Bom dia Lisbon! It is a beautiful first day in Lisbon, and I am so excited to wander this city!
Arriving at my hostel, my host recommended me some places to visit on my first day, primarily Barrio Alto, Alfama and Baxia (“downtown”). So, after taking a quick shower (because I haven’t showered for a full day), I left to explore the city.
Lisbon is very walkable, provided you wear the right shoes and don’t easily fall short on breath. Moreover, like Rome, it is built on 7 hills, which means you will be walking up and down A LOT. As someone who likes to walk, I don’t really mind. Instead of following a strict itinerary today, I opted to just walk wherever my eyes led me…
Lunch and dessert first
…But first things first, I wanted to eat―and eat I did! Fortunately for me, there was a vegan restaurant just behind my hostel called Jardim das Cerejas II, which offered an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet for only €7.5 (without drinks or desserts)! Even with a beer and water, it was only €10.20. Highly recommended for hangry vegans!
After lunch, I walked down the Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s answer to Paris’ Champs Elysées. The entire length of the street was lined with high end boutiques, cafes and restaurants. In the middle of the road, there is a pedestrian walkway lined with intricately-placed tiles (calçada portuguesa) and trees to shade from the summer sun.
From there, I wandered into Fábrica da Nata at Praça dos Restauradores, a shop that specializes in pastéis de nata (Portuguese egg tarts). They had a deal for €2.20, which consisted of a glass of porto and a pastel de nata. The pastel was very creamy & a bit loose, and the crust was crunchy and flaky. It was a great contrast of texture! This was a great first taste of the food that made me want to go to Portugal in the first place.
Thereafter, I let my sense of adventure take me places. If I saw something interesting, I would go that direction and get lost in this beautiful city. And believe me, this is a city worth getting lost in.
I found myself lost in the Baxia-Rossio and Alfama neighbourhoods. My eyes gravitated towards scenes of action, viewpoints, interesting architecture, historical structures and local life. Lisbon in July is very busy and crowded, since a lot of Europeans also come here for vacation. Instead of taking public transportation, I just walked to my destinations because  I enjoy it and  it makes me exercise. Check out my photos below!
Miradouros and dinner
The viewpoints of the city are gorgeous. They have a term for it: “miradouro.” And at these viewpoints, there are often bars/restaurants so you can enjoy the view while you eat. Today, I visited two of the popular ones today: Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
I ended the day with another vegan buffet called Lisbon Vegan Restaurante, which had a dinner buffet for only €7.90. The offerings were the almost the same as Jardim das Cerejas II, but had tastier food (in my opinion). I definitely went back for seconds.
Dusk was just dawning when I finished, so I got to see how the city looks at night too. It’s surprising that the city gets pretty chilly in the evening, considering that it is so hot during the day. No complaints from me though, because I have been sweating the whole day. 😆
It was a very beautiful first day in Lisbon, and I am officially in love.~
Vodafone SIM cards for tourists in Portugal.
For tourists, there are a lot of options for SIM cards, especially in Vodafone. Since I only needed data in my 2 weeks, I chose the Vodafone 30GB for 15 days (€15). That would be more than enough data, since I barely touch my 2GB of data back home.
For this SIM card, they also have 20-day and 30-day options. You can also top up the SIM card with another 30GB for €15 – €30.
They also have the general 30-day tourist SIM card, which contains 5GB of data, 300 local minutes and 30 international minutes for €15. A third option is the [data only] 30-day SIM card, which contains 2GB of data for €10.