Surprising Finds in Lisbon, Portugal

The Root of Good family started its grand nine week European vacation with five days in Lisbon, Portugal.  After a short flight from Raleigh, Lisbon is an easy 7.5 hour overnight flight from Washington, D.C., so our transatlantic flight to Europe was relatively painless.  We arrived at 10:30 in the morning the next day.  After an arduous journey through the immigration lines, we left the airport by metro for a quick ride to our first (of fourteen) Airbnb apartments that would serve as our homes away from home for the next nine weeks in Europe.

To battle jet lag, I followed the advice to stay awake the whole day of our arrival and DON’T take a nap.  We dropped our bags at the airbnb apartment, hooked up to wifi, unpacked a bit, and did a quick inventory of necessities (“Do we have soap, shampoo, conditioner, and breakfast for tomorrow?”), and headed out for an afternoon of exploring downtown Lisbon so we would be forced to stay awake.  Easier said than done, we had an overly exhausted five year old that fell asleep on the metro ride back to our apartment, and it’s the first time I’ve nearly fallen asleep while standing up (waiting for the metro).

Waking up the next day in Lisbon, none of us really suffered from jet lag. Disaster averted.

Before we jump into the Lisbon trip report, here’s some background info.  Portugal and Spain share the Iberian peninsula in the southwestern corner of Europe, and appear to be similar in terms of climate and culture.  In fact, the two countries shared a king for a period of several decades yet remained separate, independent countries.  Being geographically adjacent, we decided to visit both countries (with Spain covered in a subsequent trip report post).

A quick note on ease of communication: I’m fairly proficient at speaking Spanish which helped immensely when attempting to communicate in Portuguese.  The languages are similar enough that I could get by reading Portuguese, make out some words while listening, and occasionally speak words in English or Spanish to get by.  If you know Spanish, learning the travel vocabulary basics is pretty easy.  English is widely spoken in the tourist areas, but less so outside the center.

 

I'm glad we didn't go bare-bones budget for our Airbnb reservations. This place in Lisbon was nice!

I’m glad we didn’t go bare-bones budget for our Airbnb reservations. This place in Lisbon was nice!  Perfect place to rest up after a flight across the Atlantic.

 

Exploring the City

Our apartment was a few miles from the center of town which meant a 10-20 minute bus or subway ride most days depending on where we were headed.

The biggest attraction in town is the Sao Jorge Castle.  A relic from the days when the Muslim Moors controlled southern Spain for a period of roughly 700 years, this old fortification sits high on a hill overlooking Lisbon.

Sao Jorge Castle

Sao Jorge Castle

 

Our first castle visit in Europe! First of many...

Our first castle visit in Europe! First of many…

 

sao-jorge-lisbon1

 

I'm still not sure how they got the water to the top of the hill to fill up this old moat. Did water run uphill back in the day?

I’m still not sure how they got the water to the top of the hill to fill up this moat. Did water run uphill back in the day?

 

Great views from the castle walls

Great views from the castle walls

 

We took a bus and a tram across the city to see the Tower of Belem. This tower guarded the entrance to the Tagus River, and provided protection for the city and all inland areas of Portugal from ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean.

We took a bus and a tram across the city to see the Tower of Belem. This tower guarded the entrance to the Tagus River and provided protection for the city and all inland areas of Portugal from unfriendly ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean. (note: our son is being goofy – he’s not exhausted or asleep. He simply hates posing for pictures because he’s five.)

 

A short walk from our Airbnb, the Fonte Luminosa or Luminous Fountain entertains and cools us down from the scorching summer heat.

A short walk from our Airbnb, the Fonte Luminosa or Luminous Fountain, entertains and cools us down from the scorching summer heat.

 

Maybe I'm a transportation nerd, but I loved seeing all the trains go by in this "canyon" next to our airbnb. Our apartment is in the building on the right.

Maybe I’m a transportation nerd, but I loved seeing all the trains go by in this “canyon” next to our airbnb. Every five to seven minutes another local or regional train would pass by.  The subway pops above ground for a bit in the far left of the photo and crosses over the railroad tracks.  Our apartment is in the green building just to the right of center.

