Spectacularly situated where the Tagus river meets the Atlantic coast, Lisbon is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Built on the remains of an old volcanic field, its old town is made up of seven hills, which create its characteristically steep streets, equipped with cable cars and lifts to facilitate movement throughout the city. Take one of our cheap flights to Lisbon and land in a city where fado music fills the air, adding to the magical experience of such stunningly dramatic terrain.
Impressive squares, such as Rossio Square (the nucleus of the city, filled with cafes and restaurants) and Commerce Square (which opens up onto the Tagus and used to be the port of entry to Lisbon for merchant ships), punctuate the narrow, sloped streets of the Alto and Alfama neighbourhoods. Before you make your way upwards, be sure to visit the Chiado district. Deemed the ‘Montmartre of Lisbon’, this elegant, bohemian neighbourhood was frequented by intellectuals and writers, including Fernando Pessoa. Jump on a tram or a lift to the Alto neighbourhood, one of Lisbon’s most picturesque and alternative districts, which serves as a meeting point for youngsters and lovers of fado music. Its numerous bars cater to every taste, and offer the best music in the city. Fans of fado can not only listen to it live, but also visit its birthplace, the Alfama neighbourhood. Home to the Fado Museum and once a humble fishing area, and its narrow alleyways add to the wistful charm of Portugal’s capital.
The grand San Jorge Castle, situated at the top of Alfama, towers over the city and offers the best and most impressive views of the coastal part of Lisbon. Other beautiful monuments of great historical and architectural importance include the Belem Tower, the Cathedral, and the Jerónimos Monastery, but it is the San Jorge Castle that steals the show, with its exceptional location and majestic views, reminding visitors that they are standing at the gateway to Europe.
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