covered my fears with laughter and I knew she detected it because she told me that it is very easy to get around Lisbon using the Metro. I showed her the photo the hotel staff sent me and the lady taught me how to get there before she got off.

Until now, I am amazed by how my guardian angels are always everywhere ready to point me to the right direction and to make the decisions that would give me more peace, happiness or even life lessons.

I got off at the hotel’s stop with a swollen heart. Previous google map showed me where it was and which direction I should be taking from the Metro but I didn’t realize that there might be other exits from the metro and with a backpack and a luggage, it was a challenge dragging my 13 kilo luggage that made a loud noise on Lisbon’s cobble-stoned streets.

I started sweating as I paced back and fort. My internet connection has been slow and Google maps has been taking me to different directions that I needed to ask for directions and later, gave up and tried to call the hotel’s staff for help.

I was dressed for Germany’s winter so I was already feeling sticky and sweating as the hotel staff left. I was also hungry. I only had coffee at the airport and it was already past 5 pm. The bed was already inviting me yet I couldn’t decide what I’d do. Why didn’t I eat when I arrived?

I stopped myself from hoarding cup noodles and crackers when I saw that there’s nearby convenience store when I was searching how I’d reach the hotel from the airport. That calmed me down but I must admit that I was too dependent to my cousin and the fact that I didn’t have to explore Lisbon on my own that I didn’t really bother to learn more or to even look for a place to eat. Even eating didn’t become a priority.

I laid down for a bit. My body has been on adrenaline rush not just since that morning before leaving for the airport but also from packing, from the holiday celebrations and all the work I have been doing. My body has been producing so much cortisol than I wanted to and arriving at the hotel and seeing how pristine the bed was, I just needed to gather enough strength to get up again and look for something to eat.

This trip actually marks more the beginning of the new life that I have worked hard for to have and I am more than ready after years of doing even the harder inner work of observing myself and asking myself the most important life questions to go out and see more beauty the world has to offer; from new places, new people and new food to tackle my fatigued taste buds.

When after few minutes of not being able to sleep and after informing my loved ones that I have arrived safely, I went down to go find food. I intended to try the convenience store across the hotel. I love convenience stores and its still one of the things that I miss back home but here in Germany, there are bakeries in every corner and they even sell coffee so it’s probably redundant to have them too.

I walked as if I knew the place. My heart was growing fatter and fatter and it’s quite hard hard for me to keep my eyes open when I want to savour something. I have the habit of closing my eyes when I enjoy something. A habit meditation gave me but would put me in great danger when crossing a beautiful yet unfamiliar street.

I realized more than the past few days that I’d be alone in Lisbon for two days and even if this trip has been booked two months prior, that me and my cousin didn’t really had a concrete plan of what we wanted to see. We’re actually more excited to be seeing and spending time with each other than what we’d see and do in Lisbon.

And I am more excited to be relaxing in a place that I didn’t know so much about. When I tried all the goodies I have bought from the convenience store, I went to bed to sleep. I only wanted to nap but I also couldn’t shake away the anxiety that came from the fact that I was there to explore but I was just there in the hotel.

I also didn’t want to beat myself up. When I was in Thailand and it rained, I was just in the hotel room enjoying the hotel bed and I wasn’t even aware of what self-care or self-love then. I didn’t know how to listen to my body. I was young. My body was young. It wasn’t complaining.

When after half an hour passed and I started feeling that I have somehow started regaining some energy, I got up to get ready to go out and start exploring.

Since I was still full from the goodies I tried from the nearby convenience store, finding where to eat wasn’t the main goal. My main goal was not to sleep early and wake up in the wee hours of the morning and wonder what I could do and walking around the Chiado sounded like a good idea.

The first thing that I saw when I got out of the Metro station was the flock of people. There was a musician playing Bailando and people were not just looking at the musician and leaving. They were singing, dancing, filming, smiling, laughing and actually having fun. I stayed longer. I had no schedule to adhere to and I could stay late as much as I wanted to.

