Whilst researching my trip to Lisbon I came across several recommendations to visit it’s historical town, Sintra. And on our second day we did just that.
When I sent my friends the link to Carrie’s blog posts with a guide of where to go and what to see, Sintra was a resounding ‘yes‘ with everyone. It took around 25 minutes to walk to the Metro (typical blogger holding everyone up, taking photographs of errythang), passing many beautiful buildings en route whilst trying not to trip on the cobbles. Sintra is 45 minutes away by train so we were eager to make a pit stop at the station for a coffee – and sometimes there is no greater sight than the sight of a Starbucks. Four mocha frappuccinos and one coffee frapp later and we set off to buy our tickets and board the train.
It was the perfect day for it – sunshine, blue skies and a whole day to explore the town with some of my favourite people in tow.
We briefly stopped for a bathroom break and some fresh lemonade at this charming café, Saudade, before carrying on with our sightseeing escapades.
On first inspection, Sintra is beautiful!
After a stroll along the streets, lined with enchanting historical buildings and rather impressive roofs, we ventured down a few steps onto a more (if that was possible) scenic path.
A few selfies and a short wait for our transport up the steep hill later and we arrived at Castelo dos Mouros, the Castle of the Moors!
Between the impressive boulders lay an array of beautiful buds, blossoming in the glorious sunshine. Beyond the greenery was the first sight of the castle walls, and the views were breathtaking.
After ignoring a warning from a fellow slightly out of breath tourist passing by “not to bother continuing our climb”, we managed to reach the top of the castle – and spent some time admiring the stunning panoramic view of Sintra and beyond (check out the gorgeous terracotta roofs!) We decided not to visit the Palace on this trip but appreciated it from afar, just one of many reasons to re-visit in the future. Stomach rumbles and heat grumbles was a sure sign to depart and make tracks back down the steep steps, and back down to the town for refreshments.
We passed several tourist-heaving restaurants before approaching a small Tapas bar which was slightly tucked away from everything else. It can be tricky requiring a table for five in some eating places, but the staff at Romario de Baco rearranged the furniture slightly to fit us in which was appreciated.
I’ve been rattling my brain trying to remember the name of the white wine we drank as it was delicious, and it helped to wash down our lunch perfectly! A couple of the girls ordered crepes but me and P fancied the cheese topped zucchini – with a side of fries, naturally.
A much needed coffee perked us up and we set off to discover more of the town. Picking up a few souvenirs along the way, I spotted a beautiful white building with the most stunning detailing around it’s windows. I’m no architect but I do appreciate alluring exteriors… and palm trees.
If fairytales were real then they would be set in Sintra…
We were a bit exhausted after our dream home shopping, so we grabbed an ice cream and hopped back onto the metro. If you do visit Lisbon make sure you take a trip to Sintra, there is plenty to see and do and you’ll be wowed by its beauty. I fell in love with the pristine colourful homes situated between the houses that looked run down and unloved – but were still beautiful in their own way.
The weather in June is very warm but bearable, so after a day of sightseeing you’ll want to freshen up and change – which became our routine before going out again for dinner and drinks.
We had passed Pharmacia the previous night and read good reviews about it in our guide books so we strolled down a few streets to find it again. Situated opposite the bar we had cocktails in the night before, the exterior is gated with a faux green grass that is perfect for lounging out on with friends.
Our dashing waiter joked with us as he helped us pick our dishes – recommending that we pick 6 or 7 plates to share. There was a plenty of variety to choose from, even for our two vegetarians in the group. The smoked salmon on a bed of sweet potato was probably my favourite, with the duck croquettes earning second place – and we all obsessed over the potato wedges!
The restaurant is decked out to the ‘pharmacy’ theme which makes it an interesting visit, and they prescribe the best vino to aid any mood 😉
Have you seen the last Lisbon post?