Sightseeing in Lisbon on a hop-on-hop-off bus
On our last day in Lisbon we opted for an activity I enjoy in almost any city. We took a couple of hop-on-hop-off bus tours.
First, we took the Belém line through the main avenues and the city center to Belém. We hopped off at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jeronimos Monastery) to take pictures and have coffee. The line to visit the monastery was massive so we only took pictures of the exterior. The monastery was built by King Manuel I in 1502. It was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome. The style is European Gothic (UNESCO World Heritage monument). After having coffee we walked to the Tower of Belém. Built in 1514-1520 by Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda. It was classified as a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. From the tower, we hopped back on the bus and got off again at the El Corte Inglés department store. After some shopping, we took the metro back to where the hop-on-hop-off tours started and got on a second line.
The second route was the Castle line through the oldest quarters such as Alfama and Castelo. Here, streets are narrow, so it was a smaller bus for under 20 people. As it became clear that getting off was not a good idea if you wanted to get back on, we took almost the whole tour in one sitting. Not many people got off during the ride and the bus driver left people waiting at stops as there was no room on the bus. We got off one stop early to visit some shops before heading back to our accommodation. I find hop-on-hop-off tours to be a great way to see a city and learn a bit more about its history. This time we took the tours late in our trip but taking them early gives you a good overview of the destination especially if it is new to you.
Dinner at Praça do Comércio
I had booked a table at Terra Nova by Populi at Praça do Comércio. We went early to have drinks and headed to the terrace of Museu da Cerveja (the beer museum) and tasted some of their beers. The restaurant was quite small so a reservation was a good idea. We shared a Portuguese tapa platter to start with a selection of Portuguese sausages and cheese with olives, jam and crostini. The platter was excellent. I decided it was high time to try the local cod so for my main I had a cod salad with egg, spinach, tomato roasted in garlic and coriander. Hubby went for a traditional Portuguese dish of steak with a fried egg, gravy and French fries. I must say the salad was not the best choice for me. Even though I love fish, the cod was too fishy and I couldn’t eat most of it. The steak was good but nothing too special. So this was a nice enough restaurant with great service but the food did not make a huge impression.
Stay tuned for my final Portugal post and our day trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais.