1. If you use only one word to describe Lisbon, what would that be?
2. What are the three best reasons to include Lisbon on our travel list among a lot of other destinations in Portugal?
Cheap and convenient
Warm weather all year long
Neverending cultural events!
3. Do you consider Lisbon as your home? How long have you been living there?
For three months in 2009, while doing an internship as an Architect to-be (never finished my studies though.. ) in a sustainable design company. It felt like home at that time and is high on my list of places I would move to on a heartbeat.
4. Who would you invite to travel Lisbon with you, if you can choose anyone in the history/ present/ and future. Who would like Lisbon the best and why?
Not a big past or future fan, I like living the present! Lisbon has something for everyone and I guess anyone would be welcome to join me in my travels. Just be aware I could stay there for longer than expected! 😉
5. For you, when is the best season to travel Lisbon? And the reason why?
Anytime. As commented before, weather conditions are always great. Sometimes it can get a bit rainy but you will learn to embrace it too! In my experience, during spring and summer, Lisbon is bustling with tons of things to experience, events, street parties.. portuguese people know what they are doing!
6. What are three foods that you would say “You can’t leave Lisbon without trying these!”
Rissói de Camarão. Along with other fillings, you can find these fried small portions of food in almost every bar in town.
Bacalhau. This fish is a religion in Portugal. There aren’t enough days in one year to taste all the recipies.
Pastéis de Belém. With its recipe remaining secret, these sweet pastries are a must with your meia de leite (coffee latte)
Last but not least, vinho verde and ginginha will do as table wine and liquor!
7. Tell us about your favourite and the least favourite thing about Lisbon.
Facing the Tejo river, the city rapidly expanded itself and conquered various hills. As a result, city streets are pretty steep. This is a clear advantage when trying to get to a high point and enjoy the views over the river in one of the miradoiros (viewpoints). On the other hand, riding a bike could be a nightmare if you are not fit enough. Luckily, trams work pretty well and you can get everywhere the not-so-large subway net leave behind.
8. What is the first thing would you recommend us to do right after we arrive in Lisbon?
Take tram #28 and enjoy the views from your comfy seat surrounded by the locals to start adjusting yourself.
Then, head to Miradoiro de St. Caterina to see the sunset and drink some beer while listening to some casual street music or witnessing Lisbon people dance in the square.
9. What is the most famous landmark? And which one is your favourite to visit?
There are a few you can’t miss:
·Elevador de Sta. Justa is an old lift located in Baixa that will help you to reach Bairro Alto without sweating uphill.
·By the river, Torre de Belém is an old fortress surrounded by Monasterio dos Jeronimos and a cool Art Museum. From there, nice pics of April 25th bridge can be done and Pastéis de Belém factory is a stone throw away too!
·Alfama and S. Jorge castle, oldest part in town and hip place to go for a walk on a weekend morning as a flea-market takes place on top of the hill. On your way back, check Chapitô , part restaurant, circus, bar and cultural hub is a unique spot you can’t afford to miss.
10. Where’s your secret hangout place? The place where you feel most comfortable, or had the most fun.
Cultural clubs were my second home while living there. Bacalhoeiros and Crew Hassan schedule different and interesting activities for every day of the week. Whether you like theatre or drum and bass; those are the places you want to check when in town! Just remember you might be asked to show your member card at the door. Sometimes it is possible to sign up right there (less than 10€ for 1 year membership) but if it is already packed, your entry will be denied. Mix up with some locals to get in for free if you are lucky enough!
11. How much is for a cup of coffee?
If you stay apart from the beaten path, Meia de leite (latte) could set you back as low as 1€ while an expresso could be 0,70€.
12. Would you recommend us one ‘off-the-beaten path’ place in Lisbon?
Lisbon Underground used to be one of the greatest clubs to check out. For one or two nights during the weekend, the parking under the main city park turned into a huge club with different vibes to suit all tastes. I doubt it is still going on these days but it wouldn’t surprise me! Coolest ever!
O Terraço, rooftop bar in Alfama, would be my first choice. Not so touristy, pretty relaxed and laid-back, its open-air views are unbeatable. Lisbon signature.
Figueira square is also a great spot to do some people-watching while surrounded by local skaters and a lively atmosphere!
13. I’m a fan of souvenirs. Which one should I buy in Lisbon?
A colourful ceramic tile in Alfama’s flea-market will do if you are into old stuff. More of a foodie? Head for a dozen of Pastéis de Belém. Will they last you till you get home?
14. As a local, would you like to share your secret travel tips about Lisbon with us?
Although I am not living there anymore, I would recommend anyone visiting to wander a bit further than the main touristy parts of town. Travel guides will tell you it could get dangerous but trust me, it pays off! Just pay attention to your moves and don’t show off all your gadgets and you’ll be fine! Prices are much lower and buildings still have that glorious touch without all the make-up for the masses!
About This Week’s Sister:
Inma of aworldtotravel – Bitten by the travel bug for a while, find out more about her adventures around the world in her travel blog: aworldtotravel. You can also follow her journey through twitter @aworldtotravel1 and Facebook page.