What caught my eyes were the Christmas lights. It was the second of January and they haven’t removed all the Christmas decorations. I instantly felt more thankful to get the chance to see them. I started walking without knowing that I have reached Bairro Alto and São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint where Sangria and Ginja were being sold and I couldn’t help but order one for myself, sat on one of the many benches there and took my time enjoying the view.

Lisboa, Portugal

The trip going down the cobble-stoned hill was more challenging with alcohol. I needed to calm myself down before I started walking around again.

Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Portugal in Winter

The Bertrand Bookstore or Livraria Bertrand

The Bertrand Bookstore Lisbon, Portugal

Being a book-nerd, I wanted to see beautiful libraries and bookshops. And I am not calling it a coincidence that few days before my trip to Lisbon, I have googled what bookstore or library can I see there and the oldest bookshop turned up and there’s no reason for me to miss it.

Read also: 10 Books That Dramatically Changed My Life.

Livraria Bertrand holds Guiness record for being the oldest operating bookshop in the world.

The second day I woke up with a bad headache and I was already convinced that I’d just sleep the whole day and wait until my cousin arrives and then we’d start exploring. I came to Lisbon to relax anyway.

Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal in Winter

I got up when the breakfast arrived. I couldn’t help but close my eyes again and uttered grace. I felt so spoiled and I felt so much joy in being able to sit there in silence, enjoy the view from the hotel, how good the food looked, tasted and how the smell of coffee promised a better day.

Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal in Winter

I took my time meditating, journaling and having breakfast. In moments like this, I feel God’s presence in my life and I wouldn’t let it slip away without my gratitude.

Read also: How Journaling Cured my Depression

I felt bad when I couldn’t eat all the food. I thought I’d save it for later even if I knew that with all Lisbon’s fresh seafood and mouth watering delicacies, it’s close to being impossible.

I went back to bed to rest a bit more and got ready to leave at around 1 PM. A friend told me that I could at least go to the riverbank and rest there instead which was a very good idea. The river was across Time Out Market where I wanted to get Manteigaria Pastel de Nata and near Pink Street. I felt like a grown up who had my shit together when I needed to check the map and had to do three Metro transfers to get there.

The good thing about this winter trip is that there weren’t so many people and the Metro wasn’t full. I was grateful that I had headache earlier too that I was able to avoid other people commuting.

My soul started singing when I first saw the blue water. The sun was out. I immediately sat on the ground and closed my eyes to listen to the waves crushing on the shore. I opened my eyes to enjoy the blue waters, the birds flying or playing on the shore and ships and boats passing by.

After half an hour, I got up to for a walk until I could see the 25 de Abril Bridge and Cristo Rei Christ Statue clearer. On my way back, I saw a restaurant and wanted to have coffee and eat again when my cousin arrives but the smell of the freshly cooked seafood and the view were just so inviting that I forced myself to shrug the guilt that came from the fact that I just had a big breakfast and that I might not be able to eat when my cousin arrives.

Cristo Rei and 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal

I got two free bowls of bread, olives and a glass of white wine while waiting for my order but I could hardly touch them. I wasn’t hungry yet I made sure to eat what I ordered. I even ordered coffee after and sat there to enjoy the view longer.

Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal in Winter

I knew I had nearly two hours before my cousin arrives and I wanted to go see Time Out Market. It was just across the Metro station. I got four pieces of Pasteis de Nata even if I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat that yet. I just wanted to save the others for my cousin. After having a look around, I started walking again to see the Pink street.

Pastel de Nata, Pink Street in Lisbon, Portugal

I slowly started to walk towards the Metro station. My cousin would be arriving soon and she didn’t have a hotel key so I must be there to let her in.

As much as I got excited for this trip, I got more excited that I’d see my cousin whom I grew up with after eight years. We didn’t stop talking and laughing and we needed to remind ourselves that we wanted to go out.

