On my way home from Porto, Portugal, I had a 14-hour layover in Lisbon, Portugal. I arrived at the Lisbon airport late in the afternoon. I bought a ticket for the train and went to the downtown area and went to the hostel where I was spending the night.
Stay at a hostel near the city center.
Hotels are expensive, so I stayed at Castilho Lisbon Suites. It was cheaper than most hotels. I had some difficulties finding it, but after calling their number, I found it. I checked in and found a really nice place to spend the night! Here are some photos I took of the hostel.
Read about history.
On my flight to Porto, I downloaded an audiobook about the voyage of Magellan around the world. He was a Portuguese, but he did not really serve Portugal. He went to Spain and declared his allegiance to the rival empire.
As a result of my reading, and my exploration of Lisbon, I was able to write a poem. It’s in Ilokano, of course. So that might not be useful to the readers of this blog.
That is one thing I try to do if I visit a country, I read about their history. It’s a good way to learn and appreciate the country and its past.
Exploring Lisbon at night.
Because I had very limited time at Lisbon, I decided to explore the city at night. I accumulated about 20,000 steps within a 4-hour period because of all the walking I did. But I felt safe; a lot of people walked the streets. Even though there were places where I was the only person walking, it still felt safe.
Eat good seafood!
Before setting out for my evening exploration, I ate good seafood at Relicario restaurant, a quaint hole in the wall very near the Marquis de Pombal statue. I ate grilled squid with some greens, and potatoes and drank Portuguese beer to cap off my dinner.
After dinner, I started walking downhill and noticed the huge statue of Marquis Pombal. I did not really do a lot of research; didn’t identify the places to visit. My plan was to walk and turn to streets with interesting sights and features.
It was cold, after all, autumn was in full swing. Thankfully, I had a warm jacket to combat the September cold. Plus, all the walking warmed me up. Here are photos from all the places I visited.
Here are some of the places I visited.
Ascensor da Gloria. There’s this street that I climbed with a tram line–the Ascensor da Gloria. It was a challenge to ascend the street, but it was worth it. I saw a lot of artworks on the way up. The artworks were well lit and there were a lot of tourists, who like me, were still walking at night. It might have been 9:00 at night.
After I came down, I went to a big open plaza in the middle of the street, right in front of the Museo Nacional do Desporto. The huge Monumento dos Restauradores stood in the middle of the big plaza. Of course, as any good Filipino tourist, I took a selfie!
After spending some time at the Plaza observing the people come and go, I continued my exploration and ended up at the Park Campo Martires da Patria. But before arriving there, It felt like I climbed a mountain! But it was good to read a bit of history and enjoyed the cool night.
I capped the night with a good drink. Interestingly, even at around 11pm, the lights were still bright and there were still a handful of people up and about.
By the time I was done, my feet were so sore that I wanted to take a taxi. But I kept walking, just one step at a time and then finally, I arrived at my hotel after midnight.
Watching the sunrise by the beach.
There’s no rest for the wicked. I set my alarm for 4:30 am. I woke up, took a shower, and by 5am, I was on the way to the train station with my trusty backpack. I rode the train and then found myself at the Praca do Comercio. It looked imposing with buildings that seem to date back to the previous century.
There was an imposing statue of Dom Jose I, who served as King of Portugal from 1750 – 1777. Interestingly, I saw a bottle of San Miguel Beer on the steps on one of the sides of the statue.
But the statue wasn’t the reason I went there so early in the morning. I went to the beach and waited for sunrise. It was beautiful. I bought coffee and pastry, then walked around again to see what Lisbon had to offer. It is a beautiful city where history and the present world clash. I am glad, I had a chance to explore this beautiful city even for less than a day.
When my feet were feeling sore, I decided it was time to head to the airport. I had a flight to catch.