Lisbon’s Best Cafes, Where to Start Mornings with Good Brew

It’s no secret I love Lisbon.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

Steep hills, colourful facades, creamy egg tarts, excellent wine, an endless array of beautiful doors, and sunshine reflecting off the water.

In so many senses, what could be better?

In only a few days, Lisbon became one of my favourite cities in Europe. Once a gateway city for explorers to discover new lands and things across the world, it’s now a vibrant coastal city. 

It’s a place I’m seriously considering living for a few months, if I ever return to the nomad life, for many reasons.

Chief among them?
The city’s cafe scene, including an ever-growing crop of co-working spots.

My first time in Lisbon, I travelled with a good friend, who much like myself, is also a coffee lover.

Hearing Lisbon was the perfect city for caffeine fiends, I was excited to do a morning walking tour of the city on our first day to discover as many coffee shops as we could and get acquainted with neighbourhoods near where we were staying in Bairro Alta.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

Bright tiled buildings, cobblestone streets, wrought-iron street lights, the sounds of the city beginning to wake up, and some seriously good brew- all the makings of a dreamy morning.

Over the course of a half day, we wandered Lisbon’s back streets in search of good brew and pastries.

5 Coffee Shops Perfect for Your Morning Coffee Fix

Copenhagen Coffee Lab: Hailed as the best third wave coffee in Lisbon, the flat whites are great and there’s a cute park next to the location on R. Nova da Piedade, ideal for sipping coffee, surrounded by greenery. It’s a Copenhagen-based coffee shop, serving up some of the best roasts from around the world.

Hello, Kristof: Immediately enamoured by its pink facade, I knew this tiny hole in the wall cafe was gonna be good. The inside is just as cute, and they roast locally- meaning, the coffee is fresh.

The Mill: Nearby Hello, Kristof, you’ll find excellent Aussie brunch (hi avo toast), and a host of delicious smoothies

Noobai Café: If you’re looking for coffee and a view, this is the place. Located at the Miradouro da Santa Catarina, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the city and waterfront at this cafe. It’s the best place to take a break and take in the view.

Tartine: The final stop on the morning coffee tour, top up here with good coffee, but also excellent pastries. I had a salted caramel doughnut and fell.in.love.

During the rest of our time in Lisbon, we intentionally sought out a few other cafes to try, loving some of them enough to return multiple times (looking at you, Fabrica).

  • Fabrica Coffee Roasters: Best place for cold brew in Lisbon. Fabrica doesn’t mess around when it comes to brew- they roast their beans to bring out the best possible flavour, and buy straight from coffee farmers around the world. One thing to note- there’s no WiFi here, best to visit when you’re in the mood for conversation or reading
  • Wish Slow Coffee: Ample space to relax, Wish is a great coffee in the LX Factory. While you’re in LX Factory, don’t miss stopping at Landeau Chocolate for chocolate cake so good, the New York Times ranks it as a ‘must-eat’ in Lisbon
  • Nicolau Coffee: On my next visit to Lisbon, I’ll definitely be stopping here for brunch- the menu looked amazing. We popped in mid-afternoon while roaming Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood, The Alfama for a caffeine pick-me up and the chance to rest our weary feet (enter: tons of hill climbing). It’s a cozy cafe with a relaxed vibe, and great lattes
  • Veggie Wave: If coffee isn’t your thing and you’re staying in Bairro Alto, this place is great for fresh squeezed juice first thing in the morning

Have you ever been to Lisbon? If you’re a coffee lover like me, did you enjoy the cafe scene as well? 

Enjoyed this post? Pin it.

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Finding Magic in Sintra, Portugal

A GUIDE TO ONE DAY IN SINTRA

On an autumn trip to Lisbon, I was determined to visit Sintra, Portugal.

We loved Lisbon and were worried about having enough time to fully explore the city, but were also infatuated with photos we saw of Sintra.

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Never heard of Sintra?

It’s a cute village surrounded by rolling hills and craggy mountainside near the coast. It’s one of Portugal’s most visited spots, for good reason. Some of the area’s history can be traced back to early civilisation- think: the Romans.

Located about 45 minutes from Lisbon via train, if you have the flexibility in travel, I’d recommend spending two days there to really see the best of the region.

