Lisbon, Portugal is a great trip that is sort of off the beaten-path of the standard European trips to London, Paris, Barcelona, & Rome. Many people forget the great history of this once-upon-a-time superpower, and so you can be really surprised when you visit to see such a strong cultural tradition. Despite the rumours you hear about the failing economies of the European PIGS countries - Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, Portugal is a developed country with a wealth of art, history, natural scenery, food, and yes-- wine!
Check out my Lisbon, Portugal Travel Guide Video:
Consider following me on Facebook, I will be continuing with weekly Portugal posts throughout February and March 2015.
Lisbon has a great metro, with stops throughout the city.
There are two main train stations in Lisbon, so make sure you book the one you want!
Lisbon is a really beautiful city with history stretching from pre-Roman times. During the Islamic period of the Iberian Peninsula, it was the home of many explorers who sailed deep into the Atlantic, with the resultant myth, perpetuated recently by President Erdogan of Turkey, that Arab explorers reached the Americas prior to Columbus. The city taken by Christians during the 12th century and eventually became capital of Portugal due to its central location. In 1755, the city was destroyed by a massive earthquake, demolishing 85 % of all of its structures. The Marquess de Pombal, a Enlightenment influenced prime minister, led the rebuilding of the city, as well as a series of massive reforms, expelling the religious orders (and confiscating their property), abolished slavery, secularized education, and ended some of the autos-de-fe and anti-converso evils of the Portuguese Inquisition.
The Marquis de Pombal at the top of the Avenida da Liberdade.
The Marquis de Pombal modernized Lisbon's layout after the 1755 earthquake, designed with the regular geometry of the Enlightenment. A broad tree-lined boulevard, the Avenida da Liberdade extends from Pombal Square to Restauradores Square in central Lisbon.
Tree-lined Avenida da Liberdade.
There are many trees, fountains, and statues throughout the Avenue.
Now the avenue is a wide, four lane road, lined with trees and major fashion boutiques.
Wealthy Portuguese often give their family members flats on the Avenue da Liberdade, for the Christian holiday known as Xmas.
At the end of the Avenue is the Rossio Rail station, which used to be the main rail station of Lisbon, but now the two other larger stations dominate the train services.
The train station's horseshoe doors are make it a beautiful visit.http://www.reddit.com/r/portugal/comments/2ue3qd/i_had_an_amazing_time_visiting_lisbon_this/
On the Restauradores plaza is the Eden Theatre, a beautiful cinema with an imposing facade.
Most sidewalks in Lisbon are decorated with the white and black stones.
The Funiculars are good for helping you get up the hills.
A day pass (6 Euro) is good for the whole Lisbon metro system, including these small Funiculars and the St. Justa elevator, which is worth trying (normally 5 Euro alone).The trams are all electrified now, but they used to be pulled by horses.
The Barrio Alto is a good place to go hear Fado, a sort of two-guitars accompanying a sad Portuguese singer. It's quite beautiful:
See the amazing Portuguese art of making tiles at the National Azulejo Museum- my post will is live now!
Also Lisbon is known for its grafitti:
Here's an angry Barack Obama:
There are a lot of communists with spray paint in Portugal:
At the southern end of Lisbon is the Tagus River, which allows Lisbon its access to the Atlantic Ocean.
To the west of the center, along the Tagus, you can go to the Belem neighborhood.
Probably one of the main sites you want to see is the tower of Belem, in this neighborhood. You can read about it on my Belem post, along with the monument to discovery:
Also in Belem, there is the amazing Jeronimos Monastery- a glorious example of the Portuguese Renaissance:
See my post on the Jeronimos Monastery, live now!
Belem is a great neighborhood even though it's outside the city centre-- here you can also see the National Coach Museum, which shows off various royal and religious coaches from the gilded age of Portugal!
Also it has a nice wide park-boulevard along the river with many ships.
There are some fancy riverside bars in Belem:
And some fancy, Portuguese restaurants:
You can see some nice ducks and plant life:
A palm tree that went bald:
In addition to Lisbon, you may want to take a trip to Sintra, a city just outside Lisbon. There you can see the National Palace, which has beautiful stylings- live March 4th!
Also in Sintra you can see the Pena National Palace, a beautiful example of Romantic 19th century architecture- Live March 11th!:
Well thanks for checking out my post on Lisbon, I hope you follow me to see all of my upcoming posts of Portugal!
Kitty tax, for reddit: