Lisbon had something to be discovered at every turn.   From Moorish tiled homes to Gustave Eiffel’s Elevator, to a replica of the San Francisco bridge you’ll find hints to the city’s unique history.   We learned, after seeing a familiar landmark in the distance, Portugal had its own version of the Christ the Redeemer statue that is in Rio de Janeiro.

We booked a tour with a local through to learn more about the Alfama, Graca, Bairro Alto, and Baixa neighborhoods.   I highly recommend doing the same or finding one of the daily free walking tours.

The Senhora do Monte viewpoint is a great place to overlook the city or enjoy a sunset with some beers or a bottle of wine.   Another incredible sunset view was at the Miradoura de Santa Catarina. 

Etiquette in Portugal

  1. Pause your conversations at dinner during Fado performances.  Their sets are typically only 3-4 songs so enjoy the music!
  2. Give up your seat on the train to your elders.  I couldn’t believe how many seniors were left standing on our 40 minute train ride to Sintra.
  3. It is considered rude to point.  If you need to gesture towards something, use your whole hand.
  4. Attempt Portuguese, it’s appreciated.


Just a 40 minute train ride outside of the city!  Tour the beautiful grounds and romantic castle of the Palace of Pena.


Lagos is a beach town primarily catered to Europeans on holiday.   We spent most of our stay exploring the cliffs along the coast and ‘discovering’ hidden beaches.

Downtown Lagos has a number of small streets for shopping and dining.  When downtown, you’ll see a sprawling white sand beach just in front of the city, but if you hike a short way down the coast, you’ll find the secluded beaches surrounded by golden cliffs.

Our favorite hike started at Ponta da Piedade and followed the path north.  You’ll also find the Grotto at Ponta da Piedade.  A lot of people see it by kayak or boat as well.

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