Lisbon’s beguiling and compelling blend of history and modernity pervades every aspect of the city from its architecture, food and climate to its welcoming population. Overlooking the River Tagus on the most westerly tip of continental Europe, Lisbon’s historic status as a gateway to the world has left its indelible mark on a city that, for centuries, has had one foot in old Europe and one in the New World, embracing new cultures and new ideas while treasuring its heritage.
Shaken to its core by the 1755 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing fires, all of which razed its most prized artistic creations to the ground, Lisbon rose from the destruction stronger than ever, salvaging what it could of its cultural legacy and facing the future with confidence and optimism. That optimism remains today and has contributed to the city’s position as one of Europe’s most visited and wealthiest cities.
A highly creative, articulate and politically aware, multi-cultural population have made this one of Europe’s favourite cities in which to live. Its laid-back, bohemian atmosphere matches its Mediterranean climate and lends itself to a life lived in the streets, from morning coffee and pasteis de nata at pavement cafés, to bottles of Super Bock in the streets of Bairro Alto by night. Its creativity and beauty lines its streets with sculptures, fills its clothes racks and shelves with inspirational designs and resonates its nights with the soulful sounds of Fado.
From Lisbon’s kitchens, talented young chefs fuse traditional recipes and local ingredients with state of the art know-how to produce superb gastronomy that they share with the world through affordable restaurants and gourmet fast food outlets. Displaying all of the talent and none of the snob value of neighbouring France and Spain, Lisbon’s finest foods are as accessible to most as the pastries that form the bedrock of its café society.
Exploration of the city is a joy with efficient transport systems that include metro, buses and trams as well as funicular trams that ferry people up and down streets whose gradient is so steep you have to walk at a 45° angle to get up them. Riding the constantly crammed 28 tram or the almost perpendicular Bica funicular is an experience in itself, as is strolling the maze of streets in the Moorish Alfama District and the shops, bars and restaurants of the Bairro Alto.
Buzz Trips Opinion
An exciting, youthful city whose climate lends itself to year-round city breaks, Lisbon has an amazing menu of sights and activities to keep history buffs, party goers and shopaholics coming back for another dose of its addictive charms. Cheap and quick to get to from most European cities with accommodation ranging from privately owned apartments to boutique hotels, this is a city everyone should discover at some time. Get hold of a Lisboa card for ease of travel and lots of city discounts and join the ever-growing ranks of Lisbon’s admirers, many of whom think it just might be their favourite city in the world.