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City trip Lisbon, Portugal - Part 2


Happy Monday! Let's dive right into the Lisbon holiday recap, part 2!

During the next three days of our stay in Lisbon, the temperatures rose to 30 degrees Celcius, so we adjusted some of our plans.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

We had seen the endless queue in front of the monastery before; however, our bike guide convinced me it would be worth a visit. So I booked online tickets for an early timeslot.

Once we got there, it became clear that booking tickets for a timeslot doesn't actually mean anything. You still have to get in the queue, which still takes forever.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is located in Belém. It was built in the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery is considered one of the finest examples of the Portuguese late Gothic Manueline style. 

I loved all the botanical carvings and sculptures everywhere. I took a million photos! There were many people, though, and there were no places to sit and take it all in. You have to keep moving with the crowd.

Pastéis de Belém

So once we were outside again, we decided to try to get into Pastéis de Belém or, if we couldn't, purchase some pastéis to take away. They did have a place for us waaaaaay in the back. 

Let's say we experienced this, so you don't have to. It's not worth the hype (if there is one). If you're ever there, pick up some of the delicious pastries and find yourself in a lovely spot outside to enjoy them!

In case you didn't know: pastéis de Belém or pastéis de nata are made with puff pastry and filled with a sweet and creamy custard.

The pastry is said to originate from the nearby Jerónimos monastery, and Pastéis de Belém claims to have the original recipe.

You can find pastéis de nata in many pastry shops all over Lisbon. 

Lx Factory

The Lx Factory is an industrial complex turned into a creative hub for artists, designers, and entrepreneurs. There's a variety of boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and bars, as well as galleries, studios, and offices. 

I especially loved the bookstore Ler Devagar, the combined artist workshops/shops, the 'street art' adorning the buildings and the quiet cold drink we enjoyed inside at Oh! Brigadeiro.

In the evening, we were too pooped to do anything, so H got us some excellent takeaway pizza from M'Accecreo Pizzeria.


On the second hot day, we decided to be smart and head to the seaside. It was a Sunday, so the train to Cascais was packed with people on the way there and back (hence no video footage).

Cascais was on our wishlist for two reasons: 

1. We have been there before, about 25 years ago.

2. I wanted to visit the Paula Rego Museum.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego

The Paula Rego Museum showcases the works of Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Her art is characterised by its strong storytelling and vivid colours, and many of her pieces explore themes of gender, power, and social justice. 

There were two exhibitions, both about the 1970s era. 

The first one, Paula Rego and Salette Tavares: Mapping Feminine Creativity in the 70s, commemorates the relationship between Rego and Tavares as friends and colleagues in the art world. Salette Tavares was a Portuguese writer and poet best known for her visual poetry.

The second one, Everyday Stories. Paula Rego, the 70s, is about the work she made just before and after the end of the dictatorship in Portugal in 1974.

The exhibition's title refers to a series of drawings in Indian ink that Paula Rego called 'everyday stories'. They're about childhood memories and the paternal figure's dominance in patriarchal Portuguese society.

I can't express how much I loved the work. The experimentation. The colour explosions. The recalcitrance. The importance. 

I'm so so grateful we went!

Parque Marechal Carmona

We remembered the Parque Marechal Carmona (also known as Parque do Gandarinha) from the previous time we were there. We grabbed some lunch and found a shaded bench perfect for people-watching.

We also walked around the town centre, along the boulevard and went into the giant supermarket before taking the train back to Lisbon. 

The train ride could have been a bit more pleasant and took longer than anticipated because more people were trying to get on board at every station along the way. We were fortunate to have a seat.

So once back in Lisbon, we were relieved to stumble into the Time Out Market, this time for a burger.

Rest day

We cleaned, dusted and hoovered the apartment on this 'rest day'. I tried to sketch while waiting for the laundry to finish. H ventured out alone and found a fantastic record store: Louie Louie.

I made a list of sights we would still like to see and things we wanted to do. The list was long, and we only had two more days. 

So our initial plan for Tuesday was to visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea in the morning and the Museu Nacional do Azulejo in the afternoon. Both museums close at lunchtime. 

And, because the Carmo convent is in the same area, we thought we could nip in there before going to the MNAC.

That would have been plenty for one day; however, we still had some energy left after the Museu Nacional do Azulejo. 

So... we went into Alfama on a whim and got lucky because there was hardly any queue in front of the Castelo Sao Jorge! 

Convento do Carmo

The Convento do Carmo is another sight our bike guide had pointed out. I didn't realise there's a museum in the ruins, the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo. 

The museum collection has very little to do with the convent. It includes artefacts from prehistoric times to the 19th century. I did like it, though!

Convento do Carmo was destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and never fully rebuilt.

The top platform of the Elevador de Santa Justa is around the corner from the convent, so we took a quick peek at the view.

Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado

This museum had four exhibitions: one about the Portuguese Naturalist painter Veloso Salgado and his connection to a group of French artists.

A second with a collection of work by Lisbon-born painter and printmaker Nikias Skapinakis that he kept in his possession during his life.

The third one was a retrospective of the work of Portuguese painter, ceramicist, illustrator and caricaturist Jorge Barradas.

And the last one was a celebration of the art school Ar.Co's 50th anniversary. 

After all this, we needed an art break and sat down on the terrace of Kaffeehaus across the street. 

Museu Nacional do Azulejo

Next up was the Museu Nacional do Azulejo: a collection of beautiful tiles and ceramics displayed chronologically from the 15th century until now.

The museum lives in a former 16th-century convent, the Convento de Madre de Deus. The complex includes another lavishly decorated church (which I unfortunately only managed to capture in a blur).

We took a bus to bring us closer to Alfama and then walked uphill to the Sé de Lisboa. We were willing to go in; however, it looked crowded, so we continued and passed the often Instagrammed and TikTokked Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

Castelo de São Jorge

As already stated, the queue before the Castelo de São Jorge turned out surprisingly short. So we didn't think twice before joining it.

The castle dates back to the 11th century and is situated atop a hill overlooking the city. You have a stunning view of the city and the Tejo river from the court. You can walk around the courtyard and go into towers. It was pretty windy, so it wasn't a relaxed walk on top of the ramparts.

After dinner on the terrace at Petisqueira Conqvistador, we took the iconic tram 28 for a bumpy ride downhill. I decided not to grab my phone to film this because it went so fast, and I wanted to take it all in. It would have been a blur, anyway.

Last day

On our last day, we had one more wish: to walk from Monte Estoril to Cascais and stare at the sea to see the waves crash onto the boulevard, as we enjoyed 25 years ago.

So that's what we did. We finished the laundry and cleaning and took the train to Monte Estoril. 

When we walked around in Cascais, we suddenly felt we had already seen enough of it earlier in the week.

So we took the train back to Lisbon, stopped at the Time Out Market for a quick bite, hopped on a bus uphill to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and took one very last stroll through Príncipe Real.

It was perfect!

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Marsha Valk