 

Just across the railroad track "canyon" from our apartment is this deserted city park. Nice way to burn off some pastel de nata consumed during the stay in Lisbon.

Just across the bridge over the railroad track “canyon” from our apartment is this quiet city park. Nice way to burn off some pastel de nata consumed during the stay in Lisbon.

 

Getting Around

We took the Lisbon transit system every day except the final day when we Uber’d (Ubered?) back to the airport at 6 am Sunday since the metro doesn’t start running till 6:30 am.  It turns out Uber is super cheap in Lisbon and doesn’t cost a lot more than transit tickets for short to medium rides around the city.

The transit system has a subway with several lines complemented by a larger network of buses and trams criss-crossing the greater Lisbon area.  Although Lisbon as a whole is rather inexpensive, the structure of the fare system makes Lisbon transit rather expensive compared to most other European cities we’ve visited.  Single transit tickets run USD$1.50 while 24 hour passes are USD$7 per person.  For tourists, no discounts are available for children or families, and even our five year old had to purchase tickets (a rarity with other transit providers).  Frustratingly, the single tickets are not valid for transfers between buses or transferring between the metro and buses or trams (transfers between subway lines are free).  As a result, the day pass quickly becomes an attractive option if you’re making transfers or planning on taking multiple trips during a day of sightseeing.  We mixed it up with some single tickets and some 24 hour passes to optimize the transit spending.

The 24 hour passes can be used on two separate days.  For example, we lazed about the apartment one morning then set out for the day’s excitement around 1 pm which is when we validated our 24 hour pass.  This meant we could travel all day then up till 1 pm the next day.  A small trick, but helpful to stretch a buck when day passes for five total USD$35 per day.

The day pass lets you ride these historic trolleys around the touristic center of town.

The day pass lets you ride these historic trolleys around the touristic center of town at no additional cost.

 

And go up the various elevators and funiculars around town, all for the price of one $7 24 hour pass.

…And go up the various elevators and funiculars around town, all for the price of one $7 24 hour pass.  Though hard to see from this angle, the elevator starts from the ground level where we took this picture and goes up to the top about 80-100 feet where you can walk out to the street level. It’s a hilly city!

 

Food in Lisbon

On our first night in Lisbon, we were jet-lagged and hungry downtown after a day of sightseeing and trying to stay awake.  The kids were starving and exhausted, so we took a break from the tourist trail and stopped into a doner kebab restaurant for some kebabs (something new to us) and burgers (comfort food for the kids).  The whole meal came in at €29 (or USD$31).

Doner kebab prato (or plate) - a double heaping serving of doner kebab meat, veggie salad, and large french fries on the side for USD$6. It came with a soda which we switched for a beer (beer was cheaper than soda so technically it was a downgrade :) )

Doner kebab prato (or plate) – a double heaping serving of doner kebab meat, veggie salad, and large french fries on the side for USD$6. It came with a soda which we switched for a beer (beer was cheaper than soda so technically it was a downgrade 🙂 )

 

Encore appearance of the doner kebab plate - kebab sandwiches on baguettes with tomatoes and olives from the grocery store! Yummy creative way to consume leftovers from huge portions at the restaurant.

Encore appearance of the doner kebab plate – leftover kebab on baguettes with tomatoes and olives from the grocery store and balsamic vinegar provided by the airbnb host. Yummy creative way to consume leftovers from huge portions at the restaurant.  Nice $1-2 bottle of wine and city view as side dishes.

Since we’re on extended travels with our three kids, it’s usually easier to buy nice foods and dine at home or grab take out, rather than try to get the crowd rounded up for lunch or dinner out somewhere, navigate to a suitable restaurant, then wait for our food to come out when our kids are starving to death literally*.

 

* not literally, but you know how kids can over-dramatize

 

Homemade snack time sampler - croissant, camambert and prosciutto (called presunto in Portuguese)

Homemade snack time sampler – croissant, Camembert and prosciutto (called presunto in Portuguese). I forget the exact cost but a fraction of the US cost. Probably $0.50-.75 for this whole plate.

