It was 2008 when I first visited Lisboa, only a mere 20 year old traveling a bit through Europe eager for the new. Things I remember about Lisboa back then: the impressive Praças, the endless flights of stairs (our hostel was on the 5th floor without an elevator), a Castle on a hill and a Tower by the water. . . Somehow back then I knew I’d come back one day, and that time came during our Portugal Road Trip in March. The trip would not have been complete without a stop in the capital city. You may call it Lisbon, but I love the way the Portuguese pronounce Lisboa, and even better, how those from Lisboa pronounce LEESH-BOA with such love. It is here that you can find some of the best azulejos, exteriors of buildings covered in these traditional painted tiles. With hundreds of streets to wander through, unassuming restaurants to stop in for late night Fado (traditional Portuguese music), and fresh Bacalhau (Codfish) all over the city for your tongue’s desire. . . it’s this city that excited me then and now.
This is a city with a mixture of tourists on foot/in Tuk Tuks and also the Portuguese locals going about their daily business. I noticed that in 8 years Lisboa has changed. Lisboa is more of a destination now, a “Euro Destination”. The city was packed during Semana Santa with people in the streets sporting fancy cameras and fanny packs, the plazas bustling and those famous electric trams at maximum capacity most hours of the day. Even parts of the city that were once traditional neighborhoods were now sprinkled with souvenir shops and restaurants with English menus for foreigners. Despite all of this, I was extremely satisfied with my Lisboa experience, this time having explored it with Momma-san and the sister too.
Lisboa sights that caught my eye
Lisboa is most certainly the Cidade das sete colinas (city of the seven hills: São Jorge, São Vicente, São Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas e Sant’Ana), as the Portuguese locals call it. I recommend you have more than just coffee in the morning so that you’ll be energized to see Lisboa by foot, tackling the many steep hills. You can walk the entire city, which is such an advantage, and when tired hop on one of the nearby electric trams. It’s definitely worth it to hike up to one of the cities many VIEWPOINTS/MIRADOUROS for sunset or really any time of day. Below I included a photo of my sister at the Highest point of Lisboa. Just taking in these sights was a nice way to break up all the movement. . .
Sometimes, these are my favorite moments in a day of traveling: the still ones, with the greatest views. Breathe it in!
We experienced great weather too in our 3 1/2 days in Lisbon. Sunshine and all that jazz, made for great days of exploration, working up an appetite for all the sweet Portuguese treats. I’m not exaggerating when I say, the Portuguese do dessert right. I won’t give too much more away in this post, but if you are open to it, Lisboa can easily seduce you like it did me. Head there during off-season if you want to see the city with less tourists though. I wouldn’t mind returning during the quieter months, and allowing myself to practice the little Portuguese I know. MUITO OBRIGADA!!!!!