When my good friend told me that she would be getting married in Portugal, it was a no brainer that we would attend. I started planning immediately. We went for a week in mid-June and absolutely fell in love! We traveled to Lisbon which is the capitol and largest city of Portugal. We stayed in the city for 5 nights and then rented a Fiat convertible (it was as amazing as it sounds) and drove 2.5 hours south to the Algarve. From it’s cobblestone sidewalks to azulejos covered buildings, Lisbon is insanely charming. The people were so friendly and accommodating that we barely noticed that we were 3,000 miles from home.
what we’re eating
One of our favorite spots was the Time Out Market, located in Barrio Alto. The market was huge and housed dozens of local restaurant pop-ups featuring Lisbon specialities. We got a giant charcuterie plate and a bottle of red for under 20 euros. To follow was pad thai, sushi, and gelato.
Where do we even begin with the pastries?! Every corner has at least one Pasteleria, which meant we had to try at least one of each kind. Pastel de natas were eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert- omg these things were so good. We started most mornings with a cappuccino and Pão de Deus or God’s bread. These delicious little sandwiches were made with a doughy coconut bread filled with ham and cheese- I estimated about 800 calories for these bad boys. I’m seriously regretting not filling my luggage with God’s bread and bringing a year’s supply back to Boston.
Santini Gelado is a must-have in Lisbon. It’s been around for years and it is said to be the best gelato in Europe (we agree!). Sardines are on almost every menu! While we didn’t eat any we couldn’t help but admire the chic packaging- they make for great gifts! When in Lisbon it’s necessary to try some ginjinha- a liquor made with sour cherries and sometimes served in an edible chocolate shot glass.
what we’re doing
Our trip was in June during the Saint Anthony’s Festival, which we will totally do again next time! The streets were lined with bright colored flags and the city turns into one big party. There is eating, drinking, and dancing in the streets until the wee hours of the morning. Make sure to stroll through Alhambra to see the neighborhood prepping for the festivals with the cutest grandmas hanging their clothes out to dry on their clotheslines.
It’s super easy to travel to other cities in Portugal via rental car or train. Just a few hours north to Porto for the amazing wine along the Duoro or a couple hours south to the Algarve and beautiful coastline.
where we’re staying
AirBnb is the way to go! $60/night will get you a chic flat in the center of town that is totally walkable to every place you’ll want to go. We stayed in Principe Real, which was filled with chic boutiques and adorable coffee shops. Lisbon is such a great city to get lost in- we went out early each morning and just took the city by foot (uber’s are super cheap if you walk v. far and are too lazy to walk back)
what we’re wearing
Traditional European chic- the climate is true Mediterranean so the locals are always rocking a leather jacket. Everyone looks sophisticated and cool. Comfort is key- stilettos are no match for the cobblestones sidewalks, you’ll just end up looking like a tourist. I was surprised by how many girls we’re rocking the casual sneaker trend. Supergas, Cons, & Isabel Marants are paired with girly dresses, flowing maxis, and of course, skinny jeans.