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Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

Portugal is amazing! My trip with Aeroplan this month was great and if you were following on social you’ll know because I posted heaps of photos!  The air was hot, the food was good, and I found inspiration in the bright colours and kind people. I took over 2,000 photos and kept notes during the trip. I did a bunch of research before I left and have been asked heaps about recommendations, so, I’ve broken down my trip into 5 posts based on things I did, which is only a fraction of what there is to do. Next trip I’ll rent a car and drive around to see the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Coimbra, Aveiro (the Venice of Portugal), and the historic town of Óbidos.

I’d like to take a second to thank Telus for keeping me connected. I have an Easy Roam package on my plan where for the cost of a coffee & snack each day I could use the data of my Canadian plan without having to worry about roaming. It’s great to disconnect but for me, being able to still share my experience as it happens is part of the fun!

Links to other Portugal Posts are at the bottom and I’ll update as each is published! Obrigada!


What to Do In Lisbon

I arrived in Lisbon with a loose plan of what to do for the next 10 days. It was my first visiting and I’d been building a Pinterest board of the things to see and do for weeks. The city is so beautiful, bright coloured buildings fill the streets and the hills make it so picturesque. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot.

When you arrive from the airport it can be a bit confusing, if you don’t want to Uber or taxi, there’s a green bus that will take you downtown to a variety of spots for a couple Euros (the ticket is good for 24 or 48 hours).


The main streets will present heaps of opportunities to dine on a patio, have wine, visit a museum, or go shopping. We found a great little store for clothes at a good price at the bottom of  Santa Justa Lift. I ended up getting a 2nd suitcase to bring home all the things I bought on this trip! You can go up the lift for a 360 view but there was a line so I didn’t bother (this is included in your Yellow Bus ticket, see below).

Yellow Bus Tours

For 20 Euros I got a 48-hour ticket for Yellow Bus Tours which allowed me to take 2 bus lines and the trolley unlimited for 2 days. This worked out really great because they have an audio guide on the bus that tells you all about the history and landmarks, it also saved me paying for Ubers to get to all the places I wanted to go.

Parque Eduardo VII

One of the great views from the bus tour is Parque Eduardo VII, the largest park in Lisbon. I would have loved to walk around the park. There’s some greenery that looks like a maze! The park is 26 hectares and in between Avenida da Liberdade and the Marquis of Pombal Square, right in the centre of the city.

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Belem

One route on the bus tour took me to Belem and Torre de Belém (Tower of Belem). It was built on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 and in 1983 was classified by UNESCO as “Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

There’s also a place in Belem called Pastéis de Belém, the original spot for Pastel da Nata (Portuguese egg tart), since 1837.  Be prepared to wait but sooo good! 

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LX Factory

This is a really cool area with bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s great for photos and has heaps of street art. This was where I saw the most hipstery people in Lisbon. There was live music and really cool shipping container/bus things to check out.

Barrio Alto District

Grab a beer at a little store and walk around, it’s really busy here! (Also, you can drink in the streets!) There are heaps of little bars and restaurants. We had dinner in an alley at an Italian restaurant. I was also surprised by how many police and families were walking around late at night. Hold onto your stuff though, if you were going to get pickpocketed, this would be the place.

Park Bar, Lisbon

If you’re looking for a great view, Park Bar it’s a busy hot spot on top of a parking garage with wooden seats and drinks. The entrance is on a small side street but they will likely be people hanging out or checking Google Maps on their phones to get there. You’ll have to walk up a few flights of stairs but the view is amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there before sunset, the view in daylight is amazing.

Praça do Comércio (Yellow Square)

The Royal Palace used to be here before the Great Earthquake in 1755. The square is beside the Tagus River, it has a beautiful archway (Rua Augusta Arch) and a bronze statue of Joseph I of Portugal (1750 – 1777)  (King of Portugal during the earthquake).

Time Out Market

This is a HUGE market with all kinds of different food. It’s really busy at night with people eating and drinking. It’s right across from the train station if you want to get to Sintra, Cascais, or Praia De Carcavelos (beach).  I stayed at a great Airbnb just behind the market with a great host who showed me how to navigate the train station. If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, visit this link to get $45 CAD off your first stay.

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Hope you enjoyed my photos and recommendations.

Check out my other posts about Portugal below! 

