All posts tagged: Portugal

Pena Palace Sintra, Portugal

Cascais and Surroundings: Portugal’s Modern-Day Fairytale

I bit into Pasteis de Cruz Alta, a dangerously delicious egg and almond pastry named after the highest point of the Sintra Mountains, and looked around in contentment. It was my second day in Portugal with Visit Cascais, and we were starting it off at Casa Piriquita – an unassuming, 19th C bakery perched alongside a steep street in downtown Sintra. Practically unchanged since the 1800s and decorated with azulejos, Piriquita’s been ran by the same family for five generations and remains one the town’s most popular breakfast spots. I later discovered that this mix of tradition and modernity is somewhat typical for the area — it’s as if Portugal found the way to seamlessly blend the past with its present-day identity. Take Pena Palace for example, only a short drive away from Sintra. Built on the remains of a former monastery, its colours bringing to mind the cheerful streets of Burano and Cape Town rather than your typical castle, Pena blends Manueline and Moorish traditions into a modern day fairytale. Visible from every part of the …

Reasons to Visit Lisbon, unique things to do in Lisbon, local Lisbon tips

Why You Should Pack Your Bags and Travel to Lisbon

I’ve recently got back from a trip to Lisbon and I think I’m in love! The city is not only just as charming as everyone makes it out to be; it has a fascinating contemporary edge, the result of a brilliant mix between the creativity of the local fashion scene and the ever-so-expressive youth culture.  Lisbon is a historical city with a youthful spirit where one moment you’re listening to fado, and the next, browsing through concept stores and sipping organic lemonade at some of Europe’s most hipster spots.  Are you ready to pack your bags? You should be! The cityscape Lisbon is a unique city. Spread across seven hills overlooking the ocean, its landscape is mapped out by curvy, steep streets,  lined up with quaint houses with ochre-orange rooftops, at the bottom of which the iconic yellow trams cheerfully swing by. Yes, it really is as idyllic as it sounds! To fully appreciate just how picture-perfect Lisbon is (excuse the cliché but it’s fully justifiable), make sure to visit the viewpoints. My favourites were Miradouro das Portas do Sol in Alfama, Miradouro de São Pedro de …