I never get tired of visiting this city, again and again, to walk around at all seasons, the best being winter, for then is the time there are fewer tourists around and a sun gleaming on the red-tiled roofs.
Modern and old styled at the same time, its introversion and melancholic fados strike a hord in you, listening to them makes you experience sorrow and absence as if the heart is knotted on the chest and then joy again, a journey of emotions.
In the morning start for the Sao Jose Castle, get the famous tram 28 or bus 737 from praca da figueira, the best way to get there is to walk.
The view from the Spianada on the top of the outer forts is the reward for the tiring ascent, then you can roam the alleyways of Alfama, so narrow you can barely cross them. The Mauritanian neighborhood of the city is like going back in time, stretched out small balconies, beautiful squares, churches, facades of buildings adorned with azulejos as if you are looking at the houses and the lives of its inhabitants.
Close to the Sao Vicente de Fora monastery, with its simple architecture, you come across a flea market called “Feira da Landra”, often thought to mean “thieve’s market”. There you can find antiques, collective items and second-hand clothes. People there also sell personal items they want to get rid of. To the south is the dark cathedral Sé, with archaeological finds from the excavations, remnants of Mauritanian, Visigoths, Romans and Phoenicians.
If you are fascinated by the Portuguese tiles, there’s no doubt you’ll like the magnificent National Museum Azulejos, featuring a magnificent collection from the 15th to the 20th century, built into the walls of an old monastery. Among them a 36 m. painting depicting Lisbon shortly before the great earthquake of 1755. You are advised to take some time for a drink or a Pasteis de nata at the café in the garden.
You do not have to pay to admire the view from Elevador de santa justa, you can approach it from Largo do Carmo, following the path right from Carmo’s church. Its impressive ruin remains a sad reminder of the earthquake. In the famous Nacional confeitaria you will buy delicious tarts and it was Rei, a traditional Christmas sweet with candied fruits and nuts.
The night city heart beats at Bairro Alto, the hipster district impresses with the modern and retro music scene, the wonderful restaurants and bars, the colorful Graffiti and the alternative shopping. To get there you can take the elevador da Gloria cable car for a short and a relaxing climb. Another great place to admire the view of the city as it unfolds is the miraduro de sao pedro alcantara. Get to this beautiful neighborhood and you may end up in Santa Catarina, to return, take the elevator da bica and head down to the river. The most postcard-like road in the city is Rua da Bica de Duante Belo, a wonderful area known as Bica, basically the expansion of the Bairro Alto.
Crossing the great road das naus next to the river, you arrive at Cais do Sondre Station. From there, you can take the ferry to go across and visit the statue of Christ the King, reminding of its counterpart in Rio. His arms, is said, embrace and protect the city.
The Ponte 25 Abril bridge stands out, its construction was completed in 45 months and until 1974 was called Salazar, after the dictator’s name, after the Carnation Revolution overthrew the regime, the bridge was renamed April 25th. The elevator takes you to the platform below the statue.
The Time out lisboa market, housed in the Mercado da Ribeira, next to the large covered market, is a good choice for lunch, you will find 24 restaurants and bars at good prices.
In the beautiful Neighborhood of Seafarers, Belem, the majestic Mosteiro dos Jeronimos steals the show, the memorial of the discoveries reminds of a boat bow, and the outdoor gardens relax the tourists on their ornate benches. From the tower of Belem, the view of 360 degrees is panoramic, it is the best place to see the mosaic floor of the square, a gift from the Republic of South Africa. A mosaic of different types of marble, depicts a map of the paths of the Portuguese explorers. In this district you find the famous patisserie that really has the best Pasteis in the city, Pasteis de Belem since 1837. Better sit in and taste them warm with cinnamon.
The most nostalgic ride you’ll have is in the yellow trams along the tracks throughout the city, right beside the roads, screeching while climbing the hills. The tram offers some of the best views to historic sites and places of this majestic capital.