I have been living in Lisbon only for 9 months, but I could definately say that it has caught me with its charming and fascinating streets, monuments, positive and smiling people, and of course the greatest cuisine.
Lisbon isn’t the flatiest city in Europe. As legend says, Lisbon was edified over seven hills:
- São Jorge: Where the São Jorge castle is standing.
- São Vicente : Where the São Vincente de Fora Monastery and the Alfama area stands.
- Sant’Ana: Between Martim Moniz square and the Rua Portas de Santo Antão, where the São José Hospital stands.
- Santo André : Largo/ Miradouro da Graça is the top of this hill.
- Chagas: At Largo do Carmo
- Santa Catarina: Around Largo Camões, Bairro Alto
- São Roque: Around Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, Bairro Alto.
When I came to Lisbon, I found that I have missed this information somehow, and for me – Northen Europen girl who was always used to have flat streets, it was the hardest thing to accept, except from the totally different but beautiful language.
If you want to avoid the Lisbon charm, take the Metro, but I would definetely recommend to walk and see the wonders of Lisbon, enjoy the sun and small coffee shops with the best Portuguese coffee and Pastel de Nata.
There are a lot of things to see and do in Lisbon, I keep exploring Lisbon each and every day and find something unseen for me. But these places are definately my favorite:
Belem is a southwestern parish in Lisbon located at the mouth of Tagus river. Here you can see Belem tower and Jerominos Monastrey, as well as have a great view to 25th April bridge. Beautiful gardens, amazing architecture and lots of museums. This is the must see area for tourists, so it’s almost always quite crowded with people taking pictures and exploring the venue. Here in Belem the typical Portuguese pastry shop called “Pasteis de Belém” has normally a huge qeue of people looking forward to try the Pasteis de Belém, but trust me – it’s worth it!
Alfama is one of the oldest Lisbon neighborhoods with colorful, charming and narrow streets. Here you can find lots of places to see, like popular viewpoints with fabulous view, Fado museum and restaurants, churches. History says that few centuries ago it was the place when fishermans and poor people lived, and it’s the reason why this district is so simple but breath-taking. Take a walk around and enjoy!
There are many viewpoints in Lisbon. Since Lisbon was built on seven hills, you have a great overview to the city in general as well as 25th April bridge, castles, churches and wonderful rooftops.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara is located in the heart of Lisbon – Bairro-Alto, with an amazing view to the city, river Tejo and São Jorge castle.
A month ago the new miradouro was opened in Amoreiras shopping centre’s rooftop – it’s the highest point in Lisbon, and with a fashionable and fast elevator, you can get to the rooftop in a minute and it’s definately worth the money.
It is also one of the oldest parts in Lisbon, which truly changes from day to night. In daylight this district is a sleepy place, but when the sun sets the new life begins here – with restaurants opening their doors, and crowds showing up to spend their bar-hopping night. Small streets, true Lisbon atmosphere, old people drying their clothes on the street – the real Bairro-Alto wonder. But if you are planing to come to live in Lisbon but like to enjoy your beauty sleep – trust me, this is not the best place to rent an apartament or room, but it’s perfect for parties, having fun and meeting new people.
Cascais is a 40 minute ride from Lisbon by train from Cais de Sodré, is coastal town near the ocean with a lot of fishermans and a small port for their boats.
Rent a bike here (by the way it’s for free for 1,5 hour) and take a ride near the coast to see the ocean, beautiful cliffs and enjoy the fresh ocean air. Catch the sun by lying in Carcavelos beach, enjoy the marvellous waves by taking a swim or surfing. It’s a quite small town, not so loud but one of my favorite places in Portugal.
Enjoy Lisbon during the SPEAK events
SPEAK events has a power to bring people together. I came to Lisbon to work for SPEAK last August, I did not know anyone here in Lisbon and Portugal in general. Thanks to SPEAK events I got to know a lot of amazing people not only from Lisbon and Portugal but for example from Italy, Ukraine, Brazil, France, etc, got to know different cultures and lifestories and had fun time!
Check the up-coming events here and join us while you are in Lisbon.
Must try food:
Pastel de Nata – typical Portuguese egg tart pastry
Bacalhau – Codfish is the typical Portuguese fish variated in many different but delicious ways
Bolinhos de bacalhau – it’s a delicious and typical Portuguese salty pastry made with the codfish
Arroz de marisco – have you heard of Spanish traditional Paella? After trying Portuguese Arroz de Marisco, you will never want to eat anything else again, at least I felt that way when one of my flatmates – a Portuguese guy cooked dinner for all of us! The best variation of rice and a lot of see food, with a spicy tomato and piri-piri sauce.
Ginjinha in chocolate cups – typical Portuguese liquer made from cherries (Ginja berries). Usually it’s served in chocolate cups which make the taste more enjoyable.
I have heard some people saying – if you have ever traveled to Lisbon, you will definately come back here again. And you know what? I totally agree with it! There is something strange about this city – no matter how long are you staying here, you always want to come back, explore more
I’m thankful to have a chance to live in Lisbon and work in SPEAK, and I can truly say that Lisbon will always take a huge part in my heart. I’m proud to call Lisbon my second, but the most favourite home!
Enjoy Lisbon and SHARE YOUR WORLD!