The Venice of the North

Amsterdam smells like bread in the evenings. When you’re biking along the canals and cobblestone roads at the end of the day, the smell of rising flour and spelt on the wind is the perfect inspiration for a warm Dutch dinner. Amsterdam’s skies are woven with thin buttery light, the exact light captured in so many 17th century paintings that seeps through the clouds and dances over the water. It is a city that stays with you long past your visit.

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“Winter Landscape with Iceskaters” by Adriaan van Ostade

The Dutch have a word, gezelligheid, which roughly translates to mean the warm, cozy feeling one has sharing a bliss with other people. This word perfectly sums up how Amsterdam in the summer (I spent time there two separate summers, so yes, I might be a bit biased having never experiened a Dutch winter) felt to me. While I wish I could bottle the bread scent and feeling of gezelligheid into a delicious perfume and give it to you, I cannot. The best I can do is insist that you must visit this magic city at some point, and offer these recommendations.

My first summer in Amsterdam was for a study abroad program, so I ended up buying (and then selling back) a cheap used bike. If you are able, I 1000% recommend biking your way through the city and its outskirts. This might mean brushing up on your cycling skills before hand so you can keep up with traffic, but it is absolutely a worthwhile endeavor to properly experience Amsterdam as it is intended.

Nights are long during the summer, with the sun setting around 10:30pm, which means there’s plenty of time to explore. You can spend four days and really get a sense of things in the summer, though Amsterdam is one of the places where more time than necessary won’t leave you bored.

Amsterdam famous for its canals, giving it the nickname the Venice of the North. A canal tour is definitely worth your time; especially a sunset one that’ll lead you around the lit-up nighttime bridges. Canal tours are a great way to hear about Amsterdam’s history while taking in its stunning architecture. These tours range in price and amenities – full dinner tours or wine and cheese tours exists for a romantic option, as do headset-operated ones for a practical group experience.

My favorite neighborhood in the ‘Dam is the Jordaan, a hub of cafes and boutiques including the Nine Streets shopping district. Here you can find pricier local options as well as some of the most incredible thrift stores known to man. There are some incredible specialty shops as well, from home goods to eyeglasses to books. If you can snag an Air B-n-B in your budget here, definitely take advantage of staying in the Jordaan. A few hostels in the area, such as the Shelter Jordan, are extra budget-friendly and offer access to the best of the area: close enough to the tourist attractions without being on top of them, and nestled in the coziest streets imaginable.The one issue with biking everywhere is that I wasn’t able to stop and take photos as often as I would have liked (which would have been once a minute, practically) so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Amsterdam’s Museumplein houses the famed Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk museum of modern art, among others. There are so many museums in Amsterdam that the choice (not to mention the length of the lines outside) can feel overwhelming. Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh are a must in my book, and it’s well worth getting tickets for Van Gogh ahead of time. Also definitely get Anne Frank haus tickets ahead of time; the wait for ticketed patrons can still take up to two hours. Bring a good book or some Heinekens to sip while you wait.

 

During my second trip to Amsterdam there was a Bansky pop-up museum on the plein, so keep your eyes and ears out for the temporary exhibitions as well.

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Now, parks. Amsterdam has some of the most beautiful parks in Europe which are, of course, very bike-able. Vondelpark is right next to the Museumplein and a great place to rest after you’ve ingested the Dutch masters. Westerpark is, as you might imagine, to the west of city and has a beautiful flea market on Saturdays. Westerpark is also slightly less populated than Vondelpark, and both park house some great restaurant options in the middle of the lush vegetation. For an escape within your Amsterdam escape, cozy in to Pacific Park or Mossel & Gin for the evening.

 

Speaking of food, there are some Dutch classics you can’t leave without tasting. First and foremost, Stroopwafels. These caramelly waffle cookies fit perfectly atop your morning cup of coffee and tea so that the steam melts their caramel core, both sweetening your drink and making the cookie the best snack you’ve ever tasted. I ate about a pack of these a week.

Next on the breakfast front: Dutch pancakes. A mix between an American pancake and a crepe, these huge thin spheres come in savory and sweet flavors and can be found all over the city. A tourist favorite is the Pancake Bakery on Prinsengracht, or Pancakes Amsterdam, which has a few locations.

 

Along with the cheese in Amsterdam – old Dutch cheddar will change your life – pick up some bitterballen with a pint or two at your local bar. Potatoes, beef, and cheese make up these croquette-esque snacks that are super dipped in Dijon mustard.

