I have not been everywhere yet. But it's definitely on my list. While pursuing my master's degree in Madrid last year, I saw this as a huge opportunity to explore the many cities around me. I arrived in Madrid in October and when Christmas came along, I didn't want to leave Europe.
It was my first Christmas away from home, but at least my boyfriend came to visit me. He suggested going to Lisboa, Portugal with some friends for Christmas Eve and I automatically said yes!
Learn about Storyteller Emmy's trip to Lisbon, Portugal!
On the day of the trip, I got up super early. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was December 23 and I was over the top excited. I was ready to go to the airport about 5-6 hours before departure. We rushed to the airport and we arrived at the gate about 4 hours before takeoff. Then the plane got delayed… And then it got delayed again and again…
We arrived at almost 11:00 pm. I was so exhausted and in a bad mood. But then I realized I had arrived safe and sound and got all happy again. The next day, I woke up and looked out of the window and everything looked like a postcard. The Airbnb was in Bairro Alto, the old part of Lisboa.
All the beautiful tiles caught my eyes automatically. They were everywhere, the streets, the walls, and all unique and different colors. Since everything was pretty close, we walked most places.
Praca do Comercio was our first spot. There we tried Porto wine from the cutest little truck. We then rode Tram 28. The iconic mustard yellow electric rail ride was a fun way to explore the old city. We stopped at the highest area, Alfama.
Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisboa. It's known for its ancient houses and curvy roads with hills. When it was almost sunset we rented an Ape with a guided tour. He took us to the most iconic narrow streets and 3 Miradouros with the most beautiful views of the city. He also gave us an overview of the city’s history and explained how some buildings are crooked due to an earthquake.
The cuisine in Lisboa is all about bacalao and fresh seafood. For Christmas Eve dinner we went to Marisqueria M and had a feast. The bacalao is a fish with a very peculiar taste. We tried it several ways but my favorite was the fried one. Why does everything fried taste better?
Anyways, everything was beautiful and delicious. To be honest, what had me most excited about this trip was the food. The next day we went to have breakfast at Pastéis de Belem. Home of the traditional pastéis de nata. The croissants were amazing but the pastéis de Nata obviously won the golden prize!
Pasteis de nata are a tradicional treat from ancient times. They are like little custard tarts of puff, cream, and cinnamon. After the first bite, all the flavors blended perfectly in my mouth. I had never tasted something like this before. To say it was incredibly delicious is an understatement.
We continued our day touring around. We went to Torre de Belem and the famous Pink Street. We then stopped at the Time Out Market, home of the best plates from all Lisboa gathered under one roof. The octopus hot dog was out of this world. But what caught my eyes automatically was another place of pastéis de Nata named Manteigaria.
For me, Manteigaria had the best pastéis de nata. Nevertheless, if I were you, I would try them both when going to Lisboa. The next day before catching the plane, we even stopped by Manteigaria before heading to the airport. I had to take a few pastéis de Nata home and luckily for me, it was very close to our Airbnb.
Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!