Lisbon is one of Europe’s most captivating and picturesque capitals, Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums are all part of the colourful cityscape. Positioned at the mouth of the River Tagus, spread across a series of hills with wonderful views from every angle, it’s beautiful setting makes it a paradise for walkers and photographers. Lisbon’s quarters are linked by a network of stunning cobbled streets but with outrageous gradients, so best to hitch a lift on one of the bright yellow trams! It’s a compact and intimate city, offering a great mix of traditional architecture, contemporary culture and boasting a lively café culture and a nightlife that is one of the most vibrant in Europe, ideal for a short city break.
What to see
Belem Tower is the city’s most photographed landmark, which along with the marvelous Jeronimos Monastery, should top your list of must-see monuments.
The battlements of St. Georges Castle offer a magnificent view of the city, whilst down the hill is a terrace with perfect postcard views over Alfama.
Contrasting with the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Parque das Nacoes has striking contemporary architecture with Europe’s longest bridge as the backdrop. It includes a state-of-the-art aquarium, a casino, and a wonderful waterfront promenade.
The Berardo Musuem is one of Europe’s greatest modern art collections which includes works by Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Dali among others. Best of all, it’s free!
Wine and dine
The national dish is “bacalhau,” (dried salted cod) and fresh fish and shellfish are found on nearly every menu. Another national dish, but made with meat, is “cozido à portuguesa,” a thick stew of vegetables with various kinds of meat.
Lisbon boasts a wide range of restaurants to suit most tastes and budgets, from traditional Portuguese to international cuisine and as a city known for its hilltop vistas, many offer superb views as you eat. The widest variety can be found in the Bairro Alto district.
Bairro Alto is also the buzzing centre of the city’s bar & club scene, offering a range of venues to suit every desire.
Or try some Fado, Portuguese music traditionally associated with pubs and cafés, the most authentic can be found in Alfama.
Pick up a bargain
Lisbon offers a super mix of shops from boutiques and chain stores to bustling flea markets and quirky fashion houses. Visit the Baixi-Chaido district and pick up traditional souveniers and handicrafts such as wicker, embroidery, leather, lace & pottery.
The Lisbon experience encompasses so many things, but the real delight is in wandering the narrow lanes of it’s backstreets.