Lisbon: Where Magic Meets Mouthwatering – Top 10 Places, Fun Facts, and Foods to Savor!
When I went to Lisbon it was supposed to be only for a few days to attend the Web Summit tech conference. However, I quickly fell in love with the city and the country. When you travel as much as I do it takes a lot to make you feel like you can drop everything and just stay in a place. However, Portugal has become very near and dear to my heart and it started with my time in this beautiful city. My short trip ended up extending to two weeks. I didn’t want to leave and am plotting my return as I write.
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has a rich history dating back to its founding by the Phoenicians in the 12th century BC. Over the centuries, Lisbon has been ruled by various civilizations such as the Romans, Moors, and Christians. The city played a significant role in the Age of Discovery, with explorers such as Vasco da Gama setting sail from its port to discover new lands.
Today, Lisbon is a vibrant city with a mix of old and new, offering visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. You can’t get bored. From dancing the night away on Pink Street to checking out the fabulous artwork in the city’s many museums to enjoying a wonderful night out with fabulous wine and food, Lisbon has something for everyone who loves travel.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in Lisbon:
- Belem Tower: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 16th-century tower was built to defend the city from invaders and is a symbol of Portugal’s maritime past.
- Jeronimos Monastery: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this impressive monastery is a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture and is home to the tomb of Vasco da Gama.
- Sao Jorge Castle: This medieval castle offers stunning views of the city and boasts a fascinating history dating back to the 11th century.
- Alfama: Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood is a maze of narrow streets, colorful houses, and traditional Fado music.
- Rossio Square: This historic square is the heart of Lisbon and is surrounded by beautiful 18th-century buildings.
- Chiado: This trendy neighborhood is known for its stylish shops, cafes, and theaters.
- Lisbon Oceanarium: One of the largest aquariums in Europe, this attraction is home to a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
- National Museum of Ancient Art: This museum houses a vast collection of Portuguese art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.
- Belem Cultural Center: This cultural center hosts a variety of events, including concerts, exhibitions, and theater performances.
- Gulbenkian Museum: This museum showcases an impressive collection of art and artifacts from around the world, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities.
Fun Facts about Lisbon:
- Lisbon is the oldest city in Western Europe, even predating Rome by several centuries.
- Lisbon is known as the “City of Seven Hills” because it was built on seven hills overlooking the Tagus River.
- The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was one of the deadliest in history, killing an estimated 60,000 people and devastating the city.
Of course, no travel list by me is complete without mention of the food. Lisbon has wonderful food. If you’re a lover of seafood and sweet treats this is definitely the place for you. There are literally great restaurants and eateries on every street. You can’t help but be full and happy on any travel adventure to Lisbon.
Top Ten Foods in Lisbon:
- Pastel de Nata: A delicious egg custard tart that is a staple of Portuguese cuisine.
- Bacalhau: Portugal’s national dish, this salted cod dish is prepared in a variety of ways.
- Sardines: Grilled sardines are a popular snack in Lisbon, especially during the summer months.
- Cozido: A hearty stew made with meat, beans, and vegetables.
- Caldo Verde: A traditional soup made with kale, potatoes, and sausage.
- Bifana: A pork sandwich that is a favorite among locals.
- Arroz de Marisco: A flavorful seafood rice dish.
- Carne de Porco Alentejana: A pork and clam dish that originated in the Alentejo region of Portugal.
- Queijo da Serra: A delicious sheep’s milk cheese that is a specialty of the Serra da Estrela region.
- Vinho Verde: A refreshing, slightly effervescent wine that is perfect for sipping on a hot day.