We did went out and took the bus that would bring us to Bairro Alto. It was the wrong bus and we got off the station near Basilica da Estrela or the Royal Basilica and Convent and ancient carmelite convent in Lisbon, Portugal.

Basilica da Estrela in Lisbon, Portugal

In between our stories, laughter, confusion and the goal to at least explore and have dinner in Bairro Alto, we took pictures and even ended up hopping in on the famous Metro 28 which we literally needed to flag down. They don’t stop in the bus station like how we expected them to. We’re in Europe and not the village we both grew up in.

Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Portugal

We ended up in Casa da India where they’re serving Portuguese menu. It’s the long line and the number of people eating inside that got us to waiting. We ordered Seafood curry and grilled octopus and later, one large french fries. Their food was good and very affordable.

We started the next day late but we were able to open the door for the daily breakfast in bed at 8:30. I was happy that I didn’t have to eat alone and happier that me and my cousin are both spontaneous. We both didn’t care if we’d not see everything that other bloggers and vloggers deem that every tourist must see and do in Lisbon.

After breakfast, we started getting ready. We just wanted to ride Tram 28 again to go to Alfama, see more of it and then head to Belem to see the Belem Tower, catch the sunset there and drop by Pasteis Belem to try the original recipe of Pasteis de Nata.

The whole Lisbon looked even more charming when looking at it from the Tram 28 and since the people in Lisbon are still using Tram 28 as their daily normal form of transportation, starting the day later gave us the chance to look at everything while sitting in the tram comfortably.

Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

We decided to get off at Alfama where the view was just breathtaking. We of course had to try Vinho Quente or the hot wine which is Germany’s Glühwein. It was still early but we were already tipsy. We strolled around Alfama Vinho Quente infested brain and senses.

Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

We kept walking until we reached Baixa de Lisboa which is the historic heart and commercial center and we decided to stop for lunch here and wait until we could go to Belem to catch the sunset.

We ended up at a restaurant that offers day’s special at 11 Euro which was complete from appetizer to main dish to dessert, a drink and a hot beverage. I hoped I could still try gelato from the nearby Gelato Therapy but there wasn’t any space on my belly anymore.

I enjoyed the fish that I ate with salad and potato and Sopa Catalana which is a soup that has bread inside, a poach egg and minced bacon. My cousin said it is a famous Spanish soup.

Sopa Catalina

We ate in between telling all the stories we have saved during the eight years that we didn’t see each other. We even laughed louder in celebration at the fact that we could tell our stories in a language that nobody could understood us. I am grateful that we speak Tagalog and we didn’t have to worry that others would hear us when we share our outrageously embarrassing, sad and funny stories.

After declaring that our jeans are close to exploding and making the payment, we both headed out. We had about an hour or so to catch the sunset. We saw a Tuktuk when we were crossing the street and after asking how much it costs to get to Belem and was told that it’s 10 Euro each, we hopped in. We haven’t experienced Tuktuk in Lisbon and we both wanted to try it even if the fastest and cheapest way would be taking the train.

Me and my cousin already understood that it is indeed cheaper in Portugal than it in Germany and Spain so we really spoiled ourselves. We both are studying, working and continuing to learn our third language therefore we both deserve this little luxury and this break.

The Tuktuk driver was friendly and very chatty. He was also delighted to have passengers as warm and friendly like us which I understood that not all tourists especially from Europe are. Europeans are friendly in their own ways but they need more time to warm up unlike us from the Philippines where we are already friends after talking for five minutes.

Seeing everything from the Tuktuk was such a heavenly experience and I was grateful for the weather. The Tuktuk driver said that the previous week was raining. If it had rained that day, that Tuktuk ride wouldn’t have happened.

We reached Belem as the sky has started to change colors and the sun has started to set. One of the best sunsets that I have been was in Bali and now it is a toss up between the two considering that Indonesia is a tropical country and Portugal is still in Europe and it’s winter time.

