Your guide to Lisbon.
Just a brief stroll along the tangled streets that wind around Lisbon's hills is enough to appreciate the city's history. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, its origins traceable to 1200 BC. Among its rooftops, Gothic towers and decadent domes burst from a sea of red-tiled buildings, while at ground level you’ll see elegant shops, graceful palacios and ancient ruins. Lively marketplaces and bountiful pastelarias feed the city, while Lisbon's many cool fountains and leafy parks provide shade for locals and visitors. Though the city has evolved much over the centuries, it’s easy to see why it’s endured for so long.
Straddling the shore where the river Tagus meets The Atlantic, Lisbon is home to fascinating museums and galleries, superb shopping and beautiful architecture. See the city by Tuk Tuk or climb aboard one of its historic trams. The National Coach Museum is among the most popular Lisbon attractions, offering an unrivaled collection of historical carriages. Museu Coleção Berardo boasts an impressive art collection, including works by Picasso and Jackson Pollock. The viewpoint at Miradouro da Graça provides truly dramatic and far-reaching views, while the tranquil Mário Soares Garden is a veritable oasis in the heart of Lisbon’s bustling center.
Eating and drinking.
Centuries-old recipes, lively food markets and cutting-edge gastronomy collide in Lisbon, making it a truly remarkable culinary destination. The city has a long-standing and illustrious café culture, its many pastelarias a must for sweet-toothed visitors. Buzzing rooftop bars and traditional taverns are also sure to impress even the most discerning drinker. The bijou food stalls lining the perimeter of Ribeira Market offer an eclectic choice of local and world flavors in a communal dining hall. You’ll also encounter a wide selection of restaurants and bars in the lively Barrio Alto district, many specializing in native Portuguese dishes, others offering fusion dining with a Latin twist.
When it comes to shopping, Lisbon has it all; thriving markets, tiny boutiques and luxury shopping centers crammed to the hilt with high-end labels. Of the latter, the Spanish-owned Corte Ingles offers a one-stop-shop for fashion, while Colombo, Lisbon’s largest shopping center, is a good all-rounder. The Baixa Pombalina is a traditional shopping area with a unique feel. Shops here have been passed down through generations, some up to three centuries old. Principe Real is a large shopping area with a good range of artisanal and independent boutiques, while Chiado is an arty district offering gallery shops and avant-garde fashion.
Explore the colorful hilltop palace of Sintra or the charming walled town of Óbidos on a Lisbon excursion. Just 15 miles from Lisbon, and a direct train connection from its central station, the historic town of Sintra is easily reached from the city. Among its many fascinating sights is the brightly-colored Palácio Nacional da Pena, a stunning example of 19th-century Revivalism architecture. The quaint cobbled streets and painted houses of Óbidos are another joy to discover on an excursion from Lisbon. One of Portugal’s prettiest towns, Óbidos retains the traditional charm and character of years gone by; a truly magical place to explore.