After an extensive, two-weeks of travel all over three countries (France, Spain, and Portugal), I ended my travels in Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal and home to the famous, but very strong, port wine. Situated north of the country along the Douro River, the city’s name is derived from the Portuguese’s “o Porto,” which means “the port,” and due to its location, it’s no wonder that it’s so appropriately-named.
The same day that we made our day trip to Sintra, the assistante and I took the train back to Lisbon, where we were to transfer over to another train to take to our next destination in Portugal. We’d taken the 14h41 train, arriving in the Rossio train station, and needed to go across town to the Santa Apolonia train station to get the direct train to Aveiro.
With its elegant and colorful monuments, it’s no wonder that Sintra is a popular destination for tourists whilst in Portugal. From the Castelo dos Mouros (“Moorish Castle”) to the Pena Palace, this small town is the stuff of magical, fairy-tale architecture. It’s only a stone’s throw away from Lisbon, and so it makes for a super-easy day trip over from Lisbon. Which is exactly what had happened last year.
Once our first night in Lisbon was done, the assistante and I had a sunny (albeit chilly) breakfast outside of our hostel patio, which was a hearty platter of bread, fresh fruit, even homemade crepes (prepared by the hostel cook)! Once we finished up, we were off for our first full day of exploring the capital of Portugal.
Lisbon captured my heart as soon as I stepped off that airplane and made my way into its city center. To this day, it remains one of my favorite places to have ever visited in Europe, and it surprises me that not too many people whom I know outside of traveling would consider it a top destination to go see.
…well, I’m here to tell you that you should definitely go to Lisbon, let alone the country of Portugal. Expect this post to convince you, since it’ll basically be me getting stupidly excited reliving my stay from last February’s vacances…and with gorgeous photos to boot, of course (including the one above^).