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Image credit: Stuff Dutch People Like

The Dutch also have excellent coffee. I’d recommend spending every morning at a canal-side cafe with a coffee and stroopwafel before embarking (dare I say em-bike-ing?) on the day’s explorations. Finish your evening in a neighborhood bar or restaurant, listening to the locals speak this musical language and wondering when you can move in.

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Green, Red, or Both?

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, this question refers to types of chili sauce. Not that I’m telling you how to live your life, but the answer is both. The answer is always both.

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The City Different has an extra special place in my heart because it’s where my grandmother lives, and it’s where my sister and I used to spend summers at music camp. It remains one of the most beautiful places on earth, in my humble opinion, with its endless skies and summer rains, its turquoise and adobe. When visiting Santa Fe, here are some places not to miss.

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Food:

A traditional New Mexican meal is a must, with all of the chilies. Tia Sophia’s just off of the Plaza is a great place to start, since you’ll no doubt want to explore the Plaza and its surrounding museums. More on that in a sec. Tia Sophia’s has standard New Mexican fare, your classic enchiladas and chiles rellenos, and SOPAPILLAS. Sopapillas taste like happiness and sunshine, and they are a specifically New Mexican situation. Fried puffy bread that you drizzle and dip in honey. They are somehow both an appetizer and a dessert, and they are perfect.

La Casa Sena, also downtown, has excellent modern New Mexican options. I opted for stuffed peppers with quinoa, fried kale, and pimento cheese. So good. Basically what I’ve learned from Santa Fe restaurants is that if you stuff a chili pepper with basically anything and cover it with red and green sauce, we’ll have a good time.

 

 

 

After your Casa Sena meal, you MUST visit Todos Santos, a chocolate shop unlike any other. I ate dark chocolate chili-infused truffles, sticking with the theme. It was all I could do not to buy three large bars of the stuff. Next time.

For those of you vegan and gluten free folks, never fear! Rasa Juice bar has all manner of smoothies, yes, but also vegan and GF takes on New Mexican classics. This black bean and veggie soup with avocado and vegan sour cream was SO TASTY and filling.

If you have some extra dough to spend, The Compound off of Canyon Road is arguably the nicest restaurant in town. It’s certainly delicious, seasonal, and a beautifully curated fine dining experience. This trip, we were celebrating my grandmother’s 90th birthday (!!), and The Compound was the perfect place for a celebration. Look at this lobster risotto feat. chanterelles and tell me your heart rate didn’t just increase.

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The Compound also has an incredible pastry chef, Becky, who made my grandma a custom lemon blueberry cream cake for the occasion. I’d recommend one of her cakes even if you’re not dining in, though seriously, save some cash and find a way to have a meal at The Compound. Your taste buds will thank you.

 

 

Art and Attractions:

Santa Fe has a vibrant, varied art scene. Let’s start with the Plaza. The center of downtown SF, it’s full of boutiques, jewelry stores, souvenirs, and flanked by museums. If you want to some authentic Native American turquoise, the Plaza is the place to go. The jewelry makers that set up blankets of goods have to be certified 100% Native, for one thing, and prices are reasonable and bargain-able.

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The New Mexico Museum of Art is located directly off of the Plaza, and houses rotating exhibits of local art. It’s also in one of the most beautiful adobe buildings in sight.

 

 

The Georgia O’Keefe Museum is also downtown and also well worth a visit to soak in these floral beauties. Next, a quick drive out of town and to Museum Hill will surround you by some of Santa Fe’s best muesos: the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. If you didn’t get your turquoise on the Plaza, the Weelwright’s gift shop has stunning pieces, also by local artists. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is also along Museum Hill. Finish your day with a walk through the local desert foliage, aka my favorite plants on earth.

 

 

 

Now. MEOW WOLF. Fun fact: George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones books and my personal bibles, lives in Santa Fe and is a huge contributor to the arts scene. He owns the Cocteau movie theater and helped fund the new-ish Meow Wolf: House of Eternal Return interactive art experience extravaganza. The installation is in the old bowling alley and features an entire house with some wild secrets. By exploring the family’s home, basically by snooping their mail and journals, the Meow Wolf guests are given the opportunity to uncover a mystery that leads into all kinds of other dimensions. It’s trippy and insane and so, so fun. You can spend hours putting together all of the pieces or just playing with the crazy rules of the multiple dimensions from portals in the house. Trust me, just walk into the fridge. You’ll find way more than moldy cheese and ketchup bottles.

