Within the first few hours of my arrival, I was reminded of the friendliness and hospitality of the Portugese people. And this would be the case for my whole 10-day visit. Obrigado – Thank you! Upon arrival in Lisbon, I went straight to the Oriente train station to catch the high speed three hour Alfa Pendular train to Porto Campanha station. I only had one night to spend in Porto and I stayed at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas. The hotel is well located (beside the famous São Bento Station) and service was very friendly and professional. An…

Lisbon 2.0

Almost to the date four years later, I am back in Lisbon. The beauty of not getting to see all sights on the first visit is that there are more new things to see upon one’s return. Convento do Cormo (or the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) was built between 1389 and 1423 in the Gothic style. Considered by many to be Lisbon’s loveliest church, this convent has not had a roof since it fell in during the 1755 earthquake. A lawn now covers what was once the main nave.  Mannerist and baroque architecture dominate the São Roque Church,…

Douro Valley

Located in North Portugal, Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site approximately 100 kms east of Porto. The Douro Wine Region Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world known for producing its cultural treasure – the strong and sweet Port wine. The region has been attracting international wine aficionados since the 18th century and the terraced fields on either side of the Douro River is a wonder to look at. The Douro River is the highest-flow river of the Iberian Peninsula. It rises in Soria Province, central Spain, meanders south briefly then flows generally west through the…

Comendo e Dormindo

  Plenty of good food options in Portugal, particularly for fish and shellfish. Menus in top restaurants are on par with other major European cities, where one will encounter Portuguese cooking mixed with continental classics. Moreover, prices are quite reasonable compared to other major cities. In Porto, the first restaurant I tried, which was simply delicious, was Terreiro. Excellent seafood and friendly service.   Also in Porto, the charming Belle Epoque Majestic Cafe is considered the oldest cafe in the city (circa 1921).  Lots of tourists come to take photos of the place. I would not recommend dining here though, as…

Manueline Style

Manueline architectural style combines Moorish, Renaissance and Gothic elements. The style developed during the reign of Manuel I of Portugal. This coincided with the Age of Discovery and the peak of Portuguese maritime power. The Moisteiro dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém in Lisbon, and the Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra are three exceptional examples of this style. The Manueline style was considered the most authentic Portuguese architectural style.  


One of Europe’s most visually striking capitals, Lisbon‘s appeal is more than the friendliness of the locals and her laid back pace. In its golden age, Lisbon was one of the greatest maritime centres in history – with hoards of treasures from around the world. Today, continental Europe’s westernmost capital is a cosmopolitan city that continues to grow and evolve.


Sintra was famously referred to as a “glorious Eden” by Lord Byron. One of the oldest hillside town in Portugal, Sintra is a forty-five minute train ride and 29 kilometres northwest from Lisbon. With its mountains, forests, exotic gardens and palaces, Sintra is like a fairy tale land. Sintra-Vila, with its pastel-hued manors in hills that roll to the Atlantic, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


My first time to this side of the Iberian Peninsula – and first stop is Portugal’s second city, Porto. Porto is an energetic city that has managed to keep its timeless charm, with its steep hills and cobbled streets. The city has taken off as a centre of the arts, fashion and nightlife — after all, Port wine is named after this city. And the locals are known across the country as “tripeiros”, or “tripe eaters”, a nickname from the city’s signature dish tripas à moda do Porto.