On the top of its famous seven hills, on the right bank of the broad Tagus river estuary, cosmopolitan Lisboa is bathed by an unique charming light. Capital of Portugal since 1147 (when it was conquered from the Moors), Lisbon is a legendary city with more than 20 centuries of exciting History and the most important Tourist destination in the Country.
From the “Pombalinos” buildings of the Baixa (Downtown) with glazed tiles facades, to the narrow medieval streets of the typical and historical quarters of Alfama and Bairro Alto, where at night can be heard the Portuguese own music style Fado, to the numerous museums and shops for all tastes, Lisboa is a city filled with the most varied options.
There are several tourist highlights in Lisboa, but some are absolutely not to be missed, such as the São Jorge Castle where astonishing panoramas over Lisboa will testify its beauty; or the old quarter Mouraria; the wonderful Romanesque Cathedral; the gorgeous Baixa Pombalina; the majestic Jerónimos Monastery, the most outstanding example of the Portuguese Manueline architectural style, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO; the Belém Tower, built in the important Discoveries period; or even the superb Estrela Basilica.
In Lisboa’s surroundings, Sintra and all its Romantic environment deserves a visit. Place of election of the international intellectual elite, Sintra has inspired the most fortunate minds through the years. Nearby, one can find the Queluz Palace and the Mafra Convent/Palace, the biggest religious monument in Portugal. Cascais, Estoril and Ericeira are just around the corner, by the seaside, places of history and tradition, with superb landscapes, moments of peace of mind and charming beaches.
Lisboa reveals its cosmopolitan talent during the popular festivities: The Santos Populares (Popular Saints) every June. On the 13th of June is the Santo António day, the popular saint of Lisboa. The streets are filled with animation, music, dance, paper flowers and traditional decoration and, of course, food and drinks. All over town one can get the sent of the charcoal grilled Sardines ready to provide energy for an all night dancing.
Lisboa region has a rich gastronomy and is provided with a great variety of national restaurants and also international cuisine. The proximity with the Coast supply quality seafood and shellfish in many dishes of this region. However, many other dishes combine the richness of the Portuguese cuisine in this area, along with meat and pork dishes, big and small game, special vegetables and bread-based recipes that show the enormous variety of flavours available in the region. Different types of Cheese, cakes and desserts are also available in almost every corner of Lisboa’s region, being the most famous the Pastéis de Belém (a sort of egg-custard pastries), a secret recipe handed down for centuries, situated in the beautiful Belém quarter. Quality wines from Lisboa’s environs are also not to be missed, such as Bucelas, Setúbal, Carcavelos, and the “moscatel” from Setúbal, that, for sure, will make all the difference in one’s table.