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  • Writer's pictureEli Allison

Jolly Holly Lisbon Travels

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

So lucky old me.

I've been on a beautiful/character building city break with my Moxy Doxy girl M.*

Delightful for all the reason listed below, character building because well it was supposed to be four days away but stretched into a stressful six. The ineptness of a particular airline, (it's not the one you think) being turned up to eleven. They cancelled our flight and then basically threw a €12 voucher at us, and told us to fend for ourselves for two days.

The idea of going feral in the airport and building a Suitcase City, commandeering Toblerones as weapons and off-duty booze to trade for toothpaste and man flesh was tempting. In the end, though we just found another hotel and did a first class British winge over cups of tea.

We got home two days later than we should, tans intact, phones bulging with smug city break photos and an understanding of how little airlines give a fuck.

*Calling her M because...

A: Not everyone wants their name and business spread all over the inter-web like cheap margarine.

And B: The nickname makes our getaway sound rather James Bond-ish.

Let's pry open the good stuff... Lisbon is a vibrant, edgy, responsibly priced city break that I'm nervous to tell you about because I'm selfish. It's too good to share. But writing is a stain on my soul that I can never bleach out no matter how many times I soak it in the bathtub, so here I am ruining it for everyone.


Lisbon is a crazy art peppered, manic trams, octopus lovin' port city. It's one of the oldest cities in the world, older even than our own Lady Smoke, London. You won't know it though, as the whole place bursts with life and energy usually reserved for those pesky 'young uns.'

Best Time To Visit:

It was reasonably sweet in October, averaging high 20's although we were warned that it was a heat-wave, so it's not always that sizzling.

But if you are wanting your City Breaks surface of the sun hot just head to Port City mid-summer. You'll get a damp arse crack to rival the Tour De France King of the Mountain, be embraced by some interesting smells and have your face melted off faster than a Nazi opening shit they shouldn't open. Otherwise, head either side of the summer months for a far more pleasant time.


Every waiter we drunkenly ordered from called it, 'Portuguese Champagne Cocktail'...I'm fairly sure it wasn't champagne or really a cocktail, it was sparkling wine and orange juice, but oh was it was bubbly and oh was it orangery. Freshly squeezed by golden tanned dark-eyed waiters.

Or you can drink the Port, but I'm not Christmas Nana yet, so I'll stick to bubbles.


Bacalhau finished with a Portuguese tart. Or skip the salt cod and just push in Portuguese tarts until a brave friend can pry you away from the stands.

Best Bit:

A place called LX Factory, I felt trendier just walking through it's revamped lit up factory gates. A former fabric factory it has been chopped up, re-hashed and given new life. Clubs hidden away at the top of factory buildings, that you have to navigate strange hallways filled with old printing presses. Niche shops where you get eyeballed at by tattooed artsy types or grinned at by wholesome food stalls holders. But you could just as easily wander and eye-suck at the street art.

Best Place to Read a Book:

Worst bit:

The warmer the country the more relaxed the service. Lisbon is no different. Just switch to holiday mode as soon as you get off the plane and you'll be fine.

Off the beaten track:

The Puppet Museum was fun and free (on Sundays), you might have to wrestle small children out of the 'play stage area' so you can show them how it's done. But children are small and weak and easily cry so if you can't get them out of your way, that's on you.

Top Tip:

You don't need to pay for a Street Art tour unless you really really love street art and can't bare to miss a thing. Just wandering around the vibrant city on foot, will get you some choice pics and asking the question, how on earth did the graffiti artist get up there?'

In a word:



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