Lisbon Travel Guide: One day trip to Sintra, the fairytale village outside the city

Hello!

Back to the Lisbon Travel Guide, I decided to write about a magical place called SINTRA!

Sintra is a charming little village just a 45 minutes train ride away from Lisbon. This is one of my favorite places in Portugal and the one I recommend everyone to go, when visiting Lisbon. It is surrounded by woods and hills, it has gorgeous palaces and breathtaking views. It is literally a fairy tale come true.

Visiting Sintra should take you a whole day, so you will have to go early, not only to avoid crowds, but to make sure you have time to see everything.

 

Sintra Center

Being this the point of start for a Sintra day tour, you will be enchanted right from the beginning, with these narrow and colorful streets. There is also a view from the palace and you can not skip the traditional pastries “queijadas de Sintra” from Piriquita, as they are the most known and delicious in the country.

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Sintra center
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Queijadas at Piriquita
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Narrow Streets

 

Castel of the Moors

This castel in ruins goes back to the 9th century, and it was restored afterwords. I actually haven’t visited the inside for a while, but from what I remember it has a really interesting background and an amazing view. If you don’t want to spend money here, you can still see a few things in the outside, so don’t miss it.

 

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Pena Palace

This stunning palace is located on the top of Sintra, and you can see it from bellow in almost every part of the town. It is a landmark of Sintra and it is known for its unique colors and architecture. The tour for the palace and the gardens costs around 16€ , and it allows you to see how the royal families used to live and the gardens, which are really nice as well.

 

 

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Quinta da Regaleira

This one is my absolute favorite in Sintra. Regaleira is a really pretty palace, but in here, the real magic is found in the gardens. The price is just 6€, which is super cheap for this awesome place. The gardens have wells, cages, lakes, flowers… and amazing viewpoints. I don’t think any words or photos can truly show how fascinating Regaleira is, so my advice is: go and see for yourselves.

 

Quinta da Regaleira

 

Some tips that might helpful:

  • Once this is a very touristy zone, all the coffee shops are pricey, so if you want to save money take some food and water with you.
  • In Sintra is always colder and windier than in Lisbon, so make sure you bring a coat.
  • The cheapest way to get to Sintra is by train, from Cais do Sodré. You can also go by tram from praça da figueira (15E) or by bus, but as they are often crowded I don’t really recommend it.
  • Once you get there, you can go from one place to another by foot, but it is a bit far and it is going up, so you can take a bus going through the main attractions. either take one trip by bus from Sintra center to the top and then walk down, or buy the daily ticket and ride as you wish, which is what I would do, as it is A LOT of walking.
  • If you are going by car, you can also do a detour and visit the most western point in Europe: Cabo da Roca!

 

I hope this somehow inspired you enough to convince you to visit Sintra, because believe me, you’ll love it!

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina

 

 

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Clink78: The coolest hostel I’ve stayed in my life

Hey!

My purpose with this blog is to guide you when travelling to the places I’ve been to, so despite there are websites and apps to review hostels, I thought that it would be interesting to share my experience at Clink78 with you, because that hostel is something, trust me.

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As I told before, I went to London for a flash birthday trip with my boyfriend. As I was looking for accommodation, and I couldn’t find any cheap hotel deals (does that even exist in London?!),  I heard about Clink78 through a friend that had stayed there.

As soon as I started checking the reviews and Clink’s Instagram and Facebook, I immediately knew I had to stay there. They have such a nice engagement with costumers! They share recommendations and tips for travelling to the cities they’re in and they promote activities on their bar (yeah, they have a bar!) every night.

There are two Clinks in London and both of them are really well located – near King’s Cross Station. I stayed at Clink78, which has some nice markets and restaurants around, which might come in handy.

The hostel is located in an old courthouse – how awesome is that! – and it has some rooms that were adapted to keep the old decoration, so this makes it almost a magical spot. For example, there’s a room to hang out and watch tv or work, with the old tables and sits, which a found very cool and original ! Inside, it had some really cute details, full of lights and colors. Its target is obviously young travelers and that shows – all of us are there to have a good time! There’s a really chill environment all around, even everyone in the staff is super nice and outgoing.

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As I got to the hostel, I got a big welcome from the girl in the reception who was so nice, she even yelled “it’s your birthday!!”, and all the staff in general was very helpful and nice. They even offered coupons for free drinks at the bar (not sure if they still do) to everyone who checked in, and they upgraded mine for any drink I wanted because of my birthday. That is a nice way to win my friendship :p

About the room, they have some pretty cool mixed rooms with capsules and prison cells, but I stayed in a double private room with bathroom. Even though it is a little small, it was enough for the both of us and it was quite simple and functional. The bed was comfortable and there were some shelfs to put our stuff, but it was a shame that there was no “extra” space to put our coats and luggage, like a cabinet or hangers, as we were there only for two nights, it was not a big deal. The bathroom was small as well, but it was really peculiar, it was like a capsule.

Clink offers a regular continental breakfast with coffee, toast , milk, cereal etc, which was plenty for me. It is held in the same area where the bar works at night, but it was perfectly clean and there was a lot of space to sit and hang out.

It is a super cool hostel to stay for a few days, specially because all the staff is so kind and the hostel is really well located. Plus, the Wifi worked really well (which is a miracle in any hostel!)

