Hey there! I'm Ashley and I blog over at MILK TEETHS and sell vintage clothing and home goods at my shop, MILK TEETHS vintage. Besides blogging and slinging vintage online, I'm a total travel nut and am always scheming and daydreaming about my next travel plans. When Hannah asked me to guest post I got super excited since writing about travel and off the beaten path locations is high on my list of Things That I Love To Do.
What is a favorite or most interesting trip that you've taken and when did you go?
This May my boyfriend and I saved up and took a three week long trip around Europe. While we had previously traveled to France and England, and he had been to Spain several times before, we decided to included Portugal on our itinerary since neither of us had been but had heard such amazing things, especially about Lisbon.
While in Portugal we stayed in Lisbon in the Baixa-Chiado area which is sort of the hip and artsy part, although to me, everywhere looked hip and artsy! What struck me most about Lisbon is the amazing architecture. This is a city that is NOT afraid of color and patterns, many of the buildings were brightly painted and had beautiful azulejo tiles giving the area such a festive feel. Also, street art is alive and well and for the most part, the city seems to welcome it. You'll see colorful graffiti all over which is a nice juxtaposition with the cobblestone streets and old architecture. Within Lisbon itself there are many neighborhoods to explore, favorites including the twisting medieval streets of the Alfama and the amazing views from the Bairro Alto.
Lisbon has a very fast and easy to use Metro system, so day trips around Lisbon and to different seaside cities are a breeze. Definitely a must do if you are in Lisbon is visiting Sintra, a town that is about 30 minutes away via Metro. Let's just say the whole city is straight out of a fairy tale and there are several UNESCO world heritage sites within Sintra itself.
For someone else thinking about traveling here, what were your top 2-3 favorite things that you did while there?
-Definitely take the Metro and go to Sintra. While there we visited the Quinta Da Regalaira, which is an old estate that has the most amazing gardens. Think waterfalls, cave systems, secret pathways, and lots of greenery. The vibe is very mystical and other wordly. This is probably the coolest site that I have ever been to. Very highly recommended.
-Lisbon is HILLY and some neighborhoods seem to have almost vertical staircases that you need to climb in order to get to. With that said, the views on top of these hills are amazing! I would recommend having a picnic in the Bairro Alto area, at the Miradouro which is a park that overlooks the city and the Tagus river. Lots of people picnic and drink wine, the scene is very picturesque. Doesn't hurt that for those coming from the US, Lisbon is very affordable so you can go crazy at the markets and buy up bottles of vinho verde, good bread, olives, and cheese!
I am ALL about being comfortable when I travel. I never pack heels or shoes with bad arch support. In fact, my number one tip is to go to New Balance and get a custom fit insole for your shoes because it will save your feet. When my boyfriend and I travel we are literally gone from morning til evening, walking walking walking! We're not the type to stay at the hotel and be lazy.
Besides insoles, I pack longish, wrinkle-free vintage dresses ( knee length and longer) because the last thing I want to do while walking around all day is wonder if I'm flashing anyone on the street. Also we tend to duck into a lot of churches so sticking to a more modest dress code is key for being able to explore all sorts of historic and religious sites without being disrespectful.
We took a special trip to Belem (a coastal neighborhood) in order to visit Pasteis de Belem, a very old and famous sweet shop in Lisbon. They are known for their pastel de nata, a small eggy custard served atop a crackly crust. These were amazing and well worth the trek!
Lastly, What is your favorite memory from the trip?
Super cheesy but the thing I remember most about Lisbon is strolling aimlessly through the city at night with my boyfriend. The city and buildings are lit up beautifully, the temperature drops (believe me, it gets sizzling during the day), and most nights we would hear the sound of strings and violin music drifting up and out from various restaurants. So very picturesque and lovely; I definitely plan on visiting again.
Thanks so much for sharing your amazing trip with us Ashley! I hope everyone has a fun Halloween!