On the day we visited, we got a later start than planned because it was raining and we just wanted to relax. Even though we only had about 4 hours in Sintra when all was said/done, it still felt like plenty of time to see two castles and enjoy the town.

From the Rossio Train Station, we paid €4.50 for a return train ticket and went to wait for our train. Check the train schedules before you head to the station so you’re not waiting 30 minutes for a train like we were 😉 

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetIMG_6998Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

ONE DAY IN SINTRA

If you’re short on time like we were, I’d recommend prioritising a visit to Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle. Both are within walking distance of each other- ~10-15 minutes apart.

From town, we took an Uber (€5) to the gates of Pena Palace and decided to start there. There are also tuk tuks, taxis and buses, or you could hike to the top.

IMG_6939Processed with VSCO with au5 presetIMG_6916Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Pena Palace is an eccentric castle, designated a UNESCO World heritage site. A colourful castle situated on top of a hill, I was transfixed by the vibrant exterior and intricate tiles.

The castle was built by Ferdinand II after he acquired the land in the 19th Century with the intent to build a summer palace for the royal family.

Visiting Pena Palace on a foggy day was incredible- it would have been great to see the views of the surrounding mountains, but there was also something so magical about the low visibility- it felt like we were floating in a cloud forest.

Pena is pretty big- it’d be easy to spend a half day at the castle and exploring the gardens/forest alone.

IMG_6877

Next up, we walked to the Moorish castle. I believe there’s also a bus you could take, but short on time, we decided to walk since it wasn’t far.

Castle of the Moors dates back to the North African Moors, perched high above the city to overlook and safeguard the town of Sintra. In the 16th Century, the castle started to decay from neglect. Today, it offers one of the region’s best views.

Walking along the medieval ruins of the Moorish castle felt like we were high above the clouds in a completely different world. We couldn’t see much of the surrounding hillside or town below, sans breaks in the cloud cover, but that almost made the experience better- more ethereal. 

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetIMG_7054IMG_7030Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

On our way back to town, we decided to Uber again – although the downhill walk would likely have been 20 minutes and totally doable. We wanted to see a bit of the town before hopping on a train back to the city.

IMG_7015

If I’m ever back in Sintra, I’d love to see Quinta da Regaleira, a castle famed for its stunning gardens.

Would you spend one day in Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon?

Enjoyed this one guide to day in Sintra? Pin it. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Visiting Sunny Faro, the Gateway to the Algarve

GUIDE TO FARO, PORTUGAL

The Algarve. A region I hadn’t given much thought to before moving to London. After having countless colleagues visit and return with stories of Portugal’s sunny southern coast, I was keen to check it out for myself.

Already planning a trip to Lisbon in mid-November, I decided to add two days to the trip and start in Faro, then head north.

Originally, I’d planned on renting a car or spending a night in another one of the coastal towns in the Algarve, but coming down with the flu right before I left resulted in a change of plans that saw me spend two full days in Faro so I could rest before meeting friends in Lisbon for a long weekend.

With little time to plan, and not much surfacing on things to do in Faro during the off-season, I figured I’d explore the town and just focus on feeling better.

IMG_6478IMG_6337Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Faro turned out to be exactly what I needed, a quiet, charming, relaxing start to a week in Portugal.

From wandering the old town, to admiring the city’s beautiful churches, and watching the sun set over the Atlantic from a downtown rooftop bar- I enjoyed a few calm, easygoing days in southern Portugal.

One day, I’d like to return to the region and see more of the Algarve, but I can see why Faro gets such rave reviews from travellers- it’s a great base to plan your travels around the south. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops to keep you busy, but not so many it feels overwhelming.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 preset

A GUIDE TO FARO, PORTUGAL

A few of my favourite places and things to do: 

