“Lisboa: Love at first sight”
When I think about Lisbon, there are so many pictures passing in front of my eyes, so many feelings and so many memories. Instantly I can feel my face changing from serious to smiley, relaxed and happy. And that’s how I was feeling everytime when I was in Lisbon. Three times I came back to that lively and picturesque city, but first time Lisboa seduced me.
Maybe you are asking yourself what is so special about Lisbon?
In this article I’ll share with you what I love in Lisbon and why I love Lisbon. But, let’s start from the beginning…
Lisboa(Lisbon) is capital city of Portugal. Also it is the largest city of portugal with population of more than 500,000. Lisbon lies in west Iberian Peninsula on river Tejo (Tagus) and Atlantic Ocean. It is the oldest city in Western Europeand one of the oldest cities in the whole world. Now when you know some basic information about the city it’s time for me to tell you what makes Lisbon so special.
So, let’s start!
Streets of Lisboa
One of my favorite things to do when I come to some new place is take a stroll down the streets. I like to just walk, look and admire everything that surrounds me. In every city I’ve been I was fascinated by some street. Just by watching people living their daily lives, looking around to buildings, shops and coffee bars I could sense how that city lives.
When you are walking on the streets of Lisbon you cannot miss decorated cobblestone pavements. They are real piece of art with traditional or modern design. They show animals, stars, flowers or even waves of the sea. Portuguese pavements are made with hands and they are part of the country’s heritage and identity. Another thing that will catch your atention are azulejos. Azulejos are tiles you can see everywhere in Lisbon, on the interior and exterior of churches, ordinary houses, schools, restaurants, bars and even in subway stations. They are nice decoration in whole city and they often portray historical scenes.
When I first visited Lisbon one of my favorite parts was Rua Augusta and Praça do Comércio. . During the day they were full of people: locals, tourist, street musicians and art performer. I was feeling so present and so alive over there. But then, during the night Rua Augusta becomes something completely different…
I could spend hours just sitting calmly by the Statue of King Jose, looking at the Triumphal Arch and waiting for sun to rise. Those were special moments. In my other visits to Lisbon I discovered more streets that awaked the same feelings as Rua Augusta. Avenida da Liberdade and streets in Saldanha have special place in my memory.
I’m coming from Croatia. I’m used to cold winters and very hot summers. You can just imagine how great is to come in Lisbon on New Year’s Eve and be able to walk down the street only in my raincoat. Awesome! Also it is very nice to come there in the peek of the summer and be able to breath on 30 Celsisu. Climate in Lisbon is great, with mild winters and mild summers. There is always some breeze from the ocean to refresh you during summer heat and some sun during winter to make you feel warm. Great!
Food and drinks
Bacalhau, bacalhau and more bacalhau. In english codfish. The Portuguese love bacalhau and when I say love I really mean it. You can eat bacalhau everywhere. I tried it prepared in several ways but I would recommend you to try Bacalhau à Brás. It is delicious dish made with salted codfish, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and olives. Also, Pasteis de Bacalhau is delicious and you should try it. For dessert I would recommend you Pastel de Nata– egg tart pastry. With all this food it would be nice to drink red portuguese vine. I didn’t try bad vine there and cool thing is that you can buy very good vine in store for only 3 euros or even less. If you don’t like vine, you’ll have to choose beetween so many cocktails they have in offer. Maybe one of the best and for sure most famous is Caipirinha. It is actually Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaça, sugar and lime. For my taste it is little bit too sweet. I’m more like vine person.
Nightlife is absolutely great in Lisbon. Everybody goes out in Bairro Alto where everything is happening in the street. Can you imagine streets full of people, drinking, dancing, talking and having fun? If you can’t you should visit Lisbon. In Bairro Alto you can meet people from different parts of the world and make a lot of new friends. People are very open, friendly and ready to party. After every bar in Bairro Alto close (around 2AM), fun moves to Pink street (Cais do Sodré). There is a lot of bars and clubs and you will for sure find some place to continue having fun. And if you didn’t have enough in the 4 in the morning you can go to several clubs in Lisbon. One of the best are Lux and Main.
When you will hear people from Portugal speaking you will know what I am talking about. It was melody to my ears.
Can you understand now why I love Lisbon? It’s pretty simple – Lisbon makes me feel alive, happy and gratefull. All the things I described in this article made me the person I am today. Visiting Lisbon changed me in every possible way. I learnt so many new things and got new experiences thanks to all the people I met there and all the things I got a chance to see there.
Ryu Murakami said: “Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world had its own special sunset and it was worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down.” Yes. It was worth going to Lisbon every single time I went there and I can’t wait to go back. To take a walk in old town of Alfama and to see sunset on the banks of river Tejo. To feel peacefull and happy. You should visit Lisbon too, you will not regret it. 😉