One of the stops I was most eager about on our recent Semester at Sea cruise was our one day in Lisbon, thanks to an amazing two weeks SVV and I spent in Portugal in 2006. I sort of can’t believe it took me the better part of a decade to get back!
And while it was hardly the same—nothing ever is, is it?—it’s still an architecturally fascinating city nonetheless.
Some things you need to know about Lisbon:
There are hills. A lot of them. Wear close-toed shoes (those cobblestones can be a bitch when you kick them with flip-flops; I speak from experience) and be prepared to feel the burn.
There are peacocks. A lot of them. Be prepared to not piss them off.
The castle has some of the best views in town. Get there early before the tourists descend upon it.
Drink all the sangria you can stomach. Specifically, try both the red and white from the comfort of a seaside perch at Restaurante Portos do Sol.
Hop on the cable car toward the beginning of the line. Otherwise, good luck squeezing in.
Travel with others who will indulge your photographic whims. ‘Nuff said.
Chase the pigeons. (That’s Jevin’s tip, not mine.)
Try the live snails. They’re a local delicacy after all. The first time we were in this region of Europe, SVV was approached on camera and asked to eat one—and he did it, too!
YOLO, y’all. You’re only in Portugal once (or OK, in my case twice).
Even if you just have one day in Lisbon, that’s still plenty of time to cover some serious ground. I’ll guarantee one thing, though: You’ll be wanting to plan a much longer return trip to Portugal when you leave—one that likely spans weeks!