Lisbon: Why You Should Add This City to Your Summer Holiday List
Are you looking for a city to add to your summer holiday list this year? Look no further – Lisbon is a great option for any group or individual looking for an exciting vacation! Lisbon, Portugal’s picturesque capital, is a vibrant city full of fascinating history, lively culture, and excellent food.
Described as one of the oldest cities in Europe, Lisbon has an interesting and varied past. Once known as the “City of the Seven Hills”, the city’s history dates back to the Iron Age when it was ruled by a pre-Roman tribe called the Celts. After falling under the rule of Rome, then Visigoths, and then Moors, the city became the capital of Portugal in 1147. It soon became a major trading city in the 15th century – thanks to its geographic position – and peak of its golden age as a major trading centre for spices and gold. Historical sights such as Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, or São Jorge Castle are reminders of this period of wealth and prosperity.
Today, Lisbon is an exciting and modern city that balances its vibrant cultural life with stunning architecture and fantastic food. Its many squares and cobblestone streets beckon tourists in with their Grandeur. The Alfama district has stunning tiled buildings, lively bars, and secret alleyways. The city’s iconic trams and funiculars take visitors through narrow streets and up hills, offering unique views of the city. Take a tour of the famous pastel-colored houses on the way up to Monastery of São Vicente de Fora or join your friends on a panoramic ride over the city as the sun sets behind it.
Visitors of Lisbon come for many reasons – some for business, others for pleasure – but most remain for the food. Most everything in and around Lisbon has a distinct taste, from the citrusy tonic water at the 18th-century Coca-Cola Factory to sardines grilled over coals in Baixa. Don’t forget Portuguese seafood dishes such as seafood rice (arroz de marisco) and cod fish cakes (bolinhos de bacalhau). Dessert just has to be a sweet egg tart, called pastel de nata. Portuguese wines are also very popular and make for a worthy complement to any meal.
It is also easy to explore Lisbon and its nearby attractions, with train and bus lines easily accessible to take you around the city and its outskirts. Those who are more active can rent a bike or even pay a visit to the amazing beaches around Lisbon, with surfers filling the waves in Cascais and Estoril showing off their skills. For an added adventure, take a day trip to nearby Sintra and explore its fairytale-like castles and palaces, such as Pena National Palace and Moorish Castle.
Lisbon is no doubt an amazing city – friendly locals, exquisite food and unforgettable history all contribute to make it one of Europe’s most captivating cities. Consider adding Lisbon to your summer holiday list and experience the magic of this city for yourself!
For more information about why Lisbon should be your next summer holiday destination and how to plan your trip there, refer to this Visit Lisboa guide. It provides comprehensive information on what to do and see in Lisbon, as well as giving tips on how to navigate the city.
Insider’s Guide to Lisbon: Why You Should Add This City to Your Summer Holiday List
If you are planning a summer holiday and looking for a beautiful and vibrant city to visit, we highly recommend Lisbon, Portugal. This charming coastal city has a lot to offer, including historic architecture, delicious food, cultural experiences, and much more. In this insider’s guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of things to see and do in Lisbon, as well as some off-the-beaten-path suggestions.
Lisbon is full of stunning attractions that you won’t want to miss. Here are a few must-see sites:
– Belém Tower: Famed for being the symbol of Lisbon, Belém Tower is a historic fortification and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
– Jerónimos Monastery: Another UNESCO site, Jerónimos Monastery is a magnificent 16th-century building, featuring ornate architecture and stunning gardens.
– Alfama: The oldest district in Lisbon, Alfama is a beautiful area full of cobblestone streets, traditional houses, breathtaking views, and delicious restaurants.
– São Jorge Castle: Sitting atop of the highest hill, the São Jorge Castle is Lisbon’s most iconic landmark. It offers a panoramic view of the city, and visitors can tour the castle and learn about its history.
Lisbon is renowned for its cuisine and has a diverse range of dining spots, from traditional to modern. Here are some of the must-try dining spots:
– Pasteis de Belem: A local favorite, Pasteis de Belem is a vibrant café, known for their famous Portuguese custard tart. Be sure to get there early as there is always a long line.
– Time Out Market: The Time Out Market is a spacious marketplace with over 30 restaurants featuring a range of cuisines, including seafood, burgers, traditional Portuguese dishes, and exotic foods.
– Sea Me: If you love fresh seafood, then Sea Me is a must-visit restaurant. This trendy seafood hotspot is one of the top-rated restaurants in Lisbon, featuring seasonal seafood platters and sushi.
Lisbon is steeped in history and culture, and there are several ways to immerse yourself in it. Here are a few cultural experiences that are worth exploring:
– Fado Music: Fado is a traditional form of Portuguese music, showcasing melancholic yet emotive music. There are several Fado clubs in Lisbon to frequent, including Clube de Fado, where you can experience local Fado live.
– Museu Nacional do Azulejo: The National Tile Museum features a remarkable collection of tile art, dating back hundreds of years. Visitors can tour the museum and learn about the history behind these beautiful tiles.
– LX Factory: A project to revive a formerly derelict factory, the LX Factory is now a creative hub, with art galleries, fashion boutiques, bars and restaurants, and other unique shops. A perfect place to experience the youthful and contemporary vibe of Lisbon.
Lisbon is full of history, much of which you can explore on foot. Here are some historical landmarks that are worth checking out:
– Santa Justa Elevator: Built in 1902, the Santa Justa Elevator is an inspiring piece of engineering, connecting the downtown Baixa with the hilly Barrio Alto district.
– The Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques: A vast park, loved by the locals, and featuring an impressive fountain, palm trees, and plenty of space for walking and relaxing.
– Calouste Gulbenkian Museum: Boasting an impressive art collection on its own or combined with its gardens, The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum displays diverse cultural pieces ranging from Egyptian to Islamic art.
If you want to escape the tourist crowds, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path suggestions to explore. Here are a few:
– Cascais Beach: Located just outside of Lisbon, Cascais beach is a tranquil escape from the city. Take a dip in the ocean, lay on the beach, and dine in the local seafood restaurants.
– Cycling along the Tagus River: Rent a bike and ride along the Tagus River, exploring the several scenic viewpoints that offer stunning views.
– Arco do Cego Garden: A hidden gem in the city- a refurbished garden located at the back of a university campus. It’s very peaceful and has a small stream running through it.
Lisbon is a bustling city with a perfect mix of modern and traditional vibes. With its pleasant climate, beautiful scenery, friendly locals, the city is an excellent destination for summer holidays. By following this insider’s guide, you will surely fall in love with Lisbon and experience everything it has to offer. Happy exploring!
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