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, take a stroll down Canyon Road and pop into the many galleries lining the street. Sculpture, painting, photography, you name it, it exists on Canyon Road, and you’ll want to cover your home in your findings.

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Photo courtesy of Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe

Santa Fe is also surrounded by gorgeous hikes. Rent a car, get close to the ski basin, and explore the mountains. Be sure to drink a lot of water – the 7,000 ft altitude sneaks up on you, but getting close to nature here is the most worth it. And expect rain. In the summer, it rains for about ten minutes almost every day, a phenomenon that has always felt magical to me. I prefer to soak it in sans umbrella, but that’s just me.

 

Camping in Brooklyn

Camping in Brooklyn? Oh, you bet. And no, I don’t mean pitching a tent in a BedStuy backyard or pitching a tent on a Greenpoint rooftop (although would I do that? Not no).

I mean renting an actual campsite at Floyd Bennett Field, the southeasternmost point of BK in Jamaican Bay. Floyd was NYC’s first ever airstrip, so that’s cool, and is especially famous for its role in WWII, testing and flying US Air Force planes to the sites of combat.

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Most of the people I know who live in New York City can’t see themselves living anywhere else, but at the same time get serious nature cravings. Floyd B was a thirty-minute drive from Crown Heights, vs. the hour + it takes to camp upstate. That was definitely cool.

Processed with VSCO with f1 presetI ventured to the original FBF with the band Deep Sea Brain and our friend V to film a music video. Suzi, the bandleader, booked the space but the rest of our minds were pretty blown by its existence. The campsite itself looks like the middle of Nebraska, with nary a subway rat or bodega to hint that you’re still in fact in an NYC borough.

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We rented a cluster of three little campsites in a secluded part of the field which was perfect for filming. The sites came with huge fire pits which made for a delicious dinner and s’mores fest.

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Thankfully we had Indiana Jones to help us city folk set up tents.

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There IS a bus that goes to Floyd Bennett, but if you’re able to rent a car it’s worth it. Luckily for us, the band had a Honda van that we could load our stuff into. It even came with a variety box of Lays’ chips.

We were visited by a local raccoon at 4:30am, which unfortunately I do not have a photo of. He was very dexterous and was really interested in our water bottles. Who says NYC doesn’t have wildlife??

The next morning, once art was made, we broke down the tents and drove a quick ten minutes to Jacob Riis beach. Yet another perk of the location!

 

I’d never been to Jacob Riis before, and it was super fun. Not as pristine as Robert Moses or the Hamptons, but much cleaner than Coney Island. The boardwalk had a bunch of mobile vintage stores, live music, and all manner of food and drink.

 

Summer is heading to a close, but there are definitely a few warm weekends left. If you’re in NYC, I would highly recommend a Floyd B/ Jake R adventure. You’ll feel like you’re in a different state while still being only a short drive away from the nearest coffee and bagel place.

 

Madrid Day 2: Nothing Is Open On Sundays But We’re Into It Anyway

When we arrived home after our night one adventures, Michael and Miguel were finishing entertaining guests on their terrace, because of course, and offered us gin and tonics to chat about life and our trip thus far. Michael is a former New Yorker who moved to Madrid (goals) to live with Miguel, who is originally from Toledo. They recommended Toledo or Segovia for a day trip, and after some research we decided on Segovia because of the STANDING ROMAN AQUEDUCTS. But more on that later!

Day two was Sunday, aka sleepy church day in the Catholic-based city. Since museums are open on Sundays, we decided to make this our art day- the Reina Sofia is free starting at 2 and the Prado is free from 5-7pm on Sundays, and we love free!

 

The garden courtyard of the Reina Sofia.

We wandered through the uber cool La Latina neighborhood and El Rastro, the Sunday artisanal fair along Madrid’s streets. Admittedly, it was very congested and not really our thing since it resembled NYC’s summer street fairs almost exactly. But if you’re looking for cheap t-shirts and souvenirs, it’s definitely your thing.

Barrio La Latina is beautiful, with colorful, winding streets adorned with flowers galore. We stopped for lunch at Mas Al Sur based on a recommendation from one of Doug’s friends, and ate shrimp in garlic sauce that truly made me think for a moment that we had transcended to heaven. Our only mistake was ordering the small portion along with some other taps. NO. Order the large portion, order two or three of them, and eat ONLY THAT with bread to soak up the rest of the garlic sauce. I have since had multiple dreams about this dish and awoken in tears to realize that I was not, in fact, eating it again.

