3 day guide to Lisbon

Well hello to you my reader chums! This week, I've returned from a 3-day city break to Lisbon with my best friends. None of us had visited Portugal before and we couldn't wait to see what its capital, quirky city had in store. 

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With hilly terrains, rustic streets, traditional trams, authentic food and colourful buildings on every corner, Lisbon was a city like no other. Its traditional appeal left me wanting to discover more and see what each corner unveiled. Lisbon slightly reminded me of a mixture between Rome and Athens, holding traditional European values and with the many historical sights to explore. I did a lot of research before we headed off on the adventure, however as much as you plan, you'll always pick up hints and tips as you go. With all that in mind, I've put together my pictures and tips for you.

Here's my take on a 3-day guide to Lisbon...

Lisbon tram tour

Day 1: Monday 16th April - Flying to Lisbon and exploring the city centre

Our flight headed off at London Stanstead at 9.45am and we landed in Lisbon at lunch time, giving us plenty of time to settle in and spend the afternoon exploring. Our apartment was located in Alfama, the old town of Lisbon, down a slight curved hill. It was in the perfect location to walk to the main city centre (which took around 20 minutes once we figured it out), hop on a tram and explore that area itself. As we were in the Alfama district, there were plenty of authentic restaurants nearby and the apartment was set in a quieter location, away from town's bustle. I'd highly recommend staying here if you're planning a trip.

Rossio Square, Lisbon

The first thing we did was venture our way into town and see the main city action. We arrived in Rossio Square, the liveliest square in all of Lisbon, with its many shops and quirky cafes. The centre of the square has a statue of Dom Pedro IV which stands on top of the monument and two fountains either side. There's also the Dona Maria II National Theatre which is at one side of the square and the rest is surrounded by additional buildings.

City centre Lisbon

After a little bit of square exploring and mooching around the surrounding area, we stopped off for cocktails and chats, then headed to Tapas n' Friends for Tapas (located on Calcada Do Carmo). The food at this restaurant was delicious and I would really recommend it if you'd like a variety of different, well-sized tapas dishes for an affordable price.

Rua Augusta Arch Lisbon

After dinner, we had a look around the shops and got a general vibe of what the city centre was like. I have to admit, it didn't seem too busy at all compared to Rome or Paris. There was more of a chilled out and calm vibe about this city, where everything worked at a slower pace. 

We then headed through the Rua Augusta Arch (one of the city's most famous monuments) onto the Praça do Comércio, a beautiful plaza surrounded with restaurants and located River Tagus' edge. The elegant square also works as a prime transport hub for trams, buses and taxis.  

Day 2 - Alfama, Estrela Basilica, Castle de S. Jorge and more

Alfama district Lisbon

The second day was our biggest of the 3 to explore. It began with a trip to one of the local bakeries for some fresh orange juice and pastries then a walk to town through the Alfama district. Before arriving to town, we found a few hot spots for photo opportunities and got lost in the process - but hey that's all part of the adventure. 

3 da guide to Lisbon

3 day guide to Lisbon

After some pink backdrop snaps ( there's literally coloured walls everywhere for the perfect blog picture in this city), we somehow stumbled upon Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, one of the highest points in Lisbon, where you can see some of the famous sights including the Castle de S. Jorge and many other monuments. I'm thrilled we managed to find an incredible viewing spot without planning to - a bit of spontaneity always lands you in the best of places.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Once we arrived in town, we bought ourselves a ticket which let us on all the hop-on-hop-off buses, trams and the boat tour to Belém at one of the kiosks for 45 euro. We then began our ventures by getting the bus over to the Estrela Basilica.

Estrela Basilica

The Estrela Basilica was one of my favourite spots. Every location I visit, I absolutely love seeing their churches because there's something about a church which is ever so calming. We went in, lit a candle and then walked up the 114 steps to the top of the dome for the best view of the city.

Estrela Basilica

Climbing up the top of Estrela Basilica

The top of Estrela Basilica

The top of the church was a massive terrace which offered surrounding views of Lisbon. At the top, you could also enter the dome which overlooked the seating in the church. I wouldn't recommend leaning over too much in the dome as if you're afraid of heights like me, it can be a bit scary.

