Thoughts On Lisbon

Thoughts On Lisbon

Lisbon was…

Lookout points over terracotta roofs and the dark blue atlantic ocean.

Several different districts pieced together.

Buildings which looked like the outside was decorated with a retro pattern wallpaper.

Lisbon rooftop view

Cobbled pavements and cobbled streets all built on different levels creating a maze like mass of streets.

Tuk-tuks as a form of transport.

Admiring the trams from afar but hating the crammed and unstable journey inside them.

Feeling like you were walking on the backstreets of the city when in fact they were the main streets.

Visiting several districts before they fully opened and not knowing whether they were a tourist trap or a local’s secret.

Tiny streets with unknown destinations at the end of them.

lisbon rooftops view

Feeling like I was back in South East Asia because of the being accosted to buy, eat or give money for something every few minutes.

Wandering the Alfama district before it really opened for the night ahead and seeing half set up outside bars, which remained me of those in Ko Phi Phi.

Colourfully tacky bunting strung across each street.

Looking at everything for afar but not actually doing anything.

Eating custard tarts and pastries all of the time.

lisbon - custard tarts in Belem

Knowing I wouldn’t feel safe wandering the streets alone.

Noticing derelict buildings and crumbling houses right next to modern and well kept ones.

Getting blown away in Belem while touring the UNESCO sites and staring at the Golden Gate Bridge look-a-like.

Being too polite and waiting an hour to get on tram 28.

A constant confusion on how their paying service worked for the public transport.

Unexpected views of the city from random side streets.

lisbon - tram 28 lisbon - unexpected views from side streets

Buildings decorated with blocks of solid primary colours.

Seeing the tram lines in the streets and wires over head.

Friendly people and good service.

Being welcomed to the city by the Praça do Comercio, arch of Victoria and its contrasting yellow and white architecture.


Not experiencing the nightlife.

Exploring the city for one day and feeling like we had seen it all.

Visiting the Chiado and Barra Alto district and wandering a grid of streets which were quiet and empty.

Not heading north of Rossio and then wondering if we had missed out as the aerobus drove us through the north districts on our way home.

Not doing enough research beforehand and wandering aimlessly for parts of the day.

A blue sky day turning overcast and cold as time passed.

lisbon alfama

Narrow and winding streets you would never imagined a tram would fit on.

Lisbon was a lack of inspiration and feeling frustrated because I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

Have you visited Lisbon? What are your thoughts on the city?



  1. 25th June 2015 / 6:56 pm

    For reasons I can’t even articulate, Lisbon has long been one of the top cities on my Europe wish list. I’m loving your photos, but bummed to hear you didn’t enjoy it more! Do you think you’d have enjoyed it more with more specific destinations/activities in mind? Sometimes wandering aimlessly is my favorite way to explore a new city, but sometimes I just leave feeling empty-handed.

    • Jodie Louise
      26th June 2015 / 8:11 pm

      I know I do love wandering aimlessly but do wonder if certain activities would have added more to our trip. I certainly wouldn’t be against giving it another go at some point however.

  2. 25th June 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Hey Jodie, my little travel heart is broken after reading your thoughts on Lisbon… We went over the new year and we loved the vibe of the city, the friendly locals, and of course the food! But in saying that, I completely understand your sentiments… we were really looking forward to a quirky, foodie weekend in Bologna but just left a little disappointed!

    • Jodie Louise
      26th June 2015 / 8:10 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you loved it and why – sorry for breaking your heart. Still like you say sometimes this happens with travelling.

  3. 25th June 2015 / 10:14 pm

    I love a rambling blog post – they are the best kind! 🙂
    And also I love this post because its so honest. It’s only natural to not love everywhere you go, but I know how frustrating and disappointing it can be. Your photos are gorgeous at least :). I love the little tram.

    • Jodie Louise
      26th June 2015 / 8:08 pm

      Thanks Pippa, I was so frustrated and disappointed not to love it but like you say you can’t love everywhere. Still I would go back and give it another try at some point.

  4. 29th June 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Such a shame it didn’t live up to expectations Jodie – interestingly, I’ve heard similar feedback from a few people about Lisbon. I’m surprised to hear you got hassled to buy stuff etc all the time as I rarely find that in Western Europe and I know how frustrating it must have been. But on the upside, I bet those custard tarts went some way towards redressing the balance!

    • Jodie Louise
      9th July 2015 / 8:52 am

      Oh those custard tarts and all the other pastries were delicious. I think I’d go back and give Lisbon a second chance at some point.

  5. 1st July 2015 / 2:57 pm

    Sorry to hear you didn’t love it as much as you thought you would Jodie, but I think there are always going to be some places like this. I think that having so much access to information about places before you visit is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it gives you something to look forward to, but sometimes you can then end up feeling disappointed by the actual experience. This is exactly how I felt when I saw the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, even though I’ve met so many people that love them.

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