We visited a Portuguese slash Middle Eastern slash South Asian restaurant and ordered several dishes to share.  Chicken curry, steak and egg, empanadas, grilled fish, and burgers. The total was once again €29 or about USD$31 for the five of us.

Chicken curry

Chicken curry, rice, and salad

 

$5 for 3 empanadas and a $1.50 "quibe" - fried meaty deliciousness

$5 for 3 empanadas and a $1.50 “quibe” – crispy fried meaty deliciousness

 

$5 for a steak dinner? Thanks, Lisbon!

$5 for a steak dinner? Thanks, Lisbon!

 

And for dessert - pastel de nata, the most famous sweet treat from Lisbon. We picked these up from the bakery in the grocery store next to our apartment for $0.35 each.

And for dessert – pastel de nata, the most famous sweet treat from Lisbon. It’s a creamy custard baked in a flaky dough.  We picked these up from the bakery in the grocery store next to our apartment for $0.35 each.

 

The $35 big haul from the grocery store to set us up for good eats at “home”:

I love checking out all the different foods they stock at the grocery stores in other countries. And snapping up cheap buys compared to prices at home.

The grocery store had a hot prepared foods counter so I got several different meat filled pastries, a sausage, some croquettes, and a whole rotisserie chicken.  And check out those presunto flavored potato chips.

We have a habit of buying some good bread and sliced meats and cheeses and packing a light lunch to take on the go.  Then we can have a nice picnic whenever we get hungry, or slide a kid a mini sandwich to eat on the go for an energy boost.

 

Thoughts on Lisbon

We had a good time in the city and thought it was a fun introduction to Europe.  Lisbon offers different sights compared to the rest of Europe since there’s the Moorish influence and the climate is drier and hotter.  For those that have only visited the most popular European destinations like Paris and London, it’ll be a pleasant change of scenery.

 

Celebrating my 37th birthday in Lisbon with ice cream cake!

Celebrating my 37th birthday in Lisbon with ice cream cake!

 

The weather was much hotter than usual with temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s while we were there in June.  But it was a dry heat, so not too bad.  On the worst day when temps hovered in the 100-104F range most of the day, we chose to take a “do nothing day” where we were lazy and didn’t leave the apartment for sightseeing.  Though we did explore the neighborhood park right before nightfall when the temperature dropped.  This is part of our “slow travel” philosophy – take it easy and enjoy the traveling.

 

Moon reflecting on the Tagus River - view from our Airbnb.

Moon reflecting on the Tagus River – view from our Airbnb.

 

Food was good and inexpensive, both at the grocery store and at restaurants.  The city is easy to navigate by transit and Uber is so cheap that it’s a cost-effective alternative if you don’t feel like taking transit (or even cheaper than transit if you have four people in your group, for example).  Overall, prices were about 65-70% of what we would pay in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

Took this tiny turboprop for a short hop from Lisbon to Malaga, Spain.

Took this tiny turboprop for a short hop from Lisbon to Malaga, Spain. Note the luggage – that’s all we packed for 9 weeks in Europe.  Bookbags plus some small sacks for miscellanies.

 

After Lisbon, we spent nine days in southern Spain spread across the Andalusian cities of Malaga, Granada, and Seville.  Stay tuned for the summary of the Spain leg of our trip.

 

 

Have you been to Lisbon before?  Any favorite spots we missed? 

 

 

62 comments

  • I’ve never been to Lisbon but it’s on my places to visit. My wife and I did Spain a couple of years ago and everyone said we should have swung by Portugal when we had a chance. I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t after seeing these pics.

    • Next time around! I didn’t have Lisbon on my “must see” list but knew I wanted to go to southern Spain so Lisbon was a natural pairing given geographic proximity. Glad I visited!

  • Portugal seems like a wonderful place to visit. I was wondering when you would update everyone on your trip. It seems like your family is having a great time.

    The prices for things look fantastic. Cheap meals and groceries are always a plus. When I was in Europe about 10 years ago I don’t remember things being so cheap. The strong dollar must be helping you out here.

    I want to take my wife to Europe for our 10 year wedding anniversary (might move it out to 11th or 12th). This post gives me some great ideas for things to see in Portugal. I really want to check out the Sao Jorge Castle now!

