[3 Night 3 Days] in Lisbon, Portugal Part. 1

Right after our brutal 2 week exam period, me and my friend hop on a flight to Lisbon. My main motive for visiting Lisbon was for my initial love for egg tart (Pastel de Nata). We escaped the 3℃ (37℉) weather of Manchester, UK to the lovely 16℃ (60℉) winter in Lisbon.

Day 1

After getting through the airport we got ourselves a rechargeable transportation card and hop on the bus heading to city center. The airport was only about 6 miles from city center and it can be reached through either bus, city bus, or the metro. In our case, bus was the cheapest (€1.40) and the fastest (around 15 minutes). After finishing lunch we visited Miradouro de Sãopedro de Alcântara, one of the many view point in Lisbon. Here you can get a clear view of the whole city specially the Alfama Neighbourhood. 
We were greeted by a rainbow upon arrival at the view point

São George Castle up on the hill surrounded by Alfama neighbourhood 
💡Tip: For those planning to use public transportation to get around, I would recommend getting the rechargeable transportation card, which cost €.50 to purchase. This will save you time and money in the long run. With the rechargeable card, every public transportation mode in Lisbon (bus, metro, tram) will only cost €1.40 for a single journey. Without the rechargeable card metro will cost you €1.90, bus €1.80, and tram €2.90. 

Next we got on tram 15E and head for Belém. There, I had my first taste of the authentic Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg tart). A little history of egg tart. They were invented by monks at the Jeróminos Monastery back in the 18th century as a way to utilise left over egg yolks. During tough times, monk started selling these tarts at sugar refinery for extra income. As the monastery shuts down in 1834, they sold their recipe to Pastéise de Belém. As Pastéise de Belém opens their door in 1837, they were the first bakery to start selling these delicious tart. Hence my visit to Pastéise de Belém. I will be describing and ranking each egg tart place later on. We were lucky enough to not have to wait in line and got a seat inside right away. 

💡Tip: Get there early and avoid weekend (if possible). 
Pastel de Nata at Pastéise de Belém: €1.05 each
Just a 5 minute to the left of the bakery, you will see a huge white structure. It's Jeróminos Monastery. More information about the Monastery can me found Here. With blue skies in the back drop, the white exterior of the monastery shines as the sun hits. Admission cost €10 to enter the Monastery. Unfortunately, I did not get to explore the interior of the Monastery due to time crunch. But if I do come back to Lisbon one day, I would love to check it out.

Jerónimos Monastery
Close up detail 
💡Tip: You can purchase admissions to the monastery and Belém Tower together which cost €12. 

Right across  Jeróminos Monastery is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (the Monument of Discoveries). History and information of the monument can be found here. In the background of the monument you might see what looks like the Golden Gate bridge. Its the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. As suspected, the architect who built the Golden Gate Bridge was also responsible for constructing the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. To me, who lived in the bay area for 4 years, it looks like a combination of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge.  
Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos with Ponte 25 de Abril bridge in the back
A quick walk down the pier is our final and last stop on Day 1. Belém Tower. This defence tower was built between 1514 and 1520 during the reign of Manuel I. More info on the tower can be found here. I ran from the monument of Discoveries to the tower to get a picture of the tower before the sun sets. You could actually go up the tower, but by the time we got there it was already closed. 
Belém Tower and it's miniature replica
I would say including exploring the interior of Jeróminos Monastery and Belém Tower, half day should be enough to see everything in the area.

💡Tip: If you are visiting, like me, during the winter be aware of the random showers that comes down side-ways. I would recommend bringing a raincoat instead of an umbrella. However, because we came during their low-season, there weren't as much people around tourist spots. 

To be continue... ⇢ Part. 2


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