10 reasons why Lisbon should be on your travel bucket list
Built across seven hills with the river Tagus flowing through its heart and occupying a stretch of stunning Portuguese coastline, it’s really no surprise that Lisbon is a beautiful city. And there’s so much more to Portugal’s sunny capital: Here are ten of our top reasons for why you should book a flight to Lisbon.
1. Admire the azulejos
This city is famous for its incredibly beautiful azulejos – traditional Portuguese mosaics. Here tile-making is an art and every neighborhood is home to a few buildings, or a museum or a fountain (or two) decorated with intricate tile work, from antique mosaics dating back to many different periods of Lisbon’s history, to modern art pieces.
2. History and culture, everywhere
Castles, palaces and historic townhouses stand side by side with modern museums and contemporary art houses. The blend of architectural styles keeps this city in touch with its history and enchants photographers and travelers: There’s no shortage of eye-catching Baroque, Neoclassical, Medieval and Gothic buildings. Here The Sao Jorge Castle overlooks the town from a hilltop, while the 25 de Abril suspension bridge – Portugal’s answer to the Golden Gate Bridge – stretches across the river. In Lisbon, even just a quick stroll around town turns into a journey through Lisbon’s history.
3. Ride the rails
Love a bit of old world charm? One of the best ways to get around the city is to hop aboard the colorful, retro tram network. If you’re visiting for the first time you should board Tram 28. You’ll clatter past plenty of key tourist sites – including the Se Cathedral and Sao Bento district – all while experiencing a piece of Lisbon’s history; the Remodelado trams were built in the 1930’s and remain by far the coolest way to see the sights.
4. The city is simply gorgeous
In Lisbon, cobbled streets connect districts of quaint historic houses, fishing boats, and yachts bob gently in the harbor, trams nearly a century old journey across town and market stalls heave under the weight of freshly-caught seafood. Visitors and friendly residents soak up the year-round, warm Portuguese sun and enjoy views of the ornate palaces and castles which sit dotted through the town. There is simply no arguing: Portugal’s capital city is bonita.
5. All the beaches
When it comes to exploring the coastline, you’re spoiled for choice. Lisbon and the surrounding region greedily sits on both west-facing and south-facing beaches. The city itself even has the artificial Ribeira das Naus beach where the center of town meets the river.
6. SO many Elevadors
Elevadors are the city’s famous outdoor funiculars which neatly carry you uphill to higher neighborhoods and spectacular viewpoints. Far more than being attractive and a fun novelty transportation, they come in seriously handy when you’re visiting a city known as ‘The City of Seven Hills’.
7. It’s a surfing hot spot
If you’re a keen surfer who spends their spare time searching for that perfect break, Lisbon offers that dreamy city-life-but-with-great-waves combo. It’s easy to leave the city behind for an afternoon to chase some of Portugal’s best surf in the coastal regions around the capital. It’s also an excellent place to learn, with surf schools ready and waiting for beginners.
8. But that’s not the only watersport…
Whether you fancy taking a sailing boat out from one of the many nearby marinas, trying your hand at river or sea kayaking, hiring a canoe for the afternoon or even just going for a good old swim, this is a city which LOVES its close relationship with water.
9. It’s becoming a major European tech hub
Startup businesses are flocking to Lisbon, followed by excited investors. There’s been a boom in the number of small tech enterprises and startups trading the expensive cities of London or Berlin for the cheaper – and much sunnier – Portuguese capital. With an international airport nearby, the rest of Europe is just a short hop away, and the city boasts more elegant venues in which to hold a business meeting or event than you could count. Interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Lisbon is for you.
10. Lovely language
Where better place to immerse yourself in the musical language of Portuguese, than the capital city? It’s easy-on-the-ears, even if you’re not trying to learn it – side note: you totally should and here are ten reasons why we think Portuguese is a fantastic language to learn.