Graça - Lisbon! Who Needs A Gym?

For 91 Days @for91daysMarch 2018 · 4 min read · Portugal · #lisbon

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During our first month in Lisbon, when we first walked though Graça I said to Mike, it would be incredible to live in this neighborhood. We booked our apartment for 3 month but it turned out that our place was not suitable for the winter month. So we left it after one month ... and guess where we ended up? Yes, in Graça! This post was first published today on our Lisbon Travel Blog!

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During our first month in Lisbon, we lived in Mouraria. The ascent to our apartment required the lungs of a deep sea diver and the legs of a cyborg, and although the trek always destroyed us, we had to concede that it could be worse. High above us, the residents of another neighborhood sneered at our exhaustion. While gasping for oxygen, we’d shake our fists at them. “Maybe not yet, Graça! But we’ll be ready for you soon!”

A month later, it was time. By now, we were hill-conquering machines, bounding up slopes which had mere weeks ago provoked tears. Our thighs had hardened into steel, our calves were tightly wound balls of pure muscle, and we were finally ready for Graça. We hoisted our luggage up onto our shoulders and with thunderous, manly strides, scaled the hill into the upper stratosphere. For our second month in Lisbon, this would be our home.


Graça is best known for its two tremendous viewpoints: the Miradouro da Graça and the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte, the latter of which was almost adjacent to our new apartment. We were constantly amazed by the unbroken procession of tuk-tuks which traversed our street, dropping tourists off at the viewpoint. (“Har!” I often exclaimed to Jürgen, as we were tromping home like giants returning from a hunt. “Gaze upon yon foreigners, with flabby thighs of cheese!” Jürgen would raise one mighty leg in the air, and stomp onto the ground, sending shockwaves through the pavement and flipping tuk-tuks into the air like pancakes.)

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There’s no need to visit both miradouros, as they’re so close to each other that the views are quite similar. The Senhora de Monte is the better choice, as it’s higher and correspondingly more impressive. Plenty of tourists make it here, but unfortunately, it usually seems to be their only stop in Graça. The neighborhood might not have any must-see museums or churches, but this is one of Lisbon’s most charming areas. We appreciated it more and more throughout the weeks we called it home.

Although it’s the lesser of the two viewpoints, the Miradouro da Graça (also known as the Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyer, after a local poet), has the advantage of being located next to the Convento da Graça. If it’s open, which isn’t always the case, make sure to tour the interior. The walls are covered in blue and white tiles that recreate scenes of bloody Christian martyrdom, and there’s a set of hundreds of small figures which model the city’s complete Corpus Christi processions.

Away from the two viewpoints, the atmosphere of Graça is decidedly local. The sidewalks are about two feet in width, and you can’t walk more than a couple steps without pausing for another little old lady to shuffle by. There are a lot of unremarkable shops, tiny tascas, and beautiful, tile-covered buildings, a few of which are especially impressive.

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Graça is known for its “vilas”, or massive residential buildings. There’s Vila Sousa, near the Miradouro da Graça, Vila Estrela da Ouro, and Vila Berta, among others. We loved Vila Berta, which occupies the entire length of a street of the same name. With its overhanging balconies of wrought iron, cobblestone lane, and principal access through an arch at the end of the street, this looks just like it must have at the turn of the 20th century, when it was constructed.

Graça must be one of the last neighborhoods in central Lisbon still mainly occupied by Portuguese people. There’s a pleasant energy, particularly around dusk, when the many bakeries around the main square are packed full with patrons enjoying their daily pastel de nata, and fado can be heard pouring out of the small bars. It takes some effort to get up this high, but once you’re in Graça, it’s likely that you’ll want to stay.

Locations on our Map: Miradouro da Graça | Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte | Praça da Graça

Our favorite Graça Photos:

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Topics: LISBON

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Anywhere in the central part of Lisbon would keep you fit. It sure did with us for a long weekend break there two years ago. Didn't complain neither did Sam's parents as the beauty of the city kept us in awe and not thinking of the 'Ow' in our legs.

Good write up! A fully deserved reward too! ;)

This was an incredible feeling to wake up to this reward. Honestly .. this is the first time in 7 years of travel blogging that we feel like it's actually worth something what we do. In the past we've published so much content but barely even got a comment. Even having a good following on FB and IG but nobody would ever end up on our actual blog. We're so happy that is changing now!

