Get to know Lisbon like a local!
May 23, 2017
Lisbon, a city with 2 million people in its area and 2,500 years of history, sits on the north bank of the Tejo River, where the river meets the Atlantic. It is Portugal’s largest city and its capital, with the added distinction of being the warmest and western-most capital in Europe. Its climate is strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream. An earthquake in 1755 leveled a large portion of the city, but those areas were restored and the city retains several of its original medieval neighborhoods. Built on seven hills, some of Lisbon’s streets are too steep for cars, but visitors can and should take in panoramic views of the city by traveling to the top up elevators or funicular.
The Lisbon Region encompasses 18 other cities, plus renown coastal resorts, such as Estoril and Cascais, 17 miles from Lisbon. It includes the Serra de Sintra, an expanse of hills, parks and nature reserves that reaches to the coast. The city of Sintra is known for its three national palaces - Palacio da Vila, Palacio da Pena and the nearby Palacio de Queluz. Notable towns in the region include Fatima, a site revered by Roman Catholics on pilgrimage. Some of the best beaches include Praia da Ursa; Praia das Azenhas do Mar and Praia do Magoito.
-Relaxing in Lisbon’s Fado Houses to listen to FADO – Portugal’s national song
-Pilgrimage to Fatima, site of Virgin Mary’s appearances
-Surfing at Praia Grande or windsurfing at Guincho
-Hike through Lisbon’s urban park, Monsanto Natural Park
-Taking in the Metro of Lisbon, where contemporary Portuguese art adorns the walls
-Cruise the Tejo River with views of the Basilica da Estrela and other monuments
-Nature watching at the Tejo Estuary
-Swim with dolphins off the coast of Setubal
-Shop for pottery in Alcobaça and Caldas da Rainha.
Portugal’s heyday is known as the Age of Exploration, a period during the 15-16th centuries when maritime expeditions turned Lisbon into one of the world’s greatest ports and Portugal into an empire. Eventually the city became the center of the empire that reached Brazil to the west and India to the east. Two of the city’s landmarks-- the Tower of Belem and the Monastery of Jeronimos--celebrate this era.
History is preserved in Lisbon’s distinct neighborhoods, yet modern hotels, nightclubs and restaurants are abundant. Alfama and Mouraria, medieval neighborhoods, sit near the ultra modern architecture of the last World Exposition, held in Lisbon in 1998. The Baixa, the city’s downtown area, is home to shops still selling traditional goods. Monsanto Natural Park in Lisbon is one of the largest urban parks in Europe.
LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK
-Travesseiros, puff pastries stuffed with a sweet egg-rich mixture
-Belem cream-cakes Natas
-Grilled sardines with pimentos and boiled potatoes
-Fish stew, grilled robalo, shellfish rice, grilled lobster, stuffed crab and 365 ways to serve cod
-Nun’s bellies and s tummy-like pastry
-Turbo-charged bica, seriously strong espresso
-Pasteis de Bacalhau, cod cakes
Lisbon Place to Eat
Time Out Market Lisboa -
Avenida 24 de Julho, 49, Lisbon 1200, world’s best food court in former city market.
Bica do Sapato - Pricey- Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Armazem B, Doca do
Jardim do Tabaco
Phone: 21 881 0320
This warehouse conversion is the most talked about restaurants, gaining fame for its owner, actor John Malkovich.
Casa do Alentejo - Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, 58,
Phone: 21 346 9231
A 19th century Moorish-style palace is now home to a restaurant that is worth a visit if only to admire the extravagant decoration and the courtyard café. I recommend the courtyard on the 2nd floor for a great Alentejo lunch: pork + clams, paio sausage, migas and good cheese!
The menu is traditional Alentejo food, with both seafood and meat dishes.
Bom Jardim - Travessa de Santo Antao, 77,
Downtown Phone: 21 342 4389
Also known as "Rei do Frango," or "the King of Chickens," this rather rustic restaurant is famous for its spit-roasted chickens. They are served with fries, salad, and house wine for less than ten euros, making this one of the city's biggest bargains. And, the French fries are out of this world
Tentacoes de Goa -
Rua S. Pedro Martir, n0 23 r/c, Lisbon, Portugal
Great Goan food - you need to try this place just above Martim Moniz. The chamuças are amazing; the Vindalhos is great, and the breads so so good. Even the sweets are a treat - and the price is more than fair!
Ze dos Cornos -
Beco Dos Surradores, 5, Lisbon 1100-591, Portugal (Martim Moniz) Stunning value for the money. Simple but brilliant, short vine list, but don’t worry. Grilled meat and fish are the best.
Leao de Ouro-
Rua 10 de Dezembro, 105, Lisbon 1200-358, Portugal From the choice of fish ,cooked perfectly, to nice wines.
Gelados Santini -
Rua do Carmo, 9, Lisbon 1200-093, Portugal -Great Italian style gelato in Lisbon - fresh fruit, innovative flavor, fair prices, good location!
New Money Museum
The best sports museum in the stadium of one of Portugal’s most storied clubs.
Rua dos Correeiros, 15-23, Lisbon 1100-061, Portugal
+351 211 131 004
A hidden small but beautiful museum located in the basement of the bank on the Rua Augusta.
If your walking around Praça do Rossio, in Lisbon, you may find a group of people waiting at a corner in front of a little storefront. And you may wonder: What are they doing here? The answer is simple: they are waiting to hoist a Ginginha- one of the traditional tiny storefronts that sell the famous Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur of the same name. Ginjinha is a very tiny bar where a maximum of three people can order a ginja - one of the reasons of the crowd at the door (and the tiny space beyond). When your turn comes, make sure you already know if you want with or without cherries in it. The ginjas are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one or two into your glass.
They have quite a kick to them, but we suggest you try them (as long as you are not driving). For 1.10 euos you can have a truly local experience and hang around at Largo de Sao Domingos with the locals, while you wonder if you should pop back in for another.
But, after all, what is ginja? A flavorful, sweet cherry liqueur and is the unofficial drink of Portugal’s capital.
Lisbon by air
Lisbon Fado guide
Top places to eat
New roof bars
Home of the NATA
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