24 Hours in Lisbon with the Sony RX100 V

I’ve always had this idea that every corner of Lisbon has a slight cinematic VSCO filter. And while visiting the capital of Portugal has always been a dream of mine, I did not really expect to do and see much because of how underrated the city is compared to other destinations in Europe.

I brought the RX100 V with me to document my journey as I wandered around the hilly cobblestoned alleyways of Lisbon and its neighboring towns. I have been using the RX100 III for two years now, so navigating the latest from Sony’s series of high-end point-and-shoot cameras is already second nature — from changing white balance to adjusting exposure.

Fairytale morning in Sintra

We started our day with a drive to Sintra, a 30-minute drive from Lisbon’s city center. I don’t know why I haven’t seen any photos of this place on my Instagram feed before, but I swear this town could give Disney theme parks a run for their money.

It was drizzling that morning, but the view from Palacio de Nacional de Sintra had me singing Disney songs. We learned a little bit of history, about the royals who once ruled and lived in the castle and the Moorish influence in the country.

After the tour, a little bit of sunshine greeted us along with this tourist train. Tell me, is this the real life or is this just fantasy?

No baker with his tray of bread and rolls was in sight, but Sintra had pastelarias at almost every corner, and I wasn’t gonna leave Portugal without trying its famed pastéis de nata — egg tarts! I’m not exactly a fan of pastries, and I don’t find the egg tarts sold in Manila and Macau drool-worthy either, but this one had a more gooey custard, not a creamy scrambled egg. Oh, and they dust it with cinnamon powder before serving!

Every sight looked like it came straight out of a Disney movie. I didn’t want to leave!

Lunch in Cascais

Aside from egg tarts, Portugese cuisine is also famed for its seafood dishes. For lunch, we drove to the coastal town of Cascais where we had Mar do Guincho’s arroz de marisco for our main course. It reminded me of seafood paella, except Portugal’s version is soupy.

Parks and recreation

After lunch, we headed back to the city of Lisbon. One of the things I love about traveling is all the open spaces and parks I can hang out in to soak up the unfamiliar.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet locals who are as inspired by the view as you are.

There are many ways to get around Lisbon — including buses, taxi cabs, the metro — but the vintage yellow trams are tourist attractions themselves.

Walking is also a good option (with the help of Google Maps), as sometimes you end up going to places Google or Instagram wouldn’t normally suggest.

And you stumble upon unexpected miradouros (viewpoints) like this one. Thankfully, Globe offers unlimited data as part of its $12/day (PhP 599) flat rate roaming plan, so getting lost is out of the question.

Ice cream, in all forms at any time of the day, is my favorite kind of pick-me-up, so a scoop of gelato is a must wherever my feet might take me — in this case, in Docas de Santo Amaro.

Sometimes, you also get a good view of the sunset to go with your gelato.

To cap the night off, Lisbon has a bunch of speakeasies that you can visit to enjoy a good drink or two (and dinner, too!). A local recommended that we go to her favorite bar called Foxtrot. 😉

Stunning Lisbon

My flight back to Manila was not until after lunch, so I squeezed in a quick early morning visit to Lisbon’s oldest district, Alfama.

In the area is another evidence of Moorish influence in Portugal: Castelo de São Jorge, a walled compound atop one of the hills of Lisbon that served as fortification and royal residence back in the day.

At present, it gives you best view of Lisbon’s red roofs and pastel-colored houses. Worth the entrance fee!

There’s never enough time to get to know a city, and Lisbon is no exception. There’s so much to learn about its history, architecture, and people, and I still wish I stayed a wee bit longer. But for now, obrigada, Lisboa.

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