Lisbon, Portugal – only about three hours by train from Porto (where I was staying for the long weekend) and definitely a great option for a day-trip. Lisbon is a big city and of course you could spend much longer than a day there sight-seeing and experiencing but a day is all we had and here are some of the highlights!
We took an early morning train from Porto’s main train station Campanhã and arrived in Lisbon around noon. Given that it was the start of December the walk from the train station to Lisbon’s city center was a bit chilly, however the sun was out and its reflection upon the building’s unique tiles was beautiful.
We began our day of sight-seeing with a quick meal and then it was up to the Castelo de S. Jorge for a panoramic view of the city and some fun atop the castle walls. For students under 25 years old the cost of a visit to the castle is only €4. It was quite foggy while we were there and the Pont 25 de Abril disappeared eerily into the mist on both banks of the river – almost gives new meaning to the term suspension bridge.
Our next stop was the popular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (The Hieronymites Monastery). The monastery is beautiful and well worth a wander. Not far from the monastery down by the river’s edge is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries). After a long day of walking it was lovely to sit and enjoy the sunset over the Tagus.
The remainder of our time in Lisbon was spent wandering around the city eating roasted chestnuts and admiring the many Christmas lights and decorations.