Getting to South America – First Stop Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal
Day 1 & 2 of our South America trip

After years of studying Spanish and living abroad one day I decided to quit my job in London to travel South America. My girlfriend and I packed our backpacks and headed off with no real clue of what we were doing or what to expect….

How we arrived:
A very early start at 4am to get our flight from Dublin to Lisbon, made a bit easier by having my Dad give us a lift to the airport. I think we were both a bit nervous and as we’ve had such a long build up to the trip it felt slightly surreal. Our bags only weighed just over 10kg each so I was mildly impressed Heather had kept to her “packing light” mantra. Good girl so she is.

Quick overview:
We arrived in Lisbon and dumped our bags at the hostel and went sheepishly around a surprisingly warm 20 degree Lisbon. We pottered about for a while and had pastries for breakfast. On first impressions its a nice city with plenty to do. The centre reminded me a bit of Madrid. We didn’t do a whole lot because we were tired and just treating it as a pitstop before the long day of travel ahead of us on Thursday. We had lunch and a few beers at one of the kiosks which are pretty cool. We had a pretty good hot dog (authentic Portuguese food) at the kiosk and then went back to the hostel for a mega nap.

For the 2 days we just did a lot walking around the centre and walked a good 2 hours down the coast to the massive suspension bridge – 25 de Abril Bridge that connects Almada and the rest of Portugal. For lunch on the 2nd day we went to an indoor food market called Timeout Lisbon market. Really nice food with a beer for 15 euro.

That’s about it for Lisbon as we were just prepping for the South American adventure to begin.

We got our room at the hostel (Hostel Central Lisbon) and it was pretty decent. Quite a central location, hence the name, and the beds were comfortable. Bit of loud hostel because the floors and and doors were all wood and I probably wouldn’t recommend it for groups of people to stay as it was a bit dead and the common area is cramped.

Rory’s rant:
We were at a restaurant for dinner on the first night called Dote and they gave us Iberian ham and cheese at the start without us asking for it. That was all fine… who doesn’t love free ham!? Until the bill came and it cost 20 quid extra (nearly half the cost of the meal). Oh those crafty Portuguese and their ham!

Heather’s highlight:
It was surprisingly sunny in Lisbon for the few days we were there. It’s a great city to visit with the beautiful streets and the beach so close to the city centre. My highlight and recommendation is to visit the Time Out food market for lunch. For about €12 you can get a large meal and a glass of wine. We also got an amazing coffee and ice cream after. Yum!

For more info about the accomodation and restaurants we visited, see TripAdvisor


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