Lisbon has a lot of things going for it! Not only is it Europe's second oldest capitol, but it's also the sunniest, making it a favorite destination for both International and European tourists. In a city with so much beauty and history it's hard to narrow a list of things to do down to five, but while you're traversing the winding narrow alleys be sure to check out these five things!
1. Eat a Bifana- This isn't just a Lisbon thing to do, but this inexpensive, simple, and tasty pork sandwich can be enjoyed again and again! A simple pork cutlet marinated in white wine and garlic served in a warm Portuguese bun! You can add mustard or hot sauce, but it's not necessary!
2. Visit the Belem District- Back in the day the rich of Lisbon needed a place to hang away from the poor, thus was the Belem District born! Today the rich people have moved out of the grand houses and palaces, and museums aplenty have moved in! Popular sights include The Tower of Belem, Jeronimos Monastery, the Tropical Gardens, and , Archaeology, Maritime, and Coach Museums to name a few, all within walking distance of each other! You can also save money and time with the Lisbon Card!
3. Go to Igreja do Carmo- On November 1st, 1755 one of the most deadly Earthquakes in recorded history struck Lisbon. Combined with a massive tsunami and firestorms Lisbon was almost completely destroyed, with many people feared that Lisbon would never recover. Yet, Lisbon did recover and using bold new ideas became the first modern city in Europe! Nowhere can you feel what it must have been like than the Igreja do Carmo, which was in the middle of mass when the quake caused the collapse of the roof. Now the stone arches rise above the new rebuilt area of Lisbon as a beautiful yet grim reminder of a terrible tragedy, and the spirit of the people who endured such hardship.
4. See Fado Live- Fado is traditional Portuguese folk music. It was created by the poor working class and captures their longing for things long gone that will never come again. You don't need to speak Portuguese to understand either as the mournful tunes and lyrics overcome any language barrier and speak straight to the soul. You can spend a lot of money going on an organised tour that takes you to see some Fado, or you can simply go to one of the numerous Fado clubs to sit back with a glass of wine, and some olives. We went to Pastel do Fado and had a great time!
5. Take a Tram Ride- Lisbon has a fast, effective, and modern public transport system that is great for getting around the city. However there are parts of the city where large modern streetcars fear to go and the roads are ruled by Lisbon's distinctive fleet of older yellow streetcars. Take Tram 28 for a cheap do it yourself tour up and down the hills, past many of central Lisbon's many historic sights!
These were our top five things to do in Lisbon, but there are lots of other ways to explore Lisbon's history, and Portuguese culture! Let us know in the comments below what your favorite things to do in Lisbon are! Thanks for reading!