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Portugal Day 2: a feast for the eyes & the belly

fountain, rossio place, praça do rossio,, lisbon, lisboa, portugal, europe, travel, bus tour, tourism

It didn’t take us to to understand that eating is one of the major (and most fun!) activities to be done while visiting Portugal. On day 2 we discovered foodie paradise: the Time Out Mercado da Ribeira. If you visit Lisbon, you have to check this place out. It’s kind of a hybrid between a really chic food court and a regrouping of high end restaurants. The ingredients used are top quality and fresh, fresh, fresh (including amazing fish and seafood). They have talented chefs prepping your food right in front of you and the prices are soooo reasonable for the quality you get (between 8 to 15 euros for a meal and about 2 euros for a glass of wine). Robert was slightly obsessed with the Mercado so we ate there on several occasions which included feasting on delicious cakes at Nós é Mais Bolos and gelato at renowned Santini. Being a market, the Mercado also has stands where you can purchase fresh fish (non meat eaters can eat very well in Portugal), fruits and vegetables and even lovely flowers and plants.

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Per my foodie friend Olivier’s suggestion, I ate lots of Bacalhau (codfish) while in Lisbon.

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After stuffing our faces at the Mercado, we headed to Praça do Comercio to catch our Hop on hop off bus which is honestly the best way to discover a new city especially if you are short on time (we wanted to pack a lot in during our week in Lisbon). The Praça do Comercio is buzzing with locals and tourists alike as it’s situated in a gorgeous location by the Tagus river and boasts many restaurants and cafés.

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Goofing around while waiting for our bus.

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Once on the bus, we traveled on Avenida da Liberdade, a boulevard built in the 19th century in the style of the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It’s the main avenue in the city and runs north for a 1.6 km from Restauradores Square (pictured below) to Marquês de Pombal Square (the round about located at the end of Parque Eduardo VII.

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This large square commemorates the country’s liberation from 60 years of Spanish rule in 1640.

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Gorgeous Parque Eduardo VII and the Marquês de Pombal Square.

During the tour, we took in the gorgeous historical monuments, unique architecture, colourful tile covered buildings and pretty pastel fronts.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Praça Rossio was such a treat. I have a thing for fountains and could have sat here all day taking in the sun while people watching.

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ona Maria II National Theater,  lisbon, lisboa, portugal, travel, vacation

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II located in Praça do Rossio

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The magnificent Rossio train station.

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Nicola, one of the most celebrated cafés in Lisbon with a prime position overlooking Rossio Square.

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We finished the day by having drinks in Chiado at restaurant/florist Flower Power (they have the cutest decor and some of the staff speaks French!) and then headed to Bairro Alto for supper at The Decadente.

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The walk up to the Bairro Alto area is quite steep but the view you get at the top is well worth the effort. We watched the sun set from the beautiful park below and admired the most breath taking view of the city (featuring Castelo de São Jorge in the distance).

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Restaurant The Decadente is housed in a hostel called The Independente but don’t let that fool you. It’s chic, the food is top quality and the service is amazing (and the prices quite reasonable). Even though we didn’t have reservations and the place is always full, they found a table for us because we arrived early (early in Lisbon is like 7:00 pm).

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Restaurants in Lisbon are empty before 9 or 10 pm.

Another busy day ended with our tummies full of good food and our heads already filled with precious memories. Keep on reading about our adventures in Portugal here! And if you don’t want to finish day dreaming about beautiful European destinations, check out our trip to Greece and my stay in Barcelona last November.

 

 

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