We've talked a lot about Lisbon, but there is so much to say about one of the most fascinating European capitals.
Lisbon is a relatively small city compared to most big capitals, which gives it a friendly and welcoming dimension and softens the impersonal side of the big cities.
It has an intense white light and is bathed by the Tagus, one of the rivers with the broadest estuary in Europe (yes, it looks like the sea!), making it ideal for relaxing on long walks along its banks.
The well-kept secrets of the “great lettuce”
Popular tradition calls those born in Lisboa (Lisboetas) "alfacinhas", which literally translated means “little lettuces”. Thus, in their city - the 'Great Lettuce' - the mild climate and tranquillity provide exceptional cuisine and terraces. It is possible to be at ease without being worried about schedules (we are Latinos, everything stays open until late!) or security: it is a statistical fact that we are the 3rd safest country in the world.
Despite being a modern and cosmopolitan city, with commerce and services for all tastes, what you feel in Lisbon is an atmosphere of relaxation and authenticity, which is already rare in most cities.
It is a place that maintains its small traditional commerce (next to the big shopping centres and the designer boutiques of Avenida da Liberdade), just as it welcomes young artists or craftsmen selling their wares in street fairs. Inside the neighbourhoods, people still know each other. You can enjoy marvellous museums, shows, or open-air music festivals, with top artists from all over the world - who, fortunately, love to perform here (many have already discovered the secret, like Madonna, who lived here for the last few years).
And the outskirts? Yes! Lisbon is located only 30 minutes away from beautiful beaches and towns with the heritage and offerings of Sintra or Cascais (both highly rated in international tourist guides), which combine nature with culture and gastronomy.
Follow these 5 tips on your next visit, and you won't regret it
- The charm of the historic neighbourhoods: the city has fascinating landmark neighbourhoods, some still with medieval remnants and from other eras that are absolutely unmissable! Therefore, wandering around the streets of Alfama (and going up to São Jorge Castle!), Baixa, Bairro Alto, Mouraria, Graça, or Madragoa at your own pace is unique. Don't miss it. If you're short on time, we suggest choosing Alfama and São Jorge Castle, for example.
- Belém and its monastery, museums, and pastries: Belém, on the western edge of the city, next to the river, is essential to get to know 2 of the main bastions of the Age of Discoveries architecture: the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower. In the same area, it has museums as exciting and unusual as the Coach Museum, the MATT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology), and the CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém), with its collection of contemporary art. A visit to Belém is not complete without going to the house of “Pastéis de Belém” and eating at least 2 of them, hot and with cinnamon - we promise it is one of the best pastries in the universe and around. One just isn't enough!
- Restaurants and nightlife: Portuguese gastronomy is known worldwide, and it is worth trying, considering there are interesting options, such as traditional food, fusion options, or world cuisine. Just between Baixa, Chiado, Príncipe Real, and Cais do Sodré, there are hundreds of good options. The Portuguese are known for cooking codfish in a thousand different ways, grilling fish like no one else, and for the traditional sweets, cold meats, cheeses, and good wines. We suggest you consult guides like Tripadvisor, Zoomato, or The Fork, where you can check schedules, prices, popularity, type of food, specific diets, and other important issues.
- Riding trams and elevators: the trams, like the 28, which goes from Graça to Campo de Ourique, crossing Baixa and Chiado; or the elevators, like the Elevador da Bica or the Elevador de Santa Justa, which climb the steep sidewalks that lead to some of the city's 7 hills...are a worthwhile experience. Include them in your route!
- Listen to a live Fado show: whether you like Lisbon's traditional song, which is an intangible heritage of humanity, dining by candlelight listening to fado is a tradition. You may be lucky enough to hear amateur fado sung in the streets of Alfama or Mouraria. But if you don't want to be sure to listen to good Fado, book a table for dinner in some selected places, like Mesa de Frades, or, if you don't want to dine, just drop by in the evening break, and you can just have a drink and listen to good performers.
For those coming from the centre of Europe, Lisbon is also an ideal city for short getaways - which you can do on the weekend or mini-vacations - even because it has an airport integrated into the city, which avoids wasting time.
We remind you that Move Sports includes the locations suggested above in the City Tours that can be comprised in the tour packages of our clients.
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