Getting into Portugal requires an overnight commitment. The small old style train carries you through the night on it’s retro style seats. But once arriving in Lisboa (as it’s properly spelled there) train station, you must make your way out and figure where to go.
This is a country where you should definitely do your research before going, because absolutely nothing will be in English and you’ll have a hard time finding someone who speaks the language. I decided to travel to Portugal on a whim – I hadn’t planned on visiting prior to going – so is the way of life as a backpacker.
I searched up and downs the many hills of the city searching for a hostel – funny thing, all the hostel signs display its message in Portuguese, so the common backpacker (who’s not from the country) has no idea that they pass by them all the time.
My paths did cross with a couple of people that spoke English and they suggested the best place to go for the day. So, off I went to Sintra. The town has a huge castle overlooking the lush green park with a cute downtown. I must say that when the sky remains free from clouds, you’ll never find a bluer view. I wish I could have stayed to explore Sintra and Lisboa more, but on that day I felt miserable and all I wanted to do find a bed and sleep.
Everywhere else I traveled in Europe, a good portion of their citizens know English and could direct me to what I needed to find; however, Portugal lead me to confusion. Although, what I did find and seen had been beautiful, I wish that I had read up on this country before going. I strongly recommend doing research prior to going to Portugal in regards to language and what you want to see; otherwise, you’ll wander around for hours lost in translation.