I didn’t really know what to expect once I hit Lisbon. The entire time I was in Spain I kept trying to imagine what it would be like. Don’t get me wrong, I know a bit about Portugal for work purposes, but since I had never seen it for myself it was hard to imagine what all that information would translate to.
Was it going to be just like Spain, but with people speaking Portuguese? Was it going to be extremely touristy? All I had was a short list of things I wanted to see based on work notes and the Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation episode I had seen.
What I found, and what I think many people experience when they visit Lisbon for the first time, is that it’s completely underrated. The charm found there is unique to that city. The fact that I didn’t know much about it actually helped me. The explorer in me came out in full force and I walked so much that I still have the blisters on my feet to prove it. The people of Lisbon are inclusive and even though I was alone, I never felt lonely.
I saw many hotels for work purposes, but I actually stayed at an apartment I booked on AirBNB. I like lodging where the locals are, but I was still just a few steps from the center of the action.
Every morning I went to my local café where I would get some coffee and my beloved Pasteis de Nata. This dessert has my heart, because who could resist a pastry filled with custard? No one! You can find them at almost every coffee shop.