Lots of Love,

Catarina

 

Lisbon Travel Guide: the basics

Hello!

As Lisbon has so many things you can see and do, I’ve decided to start this post series: Lisbon Travel Guide!

So, as first a piece, these are the Lisbon basic touristic spots, the “must-see” for every first time visitor.

Baixa-Chiado The whole downtown area is essential to see, if you’re coming to Lisbon. You can start in Rossio and walk through Rua Augusta until Praça do Comércio. If you go up on the Rua Augusta’s arch, you’ll get a stunning view of the square and the river. You should also go to Chiado, and check the St. Justa elevator..

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Electrico 28  This tram is super famous around the world. Even by its own, it’s really nice for a capture, but if you take a ride on, you’ll see Lisbon most incredible sights and buildings.

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Belém  The whole Belém area is impressive: in here you will find a few of our most remarcable monuments. Starting with the biggest, Jeronimos monastary was built in the XVI century and it is enourmosly beautiful. By crossing to the other side of the road, next to the Tagus river is located the Monument to the Discoveries (in portuguese Padrão dos Descobrimentos) build in honor of Henry the Navigator and all the Portuguese dicoveries, not only it is amazing from the outside but you can go up and see the amazing view. If you walk along the river, you will get to the Belem Tower

You’ve probably heard about our famous custard tarts, right? Here is where you can have it, they are called pastéis de belém. You also have the Jeronimos Monastary which enourmously beautiful.

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Alfama This is probably the oldest, most famous and most enchanting neighbourhood in Lisbon. It has incredible views and a charm of its own. This place is also known for Fado music houses, since it comes from here.

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Parque Edward XVII  The view on the top of this park awsome!  You see all the way to the river.

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For me, these are the most touristic spots of Lisbon. Of course there’s plenty more I want to share with you, so stay tuned because this beautiful city has a lot for me to tell you!

 

If you want to check out my travel photos make sure you follow me on instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/the.random.wanderer/

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Lots of Love,

Catarina

Best places to visit in Ireland

Hi there!

I went to Ireland two years ago and it was one of the most amazing countries I’ve ever been to. It is a country filled with music, joy and wonderful people. I strongly recommend anyone to visit it! I stayed in Dublin, but I took a day trip to see other places, so here’s a wrap of what I think it’s worth  visiting.

 

Cliffs of MoherCliffs of Moher

There are no words that can possibly describe the beauty of these cliffs located in County Clare. It is just a stunning view and despite they’re a bit far from Dublin, paying a visit is totally worth it! Plus you get to enjoy the beautiful landscape on your way there.

GalwayGalway

Galway’s city centre is just adorable! It has these beautiful and colourful houses, plus you can really feel the Irish spirit as you walk through the city while listening to the street performers playing some typical music.

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11120533_965710353451252_5564346114388865991_nGuinness Storehouse

For me, Guinness is one of the first things I think about when I hear the word Ireland (sorry not sorry) so, if you are a fan of beer, it is imperative that you visit the Guinness Storehouse. It’s a super interactive experience:  you find yourself involved in the beer-making process with a perfect ending: a free pint on the rooftop which has an amazing view.

IMG_1754.JPGTemple Bar

Temple bar was initially one of pub, but it got so famous that the whole area started being called that. It is an area filled with pubs and bars, which is a great place to grab a beer at the end of the afternoon or to go out and dance. You just feel the awesome and happy Irish vibes, and there’s also a lot of Irish music – super cool!

IMG_1593.JPGTrinity College

One of the oldest colleges in the world. It’s a beautiful campus and the library it’s totally worth the look.

 

St.Patrick's ChathedralSt. Patrick’s Cathedral & Gardens

This cathedral is just huge and it has a beautiful garden around it, totally worth a look.

IMG_1699Dublinia

This is a museum that allows you to “experience viking and medieval Dublin” and  learn everything about it! You will love it, specially If you’re a nerd for history like me!

11150849_965710146784606_4266593288713720167_nKilmainham Gaol Prision

This old prison turned into a museum has a lot of history to tell: you get to see the whole building and learn about the people who once were there. Cheers to the staff, the tour is brilliantly done.

 

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PS- I know this isn’t  a place, but have some fish and chips with a nice beer!

 

                                                                                                  Lots of Love,

Catarina

The first one

Hello !

My name is Catarina and I am a 24 year-old Portuguese girl. I was born in the amazing city of Lisbon, which is absolutely one of my favorite places in the world. I grew up in another city, I moved Lisbon again to go to college and I’m now living here. So yeah, you’ll be hearing a lot about it.

Why write a blog?

Ever since I was a little girl, I always felt I was a bit… let’s go with peculiar. And I was really lost about what I was passionate about and wanted to do with my life. I heard “you’re such a character! You should write a book” one too many times… I actually considered starting a blog then, but I didn’t know what to write about…

After having some international experiences I got really into travelling and meeting other cultures, so I decided to go on exchange. And boy, did that change my life! I totally got the travel bug! I constantly think about travelling, meeting new people, trying different foods… I got totally hooked. So I thought to share my experiences, stories, and tips with the world: that’s what the blog will be all about.

Stay tuned!

Lots of Love
Catarina

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