The Belém Tower, Winter in Lisbon

We started taking photo after photo and walked until we reached Windrose in front of Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument. We changed the side of the street by going down the underground and walked further until we reached Mosteiro dos Jerónimos which is a world heritage listed Gothic Monastery.

 Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal

We were already tired by this time and all we wanted to do was go back to the hotel, rest for a bit so that we still could go to and experience Fado music in Alfama.

My cousin was already frantically abusing her mobile phone and data searching for ways on how we would go back to the hotel but I suddenly remembered that we wanted to go and try Pasteis de Belem and even the locals said that they have the most original recipe.

My cousin googled how far we were from the store and was surprised that we were just a minute away from it. We continued walking and we saw it. We ran crossing the street and couldn’t even wait until we reached the pedestrian lane. I wasn’t proud of myself but I was happy. My brain on vacation didn’t fear anything but muggers. The line was long and I was not surprised.

Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Even during winter, there were still tourists who wanted to try it. I can’t blame them. Portugal winter is like Germany’s spring with lots of fresh air, fresh seafood, beautiful places and people. We fell in line and waited for probably half an hour only to be told that we were on the wrong line. That line was actually for those who wanted to dine in or use the wash room.

My cousin and I just laughed about it like what we have been doing since we saw each other, well, aside from eating.

The crew was then so kind to tell us that we could go straight to the next counter for take out so we didn’t have to go out and fall in line again. Me and my cousin were debating how many pieces we were getting. We haven’t actually digested what we ate in Alfama.

We wanted to just buy one piece each but decided that since we were already there and it is not so near from our hotel, we might as well buy four so we’d have one piece each left when we reached the hotel.

We got four pieces, headed out of the store and starting taking photos of them. The moment we took a bite, were not able to stop and didn’t say anything about it. I knew I wanted one more piece. We both couldn’t stop saying how good it was and we both ate the last two pieces and we both decided that we wanted to go back to get four more pieces for later.

My cousin then googled how we would be able to come back to the hotel. My cousin found out that there’s a bus across Pasteis de Belem that drives until a bus stop near our hotel which would take 45 minutes. We took that one and continued our never ending stories and funny anecdotes while we’re in the bus. We were both tired when we reached the hotel.

Nobody thought of going about where we’d go to have dinner nor of going out anymore but couldn’t forget the Mcdonalds a few kilometers away from the hotel so delivery it was. That trip wouldn’t have been complete if we were not able to try their finest cuisine: Mcdonalds. We ate and went to sleep.

Mcdonalds delivery in Lisbon Portugal

Sintra Day Trip

On our second to the last day, we decided to go to Sintra. We wanted to see the first centre of European Romantic architecture in the 19th century. We have already seen what we wanted to see in Lisbon and it’s not my cousin’s first to visit it too and it’s very easy to get around Lisbon even by just walking or with their public transportation.

We took our time enjoying our hotel breakfast and started getting ready even if my head was already starting to hurt again. I just shrugged it off. It wasn’t that bad. It could probably be the abrupt change of weather or the altitude or the lack of proper sleep. We have been sleeping so late the last few days where I got used to sleeping at 8 PM when I had to go to work at 6 in the morning.

My cousin searched how we’d get to Sintra and as she was in the shower, I also checked but also found out that there was train strike that week however, we still wanted to try our luck. As we were trying to buy our train tickets from the machine and when we were not sure which ticket that we can use until there, we pushed the button that says to push it in case we wanted to ask questions. It amazed me that they actually work and that there’s actually someone who will answer your questions.

The voice there told us which train ticket we should be buying for Sintra but also said that it was not a good week to go to Sintra as the trains were on strike. But I saw information online that that the taxi going there only costs 35 Euros and for two people sharing it, 35 Euros were not actually so much. But my cousin actually found another cheaper way to get there. It’s called Bolt. It’s like Uber but cheaper. It only cost us 16 something Euros to get there.

