Where have you been able to stay with some cool locals?
Our host lives just across the bay from the center of Lisbon, in a neighborhood called Seixal. And even this area has its very own personality. Less touristy and more narrow streets, this section of town feels somewhat raw yet genuine. Decorative azulejos appear in broken patches, and some walls have holes that serve as doorways.
Our couchsurfing host was amazing. Besides opening his home – which he shares with a lovable pup and a rabbit – he generously spent an entire day with us to show us around town. We rode the ferry into town and walked up and down the many tiled hills. He showed us the best views and taught us how to order coffee (just a simple espresso with a little sugar).
And he did all this in the pouring rain!
Yes, we got very wet that day, but that didn’t dampen our host’s spirits. He still took us to the waterfront and showed us his favorite city parks. He even invited us to a session of his acroyoga (acrobatic yoga – yes, it’s a thing!).
And when all was said and done, he let us in on the best treat: a local community who gather regularly and cook for each other. It’s no formal restaurant; options are limited, and diners are expected to wash their own dishes, but the food is remarkably affordable, and the company is wonderfully chill. It was such a unique experience – one we never expected!
This is the true spirit of couchsurfing, and it’s the reason it’s one of our favorite types of lodging. We strive to give the same when we host at home, as it really is the best way to experience a new place and its culture.
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