Jardim da Estrela, Lisbon

Opposite the basilica are the Estrela Gardens. We bought ourselves an ice cream and soaked up the sun, as we had a stroll through this park. I always find it wonderful, when there is a park in the middle of a bustling city. Nothing can be calmer than a bit of nature, to get away from the city's noise. 

Lisbon historic tram tour

To continue our tour, we hopped on the tram towards the Castle de S.Jorge. Travelling on the tram was a lovely, authentic experience and the classic 'Lisbon' thing to do. I love how their trams are still completely traditional and have that 'old school' vibe. It felt so much more charming than travelling through the city on a cramped bus or the open top tourist buses. I wish we had trams where I live at home! 

Miradouro Das Portas Do Sol

We got off the tram at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, a stunning spot with city views and the best lunch spot. We had a late lunch here in the sunshine with cocktails in tow before heading along to Castle de S.Jorge.

São Jorge Castle

I'm a bit of a history geek and when it comes to visiting sights like castles, I get very excited. Castle de S.Jorge was no disappointment; it involved a lot of walking up high through the castle's ruins and the many steep steps, however the views were worth it. The castle is an ancient vision of beauty which overlooks the Alfama district and a must-see on your visit.

São Jorge Castle

São Jorge Castle views

São Jorge Castle

São Jorge Castle

Lisbon tram tour

Once we went around the castle grounds, we hopped back on the tram and ended up going the complete wrong way back to our apartment. However, it gave us a bit of time to enjoy a good old life chat and see the sights along the way. We dined that evening in Alfama, where we found a tucked away restaurant which served up authentic fish dishes. When it comes to restaurants, I love finding hidden gems, as the dinners are always more original than typical tourist traps near the main sights.

Day 3: Wednesday 18th April - Belém exploring and boat tour

Jerónimos Monastery

On our last day, after a breakfast at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, we walked down to the city centre and hopped on the bus to Belém, another area of Lisbon. There was plenty to see in this location, including the Jerónimos Monastery and the most stunning fountain area opposite.

Jerónimos Monastery gardens

We didn't go in the monastery, however took our time walking around the fountain area and onto the nearby park. I still can't believe how beautiful Belém was and I'm glad we took the time to take this excursion. 

Jerónimos Monastery gardens

We took the journey back to the city centre and had our last Lisbon lunch in a delicious Italian called La Vita e Bella. They cooked up the best Italian grub and it was super lovely to soak up the sunshine with a delicious meal in tow. 

Statue of Christ Lisbon

Our last venture of the holiday was a boat trip across the Tagus River from Praça do Comércio to Belém and back again. As we spent a lot of the trip walking up hills and venturing through the city via public transport, it was refreshing bopping along on water and seeing the city edge from a different view. The boat tour took an hour and a half for the round trip.

25 de Abril bridge

On the tour, you saw the famous Statue of Christ up close, floated under the 25 de Abril bridge, witnessed the Belém Tower and learnt a lot more about Lisbon's rich history. I used to have a massive fear of boats and getting on this boat and feeling a complete sense of calm the entire time, was a truly brilliant moment. Bye bye boat anxiety.

Belem Tour Lisbon

Portugal is renowned for its custard tarts and we couldn't leave its capital without trying the delicacy. They were actually pretty scrummy and I can see why it's a favourite all over the country!

Portugese custard tart

To finish our Lisbon trip, we toasted a bottle of wine with a delicious dinner at Restaurante Figus. This restaurant served up platter style dinners of top quality and had the most friendliest service - I'd definitely recommend. The next morning, we got a 6.30am flight back to London.

Tip and tricks
  • Lisbon is a hilly city - bring suitable shoes otherwise walking will be a nightmare.
  • Taxis and Ubers are super cheap to get around the city so if you're not a fan of public transport, these can be your go to.
  • If travelling on trams, purchase a day pass to save you keep paying every time you hop on.
  • The Basilica is free to enter but you have to pay to climb the stairs to the top, which costs 4 euro. You'll have to enquire at the help desk and the person working there will give you access to the steps.
  • There's a flea market open on Tuesday and Saturdays at Feira da Ladra, from 8am-5pm. 
  • The iconic tram 28 is worth a tour around the city and goes through the old town Alfama.
  • Walk around instead of taking public transport, you'll never know what hidden gems you may find. 
  • The main tram terminal for the city tour is in Praça do Comércio and you can also get the boat tour from this location. 
  • The bus terminal is at Rossio Square for the hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Lisbon, what a swell city you are! It's been a lovely few days spending quality time with my best friends, eating good food, seeing the best historic sights and soaking up a new culture. We managed to walk up the hills and create some beautiful memories - here's till the next city break!

