If you are anything like me, you don’t need much convincing when it comes to travel – you simply book a flight and go – but there are times when there are so many amazing destinations on your mind, you can’t seem to narrow your choice down to only one.
This is where this post about Lisbon, Portugal, comes in: if you are toying with the idea of visiting this amazing city, these 5 reasons could make your decision easier and you will soon be on your way to this pastel colored wonder…
1. SPOTTING TILES
Called azluejos in Portuguese, these tiles are some of the most beautiful you will ever see… and they are pretty much EVERYWHERE.
You will see them on random walls, in bathrooms, on the streets, begged to be photographed! I think I probably took more than 100 pictures of tiles while in Lisbon (no, I’m not joking!) but they were all so different and so stunning I couldn’t help myself.
Mostly they are white and blue like the one in the picture, but you will also see them in other colors, with all sorts of designs and patterns. I wanted to bring some home, but of course my luggage was already plenty heavy, so I had to pass… but next time I’m in Portugal I won’t!
2. EATING PASTEL DE NATA
Disclaimer: I’m not a dessert kind of person. I usually prefer salty over sweet treats, but I fell in love with pastel de nata, these amazing egg and custard pastries invented by monks in the 1600s.
Luckily you can find them everywhere (sort of like tiles) and it doesn’t really matter where you eat them, they are all delicious! If you want to try the original ones, though, you will have to go to the Belem neighborhood at the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. While you are there, pay tribute to the monks who invented them by visiting the stunning Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos. You can check it out here.
3. RIDING A CABLE CAR
Cable cars are an essential part of life and travel in Lisbon, as they are the easiest, cheapest and by far best way of getting around town. Lisbon is very hilly, and most of the attractions are scattered across the hills, so while you might enjoy walking up and down for a while, I guarantee that at one point you will be tired and you will more than gladly hop on a cable car!
Historical route 28 is the most popular with visitors, as it climbs up and down Alfama and offers the best views of the city. Don’t be scared for how close the trams get to each other… although by only a few inches they will not hit each other, even though it might look like they will!
4. ADMIRING THE STREET ART
If you love street art, you will be very happy in Lisbon, as together with pastries and tiles it is found pretty much on every wall around town. The quarters of Barrio Alto and Alfama are home to the most incredible graffitis, so head there if you want to see colorful, powerful pieces of art.
Some of them are cheery, some of them are somber, some of them are very political: you will find a but of everything, so have your camera ready if murals are your kind of thing… you definitely won’t be disappointed in Lisbon!
5. WATCHING SUNSET
As Lisbon faces West, when night comes you will be rewarded with some of the most scenic sunsets you can hope to see in a city.
There are several panoramic points around town, called miradouros, and it’s hard to tell which one is the best. I personally loved the one in Alfama (pictured) because it overlooked all these quaint and beautiful red tiled roofs, which definitely added charm to an already impossibly charming view.
The sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean, and the panorama points are above town, so don’t forget to bring a jacket… it can get a bit windy and chilly!
Have you been to Lisbon? If yes, what were your favorite things about the city?
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