On the verge of the Atlantic high seas, the seat of the erstwhile Portuguese Empire is drowned in history and culture while staying sunny all year long.
The best part is that most Eurotrippers give this tiny city a miss; which means that the cobble stone streets and impeccable Atlantic Sunshine is saved entirely for you to soak in!
Take a week off and walk through Lisbon to experience a beautiful and laid-back culture.
Lisbon is well connected with the rest of Europe, North Africa and North America. Land at Aeroporto de Lisboa and break out your walking shoes! To experience the best of this city, you have to walk. A lot!
Fado in Alfama: Take a tram (yes, a tram) to Alfama, a district speckled with Fado bars and restaurants. Fado is a melancholic traditional folk music played on a Portuguese styled guitar. Take in this unique musical experience while having a drink at any of the streetside bars in Alfama. Try not to get lost in the alleys of Alfama while staring into 19th century buildings in this medieval district. Also a must see is the ancient Castle of Sao Jorge.
Belem: Head to Belem and walk into Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga to see 19th century European paintings and ancient Portuguese artifacts. If you’re not into museums though, see the Belem Tower or go on a walking tour of the beautiful area flooded with light.
Bairro Alto: If you’re wondering where the young go to let their hair down and empty some bottles, it’s Bairro Alto! It’s concentrated with many bars; everything from small Bohemian holes to streetside bars to modern pubs. In this district, you could sit at any streetside bar, get your drink on and people watch all day while munching on your fresh char grilled sardines.
The culture of the sun and light defines Lisbon and its beaches as well. Colour bounces from all over the place making Lisbon ‘A Photographer’s Dream’.
Head to Costa da Caparica, south of the river Tagus that has the Waikiki Bar with its sunbeds and umbrellas. Get your Pina Colada and lie down for a day in the Portuguese sun.
Traditional Portuguese restaurants with fresh sea food are scattered all over the district of Bairro Alto among its many narrow lanes.
Sacramento: Have the best of lobster tail, giant prawns and mussels at this inviting restaurant while the attentive staff give you the best service. The Bacalhau (dried & salted cod) is a must try here!
Imperio dos Sentidos Restaurante: Try the duck confit with truffle mash, tuna steak with mango salsa and Iberian pork at this popular restaurant and sit back to thank yourself.
Pois Cafe: Back in Alfama kick back at this toned down cafe to read a book before a late breakfast (the Portuguese way). Traditional dishes are served alongside toasts, pastas, quiches, and salads here.
Se Guesthouse in Alfama is a charming little lodging in a scenic location with views of the riverfront.
If you’re on a budget, ‘Poets Hostel’ is a great place to stay in the old town of Chiado and you can cover everything in the area the next day.
Back in Bairro Alto, Oasis Backpackers’ Mansion offers a fun vibe with large rooms and big dinners. It’s a great place to meet other backpackers who might be on the same trail as you.
If you’re in the mood for splurging though, Mercy Boutique Hotel and Tiara Park Atlantic Lisboa offer luxury and charm at the same time.
All in all, Lisbon with its antique tramways, cobbled streets and Atlantic Sunshine sounds like a bright idea to dive into if you want to experience a charming city that practically no one has been raving about!