"Lisbon, Portugal" Top 5 Page for this destination Lisbon by acemj

Lisbon Travel Guide: 5,259 reviews and 13,057 photos

The word "Lisbon" always held a sense of magic and mystery in my own personal travel lexicon. Portugal's capital city brought images of unkempt streets and slightly run down buildings to mind as I pictured it as bordering on the Second World in terms of modern amenities and efficiency.

So, it was with mixed emotions that I wandered through this quickly modernizing city, hopping onto always on time trains, shopping in spotless shops and snapping photos of clean and well-kept monuments and buildings. After all, I came for the grunge!

Fortunately, I was able to spend some time exploring some of the older districts of town. I loved seeing clothes strewn on lines strung from neighborly windows and buildings whose walls looked like an old woman's makeup-less face, blotches of dark age showing up amidst cracks and flaws. The soft "ch" and "sh" sounds of the Portuguese language being spoken at hole in the wall cafes would often compete with the clattering noise of the city's historic trams winding their way up hills and squeezing through tight streets.

Lisbon's many charms are still apparent, but since an international Expo in 1998 and the Euro2004 soccer tournament, redevelopment is equally apparent and it's possible that much of the city's uniquely old and slightly tattered allure will begin to fade out in the years to come.

My suggestion is that you visit soon, before things change more than they already have. Prices are still well below par when compared to the rest of western Europe and the people are welcoming and helpful. You'll be entranced by the Manueline masterpieces of Belem, the spectacular views from the Castelo de Sao Jorge and the hilly, cluttered streets of the Alfama and Bairro Alto. You'll leave with memories of mosaic pavements, nights of dancing that run into mornings and food that will make you want to return for more.

  • Last visit to Lisbon: Feb 2003
  • Intro Updated Oct 31, 2004
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Reviews (80)

Comments (72)

  • Jul 7, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Hello. I love the picture on this page of the Castelo on the hill and all the houses below. Was this taken from a miradouro, or where?

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2014 at 3:29 AM

    Very nice intro - I'll come back for more in-depth reading of your tips!

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Interesting page with some lovely photos.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    Your photos and writings on Lisbon are excellent Mark. You captured the very essence of this exciting city. Also love your restaurant tips. Great stuff!

  • Goner's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2008 at 6:36 PM

    Thanks Mark, your tips helped me decide what I want to see in Lisbon next month.

  • LeonorBT's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2007 at 2:13 PM

    At soon I will travel to Lisbon. Very usefull your page and beautifull your pics. Thanks!

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2007 at 2:57 AM

    Excellent pages on this so picturesque town. You visited the Gulbenkian museum but did you see the Maritime museum in Belem? One of the best in Europe! Thanks for visiting my Cuenca page.

  • clairegeordio's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2007 at 3:24 PM

    Great, informative page! I especially like your views of Lisbon, particularly the rainbow one!

  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2006 at 6:05 PM

    Thank you, Mark :-)))

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2006 at 7:11 AM

    Yours is the kind of information that everyone should put up. things to do outside the cities. we will be riding a scooter and just our last 4-5 years wandering the globe. thanks


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