You asked for life hacks, you got life hacks.
For some trips (in my experience up to ten days backpacking - for this this I skipped packing my laptop) you only need hand luggage. It’s much cheaper than booking items into the hold and if you know how and what to pack properly you can save a lot of time and money and stress should a hold bag go missing. And here’s how. First off, you’ll need a good rucksack. I would say a rucksack over a shoulder bag because they are much better for your back and harder to pick pocket. Mine is a 30L Osprey Quasar - shown in the featured image. It cost about £45 and when full (and I mean really full) it fits on nearly all airlines. Even Ryanair. It’s worth spending a bit more on a bag that will be better quality. Mine has lasted a year and Osprey gave me insurance to replace it even if a zip breaks in any country for up to a year. I have not needed it and it has …
With pictures and links to gadgets and items mentioned. have a wee look because this took ages to cultivate!
I know. Worst blogger ever award.
Due to personal/family reasons I cut my time short abroad and I am now currently working on the Isle of Lewis, which I might blog about on here as well because, you know, it’s pretty different.
However, considering I left Lisbon quite suddenly and during one of the cools times to be there I thought I would give you a quick run down of my top places/events in Lisbon. Hopefully this will help the few of you who have emailed me about where to go/where to stay etc. Excuse me while I channel my former tourist information persona.
Top places to eat/drink:
- Pois Cafe – Seriously good sandwiches and cocktails. Great atmosphere. Quirky surroundings and lovely staff. Not very Portuguese but delicious.
- Santa Rita – Our recommended restaurant in the hostel. Great curries and traditional Portuguese food. Book a table in advance because that is a busy busy place.
- Pasteis de Belem, Belem – A 15 minute train out of Lisbon centre gets you to this joy of a place. Traditional custard tarts. Every single person I told to go there came back (usually with one for me – yay!) saying that they bought when then went back straight away and bought six. That good.
- H3 – Seriously good hamburgers.
- Ena Pai/Don Joao – Both did great prawns and had friendly staff.
- A Barrigos – I could eat there every day for the rest of my life and just be happy. Lovely staff too.
- Casa 10 – A little eatery in Trafaria (see below). The couple that ran it were very sweet and the steak was incredible.
- Bar 104 – the most soul-less place in Lisbon but you can gt a litre of beer for 2 EUR and really who needs anything else. My friend and I used to go there all the time and take our beers to the look out point drink them there but sadly a new (loosely enforced) law was passed and now drinking on the street is illegal. Pfft. Different 90s movie every night.
- Lux – I only went there once and had a good night. I felt very under dressed and the groups were pretty damn expensive. Fun though!
- All saints – Free bar all night, spectacular music, always ERASMUS nights. I stole a flag off the wall and never went back. Sadly
- Casa Indepente – Alternative and quirky. Good fun!
I really only went to Barrio Alto bars, and there are so many that you really don’t need me to tell you any apart from 104, because it’s such a dump that you would really walk past it.
Sites/places of interest:
- Cabo da Roca – See previous blog post.
- Sintra – Very historical. I really loved the Mouros walls, it was so scenic there. However if you go in summer bring good footwear and some water, it’s a big trek!
- Avenida da Liberdade – Walk right up to the top. Such a pretty view (see featured image).
- Costa Caparica – A beach pretty much untouched by locals. It’s a bit of a drive from Lisbon but so worth it. Estoril is also a lovely beach and much more easily accessible.
- Belem – Not just for cakes. There’s a good art museum/transport museum and a lovely park. There’s also the Torre de Belem (which I was asked to leave – ooops) and the monastery which really was beautiful.
- Trafaria – a tiny little place across the water accessible by ferry from Belem. Very cute.
Festivals (which I was there for)
- Festa dos Livros – Book festival in the last week of May/first week of June.
- Uphill bike race – Mid May sort of time. Basically people race up Rua da Gloria, which is a total bitch of a hill to walk up let alone cycle. There’s some amazing art work up that hill though so when you hit up the race go for a look around there!
- Red Bull downhill bike race – Self explanatory. Crazy people going down mad streets on their bikes hopped up on Red Bull. Do it.
- A Sardinha – Not a place exactly but it’s a really great festival in the first week of June. Seriously. Just go. It’s worth it. Maybe not great if you don’t like sardines because there are so freaking many of them being cooked on the streets and pictures of them everywhere. They have competitions to design the best sardines and they are all displayed in a great museum which is very interesting and worth a visit.
- Wild Walkers walking tours - I’ve mentioned these guys before but yeah. They do tours of Barrio Alto and Alfama. They also do pub crawls which I was not brave enough to take art in because every guest at the hostel who did one was MIA for the entire next day…
And finally, now that I don’t work there anymore I can reveal my old place of residence and work:
There is a great atmosphere in this place, I swear. And I’m not just saying it because I was part of it but it’s in the top three best hostels I’ve seen, and I have seen a fair few. Tell them Kirsty from Scotland sent you. See how many free shots that’ll get ya
If you have any other questions let me know. I feel like I’ll be editing this a lot as I remember more places. Hope you enjoyed!!