Lisbon: A City with Arms Wide Open
Located on the North Bank of the Tagus estuary, Lisbon is a charming town, with strong links to its past and to discovery. Its palaces, beautiful churches and the impressive castle are part of the stunning cultural heritage of the city. Two of its most emblematic monuments, the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, are classified as UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. Still in Bethlehem, we can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, erected in tribute to the Portuguese discoveries.
Lisbon’s historical buildings are characterized by a mixture of great architectural beauty, making it a European capital full of curiosities and interesting to explore. It is good that come with enough appetite! The delicious fresh fish, the pastéis de Belém and the entire convent sweets, white wines, red wines and sangria of beer are a temptation.
Lisbon is also a city attractive for hiking. Known as the “city of seven hills”, offers unforgettable walks the sidewalks in stone (calçada portuguesa) and narrow streets, full of cafes Art Nouveau cafés offer plenty to discover.
The most popular sites are located around the Rossio and Praça do Comércio, also known as Terreiro do Paço. This square is one of the most majestic and was once the main maritime entry of the city. Even today you can see the marble staircase, which comes out of the river Tagus, in the direction of this square. The name Terreiro do Paço is clearly a reference to the Palace that here 400 years, and was during that served as a residence for the King until 1755 earthquake, that destroyed almost in its entirety. To visit are also the quarters of Alfama and Mouraria, situated on the Hill around the castle of s. Jorge, it also to visit, and all the riparian zone.
There is also the up and coming Parque das Nações area, host to the World Exhibition of 1998. It is now a center for recreation facilities and open air dining and drinking. There you will find the Oceanarium (Aquarium), the cable car and the Vasco da Gama Tower, where you can enjoy the panoramic views of Lisbon. This place is also where the goal of Vodafone RTP half marathon Rock ‘n’ Roll will be.
But Lisbon is not only culture and history, the Bairro Alto is the center of nightlife, with numerous restaurants and bars. You can dance the night away or simply sit on the street and enjoy the cool breeze while having a nice conversation. With a little luck, you can listen to some fado (Portuguese traditional music and melancholy). If you are already fond and fan of this genre, you can head to one of the many fado houses that exist in this area.
Shopping in Lisbon can be surprisingly sophisticated. The Avenida da Liberdade is the most important avenue for shopping, where you can find stores like Prada and Louis Vuitton. The most important Portuguese designers already are installed in the Bairro Alto and Chiado. For those who prefer shopping in local markets, there is an emblematic market in Campo de Santa Clara, where they can get unique hand-painted or embroidered fabrics which will act as souvenirs .
In addition, the bonus of Lisbon is the pleasant climate and the friendliness of the people, who mostly speak English. Therefore, the best thing is to come lose yourself in the narrow streets of this city and unwind in its wonderful squares. Pack your bags and discover Lisbon for yourself.