9 Reasons Why You Will Love Lisbon
Lisbon is easily becoming one of the most sought after destinations in Western Europe. Sun-drenched, architecturally unique and hilly – here are 9 (of many) reasons why you will fall in love with Lisbon.
Image by Stephen Kelley via Huffington Post
The Street Art
Lisbon’s walls are covered in art. Street artists have brought new life to old buildings in old neighbourhoods – my favourite being the Alfama neighbourhood located at the entrance of the São Jorge castle.
Image by Never Ending Story
When Lisbon’s walls are not covered in street art they are decorated in colourful azulejos. Portugal is famous for their azulejos – ceramic tiles – that decorate the country’s facades. Some azulejos are simply decorative, while some tell stories (check out the National Museu Nacional do Azulejo).
The Low Cost of Visiting
Even if tourism to Portugal (especially Lisbon) is increasing, the country is still very affordable to visit. Traveling across Western Europe can become expensive but by spending time in Lisbon, you’ll spend less on accommodation and food but can expect the same great quality – if not better. Just to give you an idea, a single and private bedroom in a lovely Airbnb apartment will go for as little as 17 euros/night.
The Abundance of Health Food Stores/Veg-friendly Restaurants
Lisbon is a big city and like most big cities, it has become familiar with the importance of getting “back to nature” through organics, vegan and vegetarian options, sustainable products, etc. There are a ton of health food stores, countless amounts of veg-friendly restaurants, juice and smoothie bars and great vegan and vegetarian buffets. I also have to mention Fragoleto, an all-natural ice cream shop that has the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had (including Italy!). And the best part, sticking to an organic and green lifestyle is completely doable in Lisbon – even with a slim budget.
Image via Airbnb
Sweet old ladies smiling at you from their balconies, helpful restaurant owners and locals happy to speak in both Portuguese and English (even French) – what more could you ask for?
The Church Treasures and Cloisters
Churches in Portugal hold without out a doubt the best “treasures” in Europe. The items in the collection in the Lisbon Sé (Cathedral) – intricate armour and clothing, royal jewellery and furniture, religious art, manuscripts – date back 2000 years. The Cloister is breathtaking, with its skeleton-like columns and cross-vaulted galleries; it’s not to be missed.
The Sweeping Views
Since Lisbon is a city of hills there are many incredible viewpoints throughout the city. I especially enjoyed Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. The square is just as picturesque as the view. Looking for the highest viewpoint? Visit Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
The Yellow Trams
Reminiscent of the past, Lisbon’s yellow trams are iconic. Watch them as they climb up the steep hills and swerve along the main streets.
Lisbon is a great city to set up shop for a week or more – its location allows for several great day trips. I enjoyed strolling across the Rio Tejo in Belém (still technically Lisbon but Belém is a 45-minute tram ride outside the city centre), tasting the treats of the many street vendors and exploring the Monastery. Other recommended day trips include Sintra for its many ancient palaces, Cascais for its incredible seaside cliffs and Setubal for its beaches and the Arrábida National Park.
Have you fallen for Lisbon? Share why you love Lisbon in the comments section below!