Trip Report: Portugal

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Portugal  is a small country nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean at the westernmost point of continental Europe.  It was once a powerful seafaring kingdom that controlled many of the routes to Africa, South America, and Asia.  The home of world famous football player,  Cristiano Ronaldo, is filled with lush landscapes and striking scenery. Though not as well known as some of its neighbors, it is a country rich with culture, interesting architecture, and fairytale castles. The laid-back vibe combined with great food and cheap wine makes this a must-visit destination.   Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Portugal to help you plan yours:

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  • Time Cost
    • Total Days In Portugal: 8 days + 1 layover day in London
    • Total Days Off From Work: 5 days
  • Monetary Cost
    • Hotel: $1100 + 8,000 Hilton Points + 7,000 SPG points
    • Flights: $815 pp +13,000 Avios
    • Transportation: $90 pp ($110 for car, $35 pp for train)
    • Admission fees: $80 pp
    • Food: $45 pp per day
    • Total Per Person: $1,800+ 4,000 Hilton Points + 3,500 SPG points + 6,500 Avios

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If you’ve been following along with our blog you’ll know that we usually try to maximize our travel days and minimize our costs.  This usually happens when we find a good flight deal with availability around the holidays.  This system has allowed us to travel more frequently to many amazing places around the world. Admittedly, this did not happen on this trip.  A series of mistakes cost us time, energy, and money in the form of unused hotel rooms and additional flights – read about our mishaps here. Even with all the disasters, our trip was very memorable for all the right reasons.

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There are a variety of things to do and see in Portugal, whatever your interests and tastes may be.  Visit the northern city of Porto and sample the famous port wine.  Zip over to Belem and indulge in the egg tarts.  Wander through picturesque castles hidden in the rolling hills of Sintra and feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie.  See the busy city from the rickety tram, and fall in love with the architecture of Lisbon.  Eat and drink until you are completely sated without breaking the bank.  To read more about our trip to Portugal, click on the links below:

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  • Read about all our rookie mistakes that we made on this trip
  • Alternative accommodation option with AirBnB

Porto

Lisbon

Sintra

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Check back next to read about our trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

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10 things to do in Lisbon

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Europe’s westernmost capital has blossomed in recent years, attracting visitors to its world class restaurants as well as its culture and history. Despite the old-world feel with its network of antiquated trams, Lisbon definitely has a modern edge. 

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Portugal’s hilly capital, is a coastal city known for many things – from the blue-and-white azulejo architecture, to the spectacular views that can be seen from anywhere on top of the seven hills to the imposing São Jorge Castle. The rambling alleyway are lined with pastel colored houses covered in pretty flower boxes.  The sweet citrus smells drift over the walls, hiding a fruit-laden lemon tree in the courtyard.  Even though the streets are confusing, it’s definitely walk-able, just make sure you bring your running shoes along.  Here are a few places to explore in Lisbon’s labyrinthine streets: Continue reading

Eating in Lisbon

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To me, eating is the best way to appreciate and explore a new country and culture.  It is always the favorite part of my trips – and the most memorable.  A good dish is something that I will remember for the rest of my life when memories of the city long fade into the cobwebs of my mind.  Portugal has fast become my favorite European country for food.  As you know, I had a really positive experience eating in Porto and couldn’t wait to try the cuisine in Lisbon.  Continue reading

Day 5: On the Road in Lisboa

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Lisbon with its many steep hills has lots of great look-out points. These miradouros are public plazas where visitors can rest their weary feet while admiring a magnificent view of the city. Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a terrace overlooking the Tagus river and the houses in the Alfama area.  The long hanging vines and ceramic tiles not only provide some much welcome shade during a hot day, but also a romantic backdrop for many lovers.

Day 4: On the Road in Lisboa

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Carmo Convent, located high on the hills of Lisbon was once the largest church in Lisbon.  A devastating earthquake in 1755 destroyed most of the building, with the roof caving in on the congregation as they were attending mass.  Today the ruin, with its skeletal remains, soaring arches, and roofless nave create a startling sight for visitors.