Why is it that no one (by no one, we mean only a handful) thinks of Portugal when planning a Euro trip? More often than not, a side trip to Portugal only happens when Spain is the main destination.
Not only is Portugal the home of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and the man who discovered the Philippines, Ferdinand Magellan, it’s also a multicultural city with greatfood and friendly locals. Did we mention that it still remains one of the most affordable destinations in the continent? This is probably why, according to statistics, the number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose by 12 percent in the last year and exceeded 12 million for the first time. More and more people are slowly realizing what a beaute this country of seafarers is and maybe it’s time you should, too! Here are a few reasons why should book a trip to the country, stat.
Unlike Rome, Paris, and London that are packed with tourists, you can roam around Portugal without having to worry as much about long lines and big crowds. This way you get to chill and really experience the city like a local.
Talk to a Lisbon local and they would all say that compared to Spain, Portugal has a better food scene both in price point and options. In fact, Lisbon is rising to be one of the hottest culinary cities in Europe. Dishes here are heartier compared to the tapas of Spain. Try the Piri-Piri chicken and the famous pastry Pastel de Nata with a dash of cinnamon on top, but do not leave without trying their Bacalao, Pulpo, or grilled sardines because in Portugal, seafood is king! Your Euro will definitely go a long way in this city (Watch Somebody Feed Phil Lisbon episode on Netflix to get you excited!).
It’s a multi-cultural city
Aside from the wide mix of people who have decided to migrate here, Lisbon itself is a picture perfect fusion of different cities! The Christ the King monument will make you feel like you’re in Brazil while the trams and Ponte 25 de Abril bridge will remind you of San Francisco.
Lisbon is has a low-key charm that’s impossible to resist
If you’ve been to Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, or Milan, the cities will at some point begin to look alike or have the same vibe. But Lisbon, with its humble charm, tiny, hilly streets, pretty tiles on the sidewalks, walls, and ceilings, plus old school trams set it apart and make walking around an actual pleasure.
Other destinations are just a few hours away
Unlike a big country like Spain where you will need to book flights (unless you want 10-hour train rides) to go to another destination, in Portugal you can travel by bus to the countryside or beach escapes in just an hour or two. Seriously, it would take you longer to get to Makati from QC than it would from Lisbon to the resort town Sintra. Please do visit Cascais for beaches and Sintra for your fill of palaces (yes, this tiny town has over five palaces) that will complete your Portugal experience.
If you’re woke and reading this, you’d be happy to know that Lisbon is one of the few cities in the world that offers Uber Green. They use more sustainable electric cars in an effort to lessen carbon emissions bad for the earth. The best part? Uber Green rides are priced at the same rate as a fossil-fueled ride. Oh how we miss Uber!
Photos courtesy of Bea Jocom
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