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Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Countries, Portugal, Urban | 41 comments

Portugal Lisbon – 10 reasons you should visit

Portugal Lisbon – 10 reasons you should visit

Portugal Lisbon: Learn why Lisbon is the coolest city in Europe.

10 Reasons why you should travel to Portugal Lisbon

 

Portugal Lisbon is my home town and it took me decades to see this city as one of the most beautiful in the world.  Still unspoiled by tourism and waiting for you.

I had to literally travel the world and live away from Portugal for 16 years to be able to come back and finally see my city with the eyes of a tourist. Whoever comes over, finds himself / herself in absolute awe by the beauty of a new place. Now, I can detach myself from the daily little problems and see my city the way “she” deserves!

Yes, “she”. For the Portuguese the word city “cidade” is a feminine word and Lisbon fits the sexy, voluptuous, seductive, intriguing city she is – a city where the old and the new come together in perfect harmony, with a strong but gentle personality that embraces everyone who surrender to her beauty!

I consider Lisbon the coolest city in Europe and that’s why:

 

LISBON IS BEAUTIFUL

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

Facing the river Tagus, connected by the stunning bridge that reminds us of San Francisco Golden Gate and composed of seven hills, Lisbon’s geography offer stunning view points and breath taking sunsets. The historical center with it’s little labyrinth streets and tile covered buildings are unique in the world. Here the old and me modern mix in perfect synergy.

 

 EXPERIENCE THE FAMOUS PORTUGUESE HOSPITALITY 

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

Everyone who has ever visited Lisbon will unanimously agree with one thing: The Portuguese are possibly the most friendly and hospitabe people in Europe.  Everytime I meet people who has been to Portugal, they all share the same memory, when asking for directions on the streets, the local people will not only point you where you should go, but they will get out of their way to help you and make sure you find your way around. Many people will actually guide you out of kindness.

Since Lisbon is still not overwhelmingly touristy, locals love to meet and chat with visitors, often giving friendly and insightful tips. If you pass by very small villages, people might even invite you in their houses for a snack or a glass of wine. The Portuguese are incredibly hospitable and love to serve their guests with a friendly smile.

 

LISBON HAS AN AMAZING CULTURAL IDENTITY

Did you know Lisbon is the second oldest capital in the European Union, only overpassed by Athens?

Archaeological findings show it was invaded by the Nordic Germanic tribes  around 500BC. The first Roman presence to the year of 195 BC and Arabs in 700 AD.  During the conquistadors period, Lisbon became the most important port in Europe bringing SpiceS from the far lands of India and the far east. The new world was under the domination of Portugal and Lisbon became one of the richest capitals in the whole continent.

In 1750 a violent earthquake followed by a massive Tsunami and fire destroyed basically the whole city. A new Lisbon was born, modern, organized and progressive thinking. This is the Lisbon you’ll see today, a mix of many influences, a long and rich history and above all a strong cultural identity shaped by the centuries.

 

THE TYPICAL NEIGHBORHOODS

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

Unlike most big Europeans cities, Lisbon still conserves some of her old neighborhoods intact. Have you’ve heard of Alfama, Mouraria, Graça? These are some of the very few spots that didn’t get destroyed by the earthquake and Tsunami. This is the old Lisbon. Here you can forget you’re in the middle of a capital and just relax through the little narrow streets, where colorful fragrant flowers adorn the typical Lisbon houses.

 

LISBON HAS AMAZING ART

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

Whether it’s collectable art found in museums or street art, Lisbon has it all! Some of the most breathtaking murals and artistic graffittis can be found in the streets of Lisbon, giving life and color to what used to be a boring grey wall. The amazing tile work you’ll find covering entire buildings will leave you speechless. They are unique in the world, an Arab heritage we kept throughout the centuries to keep the buildings temperature cool.

 

THE LISBON’S FAMOUS TRAMS

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

The famous Lisbon yellow trams will take you to the most picturesque spots of Lisbon, through the seven hills, to the castle or the gardens of Belen. Cheap and very local, taking the yellow trams is part of the local cultural experience. No need to purchase expensive tour buses!

 

 LISBON NIGHTLIFE

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

The night life in Bairro alto is vibrant, and offers a variety for everyone. From Fado houses, to reggae bars to punk and rock spots. No one will be bored in Bairro alto. What distinguishes the Lisbon night life is the fact that people love to hang out outdoors rather than inside crowded bars and clubs. You’ll often find crowded streets, filled with people from all walks of life, having a fun night out.

 

THE PORTUGUESE FOOD

 

Portugal Lisbon

 

Portugal offers incredible fresh rich local foods and a few Michellin star chefs to satisfy your taste buds. The local little family owned restaurants are the best way to explore the gastronomic history of this city, while experienceing the real deal.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan like me, don’t worry! Lisbon has some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants out there, serving incredible meals for great prices!

 

THE VIEWS FROM THE 7 HILLS OF LISBON

Portugal Lisbon

 

Blessed with 7 hills facing the river, Lisbon offers some of the most breathtaking view points you’ll ever experience!

