I recently spent a long weekend in Lisbon with a close friend after wanting to go for a long time and I was even more impressed by this wonderful city than I expected to be. The colours of Lisbon are quite extraordinary and it really reminded me of Salvador in Brazil, I can see now where it all came from. We were so lucky to have all the Jacaranda trees in full bloom - I've never seen such bright purple flowers like these in a city and it made it so much more fun to take pictures.
Lisbon has a unique character with its beautiful tiled building facades, colourful buildings, trams and its small roads constantly going up and down. I was actually a little obsessed with all the wall tiles as you can see:
May is a really good time of the year to visit Lisbon because the days are longer and temperatures are really nice without it being too hot and unbearable. I don't know if I could manage walking up all those steep hills on a hot summer day... We mainly got around Lisbon by foot but otherwise used Uber when needed (especially to and from the airport to the city centre). Of course there are also trams, the metro, bikes, tuk tuks and local taxis to get around so it's up to you which type of transport you prefer. We stayed at the lovely trendy H10 Duque de Loulé which I particularly recommend - at the end of this post is a picture of the amazing view from the hotel's rooftop terrace.
What impressed me the most were the people, I don't think I've ever been so warmly welcomed in a country with everyone being so attentive and wanting to make sure we were enjoying our stay and giving us insider recommendations. This kindness made Lisbon even more special and is definitely something I will always cherish - thank you Lisbon.
Here's a small breakdown of Lisbon by neighbourhoods:
Belém is mainly known for these three things:
1. Tower of Belém - a fortified tower in the middle of the Tagus river which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Jerónimos Monastery- a remarkable monastery with a beautiful garden which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Pastéis de Belém - undoubtedly one of the best sweet things you will try in Lisbon. Despite its popularity amongst tourists, the cakes are still made using the traditional recipe and they're are so delicious.
I recommend getting a taxi or using public transport to get to Belém because it's quite a walk (we realised that before even reaching a third of the way by foot...)
This was definitely my favourite area of Lisbon. The small cobblestone streets are full of charm and the areas has some of the prettiest viewpoints. The pastel coloured houses will definitely make you feel as though you're in a dream. It's famous for its National Pantheon, Castle of São Jorge and Igreça da Graça.
As its name suggests, this neighbourhood goes up a bit in height and has some lovely little streets to wander around. From the Miradouro de Santa Catarina you can see a beautiful view over the brick rooftops of Lisbon and the famous 25 de Abril Bridge.
This is the centre part of Lisbon which was completely rebuilt after a terrible earthquake in the late 18th century. That is why all the streets are straight in comparison to the windy small streets in the rest of the city. In Baixa Chiado you will find the beautiful Rossio Square with its majestic fountain and also the Santa Justa elevator. This is the most popular and touristic area in Lisbon with all the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. If you fancy a healthy brunch/lunch you should definitely head over to Nicolau - their brunch menu is so delicious!
Towards the river is the most beautiful square all in yellow - Praça do Commercio. You can go up the Rua Agusta Arch to see views over Lisbon. Not far is the Time Out Market where you can enjoy lots of different local specialties.
I couldn't recommend Lisbon highly enough and the bright colours will really put you in a good summer mood. I'm overwhelmed by all of your comments on my Lisbon pictures on Instagram saying how beautiful you see the city through my lens and that they have really inspired you to go to the Portuguese capital. You can also go to Sintra for the day from Lisbon.
So when are you off to Lisbon?
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English and French wanderer. Based in Paris. Tasting the world through one escape to another...