I will take my readers on one last visit to Lisbon with this blog post. I am sure that Lisbon will be mentioned from time to time in the future though. It has a way of grabbing your heart and not quite letting go.
Lisbon is an easy city to love. Besides the fact that it is one of the cheapest European capital cities to visit, it quickly captures your heart with its good food, friendly people, and gorgeous breakthrough vistas that never cease to take your breath away with each unexpected appearance. At the end of ten glorious days climbing the steep streets of Lisbon, we simply were not ready to leave.
Prepare to be pleasantly tired at the end of the day from the constant uphill or downhill walking. This is a city built on hills. That’s why the views that greet you around every corner are so stunning, but it may take a few days to build up those unused leg muscles. Don’t despair, taxis abound and are modestly priced, getting you almost anywhere that you want to go in the city for about five to seven euros. A public bus system or the famous trams are also good options.
There is plenty to see in Lisbon. The St. George Castle which sits proudly on the highest point in the city requires a fantastic hike up the tiny, twisting, narrow streets of the Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. If you make it to the top by foot, it provides a wonderful view of the city and the river Tejo. Once again, walking is not for the faint of heart. Hail a taxi, instead, if you choose.
Visit the Chiado which is an upscale neighborhood that features great shopping, restaurants, and an amazing train station. Much of this area is not open to vehicles which makes travel by foot and window shopping really relaxed.
Travel to Belem by taxi or tram and see the St. Jerome Monastery, a Unesco World Heritage Site and quite a spectacle.
Enjoy the many plazas and fountains scattered throughout the city, each one like a little oasis where passersby can rest under the shade of the giant fig trees.
Take in the famous nightlife of the Barrio Alto where clubs and Fado restaurants abound. Fado is the “blues” music of Portugal. In days gone by Fado houses were a great gathering place for the Portuguese to enjoy a drink, some hearty dishes and their beloved Fado, much of the time featuring impromptu performances where everyone joined in on the singing. According to one of our taxi drivers, Fado restaurants have become tainted by tourism these days, often making the places too pricey for the locals and producing music that is less authentic. Ahhh, such is progress!!Listen to an old live recording of Amalia Rodrigues, who brought worldwide attention to Fado. Play now
We will be going back to Lisbon, I am sure. For now, I am left to look back fondly and remember.