We went outside the Metro station so that the driver would be able to find us easily. The drive took roughly half an hour and we braced ourselves for more walking. Sintra is also called the Moon Hill and I knew that we’d be in for so much walking.

But we just started walking when we both started looking for something heavier to eat. Our Filipino blood runs so deep that just bread for breakfast just wouldn’t get us very far and we both ended up at a beautiful restaurant in a cellar that offers a buffet for just 13 Euros.

We went down to check it out and when we saw rice and meat, we just had to eat. 13 Euros for a complete traditional Portuguese meal and buffet and with rice, I just couldn’t think of anything better than that. We were even the first ones there. We took our time eating, chatting and laughing.

Sintra buffet

We both concluded that it was still so early to start walking. When we paid our check, the lady at the bar even told us where to go. We stated walking and men we walked so much! But when my headache started getting worse and the painkiller I took in the car started losing its effect and when my cousin saw how long the walk would still be, we decided to either take the car to take us to the castles we wanted to see but also decided that it’s probably going to cost more even if it’s just five minute drive from where we were.

We then approached the lady Tuktuk driver. We asked how much to reached Pena castle. When she said 10 each, we didn’t hesitate to hop in. She started driving and Phil from Somebody feed Phil was right. That Tuktuk ride though it’s going to give you a 365 degree view of the city, it’s going to make you question if you really need your last two vertebrae.

As we started traversing the ups and downs of the hills, the lady driver also started driving faster to make sure the Tuktuk would keep up with the steepy ride. It was bumpy and she was fast. I started holding tighter and laughing louder. As my laughter got louder, so has her driving got wilder. It didn’t feel like we’re on a Tuktuk anymore. I felt like we were in Fast and the Furious movie scene set in Moon Hill.

My cousin started screaming and looked as if she was already hugging the handrails. In a really loud voice she said that she’s still young and she’s not insured. The driver asked what my cousin said, I translated and laughed louder.

The lady driver drove faster and wilder. She was driving in such a way that the Tuktuk would swerve and shake and the more that the Tuktuk swerved and shook, the tighter I held onto the handrails and the louder that I laughed. The more that I felt alive and thankful that I felt more alive.

My headache was gone and with a louder voice, I told the lady driver that and the crazier she drove. I noticed that the supposed to be 5 minute drive was starting to become longer and that some of the places were starting to look familiar. The lady driver gave us a better and longer drive for us to see more of that beautiful place. She was giving more information.

We stopped at a house and she said it was J.K Rowling’s house which I couldn’t confirm online. She said J.K. Rowling was nice. What I was able to confirm later on was the fact that J.K. Rowling indeed lived in Portugal and spoke Portuguese. Our lady driver might be telling us the truth.

“That’s the spirit!” The lady driver said as we continued to drive and I continued to laugh and scream as if I was on a rollercoaster. When we arrived, she even got off the Tuktuk and we even hugged. I learned that her name was Katarina. We stood there as if we were long lost friends and it felt a bit sad that we’re supposed to be moving on with our plans of touring the castles.

I just saw that there was already a couple who hopped in the Tuktuk. When I saw them, I told the guy that the driver is a badass and that they should enjoy the ride. He said he saw that and wanted to experience it. Despite having a line of Tuktuk waiting at the Castle entrance, Katarina got the passengers without having to wait or to look for them. Our regret was not asking for her contact number.

We were still high because of the ride that we couldn’t decide which castle to see. There were seven of them there in Sintra and I didn’t think we’d finish them that day so I just told my cousin to pick one. All of them were nice and rich with history so the one that stands out would be the one that we’d visit. I was okay with anything that day. I saw Sintra and I have already seen everything that I wanted to see in Lisbon. I only had Fado music left to experience.

