This is the first time we have visited Lisbon and we have heard a lot of good things about this city. It is with great excitement that we are looking for an apartment to rent for a month, allowing us to work from home and enjoy this city to the fullest.
Unfortunately, from the first research, we immediately realize that this city has become very expensive because of the influx of tourists (like us…). Even the Portuguese can no longer afford to live near the city center.
We inquired and tried to negotiate the rates on Airbnb, but all the owners answer us firmly, saying that electricity in Portugal is very expensive (it’s true), so the rates are high, especially in winter. Some apartments even require payment for the electricity actually consumed by the tenants.
The only airbnb at acceptable fares that we found are on the green line of the metro (Martim Moniz, Intendente). And after checking, it’s the rather “crappy” place in the city (very lively and nice during the day, and maybe a bit dangerous at night)
After a long search, we finally came across an Airbnb in the Alfama district. This area has a lot of guest houses, apartments on Airbnb etc. because it isn’t only well served by public transport, but it is also only 10mn away from the tourist corners, with, as a bonus, an exceptional view on the Tagus.
Without further delay, I let you discover the inside of this apartment (F2), I would say 50m². For 38€/night.
An apartment with every comfort
It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a comfortable apartment, which makes us want to cook a little. Even if my definition of “cooking” is just that: D
But a rather slow connection
Unfortunately, the descending speed is only 1mbps and the ascending speed 4mbps in descending speed . Better than in Morocco but still not super comfort and a little bit right for our calls.
Luckily we have roaming in Europe with our French phone plans, so calls are simply made with our cell phone.
Every morning, we are treated to this magnificent show from the couch. In spite of the presence of some liners, it remains incredible.
It is difficult to eat badly in Lisbon. The restaurants all have an incredible standard, it’s rare to come across a city where most of its restaurants are rated 4 stars or more on Google Maps and Tripadvisor.
Our neighborhood is no exception. Just downstairs, there is a canteen offering very accessible menus: 7,5 € (starter / main course / dessert / drink / coffee), and 6 € without dessert. It’s a bit like a worker’s restaurant, there are a lot of people at lunchtime, and the dishes seem to be homemade.
As I didn’t have the motivation and time to revise my Portuguese basics, I feel a bit handicapped in a local restaurant like this, juggling between what ‘s still in my head after my trip to Brazil 2 years ago, and Google Translate. After being able to formulate a grammatically correct sentence (with a French-Vietnamese accent) that I want two menus with dessert, I expect the waitress to ask me the question: “what drink”? I prepared the answer in Portuguese, but that’s when she asks me another question I didn’t expect.
We will guess later that she asks us if we want meat or fish. While I thought that the menu, including “the dish of the day” = single dish. No, here in Portugal there are “the dishes of the day” and not a single dish.
So, as I didn’t understand anything at the time, I answered “não falo português” (I don’t speak Portuguese) “it’s up to you ” (it’s up to you ).
She brings us two soups, two drinks, two dishes: one cod-based, one chicken-based. How nice! Desserts follow and even coffee if we wanted some. 7,5€/person ! Typically Portuguese, traditional recipes.
JB has found a super good restaurant right next door to us, As Ladras. Tartar is a killer! The chocolate mousse a perfection (with a little salty taste), and the prices: super sweet. Menu at 10€: dish + dessert + drink. 100% homemade, cooked before our eyes. A la carte in the evening (about 14€ dish + dessert + home made).
A retro look
Our neighborhood is the most historical district of the city, as if frozen in time.
This displeases some tourists, who see it as poverty or “hungry neighborhood”, but it isn’t, it is safe and has a lot of charm.
Right next door to us is the Feria da Ladra (thief’s market), the place where medieval traders sold their own products, as well as the food they had stolen. Today it has become a flea market where antique dealers mix with merchants who come with products worthy of a garage sale. For example, I spotted a lot of nice coats, Portuguese dishes and pretty trinkets. Rumor has it that some of them still sell stolen items.
There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and snack bars nearby as well, with a wonderful view from the top of the hill towards the Tagus.
That’s it for today. I’ll tell you more about Lisbon, in more details in the next few days (click here to access all our articles on Portugal). See you soon!