Portugalâ€™s capital has always been one for dramatics, including its very location. Across seven hills, Lisbon makes a home. Its roots have proven to be both prosperous and tumultuous. In 1755, an earthquake decimated the city, destroying much of the riches Portuguese exploration worked so hard to show off. Lisbon would rebuild, this time a little more earthquake proof. Despite destruction, Lisbon has a unique feel over other European capitals. It isnâ€™t like this city or that city. It marches to the tune of its own boisterous fado music. Travelers in search of this unique capital city can look forward to the ride that is Lisbon.
The Roller Coaster Through the City, Tram 28
You can spot the classic yellow cable cars a mile away in Lisbon. They are everywhere, a favorite means of transportation for both tourists and pickpockets. Hang on to your valuables and hop on Tram 28 for a wild ride through the city. Some of the drivers might turn your look around Lisbon into more of Mr. Toadâ€™s Wild Ride at Disneyland. The Tram 28 route goes passed all of the major sites in Lisbon at a very low cost. You get a lay of the land and a rollercoaster ride in the process.
Be the King of Castelo de Sao Jorge
Tram 28 can let you off right in front of Castelo de Sao Jorge. The ruined castle has a somewhat steep entrance fee to see just that, ruins. The Visigoths, Moors and Christians have all called this castle their own at some point in time. While you do you have to buy admission to roam the Castelo de Sao Jorge, it seems worth it when you can see Lisbonâ€™s entire orange tiled roofs in one view. Look out for Ponte 25 de Abril. The bridge looks a lot like San Franciscoâ€™s Golden Gate Bridge. That isnâ€™t a coincidence. The same company that built San Franâ€™s constructed Lisbonâ€™s own piece of the City by the Bay
Â The Miraculous SÃ©
Lisbonâ€™s Cathedral is openly a survivor first and foremost. While most of the cityâ€™s structure suffered after several of Lisbonâ€™s earthquakes, the SÃ© stuck it out. While battered and bruised, the Cathedral is still incredibly intact. It was originally a mosque until it was transitioned into a church. Its position in the city is somewhat strange as it is not in a big expansive square. Rather it sets up at the meeting of tramlines near the Alfama district.
Get Lost in Alfama
The maze like neighborhood of Alfama is one of the few areas that survived the 1755 earthquake. Perhaps due to surviving what the rest of the city couldnâ€™t, its residents are resilient and headstrong. This might be the area you will hear a neighborhood squabble. The steep, narrow cobblestone streets snake in designs so characteristic of Lisbon. Even your feet need eye candy. Alfama is also one of Lisbonâ€™s oldest inhabited areas. The Visigoths occupied it as far back at the 5th century. The Moors would turn the space into an upper-class residential area. At night, listen for establishments with tradition fado music blaring from windows and open doors.
Bairro Alto Bar Hopping
To know Lisbon, you must drink with her. The Bairro Alto neighborhood of the city is not just one of Lisbonâ€™s oldest neighborhoods, but it is also where the drink special flow like there is no tomorrow and no hangover with it. The streets come alive in the evening hours and early morning moments. Aside from bar hopping, the Bairro Alto is also a nice area to grab a traditional Portuguese meal at one of its many restaurants.
Written by: Suzy Guese