Portugal has never been on my radar of places to visit simply because I didn't know much about the country. But when my dear friends Grace and Paul announced that their wedding would take place in Portugal, Andrew and I were stoked! It's not everyday you get to attend a destination wedding so it was a total honor to be a part of their big day. Everything about their wedding day was absolutely stunning and magical. The venue, decor, and location looked like it fell straight out of a fairytale/romance novel. Don't get it twisted though. I'm not talking about the paperback covers of Fabio on it but the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. It felt as if the bride and groom were the lead characters and all the guests were reading their love story unfold. We truly had a blast celebrating with so many of our good friends on this monumental day and couldn't be happier for the beautiful couple. Is it a coincidence that Portugal was named the #1 destination the same year Grace and Paul got married? No, I think not. Grace and Paul brought all the good vibes. Congratulations lovebirds and thank you once again for sharing this day with us. We love you!
THINGS I LEARNED IN PORTUGAL
- Be prepared for a leg workout. I was huffing and puffing everywhere because of the steep hills and endless stairs. Bring good walking shoes that have good traction. In Lisbon, the streets are tiled so it can be slippery at times. A water bottle wouldn't hurt either.
- It's a mini San Francisco. No really! Lisbon is the sister city of San Francisco and has a suspension bridge that resembles the Golden Gate Bridge called 25 de Abril Bridge. The city has cable cars and those damn steep hills!
- Take notice of all the beautiful tiling on the sidewalks and buildings. Spectacular!
- The locals are pretty friendly.
- At night in Lisbon, there will be a number of people who may approach you for drugs because all use of drugs have been decriminalised.
- Everyone pretty much speaks English there which was a big plus.
- In Lisbon, there are a bunch of tuk tuks.
- It's one of the cheapest European cities to visit. Oh hey!
- Avoid getting a rental car if you go to Lisbon and Sintra to save yourself the headache of parking. There's public transportation and Ubers rides are pretty affordable.
- There's a lot to see in Sintra but you can knock it out in a day if you start early.
- Sintra is so beautiful and at times I felt like I was in one of those romance/fairytale novels. It turns out it's well-known for inspiring Han Christian Anderson fairytale. Makes total sense!
PARK AND NATIONAL PALACE OF PENA | CASTELO DOS MOUROS | QUINTA DA REGALEIRA : This place was crazy with a cool underground passageway! Go see the well, palace, and the green waterfall! | CABO DE ROCA : A cape which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe | AZENHAS DO MAR (Must see cityscape! I recommend going during sunset when the tides are high so the pool is filled | CAFE SAUDADE | TORRE DE BELEM | JERONIMOS MONESTARY | PASTÉIS DE BELÉM : When in Portugal you must eat egg tarts at this famous bakery. Don't worry about seating because this place is surprisingly huge and can seat several hundred | TIMEOUT MARKET : Definitely recommend this place! Most of the places we've tried were delicious! | TAQUERIA PISTOLA Y CORAZON : Not enough time | THE MILL | CHIADO | SANTA JUSTA ELEVATOR | ROSSIO SQUARE (Pedro IV Square) | CAFÉ DAGARAGEM : Hours were weird so we couldn't make it | MIRADOURO DA SENHORA DO MONTE : Cool cityscape of Lisbon. Warning there are a lot of steps to see the view! | ESTAMINE ART FOOD DRINK : This is an adorable two seater restaurant where the chefs are married and cook right in front of you. Due to the limited space you must make a reservation in advance | CASTLE OF SAINT GEORGE : Skipped | SE DE LISBOA CATHEDRAL : Skipped | PRACO DO COMERCIO : Didn't get a chance to see this but we did see it from our Uber ride! haha | BAIRRO DO AVILLEZ : Not enough time