Lisbon, Portugal: Day 11

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Oh Portugal. Oh Portugal. I am so excited to start sharing the images and beauty of Portugal with all of you. Spain had a beauty all it’s own, but to be honest Spain did not win me over the way Portugal did. I think by nature you connect better with one place over another. I loved so many moments during our time in Spain, but overall was not head over heels like I was with Portugal. I could spend years in this country, soaking up the color, water, sun, and coastal life of the Portuguese. Though I struggled with learning the language and understanding it, I still felt a deep connection to everything that was Portugal.

So, let’s kick it off with our first full day in Lisbon a city of color, tile, layers of stairs and buildings, and more.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Like any first day in a new city, Mike and I wanted to explore. The night before we had eaten an awesome dinner at Maria Do Carmo and the price difference of the north coast of Spain and Lisbon was a wonderful relief (aka it is much cheaper for some seriously great food). We couldn’t wait to get out and take in the architecture, streets, and life that Lisbon had to offer. So we went and got a little lost.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

For the first day on our trip I was able to pull out my Everlane Leather sandals and I was so excited to let the streets of this gorgeous city break them in.  So we grabbed our backpack that was filled with our camera and necessities for the afternoon and hit the streets of Lisbon.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

The first thing we noticed about Lisbon was the change in architecture. The whole city is basically art. Everything from the tiles and color palettes on the buildings to the stone streets is purposely chosen. The one thing though is that the major downturn in the economy here has caused a lot of the architecture has become decrepit. Now that may sound bad, but I honestly was in love with how this city felt like a diamond in the rough. It had such deep, grungy character, and it felt imperfect in all the right ways.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

The streets and sidewalks throughout the city have been created from square pieces of stone all placed in perfect patterns. That morning we saw them fixing some of the sidewalks, and it was pretty special to see how they hand laid the stones and filled them with sand. It was really a neat thing to witness especially since I kind of became obsessed with this type of aesthetic.  I want to make a patio at our house one day like the streets of Lisbon and watch as moss fills the cracks.  So beautiful!

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every street contained a new special detail whether it be a new tile design or a new style of door in a cool color. Inspiration was everywhere here. I could barely contain myself!  I am not sure I can put into words how overwhelmed I was by Lisbon on that first day.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

A major thing we were told to experience here was the tram cars that take people around the cities. They are an old tradition here in Lisbon (we saw them in other cities but they are most popular here). Everywhere you looked you saw tracks for the trams and they each were unique whether it be the color or the graffiti that was all over the fronts and backs. Mike and I just kept taking multiple photos because we thought they were so fun!

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Just like any time you wander through a city (especially one as hilly as Lisbon) you get a little hungry. We came upon a place called Flower Power Food in the heart of the historic area outside of Barrio Alto. It looked like the perfect place to refuel.  We ordered salad, quiche, and sangria.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Before we checked out the waitress told us we needed to try a piece of their chocolate flourless cake because she felt it was the best in the city. I had no idea that Portugal was so great at desserts, but I am glad I figured it out early because that cake blew me away.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

If you are in the area you have to make sure to get a piece with some espresso here, because let me tell you, if you thought the city was amazing, the cake was just as amazing if not more so. It was light, perfectly chocolatey in all the right ways.  It was melt in your mouth awesomeness. Yeah I would totally eat that again and again!

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

While being here we have found it easiest to just pay cash in order to avoid transaction charges and any other issues with our card. This means that you get a lot of coins, and before we left we made sure we had this pouch (made of Spanish leather!!!) from Everlane to help us keep our coins in one place.  They can get heavy since the Euro has coined 1’s and 2’s as well as the smaller coins so the Everlane pouch saved us. It is a must to have something to carry change in if you are using cash.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Before we left we made sure to stop over in the restaurant’s flower shop to nab some pretty things for the apartment we had rented with Wes and Linda (I cannot wait to share how gorgeous this place was). It was really fun to find something to bring in to our space and make it feel like home for the few days we were there.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

We slowly wandered back to the apartment and took in every detail we could. We had plans to enjoy dinner in that night since Wes had been so inspired by the food while we were in Spain.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Without a doubt Lisbon had already hit it on the head, but I think what I wasn’t prepared for in all of this was that this place would also inspire me in other ways. The Portugal chapter of our trip was just beginning and I was excited about a new view for the duration of our trip. Though Spain felt amazing and beautiful as I expected, I had been so excited about what I was about to experience while in Lisbon.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Already I felt ready to take in this country in a new way with new eyes. We ended that day feeling as if we won a prize by coming to Lisbon, and we felt so inspired.

Lisbin, Portugal: Day 11  |  The Fresh Exchange

Currently we are traveling back to the US and will be in late this evening in Raleigh, but there is still more to come so don’t expect all the posts to end 🙂 I mean we have not even shared Porto with yall! More beautiful things coming my friends.

Leave a comment

  1. Hi! I’m from Portugal, Lisbon/Sintra an I loved to hear that you loved Lisbon as well, make sure when you visit Portugal again, to see the beautiful village of Sintra!

