Travel guide - Lisbon

The unique city of Lisbon is best observed from the heights of its many terraces, which offer panoramic views of the city’s seven hills. Scattered throughout the city, these miradouros are the perfect place for visitors to take a break and rest their feet. Between the Tage River and its ancient ruins, this Portuguese capital’s pleasant neighbourhoods, with their countless hills and steep roads, charm many a traveller.

A panoramic view of the city from the top of its hills

If you are travelling to Lisbon, be prepared to head to higher ground to enjoy views of the nature surrounding the walls of the old town. The seven hills facing the Tage blend seamlessly with the city’s architectural heritage, cobblestone streets and white cathedrals. The viewpoints of São Pedro de Alcântara, Portas do Sol, and de Graça, scattered throughout the city, offer visitors a chance to take in the city’s marvellous architecture while sipping a Bica, a Portuguese espresso or a delicious local wine. The Santa Justa lift offers a stunning view from the city centre, giving visitors a better look at the hills surrounding the capital.

After an earthquake, a new style of architecture emerges

During the enlightenment period, on November 1st 1755, disaster struck the Portuguese capital. A major earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a fire, destroyed almost the entire city. The Lisbon Cathedral withstood the catastrophe, making it the city’s oldest and most important church. The disaster led to the creation of the Pombaline architectural style, a sort of urbanism based on a grid system and a certain hierarchy designed to optimise the layout of the city in the event of another earthquake. This style is responsible for the rationale behind the buildings and roads in the old town. The central neighbourhood of Baixa is a perfect illustration of the new type of city, in which the shapes of the facades and sizes of the buildings depend on the dimensions of the roads. These ingenious innovations mark the first appearance in Europe of earthquake-proof buildings and are also responsible for giving Lisbon its unique style.

Culinary discoveries: the delights of Portuguese cooking

Lisbon is a very affordable city compared to its European neighbours and it has a rich culinary offering. Beyond the traditional salt cod, known as bacalhau, and the many variations on this dish, Portuguese cooking has been reinvented by young chefs. Back from London, chef António Galapito takes an innovative approach to cooking, as can be seen in his fillet of black Iberian pork with quince, chilli and chocolate, and his modern interpretations of shellfish dishes to which he adds a variety of herbs and seasonal vegetables. The market of Mercado da Ribeira, along with the city’s many bakeries and taverns, offer you even more options during your stay. Don’t forget to taste the local cheeses, the pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tart) and the local seafood, which is available in abundance in Lisbon. Ponto Final is a perfect place to enjoy fresh fish and the catch of the day in a lovely setting on the banks of the river. Meat lovers will be delighted by the juicy Carno de Porco Alentejana and feijoada, a Portuguese-style cassoulet. The diversity of the communities in this city also gives visitors the chance to try other types of cuisine from around the world, from Goa to Cape Verde by way of Brazil.

Lisbon, a city that comes alive at night

Between the city’s many bars and taverns, electronic music clubs and acoustic concerts peacefully coexist, resulting in a diverse offering of night life. The low prices and friendly locals make it easy to enjoy an evening out in this city. The cobblestone roads of the Bairro Alto and Chiado neighbourhoods attract a varied population: students and trendy young people rub elbows with wine lovers and clients of the restaurant Fado na Morgadinha, which features live performances of traditional and deeply emotional Fado music.
When you grow tired of walking, Lisbon has just what you need to keep you awake until late into the night. Settle in on a comfortable terrace and enjoy your evening while getting to know the inhabitants of this unforgettable capital city.

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