7 Reasons You Should Visit Lisbon, Portugalon August 25, 2016 at 9:03 am
Lisbon balances modernity and tradition in a way that’s unique in Western Europe. Its warm climate, rich history and budget-friendliness are some of the reasons it’s so enjoyable to visit.
Compared to other Southern European cities like Madrid and Rome, Lisbon is quite inexpensive to visit. With a bottle of good wine costing as little as €3, an authentic three-course dinner around €10 and a return ticket by train to nearby towns less than €10, it can be difficult indeed to spend a lot of money there.
The weather is amazing
Situated in central Portugal, Lisbon enjoys a pleasant but balanced climate with average yearly temperatures of around 70°F, and much higher in July and August. Even in winter, you’re unlikely to need more than a light jacket, and summers are reliably hot. Several popular beaches are a short train ride away from the city center.
The people are friendly
With a population of about 500,000, Lisbon isn’t a huge city, and it manages to maintain an intimate feel. Locals never expect tourists to speak Portuguese, although the basics (olá, obrigado) go a long way and are sure to get you a warm reception. Average crime rates here are relatively low for a European capital.
The food is great
Restaurants abound in the compact city center. Reliable favorites like seafood or steak with fries can be found in any traditional Portuguese eatery, and international choices are also easy to find.
Being a small city, much of what you’ll want to see is easily walkable. Alternatively, taxis are cheap and the metro system is remarkably clean and quiet. A short morning walk can easily take you from doing some designer shopping on the chic Avenida da Liberdade to grabbing lunch in the center and taking a walk by the Tagus river, with time to spare for hitting the beach or taking a day trip to a nearby town in the afternoon.
There’s history everywhere
From castles and monasteries to medieval streets and museums, there’s a lot for history buffs to enjoy in Lisbon. Highlights include the São Jorge castle, which sits at the top of a hill and offers magnificent views of the city, and the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
City of seven hills
If you love walking, then your legs are in for a treat in Lisbon. Like Rome, it’s known for its seven hills. There are plenty of opportunities for amazing panoramic photos, and exploring the winding streets leading to the top of the various hills is an excellent experience in itself. If you’re not so into steep climbs, just jump on a tram and enjoy the view on the way up.
Lisbon is an excellent vacation spot for anyone, from families and beach lovers to party animals and history nerds. With a lot to see in a small area, you may find you have a hard time deciding what to fit into your trip. Nearby towns such as historic Sintra are a short train ride away, and great food, drinks and history will be yours to explore.