  2. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! I’m reading you from Portugal (Cascais, near Lisbon) and I’m so, so glad about your wonderful words! Lisbon is all of that and so much more! Anxious to read your other posts about our country! 🙂

  3. Hello, I’ve just started following your blog recently and it is with a proud heart that I read such a lovely and inspiring review about my home city. A few years ago I moved to London but I can’t wait to come back to my beautiful Lisbon. It is an incredible simple yet complex city and I miss it everyday of my life. Thanks for sharing it. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip! 🙂


  4. I went to Lisbon last year, and totally and completely fell in love. What a uniquely special place. The tiles, the tiles! For one thing 🙂 so glad you enjoyed its beauty in such gorgeous weather!

  5. Wow, it looks absolutely gorgeous there! Lisbon is definitely on my list of places to visit. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip. My parents and brother did a Spain/Portugal trip last year and I was extremely jealous. Both their trip and reading about your experience have just solidified how amazing and doable it is. I am currently plotting and saving to make it there in the near future. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hello,
    I am Portuguese and live in Cascais, Portugal near Lisbon. I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay in this beautiful country of mine. It is very interesting and flattering to read a tourist perspective of my country.
    In my opinion it is a country with so much to offer with an increasing quality in many things. Unfortunately with the crisis we are living, our evolution and growth has been affected.
    Eager to read on the next Portugal posts 🙂

  7. Your post brought back so many wonderful memories! I was in Portugal in 2011 and fell in love with the country! I hope you enjoyed lots of pastéis de nata while you were there. I remember the drive from Lisbon to Porto was gorgeous, but my favorite stop was Cascais!

  8. This city is so inspiring and so stunningly gorgeous! I found myself pinning these photographs of Portugal to my Travel board and Color Palettes board on Pinterest!

  9. I loved following along with your trip on Instagram, it brought me back to my trips to Spain and Morocco. I have yet to make it to Portugal, but it now definitely on my list. I am so in love with the tiles and the craftsmanship so evident throughout the country. Beautiful photos!!

  10. Ahhh Lisbon, I have been drooling all over your instagram pictures! I grew up in Lisbon, well, just outside of Lisbon actually, in a more quiet suburb called Cascais. My family still lives theres so I go back quite regularly. I feel like I have a special bond with the city because I lived there for 14 years so it’s always nice to hear when other people make a magical connection with the beautiful old city as well.

    Can’t wait to see more of the pictures and chat with you in Palm Springs 🙂

  11. I have never had Portugal on the list of places I want to visit, but definitely adding it now. Absolutely beautiful! Look forward to rest of your posts.

  12. Hi Megan!

    I’m so glad you loved our city! I’m originally from Lisbon and have been following your blog for sometime because I relocated to Raleigh 🙂 and have been learning about NC cool spots from your blog 🙂
    I’m looking forward to seeing your next posts on our amazing country!


  13. Please share where your dress is from?! I’m about to head off on two months of travel and it looks like the perfect travel piece.

  14. I’m from Barcelona but my heart will always belong to Lisbon because I spent there the best 4 months of my life. I’m so glad you loved the city! I’ll be there tomorrow and I can’t wait.
    Lovely pictures, straight to my Pinterest account 🙂

  15. Hi!
    I live in Portugal and it’s amazing to see Lisbon through your point of view. We forget to explore our country, and that it has so many amazing things that we don’t even see. I think we should all just slow down and really see everything around us, like we do when we go to another country.
    Loved your post!

  16. Hi! With your photos I fell in love with my Lisboa again…I’m so glad you felt the same 🙂
    ( gotta find you @instagram!). Paula.

  17. I have been following all your posts form this travel with such curiosity and eagerness I can’t even explain. The way you write and share everything is very open and detailed, but again making me more and more eager to learn more, to hear more stories, more details, more of the things you liked and disliked, more of how you felt during each day and each different activity, how you found the prices, how much you spent in each city and country…Basically I can’t get enough of anything! So beautiful!

  18. Hi, Lisbon is my home town and I feel I couldn´t live anywhere else in the world. It really is a wonderfull place, with a very special charm and sun and light. Thak you for your nice comments about:) you took lovely pictures too !

  19. These are beautiful pictures. I’ve been seeing a lot of gorgeous pictures of Portugal lately and it makes me want to travel there. Hopefully I can discover that country some day!

  20. Hi! So special to see you fall in love with Lisbon like that! So glad to see the beauty of our country through your eyes.
    I live in Paris but I’m from Porto and can’t wait to go back to my hometown! Paris is Paris but home is home… Have you been to Porto? You would love too! 🙂 See here:
    Thank you for your words!

  21. Ohhh i envy you. I might plan a trip to porto or lisbon after my exams, during my holidays. I would want to feel the culture instead of being ‘tourist’.

  22. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this
    blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability
    and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a great job
    with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Internet explorer.
    Superb Blog!


  24. I am in love with your blog… i discovered it because i was trying to find some good places in madrid (i will go there next week for the first time) and than i saw this post and i read the first paragragh: “I am so excited to start sharing the images and beauty of Portugal with all of you. Spain had a beauty all it’s own, but to be honest Spain did not win me over the way Portugal did.”… 🙂 i am from lisbon and i have to say that I’m so, so glad about your beautiful words and to make us see that sometimes We forget to explore our own country… thanks for sharing your amazing pictures and words with us. OBRIGADO! VOLTE SEMPRE, ATÉ JÁ! 🙂

  25. Hi Megan! I just recently started to follow your blog, so did not know about your trip to portugal! i am vera, from lisbon, and i was deeply touched by your most generous words about my country and city. i hope we can have you back one of these days, this time with the baby too! muito obrigada! 🙂