    • Lisbon is a great place for something like an anniversary trip. Plenty to see and do. Nice cheap restaurants and groceries. And if you want fine dining it’s probably reasonably priced too (just go a few blocks from the tourist area to cut the prices in half 🙂 ).

  • What a trip! The view from your room in the first picture is gorgeous! I have yet to travel to Europe, but I have heard amazing things about Portugal. Hopefully I’ll be checking back on this post to get ideas while planning a trip in the future 🙂

  • Lisbon is great! I love it.
    It’s good to read all is going well with the adventure in Europe.
    I don’t remember whether Milan is part of your trip itinerary, if that’s the case, just let me know I’ll invite you some beers in the area.

    Cheers and keep us posted.
    Erik

  • Did anyone give you a reason for charging the children for transit? Your son looks like he is sleeping standing up, so cute but probably really hard on him
    I don’t handle jet lag very well. I tried the stay awake routine when I went to England ( not much choice since I was with a tour group) and Hawaii. Felt lousy for two days so have vowed to take that into account if I ever get the chance to travel again.
    Do you research places to eat before you go or is it some special radar that takes you to the best and cheapest food. Great pics.

    • I googled the transit system for the first 6-8 cities and took notes on fares, day passes, what age kids must pay, do you have to buy a transit card, where to buy tickets, etc. I think age 3-4 and under are free in Lisbon but 5 pays. Most places age 5, sometimes age 6 is free. Not sure how they set the cutoff, but that’s how it is. I recall Lisbon’s transit system is weird in that the buses and the subway are run by different companies so maybe that’s why they don’t allow transfers between the two systems (though the electronic transit card we had to purchase works across all transit even the local/regional trains).

      Our son is a goofball and refuses to pose for pictures. This is his “I’m not smiling for the camera look”. He probably ran across the open field right after the shutter clicked on the camera. In fact I specifically recall him running around getting soaked in the sprinklers at that same location 🙂

      As far as jet lag, I’m shocked we did as well as we did. Coffee helped, as did frequent rest breaks. I knew if we stayed at the apartment and took it easy we’d be asleep and wake up right as the sun set and be totally screwed. Next day we were mostly fine.

      Didn’t really research places to eat beforehand. We usually avoid dining in the center of Touristville since restaurants seem to be crowded and priced at 2-3x the prices in non-tourist areas (and often don’t offer much beyond touristic menus). I’ll pay attention to menus as we walk by and if a place looks good and reasonably priced we’ll step in. We tend to go for the fast casual kind of restaurant instead of a fancy sit down (we have a five year old 🙂 ), so that naturally helps cut the costs too. A few places we researched ahead of time to specifically find “good local authentic places where the locals eat” and that gets us the real deal at local prices. Airbnb hosts are often helpful at pointing us in the direction of good local places, and we don’t usually stay in the center of the most touristy places.

  • Oh my gosh this looks uhhh-mazing! 🙂 I love the idea of using an Airbnb for international travel; I hadn’t considered it before but it sounds like a better way to have a more authentic experience. I hate having ultra-touristy vacays.

    • It was really nice. The airbnb in Lisbon might have been the nicest one overall and plenty spacious for the five of us. Transit + local non-tourist restaurants + grocery stores + non-tourist markets = the “real” Lisbon. Downtown is interesting just mobbed with tourists, busy, crowded, dirty etc.

  • I visited Lisbon last year…twice! Once in May as part of a trip to Portugal and again in October as part of a Western Med cruise. Loved it both times, especially the custard tarts:))) (I’m exactly twice you’re age so I have to do all the good bits twice before it’s too late:) As you say, it’s a lovely city to tour around with lots to see and learn. I managed to see the Belem tower also as well as the Pena Palace, the royal summer home. It’s in the hills north of Lisbon where it is cooler…but busier!!! I’m sure the crowds and congestion would not be fun for children but they would enjoy the Palace. It’s very funky. While I’m here I’d like thank you for writing your blog. Love it!
    Cheers. Looking forward to part 2.

