Spotlight: Lisbon

Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a hilly paradise full of contrasts of time. Gothic ruins, century-old wooden trams, and cobblestoned alleyways sit amongst colorful graffiti, busy nightclubs, and artisan shops. Each section of the city offers new adventure around every corner.

Spotlight: Lisbon

While every neighborhood in Lisbon has it own unique characteristics, when it comes to accommodations, I suggest staying in the Alfama area. The area is full of authentic taverns and bars that leak the famous Fado music out into the streets at night. It also sits on top of a hill, so there many areas in this section that offer sweeping panoramic views of Lisbon.

Lisbon needs several days for a visit as there is so much to see and do. However, there are some attractions that are a do not miss. First, visit the 11th-century, hilltop Moorish castle & royal residence – the Castelo de São Jorge. The castle walls are still very much intact and this look out point is one of the best in the city. There are actually several look out points in this city.

Spotlight: Lisbon

Walk towards the Barrio Alto neighborhood for some of my favorite look out points – such as the Elevador de Santa Justa or the Arco de Rua Augusta. The elevador offers great views of the city as well as the Convento do Carmo where as the Arco offers amazing views of the water and the Praça do Comércio (city square).

Finally, jump on a tram (or walk along the water) and head to the Belém Tower. Located at the mouth of the Tagus River, the Belém Tower was commissioned by King John II as a defense tower.

travelfuntu - belem tower
Spotlight: Lisbon

The food in Lisbon is also unbelievable. Enter any small tavern and you are sure to get a delectable meal. However, if you are short on time and want to try multiple dishes visit the Mercado Da Ribeira. Inside you will find the TimeOut Market which is full of vendors and restaurants from all around the city. Also, do not leave the city without trying a Pastéis de Nata – you can thank me later.

In conclusion, Lisbon is an amazing city, but if you have the time take a a day trip (or more) to Sintra. Sintra is only a 45 minute train ride from Lisbon and is full of 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments. Must sees include National Palace of Pena, Quinta da Regaleira and the Castle of the Moors.