The city of Lisbon is a real gem among Europe’s capitals. And not only because of its picturesque location on the Atlantic Ocean, but also because of a whole package of architectural highlights such as the playful Tower of Belém, excellent cuisine, a pinch of football madness and an ambitious street art culture, framed by the romantic melancholy of Fado. Fancy a discovery tour? Then you can join us and discover the small and big secrets of a city that enchants visitors with its cheerful Portuguese flair.
If you stroll through the lovely old town of Lisbon today, you can still hear the white walls whispering their numerous stories. And they have a lot to tell. The perfect starting point for a journey back in time to old Lisbon is a ride on the historic yellow tram that winds its way on cobbled pavement through the magnificent street canyons. With the rattling Tram 28, you can visit the monumental São Jorge Castle, which for centuries served as the royal castle. From the battlements you can not only enjoy a truly royal view of the famous Sanctuary of Christ the King and the Tower of Belém, but also immerse in the archaeological site on the castle hill in the time of the Romans and Phoenicians. From the Castle you can go to the next attraction, the Carmo Convent. Like no other building complex in the Portuguese capital, the convent, with the gleaming white ruins of the convent church, reminds you of the blackest day in the city's history. While Lisbon's heart beats at the "Praça do Rossio", Rua Augusta leads you directly to the Tagus River. With impressive beauty crossing over it rises the landmark of Lisbon, the “25 de Abril Bridge”.
If the stones could speak, they would tell you about the devastation of 1755, when Portugal's capital was struck by an earthquake, tsunami, and a major fire. The memory of this fateful day has left a lasting mark on Lisbon's culture and is still reflected in the numerous street art artworks in the districts of Alfama and Belém. To find the real insider’s tips, it is worth booking a tour to one of the world's capitals for street art.
Sporting or Benfica? This question splits the whole city, creating true trenches through neighbourhoods and families. If you want to experience the football madness of the Portuguese, you can go watch a match at Estádio da Luz or Estádio José Alvalade XXI. A very special experience is the town derby, which takes place at least twice a year. Much quieter but no less memorable is a stadium tour through Estádio da Luz. When else do you have the opportunity to visit the booths of a Champions League veteran, admire their trophies and set foot on the sacred turf?
Discovery tour through the culinary heart of Portugal
After an extensive sightseeing tour, you deserve a refreshment, because after all, the culinary heart of Portugal beats in Lisbon. To find out where the food is especially good, you can do a simple, ancient trick: During your sightseeing tour just look out where it is the most crowded, because the food is often excellent there. Most of them are the Tascas in the old town and in the Belém district, where you can enjoy specialties such as beef loin with garlic cream sauce (bife à marrare), stuffed squid (lulas recheadas) and shrimp rissole (rissóis de camarão). The culinary exploration tour is completed with sweet sins such as the quark pastry (queijadas de Sintra), for which Lisbon is known in half Europe. Especially on the 13th of June, the day of the church of Saint Anthony of Lisbon, you cannot miss sardines and the popular codfish (bacalhau): in the Alfama old quarter, the cooks are doing a barbecue competition. Who manages to grill the tastiest saltwater fish? You will have to decide!
Explore Lisbon's hinterland
Strengthened, you can set out to the hinterland of Lisbon, where many places worth seeing are just waiting to be explored by you. If you want to immerse deeper into history, then a day trip to Sintra is the perfect plan. After all, the small town embedded in green hills with its innumerable castles, palaces and parks does not bear the title "city of fairytale palaces" for no reason. At least as fairy-tale-like is a sailing trip to the Tagus, where you can enjoy the city panorama in the warm sunlight from the river. You can also head to Cabo da Roca, which was considered the end of the world until the discovery of the Americas. Today, from the westernmost point of continental Europe, you can enjoy the view over the Atlantic, which is 140 meters below your feet. All water rats will feel right at home on a stunning coastline of beautiful sandy beaches, just a short bus ride from Lisbon: Cascais-Estoril to the west and Costa de Caparica to the south.
At night the soul of Portugal awakens
Lisbon's nightlife is something very special and is very different from other major cities. Already with the first steps in the nightlife district of Bairro Alto the air is filled with the melancholic sounds of traditional Fado. Let yourself be carried away with a glass of red wine and a ginjinha in one of the cosiest restaurants, and on a Fado evening you will be transported to the longing world of Portuguese folklore. A real insider’s tip is the "Parreirinha de Alfama Fado & Tradicio" at Beco do Espirito Santo 1. If you prefer to dance all night, then you can go check out the "Bali Bali" with its Brazilian rhythms or just dance until your return flight the next morning at the rooftop bar "Topo".