This brought us to the free Reina Sofia line, which was long but definitely moved once 2pm hit. And guys. You MUST go to the Reina Sofia. The Picasso exhibit, specifically Guernica, makes any line worth it.

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After two hours with Queen Sofia and Picasso we took a coffee break at one of the probably overpriced cafes near the Prado. We had time to kill, but not quite enough to fully do the Parque de Retiro, and were in need of a pick me up, so fine, 5 Euro for a cappuccino it is.

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Having just seen art and waiting for more art

After this, we waited in the MUCH LONGER line for the 5pm Prado. I stand by what I said, though: free museums are worth the lines. Especially when they house the masters! Prado is MASSIVE, so unless you have the whole day to really do it, it’s worth giving yourself a game plan. Ours was pretty simple: catch the Big Guys and take in whatever we come across on the way. This took us to Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez’s colossal displays with plenty of other Spanish artists peppered throughout. Another two and a half hours later, we were awe inspired and HUNGRY.

 

A photo Doug took of the local foliage whilst in line for the Prado 

This dinner, we were on a mission. PAELLEA. Michael told us of another favorite haunt of his and Miguel’s called La Barraca on Calle de la Reina. It doesn’t open until 8:30 on Sundays, bless the Spanish and their impossibly late dinners.

La Barraca definitely expects you to have a reservation, so I would recommend making one, though we were seated perfectly comfortably in the basement nearest the bathroom. Hey, a seat is a seat as long as it has some award-winning paella in front of it. And heads up – their paella comes in sharing portions only, a minimum of two people per dish. Don’t go if you’re single! You will feel embarrassed and end up hungry.

We shared a classic paella with shelled shrimp, because I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to seafood and don’t like to see the faces of my fish. If you tell me that eyeballs and tentacles are appealing to you, I will tell you that you’re lying and saying that to look cool. Eating eyeballs is only gross, not cool, sorry.

An example from labarraca.es that perfectly illustrates the paella we did not eat

Doug is very into eating anything local and authentic, so I know he would have gone for the eyeballs and tentacles but agreed to the shelled version to appease me. A true compromiser.

The maitre-d presented our giant skillet of steaming paella to us so that we could approve it and allow it to be served. Basement bathroom table or no, I felt royal as heck with all of that power.

The dish was simple and delicious, red rice with fresh shellfish and secret special paella spices. Admittedly, the portions were huge and filling and defeated us pretty quickly, but this definitely made it feel worth the price.

Paella conquered (sort of), we headed back to Chueca. We tried to get into the elusive rooftop bar The Tartan Roof, which was impossible even on a Sunday. Apparently it’s quite the attraction if you’re willing to wait, which we were presently not. Next time!

Last stop: Casa M&M where we booked train tickets to Segovia for Day 3’s adventure. Check back next week for all things SEGOVIA.

Lisbon Day 5 & Madrid Day 1 ☀️

Free Tapas and Rooftop Terraces

Our last day in Lisbon and first evening in Madrid was mostly a travel day, though the flight between the cities is only a quick hour hop. Shoutout to TAP Portugal airlines for having wildly affordable fares and flights every hour! We grabbed ourselves a 5pm flight, giving us time for a leisurely lunch and walk along the waterfront (with a final nata pit stop on the way back). A 10 Euro taxi took us and our carryons to the airport, and we were off. By magical perfect city, bye Vicente and the slightly-too-hot Air BnB room. Hola Madrid! 💃🏻🕺🏻

Our Madrid pad was a DREAM. It was beautifully centrally located and came with a lovely outdoor terrace for Spanish evening musings. Our hosts, Michael and Miguel (I’m not kidding) gave us more recommendations than we knew what to do with. With those and our Google Maps starred up, we were READY. Our first stop was a favorite tapas place of M & M’s a block away from the apartment called El Mollete. It was tiny, authentic, and tested my Spanish vocab just enough. I’m almost disappointed when too many people in foreign countries speak English and I can’t work on the language. Anyone else feel this way? Just me?

