Portugal is probably one of the most underrated countries in Western Europe. You don’t hear too many people enthusiastically proclaim that they’re going to Portugal. Unless that person is me. I’ve been dreaming of going to Portugal since last winter. I can’t really say where the idea to spend a month in this country came from, but when I told people I was saving to go to Portugal, I was responded with “why Portugal?” My response: why not Portugal?!
My trip started in Lisbon, which greeted me with unique architecture (all.the.tile), delicious food (read: pastries), and beautiful scenic points that seem to take you all over the world. Have you always dreamed of seeing Christ the Redeemer in Rio? Lisbon has its twin named Christo Rei. Golden Gate Bridge more your fancy? Try the 25 de Abril Bridge.
The complimentary breakfast is one of the best I’ve seen offered by a hostel filled with different toasts, jams, cereals, juices, a fancy coffee machine, and pancakes. The facilities are wonderfully done with various areas for guests to hang out including a fun safari-themed bar, and a roof-top pool. Lastly, the complimentary wifi had a strong connection.
I only encountered two problems during my weeklong stay with Sunset Destination. They provide laundry service for $7, which I took advantage of since I was traveling with limited outfits. They did a great job following my requests for my clothes except for a few details. They mixed my personal towel with the hostel’s towels and I never got it back. I also requested that my jeans be air-dried. They placed them on hangers outside which was great, except it rained mid-afternoon and they didn’t retrieve them. I ended up having to rewash them once at my new location due to the smell the rain produced on them. The second was that the electricity and wifi went out on my third night and didn’t come back on until 11 a.m. the next morning. Considering I spent most of my evenings working on some projects, this was a bit unexpected, but we got through it!
PRO TIP! Tourist attraction to skip: Tram #28. This is the most popular tram to take in the city as it goes past many popular attractions. I found it to be way too crowded and ended up not seeing anything! if you do take the tram, I recommend taking it in the early morning before the crowds take over.
PRO TIP! The line for tickets to Sintra at the train station will be outrageously long! You can skip the line by purchasing your ticket at the magazine store next to Destination Hostel in the Rossio Train Station!
Overall, Lisbon is easily one of my favorite cities in the world! I could definitely see myself living in this colorful and vibrant city and I can’t wait to return one day.
Have you been to Portugal? What were your favorite things to do?
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