    • So you were part of the cruise crowds causing all the congestion?!!? 😉 We’ll probably end up in Lisbon again, if nothing else, on a cruise since it’s a popular stop on Med cruises and transatlantics from FL to Mediterranean destinations.

  • Awesome photos! Looks like you had a good time. Portugal is at the top of our list for next European vacations.

    Also, Im pretty sure the rules state that switching soda to beer is never a downgrade, regardless of price difference 🙂

  • I laughed when I read “a double heaping serving of doner kebab meat…and large french fries”. I thought “you can take the American out of America, but you can’t take the America (jumbo portions) out of the American!”. Then I read about you eating using the leftovers for the encore and thought “No, this guy has it figured out. Luxury on a budget. I’m in.”

    I usually hate eating leftovers when I’m traveling, but on a recent month-long trip we did this several times. And I’ll guess that leftover kebab on baguettes with tomatoes and olives from the grocery store was still pretty fantastic! Keep up the awesome.

    • I didn’t really expect the doner plate to be that huge! Crazy cheap considered the pile of meat you get (and yes, doner meat turns out just fine when reheated since it’s fatty enough to not dry out). Delicious with some balsamic and tomatoes on baguette (possibly better than 1st time around??). And a treat to toss a quick dinner together in the comfort of your air conditioned apartment since many of the local restaurants didn’t have AC and it was 90-105F mid-day most of the time we were there (yeah we’re wimps, especially the kids 😉 ).

  • I like the light luggage. I’d assume you did quite a bit of washing at airnb’s? Did you do by hand or did you try to select some places that had a washing machine? Also, it looked like you had two bags each (at least in the pic). Weren’t the airlines picky that you had two bags as carry on and try to slap a fee?

    Yep, the food looks yummy, I’d just have to shut my mind down somehow and not think about the calories on each of those plates lol.

    • Every Airbnb that we stayed in had a washer, and often a dryer, inside the apartment except one apartment in Malaga where we only stayed 2 nights. We picked places that had washing machines since that makes it really easy to do laundry. In Munich, we found a great deal on a place that only had a washer in the building’s basement (15 second walk from our apartment door) and we had to pump €1.50 into the machine each time we used it (I think used it 3 times). Since we mostly stayed at 2-3 BR apartments, it was easy to find ones that came with washers since we weren’t searching for really bare bones places. So far we haven’t hand washed a single article of clothing but I have used a hair dryer to dry out a pair of socks when it didn’t dry completely overnight (I packed an extra pair of socks but somehow messed up the laundry schedule).

      Airlines never blinked at the 2nd bag. It’s pretty small and very light and we usually only had 2-3 of them total for the five of us. All the airlines we flew allow 1 carry-on and one “personal item” like a laptop bag or large purse and none strictly enforced this, not even Ryanair who is notorious (but apparently relaxed their draconian baggage limit enforcement in 2014). On most flights, we actually have 2-3 checked bags allowed per person, so we could always gate check for free on those if they raised a stink about the bag size/quantity.

  • I just can’t get myself to love the pastel de nata but my husband loved it. Glad you enjoyed Lisbon. We stayed right by the metro stop in the old city and so prices were expensive along the rue Augusta but we did find places cheaper away from the main street. We enjoyed Lisbon as well. Did you visit the Jeronimo monastery when you went to the Belem tower? That was the highlight for me. Looking forward to the Spain part, curios to see what you thought of Seville. Too bad you didn’t make it out here to Valencia..maybe next time! :-).

    • I love that creamy sweet rich taste and texture. On cruises I get the creme brulee every time they have it (sometimes 2 of them!). I equate the taste and texture to that, or maybe a really loose creamier, not particularly egg-y flan.

      We didn’t visit the Jeronimo monastery, but it looked very cool from the outside. Too much to see/do with the kids in tow and I think we went to Belem on day 2 in Europe so we wanted to take it a bit easy. The lines were also really long due to cruise ship passengers, and I have a thing about not waiting in line unless it’s a must-see attraction (in which case I’ve probably already bought tickets 🙂 ).

      I liked Seville but wow was it ever hot. I think I’d recommend it over Granada and the Alcazar over the Alhambra due to Seville having more to see/do and it having less of a touristy vibe to it (but Granada’s winding streets and alleys were very awesome too).

