Posted on 08/07/2021

#Tip #Portugal

Visiting Lisbon? Here Are Some Of The City's Best Experiences

Lisbon, Portugal, is quickly becoming one of Europe's top destinations in the last decade. This seems natural as the city has beautiful cobblestone streets, soft colourful houses and Unesco-listed Heritage sites, it's no wonder that it is becoming more and more popular. Here are some of the city's best experiences.

Lisbon, Portugal, is quickly becoming one of Europe's top destinations in the last decade. This seems natural as the city has beautiful cobblestone streets, soft colourful houses and Unesco-listed Heritage sites, it's no wonder that it is becoming more and more popular. Here are some of the city's best experiences.

Breathtaking Views

Breathtaking Views

© Sean Pavone / 123RF

According to legend, Lisbon was built on seven hills, just like Rome. It is also Europe's second-oldest capital city, after Athens, Greece, however, Lisbon has grown in the last 2,700 odd years since its beginnings and stretches much farther than the original city seven hills. It comes as no surprise that Lisbon has some amazing views if it was built on hills. In Portuguese the view points are known as miradouros.

São Pedro de Alcântara is a favorite among locals. Inside a quaint garden in the Principe Real neighbourhood, where you can enjoy the views of the city while sipping a delicious glass of rosé. The view from the Miradouro de Graça looks over Castelo de São Jorge, which is a ruined 11th century Moorish palace.

Another great place for stunning views, is at a terrace bar called TOPO, which is on the top floor of a shopping centre in the Martim Moniz Square. This spot offers amazing panoramic views, naturally one of the best times to go is at sunset when the sun bathes the city in a gorgeous orange glow that lights up the Castelo de São Jorge.

Belém

Belém is home to two Unesco-listed sites. The first one is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, many tourists flood here to photograph the magnificent honey-stone Manueline cloisters inside. The monastery has been a Unesco-listed Heritage site since 1945. A little further down, on the riverfront, you will find the other Unesco-listed Heritage site, The Torre de Belém. The fortress resembles a chess piece and perfectly represents the Age of Discovery. Your efforts for climbing the tower are rewarded with beautiful views over the Tagus. If you are in need of refreshments, there are plenty of bars and restaurants that offer cocktails and stunning sunsets.

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Art Museums

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is Portugal's Louvre. The museum is home to treasured Portuguese and European art but also pieces from once colonised regions like West Africa, India and Japan. The museum is inside a 17th century palace situated in the Lapa neighbourhood. You can also find a well-kept garden with amazing views of the city - yes you can find incredible views just about anywhere in Lisbon.

There is also the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, which focuses more on the history of art, from ancient Egypt to nowadays. The museum's collection was gathered by the Turkish-born British financier Calouste Gulbenkian, it is widely considered as one of the first private collections in the world.

Fado

Saudade is often considered as the word that perfectly defines the Portuguese national character. In English saudade loosely translates to longing, nostalgia or wistful yearning, which is also a part of the country's national music Fado. Fado is tinged with melancholy even at its most upbeat and is often nothing short of a heart-wrenching cri de coeur, set to a pithy classical guitar. It is believed that this music style was founded in Lisbon during the early 19th century by sailors and dock workers. This soulful music style is now deeply rooted in Portuguese culture. When the country's most famous singer Amália Rodrigues died in 1999, the government declared three days of official mourning.

Visiting Lisbon without listening to fado being performed live is not truly visiting Lisbon. Many restaurants in Lisbon have live music throughout the night, making it easy to listen to fado. The Alfama neighbourhood is a popular choice, and is where the style got its start. You can also head to Mesa de Frades, which is a nice area known for its live performances. It has even attracted A-listers such as Madonna, who would visit the restaurant while she lived in Lisbon. Alfama is also home to a little museum dedicated to everything fado, from the first recordings of the genre to its hallmark pear-shaped guitars, in Museu do Fado.