Lisboa – what a beautiful city!

December 17, 2006 at 6:22 pm 6 comments

“Lisbon is often likened in guide-books to San Francisco, because of its streets that rise so dramatically from the waterfront, and Rome, because it is built on seven hills. In truth, there is, and surely never will be, any mistaking the Portuguese capital for anywhere else. So far from surrending its compelling character to the twenty-first century’s forces of homogeneity, the new prosperity has instead revived Lisbon’s justifiable pride in its distinctiveness.”

Martin Page, in The First Global Village: How Portugal Changed the World, p. 29

Day two in Lisbon was spent with a visit to the Mercado da Ribeira, near the port, and the Feira da Ladra, Lisbon’s main flea market, before heading out and exploring the neighbourhood around the Castle de São Jorge. After finding the restaurants that had been recommended to me closed again (I finally gave up looking for particular restaurants and just went for whatever looked ok), we took a tram to Chiado where we had lunch at Cervejaria Trindade, one of the oldest beer halls in Lisbon. At night we went for a nice Portuguese meal at Bairro Alto and walked around a bit to check the Christmas lights, which were really impressive.

Mercado da RibeiraEntrance to Feira da LadraView from the castleIgreja do CarmoCastelo

Christmas lightsLightslights

chestnut vendors

Sunday was mostly spent in Belem, where we visited the Torre de Belem and the Mosteiro dos Jerônimos. All the attractions were free that day, as it is most sundays between 10 am and 2 pm. It was cold but we had beautiful blue sky, as you can see in some of the pictures:

Torre de BelemTorre de BemePeople enjoying the nice dayFountain in front of monasteryInside monastery

MonasteryPillars at monastery

We had planned to go to Sintra in our last day, monday, but we felt that we hadn’t seen enough of Lisbon. So we went back to some of the places we had passed by quickly (like Alfama, Graça and the northern part of Bairro Alto) and explored them more fully. Another nice sunny day!

School trip near castleStairs and more stairsLisbon doorsArchwayTram 28

View of the alfamaLisbon house

To cap it off, we had our last meal in Lisbon at an Indian restaurant recommended by our friend Detlef, a Lisbon resident. It’s one of those places you would never think of going in but that has become quite an institution among those “in the know”. The restaurant is located on the first floor of a residential building just off Plaça da Figueira and it looks very simple and low-key but the food was amazing! Fitting end for the trip…

Dodgy entrance to restaurantMain door


For a slideshow of these pictures and more click here; for a static selection go here.

And here’s for my top five list about Lisbon:

  1. Pastéis de Belém at the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém
  2. The uncanny light that baskes the city
  3. Drinking Ginginha at a Ginginha bar at the end of a cold day
  4. The incredible friendliness of Lisboeta, who haven’t been jaded by seeing their city overan by tourists in recent years and still go out of their way to point us in the right direction. An older man actually stopped us on the street to make sure we hadn’t miss ed the lookout at the end of the street.
  5. How much it taught me about my own roots

Entry filed under: Lisbon, Portugal, Portuguese, Travel.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Denise Arcoverde  |  December 29, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Menina, que fotos maravilhosas! eu adoro Lisboa e adoro esses pasteizinhos, da última vez comi tudo que podia, sem culpa. Muito boa sua descrição da cidade 🙂

  • 2. guerson  |  December 29, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Obrigada Denise! Eu fiquei realmente encantada com a luz de Lisboa. E as pessoas, é claro 😉 Gostei mesmo. Tenho um projeto de pesquisa – para o futuro – que incluiria passar um ano em Lisboa, no mínimo, para fazer pesquisas. Estou cada dia mais animada com essa idéia 😉

  • 3. Tennille  |  April 19, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    I just came across your blog looking for info on a trip to Portugal (probably Lisbon) – can you tell me where would be a good part of town to look for a hotel!!??

    Thank you! And your blog is beautiful

  • 4. guerson  |  April 19, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Tenille!

    We stayed at the Residencial Florescente
    ( The price was right and the service was pretty good. The hotel was very well located, right in the downtown area (Baixa) and close to the Bairro Alto on one side and Alfama on the other. I highly recommend it. If you stay there, don’t miss the Ginginha bars on the same street on the way to the downtown core…

    Thanks for coming by…

  • 5. jamine  |  March 25, 2008 at 5:44 am

    adorei suas dicas 😉 estou até incluindo o hotel em meus planos.

  • 6. Vasco Ferreira  |  May 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    olá Guerson, estava aqui a fazer umas pesquisas pela net e deparei-me com o teu trabalho fenomenal.
    Quis só deixar-te aqui o meu elogio ás magníficas fotos que tiraste e ao teu relato tão bonito de Lisboa, que mesmo morando cá desde que nasci,(em Lisboa mesmo só à 5 anos,antes era mais para os lados de Sintra,que tenho pena de não teres tido oportunidade de visitar,farias com certeza umas belas fotos)me fez ficar impressionado com algumas imagens, de zonas em que passo todos os dias, e das quais já me tinha esquecido da beleza. Obrigado por esta oportunidade de “re-deslumbrar-me” com a minha própria cidade.
    As tuas fotos são magnificas e acredita que no feliz acaso da minha pesquisa(que nunca pensei vir dar sequer a um blog) me fiz fã deste teu sitio.
    Mais uma vez os meus parabéns e tudo de bom para ti 🙂


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December 2006

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