Casie Stewart: Guide to Portugal

  1. Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon
  2. Portugal Pt. 2: Sintra & Pena Palace
  3. Portugal Pt 3: Porto (Coming Soon!)
  4. Portugal Pt. 4: Douro Valley (Coming Soon!)
  5. Portugal Pt 5: Highly Instagrammable Places to Photograph (Coming Soon!)

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This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 

The Praries: Ford EcoSport Cross-Canada Tour

The Praries: Ford EcoSport Cross-Canada Tour

This year for Canada Day weekend I was part of the Ford EcoSport cross Canada road trip with Ford Canada. My friend April and I were Leg 14 of the adventure and driving from Regina to Medicine Hat, SK and finishing in Calgary Alerta. It was both our first time in Regina and we had heaps of fun along the adventure. Thank you Ford Canada for this experience! Scroll down to see what we got up to along the way.


The Ford Eco Sport Tour involves 14 different content creators each driving the exact same Ford Eco Sport for a relay across the country. When I first received the email I was so excited and even more so that I got to bring a friend! I’d been wanting to go on a trip with April since that great weekend we spent glamping up north a few years back.

We started in Regina, SK and it was the first time there for the both of us. We arrived late afternoon and checked into Hotel Saskatchewan, an extremely elegant hotel. Ford hooked us up with a 2 room suite and it was perfect! The hotel offered great views of the city, was walking distance to restaurants and bars, it had a nice gym and a hot tub too. We drove around and made use of the SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay™ and FordPass Wifi HotSpot.

Instead of doing typical tourist stuff on our road trip, April and I made a point to stop at different vintage and second-hand stores across the two provinces. We love to shop! I’ve always found that shops in small towns are where you really find the gems. Our first stop was T&A Vinyl & Fashion and the owner was so cool. We shopped the vintage finds/records and he gave us pins, stickers, and a whole bunch of tips for things to do along our journey.

After a busy day of travelling and some shopping, we were ready for relaxation. Instead of going out we ordered room service from the incredible kitchen at Hotel Saskatchewan and pigged out in our rooms wearing our robes.

In the morning, we woke up pretty early (with the time difference) which it earned us time to hit the gym, have a coffee, and be on the road by 9am. Our goal was to do as much driving in the early part of the day as e could so we had some time at our next destination, The Resort at Cypress Hills. The car was great to drive and features like SYNC and wifi kept us on track and connected the whole time.

We had no shortage of great places to stop along the way. A lot of the drive looked the same with wide open Canola fields of yellow, green grass, and blue skies. We sang along to 90s on 9 on Sirius XM and stopped for photos and shopping along the way. It was really fun. As we turned off the Trans-Canada highway we came across a cute stop with a goat farm. So cute. Always stop for baby goats!

It was just about dinner when we arrived to our room at Cypress Hill Resort, a nice resort in the middle of a provincial park. We had a great dinner and turned in early to watch TV in our beds. We’re a real wild bunch! haha.

It was Canada Day when we woke up on Sunday so we both wore red and hit the road for the final leg of the trip to Calgary. It’s amazing how wide and flat the Prairies are. Really makes you appreciate how big and beautiful Canda is. Especially on Canada day! 🇨🇦

We made a few stops along the way including a Sunday market. We talked to shopkeepers whoever we stopped and people asked about the Ford Eco Sport wherever we went.


Sunday night we stayed at my fav spot in Calgary, Hotel Arts. I filmed this video there with Tourism Calgary a couple years back. We had a great dinner at Yellow Door Bistro inside the hotel and watched the Canada Day day festivities from the balcony.

Althouth we were on a self-guided adventure,  we had Denis who worked with Ford to drive across Canada to make sure each participant was a-ok along the journey. He also put gas in the car overnight so we were ready to roll in the morning. Thanks Denis! 

Overall the Ford Eco Sport was a great car to drive. It’s comfortable, good on gas, nice sound system, and my fav feature was the automatic windshield wipers. It didn’t rain much but when it did, they started up themselves!

Check out @FordCanada on Instagram for some of the other people who were part of the relay. It was such a  cool experience to be part of and to explore a new part of Canada.

Thank you Ford Canada! 

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Two Sisters Vineyard, Niagra on the Lake: Local Flights, Wine, & Baby Goats

Two Sisters Vineyard, Niagra on the Lake: Local Flights, Wine, & Baby Goats

Monday was just a casual day y’know? I flew to Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) with a small group for lunch & wine tasting at Two Sisters Winery w/ the two sisters. It was such a great experience!

