Let’s start with a disclaimer: I did not spend enough time in Lisbon.
To be more precise, I didn’t spend enough time exploring Lisbon. My first afternoon was spent watching Germany beat Portugal – and then celebrating afterwards. And half of my second day was spent exploring the Unesco World Heritage Site of Sintra.
From the little that I did see of Lisbon, here’s the verdict: it’s buzzing, it’s beautiful and it’s half as frustrating as some of the other European capitals. What I mean by that is Lisbon is relatively raw and not as commercialised as other historic, big cities. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as cool as them: it has the beach right around the corner, a historic castle with a killer view, colourful quarters and legendary pastel de nata.
But it’s a Unesco-protected site for more than one reason. It’s gorgeous, for starters. There more palaces you can bear to visit in a day and adorable streets everyone would want to get lost in.
I am definitely going to find some time to go back to Lisbon and Sintra – and Portugal, in general – in the future. I didn’t have high expectations before visiting this country, and I was thoroughly wowed by the beauty of it.