Today I am taking you to the Portuguese capital - to Lisboa as it is called in Portuguese. Prior to going to Lisbon, I heard so many promising comments. Lisbon is young and vibrant. Lisbon is creative and vivid. Lisbon is sunny and beautiful. And after my little trip I can say: yes, yes, and yes.
Alcantara, Chiado, Baixa, Alfama, Bairro Alto - these are the dulcet names of some of Lisbon's central quarters and main spots for visitors. Lisbon is also referred to as the 'City of the Seven Hills' and thus quite hilly indeed. The best is to discover the city by foot to get an idea of the layout, architecture and hidden corners. But no worries, Lisbon has a good metro network and you shouldn't miss the famous tram no. 28 - a great way to enjoy the city's sights from a sitting perspective.
I adore Portuguese 'fado' so I would recommend a visit to one of the fado bars in Alfama, one of the oldest districts. Moreover, take a walk down to the Tejo river to see the world heritage, the Belém Tower. From Tejo river back to the city you will pass through some major shopping streets. For a good afternoon break head to the famous Café A Brasileira - as popular and crowded as it can get, it still is a real gem with its original Art Deco style from the 19th century. Enjoy a good, strong Portuguese coffee - a 'bica' if you're the espresso type or a 'galao' if you love it milky. To accompany your coffee don't miss a 'pastel de nata', the famous Portuguese egg tart pastry.
Tiles are also a big thing in Lisbon. The 'azulejos' tiles are evident on many buildings, in parks, for interior design purposes. Moreover, you will find many shops selling tiles - from antique to contemporary to souvenir style. Make your choice and bring a bit of Portugal back home. One of my friends actually bought many different styles to tile her balcony. Well that's another type of souvenir, don't you think? Have a happy week!
Photography by Igor Josifovic