I challenge you to visit all of the many Lisbon Point views and see this gorgeous city from all angles.

 

THE “CALÇADA PORTUGUESA”

Lisbon Portugal

 

Our “Calçada” (the type of pavement on our side walks) is unique in the world and influenced the similar pavements in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Macau.  This pavement is totally hand made, with compositions that vary from simple and beautiful geometric shapes to extremely complex designs symbolizing the history of the city.

Lisbon weather

Lisbon weather

Lisbon weather

 

 

Lisbon offers a mild climate throughout the year. Our summers are nice and hot, very inviting for a beach day. The winters are usually sunny and relatively warm during the day.

Lisbon is one of the best destinations, no matter what time of the year you decide to visit.

 

 

For all this and much more both luxury travelers and backpackers are considering Lisbon the coolest city in Europe! It’s young, vibrant and filled with history!

MORE INFO ABOUT PORTUGAL LISBON TOURISM AND OTHER CITIES?

Things to do in Lisbon  * Explore Belem on an Eco-tour * 

Couchsurfing in Portugal

 

 

Come and travel to Portugal Lisbon and you’ll fall in love for the city!

Enjoy the sun, the atmosphere, take a tour, enjoy life in Lisbon!
For more info on traveling on Portugal Lisbon visit the official Portuguese Tourism Website

 travel to Lisbon Portugal

 

 

Featured photo: Lisbonlux.com

tram: commons.wikkimedia.com

bairro alto: airbandb.com

pasteis de belen: freemapsalgarve

41 Comments

  1. I’d love to go there! How expensive are Portugal/Spain now?

    • Spain and Portugal are still the cheapest destinations in western Europe. If you eat at local restaurants and use public transportation, you’ll be surprised by how affordable Lisbon still is. Spring and summer are great in Lisbon, and the local government is putting a lot of effort in rebuilding and recovering the old historical parts of town, so I have to say I’m falling in love with this city, over and over again.

      You should come over.

  2. You have totally convinced me!! I spent a few days in Lisbon once and had a great time. Gorgeous photos! I wish I was there right now

  3. Lisbon has so many cool things to do. From the amazing landscapes over the city, wine tastings, cooking classes, history, gardens. congratulations for the article and welcome to Lisbon and Portugal .

    • Yes, Lisbon is an amazing destination that never gets boring. It’s beautiful, safe and friendly. No reasons not to come here.

  4. Wow! This is so interesting place. Noted on my bucket list. 😀

  5. Amazing photos of Lisbon! I totally loved the laid back atmosphere when I visited two years ago!

    • Yes, there’s a very laid back feeling to this city, unlike many other European capitals which are extremely fast paced. I’m in love with my city :)

      • laid back? 😀 Are you sure?

        That means you NEVER spend anytime lost in traffic jam in a particular freeway or avenue inside any Bus or car? Do you even know that in some areas the air quality is not that great? How do you explain that? Little birds singing?

        And you call yourself a local? Are you sure you know Lisbon all that well? Lisbon is not only the downtown and trams. The pace is not there at all.

        That’s very strange, but ok.

        By the way, the earthquake was not in 1750…

        I often read about Lisbon being laid back – that’s just another myth very much like the seven hills story. Tourists are amused because 97% of them think Lisbon is only the downtown and that’s it, and don’t realize the economic main activity is elsewhere.

        Just the typical stuff – Nothing happens in Portugal, people are calm, gentle, easygoing, and don’t work because they are taking sunbaths.

        However, that’s not real. Lisbon is busy as any other capital. Yes, Lisbon is worth visiting but is not free of stress or unhurried. That’s a phantasy.

        • I think you’re just too stressed about life… cool down and don’t take your car to Lisbon…. I don’t know of any capital in the world that has no traffic jams. If you think Lisbon is that terrible, you can always move to Alentejo ,)

          • You cannot move that easy to Alentejo because there are no jobs there.

  6. It’s been too long, I would love to visit again and experiencing the top ten!

  7. I love Lisbon! I visited for the second time last November and fell in love with the city all over again :) Those hills are a killer though!

    • Yes, Lisbon has that something little something…

  8. I’ve yet to visit Portugal, but I’ve always considered Lisbon as my most likely port of call. Now that I’m in Spain, it’s not so far away and it makes too much sense to go.

  9. Lisbon and the rest of Portugal look sublimely seductive. I’d love to eat and sip my way through this portion of the Iberian Peninsula.

    • Dont come to the suburbs in the north of Lisbon, they are the most depressing thing ever!

  10. That is one of those places that I’m dying to visit! I hope to include it in my list of places to visit next year.

  11. So glad I stumbled upon your blog! I am an ova-lacto vegetarian, and read that you are a vegan. My husband and I will be in Lisbon June 25-28. He is not a vegetarian and is really looking forward to sampling the local Portuguese cuisine. I have found some vegan and vegetarian restaurants that I could enjoy, but could you recommend some non-vegetarian restaurants that could accommodate vegetarian-friendly meals so that we can both enjoy our dinners?