  • did u go to sintra ? you know, i consider moving to portugal after ER. but only after some slow travelling. life is good. please share how much you are spending on those airbnbs. thanks, i will stay tuned to the rest of the trip. boa viagem !

  • Wow it’s an inspiring and motivating travel story. Great tales to tell, thank you for sharing your travel adventures..

  • Wow, I love the look of that Kebab plate! And it seems quite affordable too!

    I’ve always had the impression that Europe was expensive, but you seem to be busting that myth!

    Really enjoying these posts, keep it up!

    • It’s expensive if you stay at tourist hotels in the center of tourist areas in expensive cities (Paris and London I’m looking at you), and move from city to city every couple of days. Staying on the edge of the tourist center, staying for several days to a week, cooking some meals at home (or at least breakfasts at home from the grocery store), going airbnb vs hotels all lead to relatively inexpensive travel costs. And we’re hitting several rather high cost cities (Milan, Venice, Munich, Amsterdam) on this trip yet still doing pretty well cost-wise.

  • What a fabulous way to spend your birthday!!! I flew into Lisbon for the start of my Camino De Santiago but wound up taking the train to Porto due to timing so I missed being able to explore the city. That being said, Portugal in general is so beautiful. Aren’t the prices ridiculously low?! You can eat like a king for $5. Amazing!

    I look forward to hearing about Malaga. It’s on the list for my next go around in Spain. 🙂

    • Malaga was a very pleasant surprise. We only booked a couple nights there since it was a convenient free non-stop flight from Lisbon using United miles, and didn’t want to land and head to the bus station onward immediately. Turns out it’s a decent city with a beach and two interesting castles to explore. I wouldn’t mind going back some day.

  • I really enjoyed this Justin. Keep the travel logs coming. It is a pleasure to live vicariously through you and your family’s experience.

  • I love this! Thank you for your insight and detailed account of Lisbon. I have not been but have heard great things about the prices! I have been to southern Spain three times, in particular Malaga, as I have fallen in love with it! I wish you all a wonderful stay there and look forward to your recap on your adventures.

  • We absolutely loved Portugal! And the pastel de natas were delightful. Any chance you tried a bifana and some peri-peri sauce? I pretty much lived on the stuff. Next time you should definitely check out the Algarve, it is one of my favorite places.

    • Somehow we missed bifana! Though we did cook a similar dish with steak and eat it on what looks like the same kind of bread that bifana is served on. We had the piri piri sauce (there was a bottle in our airbnb 🙂 ) and it was great on those steak sandwiches we made. Nice and tangy – kind of reminds me of some barbecue sauces we have in North Carolina that are vinegar-based.

  • Cheap, delicious groceries are everything! Y’all look like you are having a blast. I like taking local public transit when I’m in a new place. Excellent people watching and often a chance to sit. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  • Looks awesome so far.
    How long did you stay in Lisbon? That will be the first stop on our RTW trip later. I’m thinking about a week would be enough. Then we’ll bus down the coast and eventually to Morocco.
    Good job packing. I don’t want to carry a ton of stuff either.

    • Five days in Lisbon. A week would be nice since you could spend a few days seeing Lisbon, rest for a day or two, and take 1-2 days to do short day trips to places just outside Lisbon. My biggest recommendation with your little dude is adding in plenty of rest days to do nothing. Maybe hit a local park, go out to eat or shop at the grocery/market but don’t do a ton of sightseeing every day. A week in one place for us means 1 day of traveling between cities and getting set up in a new city (grocery store run for shampoo/conditioner/other essentials that we don’t always carry with us) then six days to split between relaxing and touristy stuff (usually 4 days tourist and 2 days chilling).

      As for busing down the coast – make sure to check on the available transit routes. I couldn’t find a lot that was convenient to get to southern Spain so I used a free frequent flyer flight to make the short (by air) trip there. FYI lots of cheap flights to Morocco on Ryanair but that depends on which city you’re leaving from. I recall Seville had some availability (like <$20/person if your dates are flexible).

