For Memorial Day weekend in 2017, my two girlfriends and I took a trip to Spain. During that time, I also made a quick solo trip to Portugal. I snagged a good deal flying on Tap Portugal for only $326 roundtrip from NYC. The flight from NYC to Portugal was only 6 hours, which is the same as going east to west coast in US. The best part was they gave us two meals and unlimited wine/drinks (something you can’t get on a domestic flight).
I spent three day in Barcelona, Spain with two of my girlfriends. Returning back to the US, I booked a long layover in Lisbon, Portugal. We all flew on different flights coming back so I spent 12 hours exploring Lisbon by myself. I chose Portugal because TAP had the option for a long layover, I wanted to practice my Portuguese, and simply because I had never been.
Leaving the airport within a 12-hour time frame seemed easy enough, and thankfully, it was! I was able to leave the airport hassle-free since I had just traveled from another country in the EU and thankfully without my checked bag.
During my layover, I booked a 4-hour local food tour via Secret Food Tours. I enjoyed small Portuguese bites and lots of wine. The city center is only 30 minutes from the airport, so it was easy to navigate during my layover. Comparing the two cities during this weekend trip, Lisbon is much more laid back than Barcelona but I felt both were very friendly cities.
I highly recommend Lisbon if you’re looking for a small, friendly city with a historic feel that is super cheap! Portugal in general is super cheap!