  • Wander the narrow, winding streets of Old Town and relax at a sidewalk cafe, sipping coffee or a drink watching life go by around you
  • The Arco da Vila is built on one of the medieval gateways to the city, and is the entrance to the Cidade Velha (old town)
  • Shop the cobbled, patterned streets, popping into local favourites, like the sardine shop, Comur
  • Relax at the city’s cafes, three of my favourites: Baixa (loved the breakfast and fresh teas here- grab an outside table!), Vila Adentro, and Padaria Urbana
  • Take a stroll down Jardim Manuel Bívar, it’s a beautiful street
  • Watch the sun set over the ocean in the distance at Hotel Faro
  • Capela dos Ossos is beautiful from the outside, and has a chapel of bones (a touch creepy) inside
  • Still recovering from being sick meant I mostly ate soup/eggs, but for one dinner out, I tried Paparazzi (pizza) and enjoyed it. Portuguese food is always tough for me as a vegetarian, but Faro is home to a few great, traditional restaurants if that’s your thing – search for them on TripAdvisor or FourSquare
  • Note: I didn’t venture outside of the city because of how I was feeling, but the beach and other activities in the region are as close as a 20-30 minute drive from city centre

IMG_6419Processed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetIMG_6359IMG_6350IMG_6383

PS. Airbnb at Faro is super affordable- I stayed in a gorgeous place for a fraction of what I’ve paid in other parts of Europe 🙂

IMG_6310IMG_6298

Have you ever been to Faro or the Algarve? Lisbon and Porto are still my favourite cities in Portugal, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my first visit to the Algarve region. 

Enjoyed this guide to Faro? Pin it. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Falling in Love with Lisbon

COMPLETE GUIDE TO LISBON

Everyone told me I’d love Lisbon, and they were right.

Steep hills, colourful facades, delicious, creamy egg tarts, excellent wine, an endless array of beautiful doors and sunshine reflecting off the water.

We loved Lisbon- in only a few days, it became one of my favourite cities in Europe. Once a gateway city for explorers to discover new lands and things across the world, it’s now a vibrant coastal city. 

We had three days in Lisbon, which felt like the perfect amount of time to explore a few different neighbourhoods, plus take a day trip outside the city. That said, it also feels like we only scratched the surface. I’m keen to make it back to Lisbon someday and uncover more of what the city has to offer.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 preset

The Complete Guide to Lisbon: What to Do

  • Explore some of Lisbon’s best neighbourhoods
    • Alfama: The oldest district in Lisbon, surviving the 1755 earthquake. Think: hilly, winding streets with historic architecture that lead to perfect views of the city. Not down to hike to the top? Take tram 28, it goes from central Lisbon to Castelo Sao Jorge and affords good views of the city throughout the ride
    • Baixa: In the centre of the city, it’s known for being a shopping district. Here, you’ll find Praca do Comercio and Rossio Square / train station (which is the train you need to travel to Sintra)
    • Chiado: Known as the posher part of Lisbon, it’s between Baixa and Bairro Alto and home to many boutiques and cute restaurants
    • Bairro Alto: During the day, this hilly neighbourhood is perfect to stroll if you’re in search of cobblestone streets and beautiful facades. At night, the streets come alive with party goers in search of cheap cocktails (think 3-4 euros) and club scenes
  • Admire the view from Lisbon’s endless overlooks. The city is built on seven hills, which means there are plenty of panoramic viewpoints, my favourites:
    • Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara
    • Miradouro do Graça
    • Miradouro do Monte Agudo
    • Miradouro de Santa Luzia
    • Miradouro de Santa Catarina
    • One of the city’s most well known views is from the Santa Justa Elevator, a neo-gothic elevator made out of wrought iron. It’s pricey to take it to the top, so instead, I recommend putting ‘Carmo Convent’ near the top of the Elevator into Google Maps and heading there for nearly the same view
  • Sit in a park and sip sangria. A spot I loved: Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara. Here, there’s not only great views but also a quaint park with vendors offering pints of sangria (!) and ginjinha shots. Ginjinha is a typical Portuguese liquor made of cherries/berries and often consumed with a cherry or chocolate to make it even sweeter
  • Roam the streets of Lisbon without an agenda, admiring the Azulejo tiles. One of the things I loved most about wandering Lisbon were these tiles, they’re brightly coloured and covered in intricate designs
  • Head to Lisbon’s most photographed street, Elevada da Bica. Here, you’ll find the Bica funicular, a national monument that’s been in operation since 1892. Head to the top to shoot the funiculars as they pass each other on the steep incline
  • Go shopping, there are so many cute boutiques in Lisbon, three that I like: Cerâmicas Na Linha (affordable, homemade ceramics), A Vida Portuguesa (authentic Portuguese products, great place to pick up gifts to take home), Comur. A Conserveira De Portugal (an entire store dedicated to sardine varieties)
  • Take a day trip to Sintra, a cute village surrounded by rolling hills and craggy mountainside. In Sintra, we visited Pena Palace, an eccentric castle that’s a UNESCO World heritage site, and the Moorish Castle. Visiting Pena Palace on a foggy day was incredible- it would have been great to see the views of the surrounding mountains, but there was also something so magical about the low visibility- it felt like we were floating in a cloud forest. As if that wasn’t great enough, walking along the medieval ruins of the Moorish castle felt like we were high above the clouds in a completely different world
  • We didn’t have time to visit Belem Tower or St George’s Castle, but both are high on my list for a return visit