Small groups or private adventures are a great way to get people  (media, content creators, friends) familiar with your brand. Thank you, Two Sisters (the actual sisters!) for hosting and Fly GTA for the great flight.

Can’t wait to try their Muskoka route soon! 

Scroll through the IG post below and read the captions below. I shared 10 great things about the day. This is an expansion of the original IG post. I’m not sure if I’ve done before? It usually goes the other way (WP->IG vs IG->WP). 🤓

1. Arrived at the airport I was a last minute invite so I went right to the office like HELLOOOOO. Thank you Stilez for hooking me up! 😊

2. The flight is 10-25mim depending on route and $99. Very beautiful!✈️

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3. Hot pilot alert 👨🏻‍✈️

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4. Two sisters took over a peach 🍑 farm 4 years ago.

5. They have a great team who takes care of the vineyard by hand.

6. I love Italian food and lunch was INCREDIBLE. Love the Burrata & polenta. Also HOT SAUCE.

7. What a voice, don’t miss this video or check out my NOTL Story on IG. Impromptu acapella performance from a band visiting from Portugal. 🇵🇹

8. Step inside the wine cellar, theres a table for private dining. 🍷 (See IG video)

9. Private tour of the family farm with BABY GOATS 🐐 🐐 🐐

10. They also have a hidden pond on the vineyard with a family of ducks and ducklings + heaps of fish.


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THE CREW! Maurie from 92.5, Joanna Sable, Solmaz, @meetandeats.

 

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This adventure was hosted by Two Sisters Winery and I was SO MUCH FUN.  I love documenting adventures with words and photos so I can always remember them.

Portugal: Europe’s Hottest Destination for 2018

Portugal: Europe’s  Hottest Destination for 2018

I’ve always dreamed of summer in Europe and although I’ve travelled to heaps of countries, I’ve never done a Euro trip. I KNOW! Well, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. As part of my ongoing partnership with Aeroplan, tomorrow I’m heading to PORTUGAL. We leave mid-month and we’re back on the 30th.  Have I said I’m excited, yet?

I was originally heading to Paris with Sean but that trip is a little delayed and I’m so glad this worked out. It’s a great feeling to text your friend and say ‘hey want to come to Europe this summer?’. Ahhhhh pinch me, it’s times like this I’m like omg, this is my life!

I am so excited. Portugal is the hottest spot to go this summer, just check your Facebook feed or of your fav online celebs and they’re all checking in to Lisboa, Porto, Sintra, and beautiful coastal beaches.

Yesterday I was reading this article on W Magazine and it’s one of many about how Portugal is THE SPOT to be. We’ve planned out most of the adventure but I’ve left a few days up in the air to figure out as we go. I love not having a plan and the freedom to make things up as we learn more about secret beaches, hidden hideaways, and locals only spots.


If you have any food & drink recommendations, family, friends, hotels, Airbnb, vacation properties, restaurant owner friends, anything, PLEASE COMMENT.

We have a Google doc and Slack set up to manage everything (yes, we are nerds) so I will add all of your suggestions.



So far we’re arriving in Lisbon, going to Sintra, then to Porto, we’ve got a few days with no plan, then back to Lisbon before coming home. We’re gone for almost 2 weeks. It is going to be so hot and I can’t wait.

Sintra, Portugal – we’re staying in this great city for a night!


If you haven’t checked out the new Aeroplan, I suggest popping over to aeroplan.com. They’ve got deals on getaways, vacation packages, and more. You can also earn Miles at Amazon, Costco, and heaps of other online shopping spots. I’ve had an Aeroplan credit card for years and love racking up those rewards.

Thank you Aeroplan for making this dream come true! Follow along all our posts tagged #withAeroplan. I’m so excited!

 


Over the holidays this year took mum back to New Zealand for a month with Aeroplan and it was such a  great adventure. Watch this video we made w/ 1188 before our vacation.

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Vancouver: Hello from the other side!

Vancouver: Hello from the other side!

Hi! I was up early and out the door about 5:30am, arriving in Vancouver just after 9:30am PST. Driving to the hotel it was clear today was going to be beautiful! It’s MUCH different from my last visit in March when it was cold & snowy! When I’m travelling for work I try to get there with a few hours to spare so I can relax, nap, eat, get some computing done, or check out the area.

Fellow #TeamTelus friend, Christine (lifeonmanitoulin.com) was on my flight. so her and I decided to check out the area. We walked along the sea wall past parks and people until we got to Cactus Club Cafe. We’d been in Van for less than an hour before we found a great patio and refreshing cocktail.  I have a real knack for this haha.