I hope you enjoyed this 3 day guide to Lisbon. Have you visited this city?

Thank you for reading <3

5th Blog Birthday and Lush bundle giveaway

Well hello to you my reader chums! I can't believe my blog is turning 5 today and blogging has been part of my life for half a decade. Blogging will always be my favourite hobby and I'm thrilled to have reached this significant milestone with 'Della Love Nutella'.

Della Loves Nutella 5th blog birthday and giveaway

5 years of typing away about my monthly favourites, rambling about my adventures, sharing my advice, tips and obsessing over beauty products; it's been a fabulous ride. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a writer and having this online space for the past 5 years has given me the opportunity to be creative with my words and share my thoughts with the world.

Whether you've read my blog from the beginning or have clicked on this post for the first time, thank you. Thank you to every single person who has read my blog, left positive feedback, shared my articles and supported me in every way possible, I couldn't be more thankful. I've made so many blogging friends over the years and I'd just want to say a massive thank you to them for the continued support. 'Della Loves Nutella' isn't just an online blog, it's a big part of my life. I love nothing more than planning new ideas, snapping photographs, writing up a post and setting it live for the world to see; I can't even express how much happiness it has brought me over these past few years. I'm also thankful to all the brands who have reached out and sent products to try. It's crazy to think a company would want to work with me when doing something I love.

Della LovesNutella

Over these few years, I've also learnt a lot about the blogging world and digital marketing which has helped immensely with my job. Everything I have taught myself, I'm able to apply it to day to day work tasks and that couldn't make me more proud. Not only have I been working at a hobby for these past few years, I've gained skills which will always benefit me in my career.

As a thank you, I wanted to give away a bundle of all my favourite Lush Cosmetics products. I'm a big Lush fan so I thought this will be the perfect giveaway to commemorate 5 years. The giveaway will be opened to UK residents only and end on the 13th May 2018.

You can enter via the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my fellow readers and blogging chums! Here's to the next 5 years of 'Della Loves Nutella' and all the adventures it may bring.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Which blog posts do you like to read the most?

Thank you for reading <3

Tips for anxious flyers

Well hello to you my reader chums! Travel is one of my favourite hobbies, however a couple of years ago the thought of getting on a plane, absolutely terrified me. Over the past few years, I've battled my anxiety in many different forms including tackling my plane fears. 

Whether you're new to flying or an anxious flyer in general, here are my best tips on how I overcame this anxiety and general advice on what to do on a flight to keep the anxiety at bay.

tips for anxious flyers

Bring things to do on the flight

Whether a short or long flight, keeping your mind occupied is always a good idea if you're an anxious flyer. This could be anything from delving into a new book, writing a journal, colouring-in, playing a card game or putting on your makeup whilst you fly, ready for arrival. There are plenty of activities to get stuck into on board and ultimately distract the mind. 

Also, if you are flying long haul, there are always films or TV episodes to watch on the plane and even certain short flight airlines offer this feature. If travelling with someone else, you can play a question game to get you thinking, pamper yourself with a sheet face mask or even make a plan of what to do on arrival. Doing things will keep your mind off the flying fear.

Listen to your favourite soundtrack on top volume

I often find music is something that can drown out my anxious thoughts over a period of time - and what helps is playing the volume quite loud. Obviously, be wary of those around you and don't disturb fellow flyers. However, nothing can really be better than flicking on your favourite album and getting in the music zone. Purchasing a pair of noise-cancelling headphones can also help with drowning out the noise and help you focus only on the music, rather than the sounds around you.

