It’s difficult to write must see places for Lisbon. We explored Lisbon in a very different way. It did not have a defined list of must see’s or things to do but it started with ‘let’s explore as it goes! So, this blog post will list everything we experienced and not necessary you must as well but what’s the fun if you don’t try new things in new city.
Dancers of Lisbon
Out of the many lively visuals I saw in Lisbon were the dancers. Imagine seeing happy people dancing on pavements near a major street or in a town hall nearby on your first day of your visit in Lisbon. May be there was a city festival that we missed by a few days , but the fun vibe had lingered on the city. They were still gathering in public places to dance and enjoy life!
Tiled experience – Streets, buildings and metros
I think we saw the maximum use of Tiles in Lisbon. Lisbon is known for Azulejos tiles. They are available also as souvenirs. Be it on streets, buildings, metro stations and facades, you will spot these glazed ceramic tiles. Most famous colors or traditional style would be to have the blue and white tiles which are more common to spot even today. But now more colors are being used and different designs are experimented. Another thing to be noticed in Lisbon is to check out the black and white tiled/cobbled streets. Beautiful, traditional designs can be spotted and apparently even today these designs are decided from an old design book.
Even though Portuguese people prefer port wine with their food, something we were told to try in Lisbon was Ginjinha drink. During our walking tour, our guide stopped at one of the cafes so that we can grab a small glass to try it. Ginja (alternate name) liqueur is made by infusing ginja berries in alcohol spiced with sugar and other ingredients. We also spotted Ginja stalls in Faro as we strolled through a very happening food festival.
Pastes de Belem and TimeOut Market
Out of the food items one has to try in Lisbon is Pastel de Belem. So first we tried it out at ‘Time Out Market’ and then at the original Pasteis de Belem shop in Belem district of Lisbon. Pasteis de Belem bakery still prepares this sweet delicacy using traditional methods by hand and has a secret recipe. Okay, I wanted to also write about the ‘TimeOut Market’ in this section. If you are in Lisbon, getting late (it’s open till late hours), want to try delicious food in a huge food court then I am recommending this place. I loved the vibe, very young yet everyone is genuinely hungry and dying to try so many delicacies that are available in the market. It’s a huge square with food restaurants on all the four sides offering a huge variety of food items from all over the world.
Fado music and grafitti
Fado is sort of soul music of Portuguese people. I think an apt example for Indians would be from the movie Jab Harry met Sejal. This movie was shot in Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal and ‘Yaadon mein’ song attempts beautifully to capture the vibe of the city as well as ‘Fado’ style of singing. Fado genre usually has a woman singing soulful music describing a feeling of longing or a sense of loss. Traditionally Fado music was characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics sung by performers called as ‘Fadista’. In Lisbon a famous graffiti has been dedicated to this music genre. It is made by few talented artist along with a small group of people living in the neighborhood and includes symbols and references connected to Fado singers and the city and neighborhood.
Funiculars and Trams
Another thing recommended doing in Lisbon is taking the Gloria Funicular and travel by trams around the city. Tram 28 is very popular among tourists and generally crowded. It’s difficult to even find place. It is supposed to stop at all the tourist spots within Lisbon. We even took a tram to reach the Belem district, which was a long ride and fulfilling. Also, if I am right, Gloria Funicular was included in daily pass of Lisbon or atleast you pay less for the ride and I should warn you it is a very short ride. Otherwise one can purchase tickets on the spot for 4 euros per person.
Lisbon offers many other places that need to be seen. I will cover in upcoming blog posts. I wish to write our experience in Sintra as well specially the pictures we took in Sintra. Hope you all are looking forward for these posts as well. Do comment your Lisbon experiences and also what you liked most in Lisbon or look forward to when you travel to there next.