Bom Dia!!! The Portuguese greeting for “Good morning”, according to Urban Dictionary is also an “adjective explaining a feeling of excitement, happiness or anything you want”.
I decided to give you the exact quote because there is no better way to describe the things I felt while visiting that lovely country and its charming capital – Lisbon!
Before I give you a recap on my experience, I must say one thing: DO NOT think twice if you get the chance to go there at any time! It’s simply incredible: food, people, sights, art, history, fashion, sun – everything is perfectly blended in this enchanting city that will make you fall in love and commit for life!
I will not describe Lisbon as a tourist because I’m sure one day to move permanently and live the life of a “lisboeta”. Alternatively, I’ll share my image of a typical weekend :)
Starting on Friday night, right after work, I’d meet my boyfriend at Bairro Alto hotel in Chiado for a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail to celebrate the beautiful sunset over the Tagus River. How do I know the place? I met an elegant and refined couple over lunch one day – they are locals and friendly, polite, and smiling, as they all are, the beautiful lady gave me this priceless tip to go and see one of world’s top 5 most beautiful rooftop sights! My gaze was wandering between the boats on the river, the traffic on the bridge April 25 and the impressive statue of Christo Rei that looks just like the one in Rio but is a third smaller… I could see the houses with their balconies, full of flowers and the people gathering at Commerce Square, as the traffic was getting lighter by the minute. Believe me, one can never get enough of that serene place but even if you do, there are way too many terraces around the city that can diverse the experience of overlooking that amazing metropolis…
We’d then head for a late dinner in one of Chiado’s perfect little romantic restaurants, hidden in the corners of narrow paved streets, offering the best seafood I’ve ever tasted, washed down with fine Portuguese wine. The choices are numerous but I’d suggest Tàgide, since I’d love to keep admiring the views. I’d rather walk home through the beautiful Rossio Square where the late night mingling would give me a shot of joy right before bedtime.
On Saturday morning, we’d go to Alfama – the city’s ancient historical center for a walk, another round of breathtaking sights and quality wine. We could rent an electric freego for fun or walk the uphill for a nice workout to enjoy the power of royal legacy. We’d have coffee and breakfast at Portas do Sol café, overlooking Alfama’s rooftops and chilling out, enjoying the clear blue skies. Afterwards, we’d head to the fun and busy Alfama flea market that’s held every Saturday behind the National Pantheon and offers antique treasures, beautiful art pieces and just about anything you could imagine…Next stop would be Casa do Leão – the romantic restaurant in the heart of the famous Sao Jorge castle. Under the dappled shadow of the trees, at one of the highest points in the city, we’d hold hands, enjoying the view, the wine and the traditional cuisine. We’d laugh and fall in deeper love with each other, imagining what it was like to live in the royal castle or walk in the Romantic Garden under the moonlight…
The afternoon snack and coffee would be saved for Santini or Amorino in Chiado. These are the best ice cream houses in Lisbon and they would give us just the right amount of energy for our next stop – shopping at Avenida da Liberdade! I must be honest here – it would be impossible to pass the gelato houses without popping in a store or two in Chiado. However, the experience on Liberty Avenue (as it translates in English) is a whole different story. All high-end designer boutiques are sprinkled across the gorgeous boulevard and in addition to Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior, there are the irresistible Fashion Clinic stores – one for men, one for women; an absolute must!
As the sun goes down, we’d be getting ready for a late dinner at the River Lounge. This exquisite place offers not only fine dining but also a view that’s worth a million sighs! Located in the Myriad Hotel, right next to Vasco da Gama tower, it faces directly the longest bridge in Europe. Mesmerized by the moonlight over the river, we’d relax and thank the universe for being that generous! Alternatively, we could go on a sunset cruise but as we were to live there, I’d keep my options open for next weekend :)
Hopping in a cab, our Saturday night will evolve in meeting friends at the BBC (no, not the British news channel – Belem Bar Café) and then after a drink or two, dizzy from the gorgeous river moonscape, we’d finish the party at LUX or LUST, being my absolute favorite nightclubs. Naturally, we’d have a bottle service and the night would be late…they’d literally have to drag me out, so I don’t miss the whole well started Sunday-Funday :)
Sunday would be dedicated to leisure sun tanning and wild watersports. We’d wake up around 11 and by 12 pm. we’d be at Cascais. We’d have a late breakfast at the stylish and picturesque MIX Restaurant, followed by some tranquil time at the pool on the cliffs. Later, we’ll head to Guincho beach for some surfing lessons. Pleasurably tired, we’d delight in the highpoint of our weekend at the “Fortaleza do Guincho” for an early dinner. I would have suggested the peaceful BG bar for a drink after, but unfortunately, it was just closed indefinitely due to renovations in its neighboring building.
The following workweek would be a breezy delight in sunny Lisbon after that amazing weekend, don’t you think? In case you’re considering that I have a too summery image of the typical weekend, let me remind you that there are 260 sunny days in the capital of Portugal. So pretty much, the whole year there is purely an endless blessing!