Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal has been on our bucket list for many years. In fact, it was one of the first places we ever talked about visiting when we first got together over 35 years ago. So we were very excited about finally getting to visit this beautiful country. It certainly took us a long time to get there, but it was definitely worth the wait. We arrived in Lisbon last Tuesday, in time for dinner at a lively, outdoor cafe.

Lisbon has been an important seaport for centuries due to its location at the mouth of the Tagus River, and its proximity to the Mediterranean, Africa, and other locations in Europe. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, dating back to between 800 – 600 BC. The city suffered severe damage in 1755 when an earthquake hit the area, followed by a fire, and then a tsunami (talk about adding insult to injury). The devastation was widespread and severe, but rebuilding occurred quickly, leading to the old town area and beyond, that exists today.

My first impressions were warm, welcoming people, beautifully tiled inlays in buildings and sidewalks, lively atmosphere, great food, buskers everywhere, and lots of hills. Like Rome, Lisbon was built on seven hills, so you’ll do a lot of climbing, but the views of the surrounding area are totally worth the effort.

One of Lisbon’s most prominent features is the suspension bridge that was designed by the same company that designed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. It is the longest suspension bridge in Europe, and was originally named the Salazar Bridge, after the nasty dictator, António Salazar. After he and his government were overthrown on April 25, 1974, the first order of business of the new government was to rename the bridge Ponte 25 de Abril.

Castelo de São Jorge, located on the highest hill in the city, is a beautiful place to visit. Dating back to around the 10th century, it is believed that Celtic tribes, Romans, Phoenicians, and Moors once occupied the area. The castle ruins and gardens are a beautiful place to stroll.

There is ongoing archaeological activity at the site to learn more about the history of the area. You’ll find interesting artifacts here.

Lisbon is also known for its historic streetcars. Streetcars in Lisbon date back to 1873, when the first trolleys, pulled by horses, started transporting passengers (on level streets) around the city. Electric versions were on the streets by 1901. Tram 28 is the most popular since it passes many of the famous landmarks in the city. I actually saw two men riding on the outside of a tram as it made its way up a steep hill.

And as always, one of my favorite things is to wander around town snapping photos.

And of course we had some delicious meals.

We stayed at Dear Lisbon Palace Chiado Guesthouse which was absolutely impeccable. Centrally located, our room had a view of the Castelo de São Jorge, and the river. It was roomy, comfortable, and came with an amazingly presented and equally delicious breakfast.

We had just four days in Lisbon, not enough time to see all this amazing city has to offer. We will visit again another day.

We also visited Sintra, and Funchal on the island of Madeira while in Portugal, more on these beautiful locations in the coming weeks.

Have you been to Portugal? If so, what are your favorite places to visit there? As always, I would love to hear from you.

Wishing you grand adventures,

Tricia

26 thoughts on “Lisbon, Portugal

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  1. Ahhh. You camera must be exhausted and your need for colorful motifs and good food thoroughly satisfied. This posting was like a gift that kept on giving. LOVED the pictures; all of them!

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  2. Wow, your photos make Lisbon look even more beautiful than I remember! I love the different tiles and thanks for taking me through the Castelo de São Jorge – it’s really beautiful! And your food … one will not go hungry in Portugal! My favourite place in Portugal: If I had to choose a city, it would probably be Porto. But I found the small villages and seaside towns between Porto and Caminha to be my favourites (thanks to the Camino) 🙂. Thanks for a beautiful post and for bringing back amazing memories.

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  3. Portugal is high on my list of places I want to visit and of course Lisbon is at the top of that list. The views, the buildings, the tiles are beautiful and on top of that a castle! It looks like exactly how I hoped it looks. Do they speak much English? We found Portuguese very difficult when we were in Brazil where there is not much English. Maggie

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  4. This is such a coincidence! Earlier today I found out that the husband and I will have the same spring break next year (it’s never guaranteed but I had a sneaking suspicion the stars would align next year) and we are 99% certain we’ll be going to Portugal (mainly Lisbon but hopefully at least two nights in Porto). Your post is making me even more excited. I’d read that 3 days in Lisbon is enough, but it sounds like there might be differing opinions about that…

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    1. Oh wow, that is a coincidence! We felt like we could have had more time there, but I guess it depends on what you want to see. Sintra is a about a 30 minute train ride from Lisbon, and is a spectacular place to see. We missed out on Porto; next time. English is widely spoken as well, making it even easier to get around and communicate. Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Beautiful photos and writing, Tricia. Lisbon looks very appealing with the mosaics and tiles, gorgeous hilltop views and that amazing wide river. I love that the streets are lively and full of music. Tram 28 is the epitome of nostalgia and days gone by, it is incredible that it still runs on a regular schedule and isn’t simply a tourist attraction. I’ve never been to Portugal, but Sladja spent a week there some years ago and was madly in love with the city. Thus we are hoping to visit one day…

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  6. I LOVED Lisbon when I visited in 2016: similarly, I visited in the winter time, and it was such a warm welcome (literally) when landed in the Portuguese sun, as I’d been starved of warmth and sunshine in northern France, haha…loved the architecture, the sunshine, the friendly people…even my jaunts to other parts of Portugal were wonderful, to merit the country being one of my favorites visited in Europe! Glad you had a wonderful time and got to see Portugal after all of these years!

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  7. Aww I’m so glad you made it to Portugal and are making the most of all the countries being so close together in Europe – it really is amazing to be able to pop to another country for a few days or a weekend here 🙂 It’ll have to be London soon and I’ll meet you for lunch

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    1. Yes, it’s great that its so quick and easy to get to destinations around Europe; and as a bonus, no jet-lag! Absolutely, it’s been too many years since our last visit to London. It would be so nice to meet! Thanks, Han, for your comment!

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  8. I went to Lisbon for the first time in September last year and loved it! We barely stayed a couple of days as our plan was to drive South to Algarve, but I loved this city and would really like to go back and discover it more in depth! I’m glad you enjoyed your stay!

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  9. This post is so fresh and lively. I love it. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Portugal has been on my bucket list for decades, too. Your words have made me bump it up the list. Thank you.

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