After our fantastic day out to Sintra, it was time to explore a little more of Lisbon. When doing research about Portugal before our holiday, I’d read so much about the famous egg tarts, and there was one place in particular that kept popping up – Pastéis de Belém.
The delicious custardy tarts were originally created by 18th century monks at the Jerónimos Monstery (which we also visited), as at the time large quantities of egg-whites were used for starching the clothes in the monastery. This led to a lot of leftover egg yolks, which were then made into cakes and pastries. The monks started to sell the “pastéis de nata” to secure a small income, and when the monastery was later closed, the recipe was sold to the nearby sugar refinery, whose owners opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in 1837.
So it was decided – a trip to Belém was in order. Luckily the Pastéis de Belém shop is not the only attraction there, we also set out to visit the incredible Jerónimos Monastery, as well as the Torre de Belém.
After a quick ride on the tram, we (along with seemingly every other tourist in Lisbon) arrived in Belém. Our first stop was to visit the monastery, which with all of the incredible turrets and architecture, is very easy to spot.
One morning, after fuelling ourselves with a delicious buffet breakfast including fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and of course the infamous egg tarts, we made our way to Rossio Train Station in order to catch the train to Sintra.
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just over half an hour by train from Lisbon centre. We arrived to a beautiful cloudy but sunny day, and armed with a coffee, set out to do some exploring.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, the town is full of beautiful parks, castles and palaces.
As I mentioned in my last roster post, I was lucky enough to get the 5 days off that I bid for, perfect for a little holiday with my man. We decided on Lisbon, as it was a place that neither of us had visited before and seemed like a great choice for a 5 day trip.
I sorted out the hotel, and after he arrived from a trip to Rome, we packed our bags and made our way to the airport. Neither of us had realised the flight was fairly long, just under 8 hours from Dubai. Luckily we managed to get some exit row seats with plenty of extra leg room!
Upon arrival we took the metro into the city, which was pretty easy and fairly quick. We arrived at our hotel, the Internacional Design Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel, which was located on Rossio Square right in the centre of downtown Lisbon.
The view from our room, which had a small balcony, was perfect – right out onto the bustling street below.
After a complementary welcome drink at the hotel (a delicious glass of Portuguese wine) we made our way outside to do some exploring.