top 10 lisbon is my choice of lisbon highlights!

10. i’ll start off with the area most sought after by tourists: climb up the streets to the se cathedral and then to the sao jorge castle for some of the best overviews of the city.

9. pretend you’re a lisboeta and take tram 28 (coincidentally, it has a very tourist-friendly itinerary) or one of the elevadores. you’ll enjoy the ride!

8. world-famous for its fado houses, alfama is a neighbourgood looking a lot like a village. take your time wandering its streets: the place is full of pictures waiting to be taken!

on each saturday and tuesday, they have a flea market called feira da ladra, around the beautiful monastery of sao vincente de fora. even if browsing will seldom yield gems and often just worthless junk, it’s an experience worth having. beside the used objects, check out this modern jewelry shop and this ceramics store.

on the river side, across the street from the apolonia train station, there’s the doca do jardim do tabacco – old warehouses turned into very cool new places: think the famous john malkovich-owned bica do sapato or the deli delux delicatessen.

we had lunch at casanova, a cute, simple italian restaurant because people were queuing in front of it before its opening time and everybody knows that that’s a good sign. we had such a great time that i definitely plan to go back sometime.

7. on the western side of the city center, check out the baixa, chiado and bairro alto neighbourhoods. the atmosphere is wonderful and the streets picturesque.

i loved this little gallery, re-searcher, in baixa. they had a paper art show when visited and i was won over instantly.

also in baixa, don’t miss visiting the newly re-located museum of design – mude. beside displaying some iconic pieces , they also had a hypnotizing temporary show called: feira da ladra treasures. it showed, as you may realize from the title, incredible pieces found at the alfama fleamarket. unbelievable and unmissable!

6. parque eduardo VII, up from the marques de pombal place. nearby, you can find some huge, amazing street art murals. if you climb up to the top, your effort will be rewarded with a very nice view of the avenida liberdade all the way down to the tejo and beyond. while you’re up there, you can have a drink at linha da aqua, in garden amalia rodriguez.

5. lisbon is littered with miradouros, high places that allow wonderful views of the city. i don’t want to choose between them as they each offer a different point of view – you should find your favourites!

4. one of my favourite places in lisbon is the parque santa gertrudes by famous portuguese landscape architect goncalo ribeiro telles, between the center of modern art and the museum calouste gulbekian. you can have a bite in either cafeteria and lounge on the grass around the lake, together with the locals and the ducks. a real urban oasis!

3. to get to belem, go in front of the cais do sodre train station and take tram 15. you have plenty of attractions, but i chose the very cooool berardo museum and a walk along the river at sunset, to the torre de belem.

i spent a few hours in the museum although i’d seen it before: they have a great selection of contemporary art including salvador dali, alexander calder, jeff koons, ed rushca, andy warhol, anish kapoor and many, many others. a must see, in my opinion.

2. if sleek contemporary architecture is your thing, head to oriente, the modern part of lisbon. the parque das nacoes includes the immensely entertaining and educational oceanario, the 1998 alvaro siza portugal pavilion with the breath taking, gravity defying concrete canopy, the santiago calatrava-designed oriente train station, the atlantic pavilion and lisbon’s tallest building, the vasco da gama tower – 145m.

nearby, there’s one of the world’s longest bridges: the vasco da gama bridge, 17km.

1. try out local flavours: my first recommendation for you is to taste the local gastronomy. eat the soups, the bacalhau, the pork sandwiches and the endless variations on seafood and drink the port and the ginhinha (sour cherry liquor). do not forget the many pastelerias selling doces (sweets) heavy on sugar, eggs, almonds or carrots. everything is delicious!

you could also take home some local souvenirs: there are quite a lot of artesanado shops selling cool soaps, tinned fish and seafood, port, etc. try perhaps a vida portuguesa.

if lisbon is not enough for you, there are many options for day trips: sintra, cascais, estoril, cabo da roca, guincho beach, azenhas do mar, setubal, sesimbra, cabo espichel, costa da caparica.

enjoy lisbon, guys!

photo credits: lilaesthete, google search