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7 reasons why you should visit Lisbon

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Source: Condé Nast Traveler    06-11-2015      0        714

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Forget Paris and Rome—travelers in the know are going gaga for Lisbon.

Once one of western Europe's most underrated capitals, Portugal's largest city is suddenly on everybody's radar, and not a moment too soon.

Here are a few reasons you should pack your bags and head over as soon as possible.

It's cheap

Popular western European destinations like London, Paris, and Rome can be staggeringly expensive. Lisbon, on the other hand, offers the same old-world ambiance at a bargain. Most of the city's attractions are free or inexpensive to enter, and the local food and wine offer high quality at low prices. Family-run inns, known as pensaos, are not only more affordable than your typical hotel, but they also provide a more authentic experience.

It's gorgeous

Площад Праса де Комерсио

Praça do Comércio Square | Photo: Flickr

From the wide, tree-lined Avenida de Liberdade, to the brightly painted houses in Baixa and Alfama, to the majestic arches in Terreiro de Paço (Lisbon's sprawling central square), Lisbon's streets are filled with whimsy, romance, and vibrancy. Don't forget to look down as you stroll: ornate tilework, a Portuguese trademark, adorn a number of the city's sidewalks.

The climate is ideal

Lisbon's position on the coast means it has great weather year round. It's sunny and warm from late May through October, while winters are mild, with blustery weather and snow rare. That's great news for off-season travelers.

It’s perfect for beach lovers

Кашкайш от птичи поглед

Cascais panoramic view

Lisbon is one of the few major European cities to be surrounded by beaches. Hop the train to Estoril (35 mins) or Cascais (40 mins, pictured), but beware of the crowds—these beaches are popular with tourists and locals alike. Less busy, but also slightly further afield, lies Praia de Adraga, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe.

It’s also perfect for foodies

 

Традиционната за Португалия осолена треска „Bacalhau”

 

 „Bacalhau” - Traditional, dried, salted cod

Portuguese cuisine is a seafood lover's dream. The country’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean manifests in a menu heavy on fish dishes. Traditional eats like bacalhau (dried, salted cod—make sure you have a tall glass of water at your side) and qmêijoas à bulhão pato (clams in white wine sauce) are as ubiquitous as they are tasty. Head to the famous restaurant Cervejaria Ramiro (Av. Almirante Reis, nº1 – H, 1150-007 Lisboa) to get your fill of the best seafood Lisbon has to offer. For a sweet treat, grab a pasteis de nata (custard tart).

The nightlife is bustling

Lisbon is well known for its happening and inexpensive nightlife. For bars, head to the Bairro Alto district (pictured)—its streets are densely packed with hotspots. The areas around the Cais do Sodré and Largo de Santos are rife with discos. And for a more old school vibe, hit up a Fado club in the Alfama district. Fado, a type of traditional Portuguese folk music popular in Lisbon, is tuneful, though decidedly morose.

Sintra is less than an hour away

Pena National Palace | Photo Flickr

You can't visit Lisbon without making a daytrip to the municipality of Sintra. Sintra is a 45-minute train ride outside of the city, home to a UNESCO-listed complex of now-uninhabited former royal palaces. Pro tip: While there are at least five major palaces to see, those short on time would do well by only visiting two, the Sintra National Palace and the Pena National Palace. You can get a combined ticket for entry to both for about €20.

© Copyright Balcon Del Mundo

All texts and photos in this article are copyrighted (unless stated otherwise). Balcon Del Mundo grant the right to use the materials, including for commercial purposes and to make changes, Under the terms of the following license (CC BY 4.0).

 


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Lisbon Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. Lisbon is one of the most popular European travel destination, attracting tourist with ancient architecture, world heritage sites and developing tourist sector.
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