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetimg_6670img_6675Processed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 presetProcessed with VSCO with au5 preset

The Complete Guide to Lisbon: Where to Have Coffee

Travelling with a huge coffee lover, and hearing Lisbon was the perfect city for caffeine fiends, I was excited to do a morning walking tour of the city on our first day to discover as many coffee shops as we could and get acquainted with neighbourhoods near ours.

  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab: Hailed as the best third wave coffee in Lisbon, the flat whites are great and there’s a cute park next door
  • Hello, Kristof: Cute little cafe with locally roasted beans
  • The Mill: Excellent Aus brunch, but also great coffee smoothies
  • Noobai Café: If you’re looking for coffee and a view, this is the place. Stunning views of the city and waterfront
  • Tartine: Good coffee, but excellent pastries. I had a salted caramel doughnut and fell.in.love.
  • Fabrica Coffee Roasters: Best place for cold brew in Lisbon
  • Wish Slow Coffee: Ample space to relax, great coffee in the LX Factory
  • Nicolau Coffee: On my next visit to Lisbon, I’ll definitely be stopping here for brunch- the menu looked amazing. We popped in here mid-afternoon one day for a caffeine pick-me up and to rest our weary feet (tired from tons of hill climbing). Super cute cafe with a relaxed vibe
  • Veggie Wave: If coffee isn’t your thing and you’re staying in Bairro Alto, this place is great for fresh squeezed juice in the morning

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetimg_6589img_6603img_6630img_6660img_7336img_7351

The Complete Guide to Lisbon: Where to Eat

  • Taberna da Rua das Flores: Reservations are a must here, it’s cosy and the menu changes routinely but oh so good
  • Time Out Market Lisboa: Is this food market over-hyped and touristy? Sure. But, there’s also excellent food and so much variety – loved the croquettes, pizza, burgers, egg tarts, sangria and patatas bravas
  • Manteigaria: This is a can’t miss. The egg custard tarts are incredible- by far, the best I’ve had in Lisbon (and in Macau/Hong Kong on my visit there). They’re cheap too, so even if you’re not sure you’ll like it- try one. If you don’t make it to the original shop, they have a location at the Time Out Market, making them accessible
  • Taberna Do Avillez: Great food and great wine. Another place to make a reservation if you can get one
  • Coyo Taco: Mid-way through our meal here, which we stopped in for because it was near our hotel, I realised this was a spin-off of a taco restaurant I loved in Wynwood Miami five years ago. Everything we had was great- the tacos, churros, margaritas, esquites and ensaladas
  • Royale Cafe: Great seafood. We especially loved the octopus, but the hummus was also tasty
  • Grapes & Bites: Local cheeses paired with local wines. A perfect snack stop or place to escape the rain for an hour, as we did
  • A Cevicheria: I’ve never been a huge ceviche fan, but everyone in our group raved about the ceviche options, really loving the tuna one
  • Landeau Chocolate: Go here for the chocolate cake, it’s epic
  • Santini Gelado: Serving up tasty ice cream since 1949, this is a can’t miss, especially if the weather is warm

