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Destination: Portugal

DESTINATION: PORTUGAL

The Adventures of International Travel During COVID

For many of us, COVID has completely changed the way we live, work and exist. Quarantines, Covid tests, mask wearing have all become the new normal. For many, summer is synonymous with international travel however if you listen to the media, its all but impossible, however this is not true. If you have a sense of adventure and flexible travel plans, you’ll be surprised the places you can go.
My partner James and I had been planning for some time to go to Lisbon, we just had to find the most efficient way to get in the country. After much research, we were told by a representative from TAP that with a negative Covid test taken 72 hours prior to arrival, entry into Portugal was possible with an American passport, no quarantine needed. We took several tests prior...one result came back in 5 days, another in 3 then finally we took a test that came back in 48 hours. We took the same test again and quickly planned our trip.
Since the timing had to be precise, we took the test on a Thursday with the hope to get the results on Saturday to immediately book a flight to depart the same day to arrive within the 72 hour window. We arrived in Lisbon with 1 hour to spare however when we landed, we were not asked for documentation of any kind, just a stamp on my passport and we were in. This is not to say I would take a chance and travel without checking carefully the rules and regulations of the country of entry as there is a great possibility of being rejected and sent back.
We are in the Portuguese capital, the city with delicious seafood, and even better wine, cobblestone streets and the bustling sounds of yellow trams winding through the ancient streets. Lisbon is experiencing a heat wave, high 90’s, full sun...it’s HOT. For some reason, I packed several pairs of heels and cashmere...big mistake when in the city of seven hills.  
You will want to enjoy the culinary delights the city has to offer especially the sweets. From the Pastel de Nata to the Baba de Camelo, you will certainly add a few kilos even with all the walking one does here. From Alfama to Belem, with comfortable shoes, the city is best seen on foot. If a beach vibe is what you’re after, there’s Caparica just over the bridge a 15-20 drive and Cascais is about 30 minutes by car.
View of the bridge from Belém

My Top Picks to Eat Like a Local

Pinóquio

  We had a delicious lunch of clams in a garlic broth and prawns. The best part was discovering a new drink particular to just the Portuguese. Amarguinha is an almond drink best served with tons of ice and fresh squeezed lemons. You can’t just have one...
R. De Santa Justa 54, 1100-485 Lisboa
Pateo

Bairro do Avillez
One of the many great restaurants by chef Jose Avillez.
R. Nova de Trindade 18, 1200-303 Lisboa
JNcQUOI Asia

A must with impeccable service and delicious food. Save room for desert, the Baba de Camelo (translation: Camels drool) which is basically eggs, condensed milk, some kind of crumble in the middle topped with fresh creme. It's ridiculously delicious.

 

JNcQUOI Members Club
 
Rooftop of JNcQUOI Asia with sweeping views of the city. It’s a private club but we were invited to go up for a drink. If you have local friends in town who are members, its sure to be a fun night out.
Av. da Liberdade 144, 1250-146 Lisboa
31 d’Armada

This local spot has outdoor seating in a lovely square. We had a nice lunch there one day, a few evenings later we went back with a group of friends for a lovely casual dinner. Very local.
Praca d'Armada 31, 1350-027 Lisboa
Ultimo Porto

Nothing fancy but great seafood cooked over open fire. The restaurant is located on the river by shipping containers. Reservations only, this is a very popular spot for locals, open for lunch only Monday through Friday.
Rua General Gomes Araujo 1350-355 Lisboa

This restaurant is located on the port by the bridge with the view of the Christ statue. You can sit outside but keep in mind, the noise from the bridge is very loud...part of the charm of enjoying a sunset meal.
Do a de Santo Amaro, 1350-353 Lisboa
Yamba

Bohemian beach club in Caparica with great tapas and even better sangria. Think Ibiza or Mykonos 15-20 mins from Lisbon. Cool vibes, chilled wine, great food, sun and sand...cant ask for much more. 
Praia da Bolina, Estrada da Praia do Castellon, 2825-491 Costa da Caparica
Nikkei

Peruvian-Asian Fusion 
Located at Vela Latina
Doca do Bom Sucesso, 1400-038 Belem, Lisboa
Mar do Inferno

Seafood restaurant on the beach. Hard to beat the beautiful views and the prawns were the best we had the entire trip.
Av. Rei Humberto II de ITALIA, 2750-800 Cascais 
Monte Mar

Another lovely seafood restaurant on the beach very popular with the locals. Good food, beautiful views but not as good as Mar do Inferno in my opinion.
Av. Nossa Sra. Rosario, 2750-180 Guincho
Restaurante Sal

A simple fish spot on the beach with a cosmopolitan clientele.  Slow service but our lunch was delicious when it finally arrived. 
Praia do Pego 7570-783, Comporta 


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