Lisbon is a unique slice of Europe. The city sprawls across seven hills along the Tagus River shores. It is set in a cinematic style to a soundtrack of soulful music and distant warning bells from Tram 28.
The narrow cobbled streets flow into broad, mosaic-paved boulevards that open into beautiful Baroque squares. As you move through the city’s center, buildings clad with vibrant de data are everywhere.
It’s an Open-Air Museum
Lisbon is a beautiful open-air museum with tile-covered facades and intricate cobblestone designs. Every corner is a charming alley, an arty sight, or a breathtaking view to be admired.
The city is energetic and rich in history. It features charming, colorful architecture and stunning azulejo tile designs. There are also gleaming mosaic streets ( Calcada Portuguesa) that showcase the rich maritime heritage. The city offers a tranquil oasis from the urban chaos. Its sprawling gardens are brimming over exotic flora, and its wide, elegant avenues with trees still echo the footsteps of the city’s nobility on Sunday afternoon promenades.
Lisbon’s artistic flair and aesthetic sense don’t end here. As well as the hand-painted tiles of Portugal, eye-catching murals are now common. Streets are lined with colorful graffiti and stone portraits. There is even an official gallery for street art that guides and documents visitors to the major works.
The charm of the Old World
Lisbon is a pleasant surprise to first-time visitors. Lisbon, Portugal’s laid-back capital, knows how to combine its ancient treasures with a sunny climate and new world vitality into an exciting, cosmopolitan metropolis that delights all who visit.
The most striking thing about this city is its easygoing, casual charm. It has narrow streets and crumbling pastel facades.
Historic bakeries have beautiful interiors and are filled with nostalgia. An elegant Art Deco coffee shops and waiters in black jackets greet you. Wrought-iron kiosks still sell lottery tickets, newspapers, snacks, and other items to passersby as they did two centuries ago.
The charming yellow tram is another option, and it trundles up the hills of Lisbon, keeping it in a charming time-warp.
A burgeoning food scene
Lisbon’s food scene, just like its city, is constantly evolving, but it retains its proud traditions. Bacalhau (salted codfish) and sardines are now served in trendy gastro bars with stylish interiors. A profusion of ethnic eateries takes epicureans on an adventure through the Portuguese colonies of Goa, Nepal, and Brazil.
Look for a traditional Tasca to get a cheap, homemade meal. Here, you will find delicious croquettes, juicy suckling-pig sandwiches ( Bifana), hearty meat stews and rounds of petiscos (Portuguese tapas). All are served on colorful tablecloths.
You can also visit Lisbon’s Time Out Market if you are short on time. This is a food court that offers a wide range of international cuisines and plates by some of the country’s most renowned Michelin-starred chefs (Alexandre Silva, Henrique Sapessoa).
Hills topped with scenic views.
Lisbon’s seven hills are dotted with steep and undulating streets that run like a web, giving rise to picturesque views above the city.
Miradouros are, as the Portuguese call them, an integral part of the local culture. They offer stunning views of the capital and give a glimpse into the city’s daily life.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia, in the historic Alfama neighborhood, offers a stunning view of pastel-colored houses and tangerine roofs. This is the most romantic and beautiful panoramic terrace in Lisbon. It’s filled with artists and decorated using classic white and blue Portuguese tile. The panoramic views extend to Tagus River and are framed in centuries-old trellis covered with vibrant bougainvillea.
The tranquil Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte Graca offers better sunset views. It is perched on Lisbon’s highest hill and has a panoramic view of Lisbon and the Sao Jorge Castle.