 


Regardless, we learned that food in Madrid was a bit pricier than Lisbon, but wine and beer were still cheeeeeaaapppp. So that was A+++. M & M’s place was in the heart of Chueca, neighboring Malasaña. These were for sure the two most fun neighborhoods to go out in at night (we later learned that Chueca is the gay neighborhood – at first we just thought Madrid was even more accepting than NYC! Which it still might be, reagardless, fun on fun on fun around here).

After tapas that first night, we wandered Malasaña (a soon-to-become nightly ritual) and ended up at a gin & tonic bar – the national drink of Spain, it turns out! They offered a gin of the week special, and since we were slightly travel tired we just stayed for one before calling it. Next stop, sleeeeeeep.

We began our first full day in Madrid by checking out the Royal Palace and Temple of Debod which were both SO close to the apartment. The Temple was a gift from the Egyptian government, and definitely didn’t look like anything else we’d seen in the area. I also just love the idea of one country giving a whole other country a gift. Like France, for example, I see you with Lady Liberty. Solid move, guys.

For lunch part 1, we hit up the Mercado San Miguel, which is a open-stall market in a big warehouse a la Time Out Lisbon. We found some little empanadas, and left pretty promptly because it was swamped. Here’s a photo from Spain Attractions since I was too overwhelmed to remember to photograph.1838E4A2-B969-481C-8982-F1886050A17F-4235-000006B8A7F1E6B3.jpeg

Picture this, but with 1000x the amount of people.

Next, we wandered to Chocolateria San Gines for some churros con chocolate. These churros are actually savory compared to the Mexican churros we’re used to in the States, hence the rich DIPPING CHOCOLATE that you can then DRINK afterwords. HI HEAVEN, FANCY MEETING YOU HERE.

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My Double9 Duck is seeing Madrid’s finest.

We continued towards a *legit* tapas bar off of one of Madrid’s many pequeño side streets. What makes it so legit, you ask? Well traditionally, tapas are served for ~free~ with the purchase of a vino or cerveza. Apparently the more you drink, the bigger the plates get, which is all kinds of exciting. At El Tigre we each opted for one pint of beer and were given a LARGE plate of bread, Spanish ham, and cheese. If you’re lunching on a budged, these tapas bars are the way to go! Here’s a list of some of the best bars with said deals:

  • El Tigre (our fav and a local hangout)
  • Taberna La Tia Cebolla
  • La Paloma Blanca (beer isn’t cheap, but portions are massive)
  • Petisqueria
  • Indalo Tapas
  • El Rincon Abulense
  • El Respiro (very close to El Tigre, if El Tigre is full pop on here, or make it stop one and two of your afternoon tapas crawl!)
  • La Pequeña Grana – we didn’t actually make it here, but it’s in Granada so if you’re jonsing for some tapas in the area, check it out!

After our Tapas we strolled to the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum to sample some art from the 13th-late 20th centuries. We spent a solid two hours touring the floors, so make sure you give yourself some buffer room if you visit (which I recommend you do!) We saved the big museums, the Prado and the Reina Sofia, for the next day, and were very glad we didn’t try to cram three giant halls’ worth of art into one day. The brain can only take in so much culture no matter how Spanish and impressive it is, ja feel?

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Just look at those peachy majestic walls and tell me you don’t want to spend multiple hours here.
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And here we are INSIDE one of the Thyssen’s masterpieces, because why not?

Finally, we took a siesta because, duh, and afterwords began our evening at the Dear Hotel’s gorgeous rooftop terrace bar. (Funny story, when we were waiting to be able to go up to the roof a server asked if we were being helped, and instead of saying we were waiting for the terraza, I said “terreza” which is not a thing but he took it as we were waiting for our amiga Tereza and I was embarrased trying to explain that.)

When we were finally let onto the terraza, we each had orangey-wheaty crisp, delicious beers and watched the sun set over the many old and cobblestoned (again with the cobblestones!) streets. If you’re in Madrid during nice weather, definitely hit up the Dear Hotel for at least one sunset. Plus, you’ll be excellently positioned to explore the Chueca and Malasaña nightlife once you’re done.

We did just that, popping into one of the only restaurants that could take us sans-reservation on a Saturday night. The more you know: if you’re planning on eating in one of the more popular Madridian neighborhoods on the weekend, make a rez! Restraurants in Chueca were booked for the whole night, but we took note of places we walked past for our later meals.

Finally, we had a nightcap at 1862 Drybar, a Malasaña haunt we’d seen wandering the previous night. I ordered a dragon-themed cocktail to stay on brand that came with a heat warning, and though it sadly didn’t make me breathe fire, it was a taste bud wake up call for SURE. A short jaunt back to casa M&M ended our first full day.

