Lisbon is seen as a landing ground for digital nomads who flock to the city and Europe‘s top tourist destinations. Tourists are seduced by Lisbon’s laidback lifestyle, relatively balmy weather and affordable cost of living. there is still plenty of uniquely wonderful reasons to visit Lisbon although the hipster cafés are replacing the timeless mom-and-pop corner stores that once abounded here.
About the historical center
There is a legend that says that Lisbon, similar to Rome, was built upon seven hills. The city has a great history, having plenty of vantage points to get the lay of the land. These spots dot the historical center, affording stunning views over this pastel-hued metropolis and the mighty Tagus River that girds its southern edge are known as miradouros in Portuguese.
If you are looking for picture-perfect panoramic view, you should visit Elevador Santa Justa, a turn-of-the-20th-century public transit project linking the central Baixa neighborhood with its hilltop neighbour, the aptly named Bairro Alto, or “high neighbourhood.” The elevator boasts unparalleled views over the heart of the city center, but it costs 5 euros and the queues can often prove daunting.
A trendy terrace bar on the top floor of a shopping centre off the fast-gentrifying Martim Moniz Square can be visited free of charge. The experience is even more exciting if you go at sunset when Lisbon’s hallmark golden light illuminates the Castelo de São Jorge.
Fado – Portugal’s national music
Nostalgia is a characteristic of Portugal. Saudade, translated in English as longing, nostalgia describes best the feeling provided by the fado music. 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. The soulful musical style has become so deep a part of the national culture here that when its most famous singer, Amália Rodrigues, died in 1999, the government declared three days of official mourning is thought to have originated in Lisbon in the early 19th Century among sailors and dock workers.
Lisbon is a seafood lovers paradise. Visit Cervejaria Ramiro, a perennial classic, serving up lobster, shellfish, giant tiger shrimp, prawns and more at affordable prices. you can’t go wrong with the Restaurante 100 Maneiras, one of Lisbon’s most acclaimed dining experiences if you’re hankering for something truly special.
Discover Portugal’s art
the country’s answer to the Louvre, of this tiny country, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, contains treasures of Portuguese and European art but also pieces from former colonised regions that once stretched from West Africa to India to Japan.
Across town, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian offers visitors a whirlwind overview of the history of art, from ancient Egypt all the way through the present day.
You can get to the nearest beach on a commuter train line leaving from the central Cais do Sodré train station.
If you have enough time, rent a bike in the far western Lisbon neighbourhood of Belém – home to both the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos monestary, one of Lisbon’s few surviving Gothic structures, as well as Portugal’s most iconic dessert, the famed pastel de Belém.