Exploring Lisbon with my little brother

Having already spent some time in Lisbon, Kevin and I were fully prepared to show Tyler all the best sites and scenes.

Obviously, this included copious amounts of eating and walking.

Tyler arrived in Lisbon in the morning, and despite getting minimal sleep, he kept going with us all day. The next day, we were once again up bright and early, and we set off on all kinds of adventures. Rather than go into wild detail about every darn thing that we did, here’s a list of the places we saw and adventures we got into:

  • Exploring the streets and vistas of Lisbon: You’ll note that there are tons of pictures of us just walking around and looking at things. A worthwhile adventure, but not an easy one. Lisbon is a city built on 7 hills, which makes for great views and great exercise. Fortunately the city is small enough that you can cover most of it’s beautiful neighbourhoods on foot, and that’s just what we did.
  • Lunch at Sea Me: Tyler’s food game started off strong at this popular sea food restaurant in Lisbon. We had tuna steak, seaweed salad, fresh fish, tiger prawns, and of course, green wine.
  • Drinking Sangria at a kiosk just outside of the Convento do Carmo: This is Kevin’s favourite square in Lisbon. It’s quieter than most (though not that day, due to construction), tucked away just in front of the famous ruins of the Convento do Carmo. The convent, built in the 1400s, was mostly destroyed during the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The ruins of the gothic church were left standing as a type of memorial.
  • Drinks & Pool at Pavilhao Chines: Kevin and I went to this wacky place for the first time a few weeks prior, and we decided to return with Tyler. He and Kevin played a game of pool in the back room, on what must been the worst pool table in existence. When even Kevin can’t make a shot, you know it’s more than just the player’s fault.
  • The most horrible dinner we’ve ever had, at a “fancy” burger place called Guilty. I won’t even go into details. But suffice to say that Kevin and I were quite disappointed.
  • Coffee! Cafe!: People make jokes about there being a Tim Hortons or Starbucks on every corner in Canada, but in Lisbon, you’re hard pressed to walk 5 minutes in any direction without passing some type of cafe. Every park has kiosks that serve espressos (and beer!), and every block has a small cafe that serves snacks, coffee (espressos), and beer. So throughout this entire trip, we drank insane amounts of espresso. Walked 5 blocks? Time for a cafe break.
  • Evening drinks at Pensao Amor: This is one of our favourite places in Lisbon. It’s a former brothel, now decorated as a vintage burlesque bar. It’s a great setting, always lively, with good music and drinks.
  • Lunch at the Nun’s Canteen: This was probably the most interesting place that we ate while in Lisbon. Looking for a unique lunch spot, I came across this Guardian UK article about best lunch spots in Lisbon. It mentioned a canteen/cafeteria run by nuns where one can grab a cheap lunch with a great view. I marked the spot on the map, and the 3 of us set off on an adventure. 5 minutes in a cab, and we were in Lisbon’s Chiado neighbourhood. We went up a set of stairs to a house in an alleyway. The door was open, and we headed up the third floor. Once there, we found exactly what we’d been promised. A well-priced traditional Portuguese lunch, which we enjoyed on their back patio, overlooking the Tagus River and the Chiado neighbourhood below us. It’s a spot frequented by locals on lunch hour, but we did our best not to stand out as tourists in this authentically Lisbon experience.
  • Belem: Next, we headed to Lisbon’s Belem neighbourhood, where we enjoyed the following: Pasteis de Natas (which were apparently invented at the Pasteis de Belem cafe, and certainly they make the tastiest version); The Church at the Monastery of Jeronimos; Padrao dos Descombrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries); and the Torre de Belem, an ancient fortification.
  • Dinner (and later, drinks) with our friend Soledad: We went to Mercado da Ribeira, which is basically a high-end food court, featuring small outposts of all the top restaurants in the city.

After all that adventuring, we headed home to get some sleep before starting our roadtrip in the morning! Lots of photos below, with descriptions to properly explain all the things we saw. Check ’em out:

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