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What kind of traveller are you? With just one day in Lisbon, how would you spend your time?
Do you arrive in a new place knowing exactly what to do? And then go, go, go?
Or do you meander?
Are you a dawdling observer or on a mission to see it all?
With just one day in Lisbon, I figured out a few things in advance but decided to let serendipity lead me.
Here are some delightful discoveries from a short visit to Lisbon:
It’s SO Hilly!
I had NO idea.
Lisbon is built on seven, yup seven, hills overlooking the Tagus River (Rio Tejo).
Be prepared to climb!
I was so confused when someone told me to take the “elevador!” Throughout the city, 3 funiculars and 1 elevator can whiz you up a hill and spare you a few hard breaths! Part of Lisbon’s public transit, these lifts were declared National Monuments in 2002.
I couldn’t wait to see these! Their buttercup colour brightens any day and their sound?
They rattle, clatter and squeak. These ancient trams are quintessential old-world charm.
Although there are plenty of sleek, modern trams in Lisbon, five antique tramlines remain. These trams built in the 1930s can make the tight turns through the older neighbourhoods. Tram E28 is the one to ride.
On this visit I am content to watch E28 as it manoeuvres the turns and steep hills into the Alfama district, chiming as it goes.
The Colour Red
The passionate Portuguese have filled their city with splashes of colour at every turn.
From the Miradouro (lookout) de Santa Luzia, the terracotta rooftops glow, the Tagus River sparkles and the bell towers dominate. Lisbon is truly captivating.
Azulejos – Lisbon’s Striking Tiles
Blue and white tiles embellish sides of buildings, telling Bible stories and historical tales. It is a meanderer’s delight trying to decipher the detailed panels and appreciate the artistry.
Tiles are everywhere, turning ordinary buildings into a sensual feast.
The Alfama District
To stumble into the historical Alfama district was meant to be.
Wander through this local neighbourhood to your heart’s content. Away from the crowds, every tight street ends in a stairway or a hidden plaza.
What is more authentic than hanging laundry?
“Serendipity was my tour guide, assisted by caprice.”
Serendipity introduced me to a
city with soul.
It left me wanting more.
Saúde (cheers) Lisboa.
One Day in Lisbon|Accommodation:
The 7 Hotel is very centrally located. Arriving by train at Oriente Station, it was easy to take the metro. This hotel is a 3-minute walk from the metro station Baixa-Chiado (fare €1.40). The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly.
One Day in Lisbon|Restaurant:
On the hotel’s recommendation, a full plate of octopus was devoured at Restaurante O Chiado. Tasty Portuguese wine, friendly service and the cosy atmosphere made it a place to return to!
Don’t miss: Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)…..mmmm… crispy crust, a custard filling browned on top!
Fado is melancholy, traditional folk music performed in Lisbon. The Alfama district is home to many Fado clubs.
I tried to find a club that was not too touristy but it required much research. The one I settled on, Mesa de Frades was closed for renovations at the time. Next time, an evening of Fado is a must. Dinner is included or you can arrive in the late evening for the performance only.
What kind of traveller are you?
Would you have been satisfied with this day in Lisbon?
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