Our waitress said we had to check out the award-winning Bella Gelateria for gelato and MY GOD IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING. I almost always get chocolate and this was truly one of the BEST I’ve had in my life. There were chunks of brownies. I can taste this photo.

The view from the Westin Bayshore is beautiful. My room overlooks the pool with mountains in the background. I popped down to the pool to sit in the shade, catch up on emails, and read my book in the pool.


Tomorrow is a full day of activities with Telus and I’m excited to see what we get up to. I’m heading out tonight to meet the team for dinner. It’s so nice out, planning to leave early and walk.

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San Francisco: 5 Great Things to Do

San Francisco: 5 Great Things to Do

There’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco, you have the water, the Wharf, the city, parks the hills, and over 3,500 restaurants. The key is finding a few ways to see the city with enough time to explore. If I’m on a short trip to a new city, I like to pick 3-5 things I really want to see and give myself lots of time to do it. That way I can leave early in the day and take the scenic route, enjoy meals, take streets without a map, and follow the sunshine.

In this list, you’ll find five great things to do in San Francisco if you’re on a short trip but want to see a lot. I’ve also included my runner-up for street art and FOOD. 


Fisherman’s Wharf & The Grotto 

There is no shortage of great food in SF but if you’re looking for fresh (and sustainably served) seafood, you’ll want to book a table here. The Grotto was first opened in 1935 and the first sit down restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s recently been renovated, restoring many of the original features, giving a modern touch to the 1930’s decor. Here you’ll find great views of the bay, the bridge, and boats while taking in the incredible menu by Executive Chef Paul Bruno. Make sure you check out the new beehive on the roof as you walk in the dining area, it’s not be missed!


Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz Tour

I was keen on getting to Alcatraz and biking across the bridge but found myself a bit short on time. I found the perfect way to get some sun and see the sighs from the water with Blue & Gold Boat Tour. Over the course of an hour, you’ll get a great view of the city from the bay, get up close to the bridge (by going right under it), loop around for a look at Alcatraz, and catch the sunbathing sea lions at Pier 39. Make sure you have your camera and a jacket, it’s a little windy out there!

 

 

 


Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Each week up to 40,000 people visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market where you’ll find live cooking demos, great food, and beautiful views of the city. Operated by CUESA, the nonprofit Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, the market features local and sustainable farmers, food artisans, prepared food, and plenty of flowers. Local chefs stop here to pick up produce and meat for their restaurants. The year-round market operates rain or shine and is open Saturday and Tuesday to Thursday.


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Walking around the city there’s no shortage of art. The streets are lined with murals, bright coloured buildings, and beautiful architecture. Located in the heart of downtown, SF MOMA holds an international collection of world-renowned artwork. Around the building are beautiful spaces where you can step outside and admire the architecture, it’s also home to the largest living wall in America. Selected works include Frieda and Diego Rivera by Frida Kahlo,  A Set of Six Self-Portraits by Andy Warhol, and Collection (formerly Untitled) by Robert Rauschenberg.


SF Segway Tours 

You might not look the coolest doing it but a Segway tour in San Francisco is really fun. Don’t be afraid of the hills or railway tracks, San Francisco Guided Segway Tours will put you through enough training to make sure you’re ready to hit the road before they take you on a guided tour of local attractions. We stopped by the Aquarium, Comic Museum, and took in a great view of the city. Highly recommend this one with a group of friends!

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OK, one more bonus thing to do if you have a couple hours! Avital Tours is a company that offer local food tours in cities around the USA. We did the Mission District Culinary Experience with Kevin Longa (also a filmmaker!). He gave us the lowdown on street art, history, the best food, and what’s cool/changed in the Mission District. I have so many photos from this that I need to do a post of jus street art! Highly recommend the walking tour!

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A version of this post was originally published on Canadian Geographic, who sent me to cover San Francisco travel on their behalf. 

About Casie Stewart

Casie Stewart is a Canadian writer, director, and entrepreneur. She’s an award-winning content creator and expert in digital. During her decade-long career in media, she’s been named Canadian Screen Award Winner (Voice Pioneer), Best Travel Blog, and Top 30 Lifestyle Blogs in Canada. Casie has been a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE, TEDx, and spoken at YouTube Canada and the United Nations of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and loves summer weekends at the cottage when she’s not travelling.

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