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We traveled as a group of four from Alaska. Our travel partners researched several tour group options and chose Totally Spain because of their initial interactions.  Belen arranged a detailed package for us for 12 days in Andalusia region. ...

T. Main, Anchorage, Alaska
2023-05-04

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Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal, is located on the western coast of Europe, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its charming old neighborhoods, colorful architecture, old-fashioned trams, delicious food, and rich history. Decadent and enchanting, Lisbon is a city that’s easy to love. The London Telegraph enjoys its "simple charm and maritime magic of a vintage-era Southern European capital." But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a stuffy old town. Lisbon effortlessly combines the modern and the traditional, and we love it for its ability to do this.

One of the most iconic features of Lisbon is its hilly landscape, which means there are stunning views around every corner. For this reason, the trams are a major part of Lisbon's identity and charm. Lisbon’s historic trams have been in operation since the early 1900s and are a beloved symbol of the city. They are a popular way for locals and tourists alike to get around, especially in the hilly areas where walking can be a bit challenging. We love how they rattle down from the hilltop neighborhoods to the elegant squares and on to the port.

The historic center of the city is a must-see, with its winding streets and alleys lined with pastel-colored buildings, traditional shops, and cafes. The most famous of these neighborhoods is Alfama, where you can explore the ancient castle and the Gothic cathedral. Delve into Alfama for fado, great architecture, and that amazing combination of the old with the new you find everywhere in Lisbon. Another great area to explore is the Baixa district, which is the heart of the city and home to many important landmarks such as the Praça do Comércio and Rossio Square. Nearby, you'll find the chic Chiado neighborhood, filled with designer shops, elegant cafes, and theaters.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site that stands as a testament to Portugal's maritime heritage. The Jerónimos Monastery, also in Belém, is a must-visit, and you really should taste the famous pastéis de Belém pastries while you’re there. The São Jorge Castle, perched on a hilltop, offers panoramic views and a glimpse into Lisbon's medieval past. LX Factory, located in the Alcântara neighborhood, provides a vibrant atmosphere with trendy shops, art galleries, and a lively nightlife. For a taste of royal opulence, explore the Ajuda National Palace and admire its lavish interiors and beautiful gardens. The National Museum of Ancient Art showcases a remarkable collection of European art, including Portuguese, Dutch, and Flemish masterpieces.

Foodies will love Lisbon's cuisine, influenced by Mediterranean flavors and seafood. The city's most famous dishes include bacalhau (salted codfish), grilled sardines, and pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). Its coffee is amazing, and the abundant pastry shops are unforgettable.

Be sure to head up the hills to one of the many excellent viewing points of the city, such as the Miradouro da Graça at sunset. The sun always seems to shine in Lisbon, adding to its glow. "Lisbon wore a set of jewels that other cities didn't bother to," according to the New York Times.

One of Lisbon's biggest fans, John Malkovich, calls the city "a feast for the eyes." He's been traveling here since the early 1990s and adores the architecture, culture, and food.

Lisbon's attractions extend beyond its historical and cultural offerings. The Estrela Basilica impresses visitors with its stunning Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, while the Lisbon Oceanarium in Parque das Nações invites you to explore diverse marine ecosystems. The National Tile Museum is a must-visit to understand how Lisbon embraces its history and traditions. This city truly captures the essence of a vintage-era Southern European capital while embracing the allure of the modern world.

For a truly immersive experience, consider exploring some of Lisbon’s lesser-known neighborhoods. The vibrant Bairro Alto, known for its nightlife, offers a plethora of bars and clubs where you can enjoy live music and a lively atmosphere. The elegant Avenida da Liberdade is lined with high-end shops and beautiful gardens, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Lisbon’s tram system includes the iconic Tram 28, which takes you through some of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods. It’s a great way to see the city and experience its charm from a unique perspective. Additionally, the city's ferry service offers a scenic way to cross the Tagus River and explore the charming town of Cacilhas.

Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying modern cultural experiences, or indulging in the local cuisine, Lisbon has something for everyone. Let us plan your visit to this enchanting city and discover its many treasures.

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