At 2h20 from Paris, Lisbon is the perfect destination for a weekend.
If you want to discover a poussada (hotel set up in a historical building) listen to fado, see the castel of St George (castelo de Sao Jorge), the Tower of Belém, the Monastery of Hiéronymites (the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)… Go ahead, you will not be disappointed.
I was conquered by Alissubo “the delighful Harbour” (Lisbon name when it was created).
As we arrive at Praça do Comercio, the former square of the Royal Palace, we drop our luggage at Poussada and we leave to go for a walk to discover the city.
Located in the hills we discover the Castelo de Sao Jorge, successively Royal residence, military district and prison. The ruins of the castle give a terribly romantic look to it. From the top we have a stunning view of the whole city.
On the way back, we stop for a visit to one of the oldest cathedrals of the city : La Sé, the interior is sober. I can resist to take a photograph of electric tram in front of the cathedral is so typical of Lisbon, it goes perfectly with the scenery, i love it!
For the dinner, we eat to Time Out in the neighborhood of Cais do Sodré . Imagine being in a place or whatever you want to taste, you can find (or almost), different restaurants in a covered market are assembled. We share a large table, it really pleasant, i like the mood. When will we get the same concept for Paris ? We end the evening in the lively Bairro Alto district, listening fado.
To get back down to our hotel, we take the elevator of Santa Justa, the building is a gem, which connects the Bairro Alto and the Baixa. In Neo-Gothic style it’s the only vertical historical elevator of the city ; from there you also have a great view on the Tejo ( Lisbon river name) and the Castelo Sao Jorge.
Belém Tower on the west, along the Tejo, you can see this building listed as a World Heritage Site of Humanity, a jewel built in water. A fortress constructed in 16th century at Manuel 1er’s request to defend the port of Lisbon.
Not far from there, a marvel of the Manueline style, the Monastery of the Hiéronymites, which i did not know. If you like the sculptures, it’s grandiose : the vault, the arches, the portal by the architects Boytac and Castilho (1541). And the Church of Santa Maria where the tombs of two national heroes are located : Vasco de Gama (grand Navigator) and Luis de Gama (poet).
On the way out of the Monastery, we find the pastry shop making pastel of nata, at Pasteis de Belém since 1837. The egg flan tartlet, wrapped in puff pastry, tasted warm and sprinkled with cinnamon, whose recipe remains unchanged. Perfect for a gourmet break, it smells heavenly good.
The morning’s running out, we have lunch not far from Dom Pedro IV square, recongnizable by its pavement which gives the impression of waves undulating. One last stroll around the corner, before we leave. Note that there is excellent pastry shop in the corner, the Confeitaria Nacional (1829), for a last nata pastel.