Published: November 14th 2007November 3rd 2007
An elevator near the centre of the city saved you the trouble of having to walk up to the higher areas of the city.
From Madrid we flew to Lisbon where we spent a very pleasant few days. We didn't really know what to expect of Lisbon, but it turned out to be a lovely city. It was picturesque, had enough attractions to keep us busy for a couple of days (and we could have done with more time there), and after the hussle and bussle of Madrid the slower, more relaxed pace was a welcome change. The weather was also very good while we there, with bright sunny days and maximum temperatures of around 23 or 24 degrees, although it did get quite cool at night. To top it all off there was the bluest sky we had seen for quite a while, which contrasted nicely with the many coloured buildings in the city.
Our hotel was well located on Avenue da Liberdade, which ran down to the old part of the city from the newer commercial centre. We did an organised walking tour of the city centre, which was very interesting and a good way to see the city as we were taken to a lot of places that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. The tour started in the retail centre of
the city, and we walked around the main squares and then up to the Barrio Alto district, high on a hill west of the centre, before catching a tram back across the city to the old medieval quarter, Alfama, which sits on a hill to the east of the city. Alfama was an interesting area with narrow cobblestoned streets running down the hill to the River Tejo. This area is also home to 'Fado' which is a Portugese form of folk music, typically sung by women accompanied by guitar and viola. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to see any live Fado while we in Lisbon. On the tour we had a chance to sample a local drink, Ginginja, which is an alcoholic drink made from cherries, that has a similar taste to port - very tasty. It appeared to be a very popular drink with the locals, and there was a constant stream of people in and out of the little bar where we sampled it at all hours of the day or night.
We also caught a tram to the suburb of Belem, which is several kilometres south west of the centre, near where the River Tejo
meets the ocean. This was an interesting place, with several museums, a cultural centre, and several parks, as well as a very impressive old gothic palace of some sort.
Apart from that we didn't do a great deal. We were keen to head out to the coast to look at Portugal's Costa Do Sol but unfortunately we ran out time. All in all though we had a very enjoyable couple of days in Lisbon and would definitely go back for an extended visit.
There are more photos below