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetimg_6547img_7121

The Complete Guide to Lisbon: Where to Drink

  • BA Wine Bar: Our very first stop in Lisbon. We lucked out walking in without a reservation (pretty early in the night, and before meeting up with friends). Normally, it’s reservations only and slow service, in a good way- they want you to savour the wines. With only 30 minutes to spare, we were grateful they accommodated us for a tasting – the wines were all from Portugal and fantastic
  • By the Wine – José Maria da Fonseca: We ended up here every night we were in Lisbon, some nights for a quick drink and others for hours. We loved how affordable and great the wines were, and how cool the atmosphere was
  • Pub Lisboeta:  Craft beers and good wines, for a pub. Lively atmosphere and close proximity to our hotel made this an end of night stop for us more than once
  • Portas do Sol: If you find yourself in Alfama, don’t miss stopping here for sangria, espresso or even a glass of wine while taking in the incredible view

img_6509Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

The Complete Guide to Lisbon: A Few Other Bits to Know

In terms of navigating Lisbon, we walked pretty much everywhere, taking the metro, which was easy to figure out, a few times if we were going across the city.

At night, if we were drinking in the lower part of the city, we usually opted to take Uber back to our hotel at the very top of Bairro Alto- who wants to climb steep inclines after enjoying a few glasses of wine 😉 And, it certainly helped Uber was so affordable, usually costing less than £3 a ride.

Because the hills are steep, make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes. Trainers are a must.

With only a few days to visit Lisbon, we wanted to be centrally located for exploring. I visited with a group of 6 friends, which we split up into pairs for ease of lodging. Initially, my friend and I were in an Airbnb in the heart of Bairro Alto, less than five minutes from our friends. After our first night, we woke up to a pretty big issue in the flat, which the owner refused to resolve. Airbnb handled the situation extremely well and had us rebooked in a hotel only 5 minutes from where we’d been staying. We loved the neighbourhood, but I’d stay on the fringe on a future visit- the central bits get quite loud at night, especially on the weekends.

All in all, a spectacular first visit to Lisbon.

Processed with VSCO with au5 presetimg_6594Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Have you ever been to Lisbon? What did you think of the city? 

Enjoyed this complete guide to Lisbon? Pin it. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Porto, A Small City with Big Personality

Porto, Portugal, a small city with big personality.

Lisbon is often the first place people think of when talking about traveling to Portugal, but Porto, the country’s second largest city, is charmingly traditional.

Colorful, mismatched houses and winding streets. Sunsets over the Douro River. Beautiful blue tiles. And, plenty of port wine.

I’d originally planned a birthday trip to Lisbon and Porto, but ended up needing to delay and shorten the trip. In the end, I decided a long weekend in Porto was exactly what I needed as a mid-November getaway.

FullSizeRender_2

Thinking about visiting this beautiful city in northern Portugal? Six reasons to stop thinking about, and start planning a trip to Porto-

Traditional charm

Porto doesn’t even have to try, it’s romantic, trendy, unassuming and charming all in one. Some parts of the city are a tad run down, but exploring all of it is the only way to get a true feeling for what it’s like for locals.

If you’re visiting, at some point in your trip, you’ll likely be in the Ribeira, old town Porto. Holding World Heritage status, there are old, abandoned buildings on every street, but the area still manages to ooze charm.

FullSizeRender_3IMG_6740IMG_7180IMG_6648

Riverside relaxation

When you’ve had your fill of wandering, pull up a seat at any of the cafes that dot the river (loved Bacalhau for their cheese board and wine list). I came late one afternoon, and stayed a few hours until it was time to watch the sun set. True holiday perfection.

If you want to try your hand at relaxation on both sides of the river, the double-decker metallic Douro Bridge makes it easy to do so, and has the added bonus of magnificent views. I walked along the high part of the bridge on my way to port tastings, and took the tram down to the riverside. You can walk along the lower portion of the bridge on your way back to Ribeira/city center, or hop in an Uber like I did (only £3 for a 15 minute ride).

IMG_6828IMG_6839IMG_6869IMG_7198

Stunning design and beautiful architecture

Porto does picturesque imperfections better than any other place I’ve ventured to. At every turn, you’ll find bright pops of color, darling details and crumbling tiles.

No visit to Porto is complete spotting the city’s famous blue tiles, azulejos. Azulejo-clad facades are all over the city, each one as stunning as the next. One of my favorite displays, in Sao Bento train station is made up of over 20,000 tiles. Breathtaking, to say the least.

A few other places to see gorgeous azulejos: Capella Das Almas, Church of Saint Ildefonso, Igreja dos Carmelitas Descalos and Porto Cathedral.