Listen to podcasts 

Podcasts have become a recent favourite of mine and I wish I knew more about them a few years back. Personally, when I'm anxious, I need something to focus on so something like a podcast, would be very beneficial. Whichever topic you're interested in, there are hundreds of different podcasts available on the Apple podcast app. I'd recommend downloading a couple for your trip to last you the course of the flight and give you a choice to listen to.

Download calming apps

Keeping calm is key if you're anxious about a flight, otherwise, you'll panic more thinking about it. Calming apps are my favourite things to listen to for breathing exercises and unwinding. The few I'd recommend are Calm.com (my absolute favourite) and Headspace. They're all fab for different things and I'd advise downloading a couple of apps to see which works best for you.

Keep hydrated

When you're feeling anxious, you often forget to look after yourself as panic takes over. Buy a bottle of water after you head through security at the airport and pick up some snacks to keep you both hydrated and nourished throughout the flight.

Fly more

There is always that phrase along the lines of 'if you don't try you'll never know', and with anxiety the thought of giving new things a go is terrifying, especially travelling if you're an anxious flyer. However, booking more flights, practising calming techniques and eventually getting used to the whole flow of the travelling process, will put your mind at ease when you book the next flight. 

As I've been flying more over time, I know what to expect that I no longer find a flight the scariest thing ever and genuinely enjoy flying to a new destination. The more you do something, the more you can familiarise yourself with a situation and get used to it - which with anxiety, helps you take some form of control.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it has given you a couple of flying tips. What is your best advice for anxious flyers?

Thank you for reading <3

March favourites

Well hello to you my reader chums! March somehow managed to fly past and we can all finally say that spring has finally sprung. I'm getting excited for spring season with the warmer weather and cooler fashion choices ahead. Over the past few weeks, I've been enjoying a few new products that I couldn't wait to share.

Here are my March favourites...

March favourites

T Zone 'Black peel off mask'

If you read my last blog post about the T Zone range, then you'd know how much I loved their peel off mask. It's one of those products that are truly good value for money. At £4.99, the mask works a treat, drawing out all the impurities and leaving your skin feeling completely refreshed. I'd recommend using it once a week to drag out all the impurities and feel like brand new. It's the perfect mask for a pamper night in or to bring to a sleepover with your best pals. If you have oily and spot-prone skin, you need to give this a go! Check out the full review here.

Sleek's 'Distorted Dreams' highlighting palette

There's no better way to finish a makeup look than with a beautiful bit of shimmer. The palette I've been obsessing over lately is Sleek's 'Distorted Dreams'. This iridescent palette has a range of translucent shades with a mixture of both cream-based and powder-based. I haven't given them all a go however, I've mainly been using the champagne shade and pink shimmer together for an everyday highlight which works like a dream. This palette has strong pigmentation, blends easily onto the skin and can be built up for a bolder highlight. I love the iridescent effect and how this palette is a sparkly fun product! The shades are also versatile enough for both everyday wear and an evening look.

Natural extracts shower gels

I'm a bit of a travel addict and always on the move, that travel sized products are my go to. The shower gel range I've been loving lately are Natural Extracts. Each shower is in a squeezable tube and travel size, making it easy to pack for a weekend away. The scents are strong and linger on the skin when you wash, lather up well and the product seem to last for ages.

March favourites

Too Faced 'sweet peach' palette

I'm a big fan of Too Faced eye shadows as every one of their palettes has the best pigmentation, colour selection and scents. Over the past few weeks, I've been reaching for the 'sweet peach' palette a lot more because I love the champagne shades and the red tones for the crease. The versatile palette has something for every look, the shadows blend with ease, last all day long and have strong pigmentation. If you're on the hunt for a new palette, this is the perfect spring choice.

Maybelline's 'Falsies' mascara

I'm a massive fan of Maybelline mascaras. The 'Falsies' used to be my holy grail years and years go, that I decided to pick it up again a while back and have been using it again this month. I can see why I used to be so obsessed. It's one of those mascaras that give you the perfect natural curl, feel light on the lashes and doesn't clump at all. The brush is curved slightly which helps with covering the shape of the lashes. I'm not sure I prefer it to the 'Lash sensational', however, I love it for everyday use.

I hope you enjoyed my March favourites post. Which products have you been loving this past month?

Thank you for reading <3