Modern and pure, Lisbon is both the capital and the largest Portuguese city, with a population of half a million and an urban area of almost three million inhabitants. Facing the Tagus River, it blends the tradition of the historical neighbourhoods with the sophistication of the new residential areas. Lisbon is bright and unique at the first ever glance.
There is a lot to see in a city that offers the tourist culture, heritage and gastronomy. In Belém it is possible to visit the Jerónimos Monastery, a monument reminiscent of the age of Discoveries, as well as a contemporary art exhibition in the Centro Cultural de Belém. The visit may resume itself with a “Pastel de Nata” (Portuguese traditional custard tart), served with sprinkled cinnamon and a “bica”, expression used by the people of Lisbon to name the espresso.
In Chiado, in the Pombaline Lower Town (area constructed after the 1755 earthquake) you can find fashion boutiques and the ‘Brasileira’, which honours Fernando Pessoa and keeps the chandeliers and mirrors from the beginning of the 20th century coffee shops. In Bairro Alto the fado houses, the restaurants and the high-end designer ateliers create a bohemian atmosphere. Here is where the nightlife finds its breath; the streets are filled with the young and the elder, foreigners, scene kids and businessman.
The colourful houses, the roofs that can be seen all the way down to the river from the Castle of São Jorge can be closely seen in a traditional wooden tram ride that swiftly goes up and around the narrow paved streets of Alfama and Mouraria.
There are balconies adorned with hanging clothes and flowers as well as many worthy places to visit, such as the Castle of São Jorge, the São Vicente de Fora Church, the Lisbon Cathedral, the Santa Luzia belvedere, the Museu Militar and the Museu das Artes Decorativas.
You can also find the best fado houses in Alfama. The fado, considered by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, sings about love, jealousy, “saudade” (Portuguese expression for longing) and the melancholic way of being Portuguese, while accompanied by the Portuguese guitar. You can hear all of this in the fado houses where besides listening to the music you can also enjoy the traditional Portuguese food.
The capital has a modern centre born in the orient part of town after the Expo ‘98. Besides a shopping centre and the construction of residential and business apartments, there is the Lisbon Casino, the Oceanarium, a multipurpose pavilion, the Meo Arena and riverside leisure spaces.