If you’ve never been to Portugal, you should definitely start with Lisbon. Easy to go by plane and not so expensive, this city is probably one of the most scenic and colourful European capital cities I’ve ever been to.
You’re not convinced ? Well, here are 5 reasons to go there :
First reason : I guess you already know it but Lisbon, bordered on the south and east by the Tagus estuary, is a port town. So if you’re not afraid of water (well, even if you are the Navy wants you as new recrue, regarding the Village People at least), you’ll probably be delighted. Long walks along the river, boat tours, fish restaurants… You can have it all ! With, of course, as a bonus, the sweet breeze tangling your hair and the sea air getting into your lunges. For all sea lovers, this is priceless.
Second reason : If you’re not afraid of roller-coaster rides or challenges, Lisbon is THE place to walk about ! Literally made with ups and downs, the least we can say is that Lisbon’s geographical organisation is quite surprising… And even puzzling, sometimes ! But there is no such satisfaction seeing that the next street is going down when you just pour sweated climbing up another one. And all this just to enjoy, for a few minutes, the perfect scenic views the city has to offer, of course !
Third reason : When in Lisbon, you have to, at least, take a ride on the number 28 tram. This old-fashioned tram passes through many of Lisbon’s finest districts, which gives you a great overview of the city but also makes you enjoy this roller-coaster feeling (which is a bit chilling sometimes but still so funny) I was talking about even more ! It’s definitely the most picturesque and beautiful tram trip I’ve ever been on. Touristic commonplace or not, you can’t miss it.
Fourth reason: If Lisbon is so refreshing, it’s not only because of the Tagus and its lovely sea air. Lisbon is also full of gorgeous and tremendous green spaces where you could spend the all day walking around, enjoying the sun, playing some games, doing sports and picnicking. And because visiting a city is not only going to all the big museums and taking selfies in front of every famous historical buildings, these parks are really some must-see places in Lisbon.
Fifth reason : As I said, Lisbon is full of colours and you may fall in love with it quite quickly. Actually, I think that no one (even the most insensitive ones and/or novices at art and architecture stuff) couldn’t help discovering the city, gazing vacantly around, trying to look at all the streets, the monuments, the cobblestones at the same time without feeling a bit dizzy and yet truly happy. An indescribably feeling that you can’t afford missing in your life.
Things that you might know :
- Portuguese cuisine may seem weird sometimes. If you don’t like fish, chips or stews with a lot of meat, you might feel a bit disappointed. Doesn’t mean there is no vegetarian/vegan alternatives, though, and a lot of pastries to satisfy your need of sweets !
- Lisbon is quite big (well, as many cities in the world, isn’t it?) but also not the only city to see while you’re in this area so don’t hesitate to use the public transport to go to some off-center places instead of dropping them when you realise you don’t have time enough to visit them. The Parque das Nações and Sintra, for instance, certainly worth the visit !
- When I’m saying that the tram 28 ride is like a roller-coaster ride, I mean it. Really. Don’t do it if you suffer from travel sickness. It could be a real awaken nightmare.
- As you might already have noticed, big cities in the summer, especially when it’s in a Mediterranean country, aren’t usually the best places to go. Too hot, too crowded, too expensive… It can easily become the worst city trip you’ve ever been to. Please, think about it before booking your tickets. The best periods are, of course, between April and mid-June or between September and November.
- Visiting Lisbon is magical, there is nothing more to say !