If you’ve visited Lisbon before, it will come as no surprise that the city’s name came from the Greek for ‘enchanted port’ – because that’s exactly what it was, and still is today. Lisbon has a history that dates back further than most cities in Europe, but after an earthquake, followed by fires, then a tsunami back in the 18th century, a lot of Lisbon was destroyed. However, the city rebuilt itself from ruins, and now stands proud as a true gem in Portugal’s crown. Popular Attractions
Lisbon is a city made up of and surrounded by a web of castles, palaces, and churches, a testament to its rich and long-standing history. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Castelo São Jorge, Torre de Belém are three example of just such places you will find within the city itself, but also make sure you also check out the village of Sintra and its charming architecture, just a half-hour drive west of Lisbon. Another iconic Lisbon experience is to take a ride on one if the city’s adorable trams, the most famous of which is Tram 28. Trundling through some of Lisbon’s most delightful neighbourhoods, Tram 28 is the most authentic and memorable ways to see Lisbon, and it’s also extremely affordable. Museums fanatics should without doubt pay a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum, which Lisbon claims as one of the city’s (and Europe’s) unsung treasures, housing a collection of art from across the continent and some from Asia and the Middle East. In the evenings, spend your time strolling the Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon. Here you’ll find rows of cozy bars and restaurants serving up port and putting on live performances of Fado, a typical style of music from Portugal. Food
Portuguese cuisine is oozing with intense flavour, enough to make anyone drool. It’s extremely distinct, and while many chefs in Lisbon are eager to stray from the traditional, the people of Portugal like their old favourites. This creates a mish-mash of old and new food in Lisbon that is truly unbeatable. Try some balcalhau (salted cod), sip on the regional wine, which any restaurant or bar will serve, and don’t forget to try Portugal’s infamous custard tarts from a bakery – you won’t regret it. Transport
Lisbon Airport, or Aeroporto da Portela, is Portugal’s largest airport, and has good links to the rest of the world. Not only can you find flights to and from destinations all over Europe, but Lisbon Airport is also well connected to Africa, as well as North and South America. Tips for Travellers
Portuguese custard tarts (natively known as Pastéis de nata) are famous the world over and can be found in any country with a significant Portuguese immigrant population. The delicacy was actually created in Lisbon by monks in Belém, which is why the tarts are often referred to as Pastéis de Belém. If there were any place in Portugal where you have to try these delicious treats, it’s here! If you’re planning to cover a lot of ground in Lisbon, grab yourself a public transport day ticket for around €4. These give you unlimited access to the metro and trams for the entire day, and are the most cost-effective form of travel for serious explorers. Many of Lisbon’s museums are free on Sunday mornings, but it could also be worth grabbing a Lisbon Card. This will give you free or discounted access to many of Lisbon’s attractions, as well as unlimited public transport use. They cost between €17 and €35, depending on your length of stay. Fun Facts
At 10.5 miles long, the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, having had the same defined borders since the 12th century. The record held for the longest Mexican wave was held in Lisbon in August 2007, and consisted of 8,453 people. That record is still held today!