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Discovering Lisbon: 8 Unforgettable Highlights from My Trip


I’ve had the good fortune to travel to unique places for work. I’ve been to Singapore, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, and more.

When I had the opportunity to visit Lisbon, I took it.

I haven’t explored Europe much and the idea of broadening my horizons there is exciting.

Here are eight highlights from my trip:

Highlight 1: Staying in Avenida da Liberdade

This area is Lisbon’s equal of the Champs-Élysées in Paris. I’ve never been to Paris, but this area was stunning!

One thing I found interesting is that almost every day, I heard shouting. So I inquired with my host, and they said, “Oh, it’s protestors. It happens every day.”

Highlight 2: Lunch at Pinoquio

I got invited to lunch with locals, and they picked the spot.

  • I ate tons of seafood (recommended: cod fish soup)
  • Everyone took a way longer lunch than I expected
  • After 1.5 hours, I started to get anxious.

This experience made me realize that I condition myself to spend 30 minutes eating while staring at my screen. This experience felt much better.

Highlight 3: Scooters are fun!

Scooters were everywhere in Lisbon.

On Saturday, I took one and zipped around the city. It was more challenging than Toronto but still fun!

Be careful if you find one with a tire that’s not super inflated. The tiles in the city are BUMPY.

Highlight 4: Portuguese pavement is beautiful

The tilework struck me everywhere I went. It was magnificent.

I learned that even today, they’re laid down by hand, following a process created hundreds of years ago.

Highlight 5: Touring São Jorge Castle

I’ve never toured a 900-year-old castle. I didn’t know what to expect. It was SO cool to walk through and experience all the little details.

The one thing that confused me, though: there were no bedrooms! I’m not sure where anyone slept in the place. It felt like more of a communal area for animals than the Camelot-style castle I have in my imagination.

Highlight 6: Sky Bar at Tivoli

What a view.

We couldn't find a spot to sit. I felt annoyed. The high quality drinks drinks (even non-alcoholic) saved the day though!

At first, they weren’t going to let me up! I was wearing Birkenstocks. With some convincing, they relented, and I got to experience the best view of my trip.

Highlight 7: Casa Reia Beach Club

I took a trip down to Costa da Caparica, south of Lisbon. I had lunch at a beach club. The beach clubs informed me that they don’t own the land but lease it instead.

The food was *incredible*. I overate.

If I lived in Lisbon, I’d always want to hang out here.

Highlight 8: Dinner in Bairro Alto

This area is a tight grid of cobbled streets. I went out at around 9:30 PM for dinner. The roads were empty. It was a Thursday night, after all.

Throughout the area, tables fill the streets from small restaurants. I experienced a fantastic seafood dinner at one place. But, again, dinner was casual, and time flew by.

We finished by 11:30 PM. I looked around and saw crowds of people hitting the streets.

It wasn’t a street festival or holiday. This is normal in Bairro Alto.

Walking back through the crowds, I noticed how youthful the city's people are. It’s easy to have fun in Lisbon.

Lisbon was amazing. You should visit!

I want to go back. It reminded me of an older yet youthful San Francisco: huge hills, ocean views, and entrepreneurial energy.

I’m not surprised a few acquaintances have started considering moving there.

Until next time!