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Falling for Lisbon

Lisbon

After a solid 23 months, almost 2 years, away Dave and I have finally gotten back to Europe. Our last European destination was Iceland back in July of 2014 and just a couple days ago we landed in Lisbon, Portugal and 4 months of traveling in South America.

Now don’t get me wrong, South America was incredible but by mid June when Buenos Aires was in the 40s and 50s at night (that’s 0-10 degrees C for all my not US readers) I was ready to get out. I needed sun and summer.

And when we stepped out of the metro in the heart of Lisbon, my jaw dropped. It was just an instant feeling. I knew right away I was going to love this city.

We have just spent 3 days here and my feelings haven’t changed. I’ve been shouting from the rooftops how much I love it here. I’ve told everyone this is my new favorite European city. I’m practically working for free for the tourism board at this point. I’m ready to start printing stickers sharing my love for Lisbon and plastering them all over my backpack and everything I own.

I feel this strongly about it. This is a highly underrated European city which seems to be getting more popular in recent years (I was here for a couple days in 2009, but this time around Lisbon has had a profound effect on me).

So far there’s nothing I don’t love.

I mean how could you complain when you have:

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Stunning architecture. Simply speechless. Can’t tear your eyes away from the colorful and grandiose buildings.

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Charming neighborhoods. There are so many small hidden neighborhoods in Lisbon where you are whisked away from a city and into what feels like small and intimate family villages with narrow alleyways, the scent of fresh laundry hanging out to dry, and food being grilled in back patios.

Taste of Lisboa Stop 1

Delicious food . The food is damn good here. So much seafood to choose from – a true fish lovers paradise. I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy both a food tour and a cooking class in this city, so trust me, I know what I’m talking about. From smooth and flavorful olive oil, to 2 year aged black pig ham (for the price of 65 euro a kilo), to codfish fritters, grilled sardines, duck rice, various types of sausages, grilled pork sandwiches, the list goes on and on.

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Lots o’ wine. So much wine to sample in Portugal. And it’s CHEAP! In a cafe or restaurant I have gotten a glass of wine for 2 euros aka $2.25. That is a steal. Good luck finding a glass of wine cheaper than $8 on average in Boston. The vinho verde – has got to be my favorite – it is a lightly sparkling young white wine that is perfectly crisp on a warm day.

English widely spoken. Now this one might not be important for everyone, and while I am all for learning the language in a country, (as I did for Spanish in South America) it has been a pleasant surprise to encounter so many locals with more than basic (and at times fabulous) understanding of English. Makes traveling and communicating so much easier.

Out of this world day trips. Just a 40 minute train ride outside of Lisbon you get to Sintra – home to the most beautiful castle palace I have ever seen in my life. I’ve already told Dave he’s got until my 40th birthday to build me a replica house. Is this not the most gorgeous and vibrant place you’ve ever seen?

There are just certain cities that you instantly connect with. For me that was Lisbon. There are so many different places in the world, all with character, culture and personality. Not all of them call to you though. Even cities that you know to be highly respected and very impressionable sometimes just are not a fit for you (in my case this was Buenos Aires). Lisbon, though, Lisbon is a fit.

This is my kind of city.

Need I say any more? Have I convinced you yet? You need to get to Lisbon and see it for yourself as soon as possible.

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