  12. I have to visit this city again, I have been there once and it was a storm a decade so I didn’t do as much exploring as I would hope for!

  13. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe during the last 2 weeks of November. We hear that most of Europe is cold and rainy during this time, as expected, but Portugal still has pleasant weather. We are both also vegetarians, so Lisbon sounds amazing with your recommendations. Could you tells me a little more about the weather during this time at Lisbon, Salema & Evora? Also, if you could share your airbnb rental link, we would love to look into that. thanks!

  14. My traveling girlfriend and myself spent 2 wonderful weeks in Portugal exactly 1 year ago. We spent 3 of those days in Lisbon and I will whole heartedly agree with you that it is a great city to put on all those bucket lists that people have. We met great people, had good food and took tram 28 all over the place. My one word of caution on the tram is beware of pick pocketers. On our first day there we saw the same group of pick pocketers 3 times!!!
    Make sure to get a Pasteis at de Belem and see a Fado show, oh and spend a day in Sintra!
    Love, love, love Portugal!!! I will definately return!

    • I’m thrilled to know you LOVED Portugal Julie :)

      Lisbon is absolutely stunning and yes, people are amazing. I’ve heard of problems with pickpocketers in the 28 tram. I’ve never experienced any problem because I’m a local, but most of these issue are done by non-Portuguese people. So be aware of groups of individuals who look suspicious and are actually distinctively not local. They live to steal the tourists and give a terrible image of the city.

      Sometimes I see them harassing tourists and I usually get in the middle when I see them. They’re always the same.

  15. I’m sold. Thanks to this great post. This summer I’m going to live in Portugal for a couple weeks (or months?) – I can’t wait to explore a place that has been forever on my bucket list. Hope you’ll be around… Happy New Year!

  16. Great post. Agreed, agreed, agreed. I have been to Lisbon and Portugal twice and it was love from the first sight. If I was ever to buy a house, it would be in Lisbon. It has been nearly a decade since I visited last, but I hope to return. Warm-hearted people, climate (22 Celcius in December), azuleijos (apologise for my spelling) and architecture… A dream place!

  17. I have wanted to visit Portugal for many years and finally, will be there for a couple of weeks in August.

    • Anna, how did you find this post? I noticed someone shared it on Facebook and I got a huge amount of traffinc on my stats, but have no idea where it came from. How did you find me?

      So you’re coming in August? Awesome, you’ll fall in Love with the city :) It might be a bit crowded in August, but it’s a lovely city.

  18. Great article. We have our tickets and are coming to Portugal for a month this summer.With us will be two13 year old girls. We have a week in Lisbon and have rented a home in the Alfama. Would love some advise .

  19. I have been in coimbra and in Lisbon, the Porteguies are wonderful openminde their hospitality is super, they are particular i live them. Thank you Portugal

  20. We absolutely adored Lisbon. My favourite city in Europe, tied with Istanbul… I can’t choose between them!

    Lisbon was such a friendly city. Such amazing food and great culture. And so much to do and see.

    We were actually discussing going back again this morning. Really want to go back to try the vegetarian food there too. We would love to explore further out as well… We only made it to Sinatra before, but would love to visit some local villages too.

  21. Visit LÇisbon, but please, dont come in the suburbs, this is a place of sadness. Dont come in Odivelas, Amadora, Cacém, Reboleira, Massama, Pontinha, etc. Here is where us, the jobless and impoverished portuguese live. This is where we stay day after day, in bettween concrete walls and no future. The suburbs are ugly and nothing to do, they are places where thousands of dreams come to die. Stay in Lisbon, visit Lisbon, eat a lot, drink, visit Sintra and Malveira, Cascais and the coastline. I mean, the pretty places, the beauty, where the mid-class/and some upper mid to upper class lives. But if you dont want to ruin your experience, dont come where the massive of us low income/jobless live. A vision of a (un) employement center may strike your experience. Dont come in the suburbs dont get in touch with the harsh reality around here. Stay in the touristic places of Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais if you want to keep a lovely image of Lisbon.

    • Your comment is so ture Maria and I feel very sorry for you and the other unemployed people in the suburbs of Lisbon. I lived and worked 1 year in Lisbon and sadly Lisbon is a city without real identity. It seems that there are no genuine Lisbonese as the majority moves to Lisbon for work. The other group of people are tourists but sadly they just see what they want to see: shiny cobblestones and breathtaking viewpoints.
      I hope that your dreams are not dead yet. Keep your head up!

  22. There will always be a part of my heart in Lisbon as I lived there for a year. This city changed my life a lot, not only that I found there the love of my life but also the many other magical moments I experienced there.
    The Lisbonese people however remained to me a peculiar folk. I wrote an article about peculiar characteristics of the Lisbonese.
    What we hate and love about the Lisbonese people
    http://www.acoupleofcountries.com/?p=67&olang=en&lang=en

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