lisbon reminded us of SF in a lot of ways, one of which being that there is a ton to do right outside of the city in less than an hour. we didn't have a rental car, so we relied on public transit [which is great] and our airbnb host to take us places. we decided to spend a jam packed day outside of the city, exploring sintra to the north & a local beach to the south. you can easily spend weeks exploring this region, but i'm so glad we got to see a bit more of the natural beauty that lisbon is known for.
SINTRA, things to know:
- it's about 45 minutes on public transit from the city
- it's beautiful. really beautiful. & picturesque. but unfortunately, also a huge tourist trap. they charge you to enter the castle [which we didn't do, we just walked around] & prices for food and coffee nearby go way up.
- it's very crowded, tons of buses on the small roads that makes the visit overwhelming. if you're planning on making the trip – i recommend eating before you go and arriving in the morning before all the masses arrive.
later that afternoon we hopped in the car for a beach day to beat the scorching summer heat. according to eduardo, typical portuguese way is to have a relaxing morning and hit the beach around 1-3pm. he took us to his favorite spot about 30-40 minutes from the city, praia de galapos. it was the perfect little place to spend the afternoon. we sipped cheap beers, enjoyed swimming in the crisp clean water, and later had fresh fish with live music at a sea-shack restaurant. this is something we never would have found without a host like eduardo. #livethere
some other notable places we wanted to make it to but didn't:
- ericeira the entire town is painted white and is known to be portugal's surf hq (& yoga) with fresh seafood
- aldeia de mata pequena a rural village that you can stay in, half way between lisbon and ericeira, our good friends stayed here and say it's like stepping back in time
- cascais a popular beach for lisbon locals just south of lisbon, public transit takes you there in 35 minutes