You should do this amidst the hills and neighborhoods of Lisboa

[LISBON]  — Portugal was never really high up on my list, but over the last couple of years, the more and more I read about it, the more it moved up.  Conde Nast Traveler, Monocle, Travel & Leisure, AFAR, they all pointed to the rise of Portugal.  Despite its government tenuous position, all pointed to the rise in living standards, infrastructure and standard of living…and that it was somewhat undiscovered compared to the rest of Europe. This article by Frank Bruni in the New York Times sold me…as he was sold on Lisbon.  That moved Lisbon to the top. I used his article as a virtual tour guide. As well as these others. They obviously have been running press junkets due to the recent influx of articles, but it worked. And I was gone.

Here are some awesome articles I used as guides:

Travel & Leisure’s Guide to Lisbon

AFAR magazine’s “Bold New World”

And the best armchair planning, AFAR’s reader highlights, all real.

And Conde Nast Traveler’s Lisbon Guide. (lame for some reason, they must have been left off the press junket)   Here’s a great article on Lisbon from the June 2016 Conde Nast Traveler.

But it was this AFAR cover that made me want to book right away, so as soon as I could, I did.


Guidebooks cover all that you need, but these are my favorite spots to sift through as I climbed all up and down the gorgeous hills of Lisboa, saturated in color, sun and a cool consistent breeze of a hot July.

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Lisbon’s long-in-the-tooth Tropical Garden in Belem is a nice quick walk. Run down, but a good steer away from traffic.

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Jerónimos Monastery

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Jerónimos Monastery

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Jerónimos Monastery

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Jerónimos Monastery

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Jerónimos Monastery

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Torre de Belém — kinda far away from everything. But go around sunset, then eat at the good restaurant in the hotel next door. Closed on Mondays, as I discovered.

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Torre de Belém

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Elevador do Carmo — crazy-ass Eiffel Tower-era elevator to Barrio Alto. Nice to look at, not worth the money unless you need a lift.

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Elevador do Carmo

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View of Sao Jorge from Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara

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View of Sao Jorge from Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara


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Steps and steps and hills and hills

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View down from the bridge to Elevador do Carmo

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This is funny. I was randomly taking pictures of the street mosaics and reviewed this shot later and realized this tired woman wasn’t wearing her shoes anymore…obviously looking for her hotel.

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The morning view over Alfama



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