(3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS)
Lisbon is Europe's second-oldest capital (after Athens), once home to the world's greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator, becoming the first true world city, the capital of an empire spreading over all continents, from South America (Brazil) to Asia (Macao, China; Goa, India). The former launch pad for many of the world's greatest voyages is now where modern travelers discover one of Europe's most soulful, captivating and picturesque capitals, built on a series of hills with scenic vistas from every angle.
It's one of the world's great historical cities, with characteristic and surprising sights, cultural treasures, and a beautiful setting that make it a paradise for walkers and photographers.
The architecture of the city greatly shows the exclusive Manueline style throughout the city of Lisbon. Evidenced by the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery can be seen of this. The city today symbolized the modernity of Portugal. Major rehabilitation and construction works incurred these last decades, including before the 1998 Universal Exposition, have strongly contributed to give a new face.
A further romantic step into Lisbon’s back-story can be found in the streets of the Alfama, which tumble down the hillside below the castle. Ambling downwards, we pop our heads into the Se Cathedral, and make note of several tempting restaurants as dinner options.
Many of these eateries specialize in live performances of Fado – the mournful and poetic music for which Lisbon is famous. It typically involves a singer accompanied by a guitar.
However, for a taste of Lisbon’s legendary nightlife, you need to venture to another of the city’s elevated enclaves – the more modern but equally atmospheric Bairro Alto district, which comes alive as night falls.
The Portuguese capital sits 30 minutes by train from the beach towns of Estoril and Cascais. This positions it as an ideal destination for those who want to combine sun-seeking and culture.