Lisbon in Portugal is highly appreciated as one of the top destinations in Europe. Being one of the oldest capital city in Europe, Lisbon has an unmatched beauty when it comes to culture and architecture. Lisbon also has not involved too much in hi-tech evolutions, so the city is still perfectly functional as a tourism site. Come to Lisbon and you will not soon forget about this place.
Lisbon is the second oldest capital city in Europe
After Athens, Lisbon is the capital city that has been around for the longest. It was first ruled by the Romans, Germans, and Arabs before 1147 when Portuguese crusaders finally conquered it. However, it’s been an economic, political and cultural centre for so long that it never really got officially confirmed as Portugal’s capital city. It’s by default and convention that it’s become so!
Portuguese is the official language
Portugal may be next to Spain but it does have it’s own language, and although you might find that Spanish is a common second language that doesn’t mean people want to speak it all the time. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of people, and especially young people, speak English more than Spanish. So when you’re in Lisbon don’t just assume Spanish is the default second language!
Fado is the traditional style of music
“Fado” means destiny, or fate in Portuguese. It’s a traditional form of music that is known for it’s soulful and often melancholy tone, and it often has a connection to the sea. Instruments like guitars and mandolins form the basis of the art, with one singer performing the poetic lyrics. Fado has been in Lisbon since around the early 19th century in the port districts. Alfama is one of those districts, and on a walk through here in the evening Fado music is inescapable. There are many places offering meal and performance deals, but the best are those were you don’t need to pay for an expensive meal to see the show.
Lisbon is one of the best budget cities in Europe
Lisbon provides excellent quality food, great accommodation and nightlife for a fraction of the cost of some of Europe’s other capital cities. It makes a great European budget holiday destination, especially because beer is as cheap as €2 in many places! But you can also enjoy more luxury drinks and meals at a lower cost, making this a place for budget and luxury travellers.
There are a lot of hills in Lisbon
Lisbon is built on seven hills. That means a lot of work for your calf muscles, but also some beautiful views to make up for it! Living in Wellington, New Zealand for most of my early adult life means I’m no stranger to hills, but Lisbon surprised even me. In downtown Lisbon along the Avenida da Liberdade it’s all flat, but venture slightly in any direction and you’re met with steeply sloping hills. Luckily the number 28 tram or a tuk tuk will help with those!
Take a ride on the 28 line tram
Lisbon is famous for it’s number 28 yellow tram. There’s actually a number of them that run all over the city. It costs just about €2.85 per person and services run from around 6am until 9pm. You can purchase a ticket from the driver or a machine onboard. The tram goes between Alfama in the east and Praça do Martim Moniz in the west. The classic 1930s trams are still in use today because the tight curves and steep hills are unsuitable for modern trams. We rode from Alfama all the way to end in Estrela, which actually wasn’t the best idea because it stopped and we had to get off and wait to get on again to go back. I would recommend stopping in the Bairro Alto if you’re heading west!\
To be continued…
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