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Lisbon Day 3: BELEM

Pasteis All Day

Belem is the waterfront neighborhood in the east of Lisbon, and is a magical otherworldly heaven. Everyone we spoke to about Lisbon insisted we spend at least half a day in Belem, and they were CORRET. My French friend Melanie (whose last name I’ve just realized I don’t know?) in particular could not recommend it enough, and I SECOND THAT.

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We intended to take the 515 bus from Rocio Square, but the station was super crowded at 11am and the bus was taking a while, so we “splurged” for a 9 Euro taxi instead. We learned that taxis around Lisbon were totally reasonable, and for the time saved (on the few occasions that we didn’t walk), entirely worth it.
Our first stop was a walk along the River Tagus to the Tower of Belem, a medieval structure looking over the 25 de Abril bridge and the statue of Christ mirroring Rio de Janiero’s “Christ the Redeemer.” Another fun fact – the bridge looks just like San Fran’s Golden Gate because it was built by the same American architecture team. The bridge was initially named after the dictator Salazar, but changed to reflect the date of the 1974 revolution.

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The line to go to the top of the tour was approximately three years long so we skipped it, preferring instead to sit by the water and bask in the glory of it all. Down the road a bit is the Point of Discovery statue (which I kept referring to as the Point of Departures, not sure what that Freudian slip is all about), of which we DID climb to the top since the line was maybe two minutes long at most. The view was gorgeous, especially the vantage point we had of the palace gardens across the street.


SPEAKING OF ACROSS THE STREET. After the Point of Discovery we had a totally fine, not particularly memorable but not bad lunch at one of the waterfront cafes, and headed to tour the palace and cathedral. The architecture was grand AF. I love love love medieval arches, and the series of arches surrounding the courtyard (built in the 1500s) slayed me.

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BUT THE REAL KICKER OF BELEM, FOLKS: Pasteis de Belem. You’ll see this on every tour site and guidebook, and FOR GOOD REASON.
Let me back up. Portugal has a national pastry, aka pastel de nata, because of course they do. It is delicious no matter where you have it, but at Pasteis de Belem it is QUEEN. They serve the pastel piping hot with all of the powdered sugar and cinnamon that your heart desires.
And pro tip: the takeout line is another few years long, but the line for table service is nonexistent. We walked past said takeout line and straight to a table, where we were served immediately. Do this! Also order at LEAST two pasteis per person, and if you’re a coffee drinker, have their cappuccinos. It’s espresso topped with whipped cream, but the freshest whipped cream you can imagine, none of that canned nonsense. No exaggeration, this was one of the culinary highlights of my life.

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After this, we wandered around the botanical gardens, because Doug and I freaking love a good botanical garden. The weather was PERFECT on Belem day to boot. To top it off, we wandered around the Vasco de Gama park and the coach museum, where we got a peek into Portugal’s carriage history.
This took us to about 5pm, at which point we half walked, half cabbed to the LxFactory, an outdoor art / food / local shopping warehouse district. My hipster artsy side flourished for the couple of hours we spent there. I bought a beautiful little frame and a couple of metal stamps for my jewelry making habit, because they just HAD THOSE at the cutest antique shop. We had some wine and a charcuterie board in an outdoor cafe, because duh.


After exploring Lx we popped back to the AirBnb and did NOT nap, but did pick up some warmer clothes because the temperature had dropped to 60-ish degrees F. (I brought my custom Lingua Franca sweater which I cannot get enough of, and the one pair of jeans I packed was a floral embroidered Zara pair that are comfy as anything.)

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We then popped over to the outdoor restaurant/bar on the terrace of the Carmo Convent ruins. This, friends, was one of the most beautiful evening treasures. I could have come back every night if there weren’t so many other spots to try. The menu was entirely in Portuguese so we ordered cocktails, the ingredients of which we only vaguely understood (mine had egg whites, surprise!). They were delicious.

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For dinner, we ended up at Officina do Douque because we walked past it and it looked delicious, and IT WAS. I had the mackerel and Doug ordered the pork, and we split them. The dishes were insane, tender and lightly seasoned to perfection. It’s always so fun to find a place just by wandering that ends up being one of your most recommended spots!
Exhausted, full, and high on life we returned to the Air BnB to dream of Pasteis. Day. Handled.