      • 5 days seems pretty tight. We’ll probably do a week in Lisbon and then take the train/bus down to Lagos.
        Not sure about Southern Spain yet. I’ll have read a bit.
        Good tip about adding in some relax days. We’ll need to home school as well so those down days will be productive.
        Wow, cheap flights. We’ll check that out. Although, taking the ferry would be an interesting experience.

        • With homeschool in the mix, I’d definitely plan on a lot of 1-2+ week stays since you don’t want to be constantly rushing to see things mixed in with completing homeschool assignments.

  • Portugal looks gorgeous! Glad you’re all having a blast… food looks great too, making me hungry..

  • H Justin-I read your blog on Feedly, and it disappeared from my feed. I only saw that you had a new article after reading Physician on Fire, Is there a new link to use for blog feed readers?

  • I guess i am one of the few (or maybe the only) Portuguese readers of your blog! Not currently living in Portugal but i will get back as soon as i get my FIRE number and enjoy what that beautiful country has to offer.
    From your photos looks like you did a great job with the spot choices, they are really on the top of what Lisbon has to offer. For readers that are going there soon, i would also recommend to visit “Parque das Naçoes”, which is a beautiful place to have family walks, near the river, and also try to look for “Casa de Fado” in Alfama which are the most singular Bars/Restaurants with the traditional food, music and style experience that you will get while in Portugal and that you won’t get in any other part of the world.
    Keep up the good writing and enjoy your life!
    Best Regards

    • Great recommendations. The Parque das Nacoes was on my list but we didn’t have time. One day it was over 40C / 104F so we stayed inside in the air conditioning! I figure the park wouldn’t have been much fun on that really hot day 🙂

  • Nice recap of Lisbon, remember vividly visiting the Sao Jorge Castle, really cool place and spectacular views!

  • Wow, Great Pictures !!! Thank you for posting. It is such an inspiration to see such nice pictures of food and travel.

  • I would totally appreciate it if you provide a list of the airbnbs that you stayed at during your trip. Planning a trip to Germany and Italy and will probably overlap with some of the cities for your trip.
    Thanks!

  • Sounds like you and your family are having a great time in Lisbon. The scenery looks gorgeous, and the food looks like they are served at high-end restaurants despite the great prices!

    One thing I dread the most when traveling is jet lag. I visit my family I’m Vietnam often, and it usually takes me a week to recover. I’ve tried to not take naps during the day, but I always end up walking like a zombie for a whole week.

    • Definitely no high end restaurants for us. Kids would be doing backflips on the tables before the food came out! Mostly local places, often ethnic places.

  • I drooled at those yums! I’m surprised prosuitto is so inexpensive, in the US it’s like $12 for half a pound! Can’t wait until we could travel aboard, I’d go just for the food. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Whoa, $12 for a half pound! It’s closer to $15-18 for a whole pound here on the east coast. Once we found a ton of it on sale for around $7 per pound so we bought all that the store had in stock.

  • Justin,

    I love your posts. So much helpful information. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip and all you money savings tips.

    How did your phone service end up working over there?

    • The freedompop service works very well here. Hard to believe I’m paying nothing for cell service and it’s global!

      I thought I would have to toy with it and tweak settings but so far it simply works. Occasionally I’ll have to cycle into airplane mode to re-establish a connection or reboot it, then it works fine. Sometimes the network coverage isn’t available but that’s the case with any provider I suppose. It worked in the six countries we have visited where they claim to have service. Slovenia isn’t currently covered and I can confirm we did not have coverage there. However I saw a cheap SIM chip for $1 at Hofer (the name for Aldi in Slovenia) with plans starting at $8/month if you really needed cell service there.

  • Love the food pictures and descriptions. The best part of travel!

  • Cool that’s great to know the transit system works well there but sounds a it expensive in comparison to other European countries. Never been to Portugal so would love to go there one day. Just now have to consider the little kids too. The food looks amazing.

    • Yes, it’s probably the most expensive part of Portugal – the transit! Uber is pretty reasonable which might help get around with younger kids (though our 5 year old is a champ on transit and he did pretty well at age 3 in the Mexico City metro system and several bus systems in Mexico.

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