After completing four years of college, I thought it would be nice to have a getaway to recuperate.
Not to forget, I needed to stock back up on the lack of vitamin D courtesy of the Irish weather.
Lorcan and I decided to go to a beach destination there had access to the city so we went to
Costa da Caparica!
Just southwest of Lisbon where it was filled with locals and not a single tourist was spotted!
Our total holiday costed 359 per person. Broken down it was:-
5D/4N Airbnb Accommodation: 74
Ryanair Flights from Dublin: 90
Food and Drink: 150
Public transport within Lisbon: 40
Exhibition entrance fee: 5
The reason behind the absence of tourists was that we didn't go to the larger beaches along the coast. Instead we went to Santo Antonio, as recommended by our Airbnb host, Patricia.
We spent every single day at the beach at least for a couple of hours under the large umbrella (thanks to Patricia), and we also went bobbing along with the waves.
Best part was, we froze iced peach tea in the fridge and brought it along with us so we could delightfully sip it while we were there and it would be icy and refreshing.
As mentioned earlier, we stayed at a lovely apartment which was a ten minute walk away from the beach. Patricia was an amazing host who helped to recommend all the things we should do and provided a guide on how to get to places - Click here if interested to book her apartment!
Since we had the apartment, we made sure to stock up on delicious food and cooked most of our meals.
So when we ate out we splurged ever so slightly on good food since we saved quite a lot by cooking.
Here's a little summary of what to eat, drink, and do, when in Lisbon.
THINGS TO EAT AND DRINK IN LISBON.
1. Portuguese egg tarts!
We walked into a small cafe which was near Igreja de San António (Saint Anthony Church) and Sé de Lisboa (Cathedral of Lisbon) and just thought we'd like a tasty treat. It wasn't actually half bad.
But if you want to taste the infamous tarts at Pasteis de Belem, head down there but prepare for a queue!
Don't be worried though, the employees are well used to the crowds and are very efficient and on top of things! One tart costs 1.10 and you'll definitely need more than one!
Especially in the summer, it's just essential to sip down a lovely glass of sangria while nibbling on its chunks of fruit.
We definitely had it more than once...or twice.
You can oddly get them both in one sitting but that's probably not the most local thing to do.
3. Eat at LxFactory
It's outside of the city, but worth a wander (recommended by our host), and we loved it and returned to this vicinity twice!
It's an industrial area converted into a neighbourhood of restaurants, bars, cafes, and artwork.
It felt like a little hipster village, so for those intrigued by all things hipster, or just enjoy some good wandering, I would totally recommend!
We stumbled upon Restaurante da Praça in LxFactory because the one we wanted to go to wasn't open but we left extremely pleased.
The weather was also stunning and it was our first meal eaten out (after all the cooking) so it was an absolute treat.
He got the duck within a crispy filo pastry on a bed of steamed sweet potatoes.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the grilled octopus with potatoes and salad (and so did he).
The restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating so you could enjoy its food regardless of the weather!
Altogether we had two main dishes, with bread and olives for sides, with a litre of sangria which added up to about €50.
Within LxFactory, make sure to go to Rio Maravilha which is on the 4th floor on one of the buildings and is only accessible by an old-school lift. Be warned that it is not open on Mondays! (We had to come back another day to visit this place).
You get a lovely rooftop view where loads of the locals are chilling and enjoying some cocktails.
We were lucky enough to get a table despite not having a reservation and we got some complimentary bread with a ricotta cheese dip.
Lorcan got the Iberian pork with dollops of papaya cream.
While I returned to my lovely grilled and slightly fried octopus on a bed of pureed sweet potatoes and other tasty things.
Apologies for the poor quality photo, I didn't realise it was blur and continued to eat my food right away haha!
The waitress recommended the Raspberry Fizz Gin Cocktail which was lovely!
Our dinner ended up being €55 which included two mains, a complimentary starter, a bottle of still water, a glass of wine and my cocktail.
Even if dinner isn't on your agenda, cocktails there start from €6 which is an absolute steal with that kind of view!
THINGS TO DO
Since I already elaborated on why you need to go to LxFactory, I'll not go on about that here.
1. Lisbon City Centre:
Wander around and get lost - especially around the Baixo-Chiado area
Praça do Comércio
2. Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro de Jerónimos)
The old monastery was beautiful and was only a fiver to get in (with a student ID)
3. Padrão dos Descobrimentos
The area surrounding this monument was pretty to wander with little food shops and a great view of the sea.
A little bit of corny love locks were there too.
The monument was commemorating the adventures of Henry the Navigator - so it was a rather slight glorification of colonialism really.
Just like how they stopped by Melaka in Malaysia. I guess it was slightly strange to see the history I learnt in Malaysia from the coloniser point of view.
4. Torre de Belém (Belem Tower)
We didn't get tickets to go up the tower cos it wasn't particularly high but for those who would enjoy exploring the gothic tower, a combination ticket with the Jeronimos Monastery would save you some money.
And that's about it!
Simple and sweet.
Just like those Portuguese egg tarts.