Introduction to Lisbon
Lisbon has long been a fave budget destination of Brits abroad due to its proximity to the UK and year-round mild temps and sunny climes, so, of course, it wouldn’t be long before the rest of the world came calling. Located on the Iberian Peninsula on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and Rio Tejo and surrounded by hills, Portugal’s capital is one of the world’s oldest cities with a distinctly youthful vibe.
Considered the poor cousin of the European Union necessitating massive monetary assistance to boost redevelopment in the ‘90s (after coups in 1926 and 1974 and a fire in 1988), Portugal is experiencing a comeback while embracing its proud maritime history, atmospheric architecture, several UNESCO World Heritage sites and a plethora of vintage and unique public transport options.
It’s a city where you can walk in the footsteps of famous Portuguese maritime explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan and immerse yourself in the melancholy tradition of fado music - the sailors’ wistful longing for Lisbon and their loved ones. At one stage the vast Portuguese empire stretched all the way to Brazil and Asia, the city’s sumptuous architecture and local museums are testament to the prosperity and promise of this Western European country.
On the flip side, super-stylish locals, known as Lisboêtas, wander the cobblestoned medieval neighbourhoods and ride the vintage trams or zip around on the ultra-modern metro where contemporary art in the stations make them an attraction in their own right. Lisbon oozes laidback ambience from the painted tiles and geometric patterns on the street to the towering Moorish castle on the hill where the romantic decay of its historic districts just adds to the city’s charm. With one foot in the past, and the other forging forward, experience the culturally rich yet affordable Lisbon for yourself.