And, as you’re wandering the streets in search of blue tiles, stop in Livraria Lello, said to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world. If the floor to ceiling bookcases don’t have you making heart eyes, the curvy center staircase will do the trick. Because the bookstore is so popular, it’ll cost you ~£5 to enter, which is refunded if you purchase anything inside.

FullSizeRender_3IMG_7113IMG_6616IMG_6809IMG_7138

Port wine in plentiful amount

Porto is the home of port wine. Until I started planning my trip, I didn’t realise Porto is home to one of the world’s largest wine regions, the Douro Valley. Much like Champagne can only come from a certain part of France, true port wine can only be produced in the Douro Valley.

Interestingly, unlike in most of the world’s other wine regions, wine in Porto is still done by hand- no machinery is allowed in the vineyards.

The output though, is well worth the manual labor. And, with so many varieties- tawny, ruby, white, rose and vintage, it’s likely you’ll find something you enjoy.

There are a bunch of different houses to taste at, we tried three- all of which we loved.

  • Kopke: Don’t miss the port wine and chocolate tasting pairings here. Loved the tawny variety in particular
  • Calem: This port house is massive, but still manages to feel personable. We enjoyed our tasting at a table with a riverside view, and sampled a few darker varieties of port- tawny, ruby and vintage. The store on the ground floor is huge, it made us wish we had room in our backpacks to take home a few bottles
  • Espaco Cruz: You can sample on the ground floor, but you’d be remiss not to head to the rooftop for a sunset sampling. As much as we enjoyed our tasting here, the vibe can be a bit young/trendy on weekends (read: lots of people, loud music), so coming mid-afternoon may be a better decision if you’re looking for a relaxing time

IMG_6854IMG_6858IMG_6873IMG_6868

Portuguese eats, muito delicioso

I didn’t go to Porto with the intention or expectation of finding outstanding eats, and was pleasantly surprised by every restaurant we tried. Options for traditional Portuguese are endless, but with me being a vegetarian and my travel partner avoiding starchy carbs during our visit, we sought out a few alternative places to eat:

  • Zenith: Excellent brunch with classics like fresh squeezed juices, eggs Benedict, french toast and Portuguese pastries
  • Negra Cafe: Another breakfast favorite, great smoothie bowels and cold brew
  • Brick Clerigos: Known for their awesome vegetarian eats, we loved this gem. The sweet potato “pizza” topped with a bunch of different vegetables is a must-try
  • Flow: Gorgeous restaurant, perfect for a nicer dinner. Menu is Mediterranean focused, try the pumpkin risotto if it’s available
  • Panca: Perfect place if you’re into ceviche and pisco sours
  • If it’s coffee and a quick breakfast bite you’re after, Majestic Cafe is gorgeous, Moustache or Duas de Letra are great central go-to’s for a morning stop on your way to see/do other things, and Combi Coffee Co. & Mesa 325 are a bit outside of city center (still walkable), but excellent third wave coffee

And, if you’re looking for great spots to grab a drink:

  • Aduela and Candelabra are great wine bars
  • Champanheria de Baixa does a mean sangria
  • The Royal Cocktail Club doesn’t disappoint when it comes to mixed drinks

FullSizeRenderIMG_6709IMG_7094IMG_6583IMG_6884IMG_6664

Day trip to colorful Aveiro and Costa Nova

Aveiro is easy to get to from Porto, urban trains run every hour and are affordable at €3.45 for a one-way ticket. The journey itself takes a little over an hour.

Historically, Aveiro was a port town. Many of the neighborhoods you’ll see on your visit were established by the fishermen and their families. Wandering Averio on foot is easy, the city is pretty compact. Narrow streets, bright houses, patterned tiles- it’s a beautiful place to get lost.

FullSizeRender_2IMG_7023Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 20.45.45IMG_7007FullSizeRender

Famed for its pretty striped wooden houses, nearby beach town Costa Nova feels like a return to simpler times. These houses were traditionally used to store fishing tackle, but are now an iconic landmark.

We visited Costa Nova in the off-season (November), but still enjoyed strolling the beautiful beach after admiring the adorable striped homes. It’s the kind of place I left dreaming of returning to in the summer.

FullSizeRenderIMG_6979FullSizeRender_1IMG_6958FullSizeRender_4

Have you ever been to Porto? What did you enjoy most about your visit?