When my cousin already decided which castle to see, we went to the machines that sell them and bought the tickets from there. My internet was then very slow that my cousin has to be the one in-charged of all the researches. She said we could take a cab to go there and even if we wanted to take another Tuktuk, we wanted to sit and relax.

Our poor backs couldn’t afford another round of bumpy ride.

Monserrate Palace

According to Wikipedia, “The Monserrate Palace ( Portuguese: Palácio de Monserrate) is a palatial villa located near Sintra, the traditional summer resort of the Portuguese court in the foothills overlooking the Atlantic Ocean north of the capital, Lisbon.”

Monserrate Palace in Sintra,

The palace isn’t so big but the architecture was stunning. It’s just indeed “Nature over Man” and I felt that. I was in awe the whole time we were there. I had the feeling that I was in Morroco or at least in the middle of Europe, Middle East and Asia with the palace’s intricate details, its never ending greens, the falls, the bath, the little river that flows and just almost everything about the place.

Monserrate Palace in Sintra

We wanted to leave before it gets dark and booking for Bolt or Uber was not possible. It was already rush hour and they’re all booked out. The alternative would be to take the bus to Sintra train station and check if the trains are already driving to Lisbon or order Bolt to bring us there.

It wasn’t actually a problem. There was a bus stop just outside the Palace and they also accept cards. Even the drive to the Sintra train station was fun. The bus driver was very funny. I almost felt like I was in Asia with so warm people. That’s hard to find in Germany unless you already know people for a long time.

When we reached Sintra train station, we immediately checked if the trains are coming. Some would but it would take a long time. We wanted to go back to Belem to buy Pasteis de Nata as presents for our family and friends. We also wanted to go back to Alfama to listen to Fado music.

My cousin then started booking our Bolt ride and while waiting for it, she was then out of my sight. When she came back, she was holding something in her hands. She bought Pastéis de Bacalhau or fish cakes that were made with salted cod. They’re so good that she had to go back to buy more and they’re sold out so she only had one and was recommended to try chicken pie which was also good. We munched on them in the car on the way to Belem.

Tasca do Chico

We were ready to pass out when we reached the hotel. We needed time to rest and catch our breaths before we head out again and enjoy our last night in Lisbon. We didn’t want to leave Lisbon without experiencing Fado music and we could rest and nap in the plane and we still have few days before we go back to our normal school and work so we just gave in.

We also understood that Fado music starts late that’s why there’s no need for us to rush. When we felt that we have rested enough, my cousin ordered our Bolt ride and we headed to Tasca do Chico. My cousin’s research showed her that Anthony Bourdain went there so it must be good.

When we arrived, there was only one table left and they were just about to start. We were just in time.

Fado is a Portuguese folk song that is known for being melancholic, expressive and usually accompanied by guitar where the singer sings about the realities and hardships in daily life. A guy at the airport described the music as depressing but for me it’s soulful and very rich in emotions like how people should be.

Fado Music in Lisbon

The show came to an end and we were only able to order two fish cakes and olives before the kitchen closed. We then paid and my cousin ordered Bolt ride back to the hotel. At the hotel, our stomachs couldn’t settle down with just a happy heart and soul. Our last meal was the buffet in Sintra and we also didn’t pig out so we had to try Ubereats and ordered fried chicken. We slept with a happier stomach.

We’re so lucky to have experienced everything we have experienced in this trip. And though I also thought that there’s so much more to see and do in Lisbon based on the blogs I have read and vlogs I have watched but I also realized that sometimes, when we travel, it is not about being able to see and do everything others have done and seen but sometimes it’s the company and the beautiful energy, the fun and laughter we have while being at the moment.

I realized the only way to travel is the way that feels good for you and the one that makes you smile or laugh when you think about it when you’re back home.

Have you been to Lisbon? What’s your favorite thing about Lisbon? If you haven’t been to Lisbon, is Lisbon on your bucket list? And what about Lisbon that excites you?

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