Once Upon A Time In Lisbon

As Portugal is the only one of the currently UK rated green countries that we had ever been to, I thought I would share our experience of its capital, Lisbon.

So, once upon a time…I got pickpocketed in Lisbon. This was in 2018 when we had a 4 day city break in the city.

To bear in mind, we have travelled a lot – China, India, Vietnam, South America, Africa without an issue but on day one in Lisbon……and I have no idea how they did it. I have mixed feelings about the incident really – a bit of anger mixed with sheer admiration for how bloody clever they were. Plus I felt a bit violated.

We tend to avoid public transport – opting to discover places on foot. Our hotel was about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the tourist area, so we walked down on that particular day. I normally use a small cross body bag, which holds my camera and a wallet. And I only carry a small about of cash with a card to back it up. On this day, I took my credit card as well as a pre-paid travel card.

My last memory before it happened was that we had stopped to take a photo and then carried on up the street when I suddenly felt my bag was more open then it should be, and that my wallet was gone.

So, unfortunately for these pickpockets – we had just stopped for coffee and something to eat for which I had paid cash and my pre-paid travel card was running on empty. So a rather unsuccessful exercise.

However they got my credit card.

We got back to the hotel where I phoned my bank in serious panic mode. I had visions of someone maxing my card out. The bank was great. They cancelled the card, resent a new one to my home and gave me a code to use at an ATM if I needed to get cash.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first impression that Lisbon deserved. It is a beautiful city – the Moorish architecture, castles and seafaring history is fantastic.

We weren’t deterred by those pickpockets and still went out to experience the city.

Top sites:

Castelo Sao Jorge – fantastic views of the city from the castle walls

Lisbon Cathedral – also known as the Se

Praca do Comercio – The Commercial Square (see picture above of the square featuring the horse statue)

Belem for the Belem Tower and the museums

Hidden gem: The Museu do Aljube – a museum about the Portuguese Revolution – quite near to the Lisbon Cathedral. Its split over 3 floors and is just a nice museum with loads of information.

Why not try a day out to Sintra? Its only about 45 minutes from Lisbon by train and has a fascinating Moorish castle as well as other sites to visit.

View from the top of the Moorish Castle, Sintra

Despite our initial hiccup on our trip to Lisbon. It is a lovely city to visit.

Just be weary of your possessions and valuables.

But that applies everywhere really.

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