And about the hills .. we always made double and tripple sure that we're going the right way. There is nothing worse to go down hill and then realizing it was wrong and you have to go all the way up again. It happened couple of times!!!

Well remember to thank the people responsible for it - the top 3 voters on that voting list have the greatest weight - @hendrikdegrote (mainly him), @liberosist and @curie. We've been treated to their generosity twice! And we are so ever thankful for it! So, if it happened twice to us, it can happen again to you! It's an amazing feeling indeed and hopefully you'll get more rewards as we just like them can see the sweat, blood and tears put into your work.

Did Google Maps take you on one of their journeys (we blame Google, but it's probably us)? It's happened to us too. After all that hiking up and down Lisbon hills are your legs still made out of steel since you've been back?

Yes we're super grateful for everyone who upvoted (281) small rewards or huge.... It's just shows us some appreciation we never received in 7 years of travel bloggers.

Congratulations on your Curie Love!!! #3? :_

I am so impressed with this post. Really, everything about it. The writing is hilarious! Very well written and I appreciate the element of humor, something that is (sadly) often lacking here on Steem blockchain. Your photography is amazing, very atmospheric. The gif of the steady-cam shot in the foggy street is so cool. The video is awesome. I will run out of superlatives here so let me just close the "singing your praises" section of this comment by saying you rock!

Thanks for cross-posting content here on Steem same day as your website, I really like seeing that as well. Nothing wrong with posting older content but you see so many blogs here that are nothing but stale content. You are setting a great example for other posters who have established online presence elsewhere.

Much love - Carl

Hello Carl,

you don't even know how much this means to us. We've been producing content like this for over 7 years ... published 2k posts and trying to produce the max amount of quality every single time! You know how they always say, produce great content and you'll be successful! It kind of reminds me of the American Dream! This is actually not good enough! The only ones who was profiting from our content were the huge platforms like IG and FB. Almost nobody actually ended up on our blog itself!

You can't imagine how happy we're about this recognition and the fact that we can cross-post - especially since we have 50 articles left from our time in Lisbon! We always aim to publish .. yes you guessed it right ... 91 articles for each location.

Again, thank you!

Your posts give such a wonderful sense of place. Keep doing them!

PS - we normally get fit climbing up and down hills in the Algarve, but this winter stuck in Canada are clearly less fit and a tad heavier. I envy you!

Same when we're visiting family in the US - there have to force ourselves to take walks ans plan for it. What a different life!

Nice post, love the animated picture!!

It's actual footage of a video turned into a gif. Glad you liked it and thank you for stopping by.

Congratulations @for91days, this post is the eighth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a User account holder (accounts that hold between 0.1 and 1.0 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by User account holders during this period was 2587 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $7827.75. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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It’s not often that a post will persuade me to visit a place, even a place that I really ought to have visited already. But Mike and Jürgen, this will certainly do it. It’s beautifully written with not a single wasted word and amazing, mood invoking photography, in perfect support…… and I love the steady cam gif.

Many thanks for sharing this beautiful piece …. Geoff

We have to thank you Geoff - if nobody reads our content, it's only half the fun but if someone leaves a comment like that ... it's 10 times the fun :)

You always make Lisbon look absolutely so beautiful!!!

I don't have to do much .. Lisbon IS that beautiful!

Okay, your writing style is hilarious!
And I loved that foggy walk through town.
I really hope we'll get to see Portugal soon as well. Back then I turned around for Valencia, which (as you already know) was a good decision for my love life ^^

It looks so pretty and it's supposedly the warmest country in Europe in Winter. So perfect for a Winter destination when travelling with the van.

Looking forward to more of your posts. Keep it coming :D

Yeah, Mike writes and take the pics ... and this combination has worked for years!

But warm winter in Lisbon .. NOPE! It was so freakin' cold ... ALWAYS! Valencia is a much better choice for winter in Europe! Or Sicily :)

I guess the trick would be to go as far South West as possible. Lagos for example. There's a lot of warm draft coming from the ocean. At least, looking at a heat map of Europe, that's what my research found...

Yes, the further south the better.

This post has received gratitude of 1.71% from @appreciator courtesy of @for91days!

Whoa, how did you do that moving photo?! That's so cool! It looks like a video game!!

Also, I don't need a gym lol. I adore your photos

That moving photo is a GIF I made from the video which is also embedded in this article. But yes, it has some strange eerie quality and sense to it. The more I look at it .. the more I like it :)

Thank you for your incredible comment.