IMG_6640

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Visiting Colorful Aveiro from Porto

Researching places near Porto to visit as part of planning a belated birthday weekend getaway, Aveiro popped up. Seeing it described as, ‘the Venice of Portugal’, I was intrigued. And, when I saw the striped beach houses of Costa Nova, near Aveiro, it was a done deal.

FullSizeRender

Aveiro is easy to get to from Porto, urban trains run every hour and are affordable at €3.45 for a one-way ticket. The journey itself takes a little over an hour.

First order of business upon arriving in Aveiro? We hopped in a taxi to Costa Nova.

In summer, buses run hourly. We visited in the off-season, when a bus only runs every 3 hours. Not wanting to waste time, we decided to take taxis round-trip, which ended up costing less than £24, not too bad.

FullSizeRender_4

Famed for its pretty striped wooden houses, Costa Nova feels like a return to simpler times. These houses were traditionally used to store fishing tackle, but are now an iconic landmark.

IMG_6979FullSizeRender_1IMG_6929

We walked up and down the main drag (Avenida Jose Estevao) a few times, and then headed a few blocks over to the beach. For mid-November, the weather was pretty great- 17 degrees Celsius and sunny. We snagged an outdoor table at Bronze, an oceanside restaurant, and lingered for a bit with a glass of wine.

IMG_6958IMG_6984

When we were ready to head back to Aveiro’s town center, we called a local taxi service.

Historically, Aveiro was a port town. Many of the neighborhoods you’ll see on your visit were established by the fishermen and their families.

FullSizeRender_2IMG_7023

Wandering Averio on foot is easy, the city is pretty compact. Narrow streets, bright houses, patterned tiles- it’s a beautiful place to get lost.

IMG_6995IMG_7020IMG_7007IMG_7022

We walked along the canals, through the winding streets lined with shops, and eventually settled on a colorful restaurant, Boteco, on one of the canals to have lunch.

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 20.45.45

As you’re exploring the canals, you’ll notice the decorated gondola-like boats, they’re called Moliceiros. We didn’t do a canal tour, but I’ve heard they’re relatively inexpensive- as low as €10 for a 30-45 minute trip.

One thing you can’t leave Aveiro without trying? The local delicary, Ovos Moles, an egg yolk and sugar dessert. We popped into A Barrica to try a few.

IMG_7036IMG_7026

As the sun started to set, we headed back to the train station, eager to arrive back in Porto in time for a late dinner. On our way, we stopped at the Old Train station to admire the blue tile designs.

The Old Train station, an XIXth century building, was closed after the new station was built. Thankfully, it’s still standing for you to admire- it’s covered in several stunning Portuguese tile panels.

FullSizeRender

My first trip to Portugal was incredible, I fell in love with Porto and Aveiro, and can’t wait to explore more of southern Portugal on return visits.

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Photo Diary: Porto

Porto, a small city with big personality.

I always assumed my first time in Portugal would be to visit Lisbon, but after reading a bit about Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, I was drawn to its charmingly traditional vibe.

And, after spending 3.5 days in Porto and nearby Aveiro, I know I made the right choice visiting Porto before Lisbon.

Colorful, mismatched houses and winding streets. Sunsets over the Douro River. Beautiful blue tiles. Bright striped beach houses. Winding canals. And, plenty of port wine. It was the perfect belated birthday weekend getaway.

Full recaps with my top recos coming soon, but for now…

My Favorite Trip Moments

FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_1IMG_6828FullSizeRenderIMG_7144IMG_6868FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_3IMG_6740FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_1FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_2

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Travel Crush: Porto

Lisbon is often the first city people think of when talking about traveling to Portugal, but Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, is charmingly traditional.

Colorful, mismatched houses and winding streets. Sunsets over the Douro River. Beautiful blue tiles. And, plenty of port wine.

view-of-douro-river-and-ribeira-porto-portugal-shutterstock_570768070

Safe to say Porto doesn’t disappoint. Excited to share I’ll be visiting Portugal as my next destination, spending a few days in Lisbon and Porto at the end of this month.

igreja_santissima_trindade_porto_portugalilolab-shutterstock_106809515

If you’ve been before, would love to hear your must-see and do recos!

Photo credit: The Culture Trip