Why You Should Visit the Colorful City of Lisbon, Portugal
The popularity of Portugalâs capital has grown exponentially of late, thanks in part to affordable prices and easy access from the U.S.â"thereâs even a free stopover program offered by TAP Airlines. Itâs easy to fall in love with Lisbonâs candy-colored buildings and cobblestone streets, not to mention its world-class restaurants and amazing wine.
The main reason to visit the AlcÃ¢ntara neighborhood is to check out the buzzy LXFactory, a former industrial site thatâs now home to a slew of restaurants, shops, creative agencies, art galleries and more. Itâs where youâll find Rio Maravilha, a colorful spot with a rooftop ideal for su nset cocktails. At tucked-away wine bar Enoteca de BelÃ©m, Sommelier Nelson Guerreiro can lead you through a menu of local bottles that includes Vinho Verde and Port. If gin is your thing, head to the aptly named Gin Lovers & LESS, in the aforementioned Embaixada, forâ"what else?â"a gin and tonic.
You canât come to Lisbon and not experience Chef JosÃ© Avillezâs mini-empire of restaurants. His newest, Bairro do Avillez, in the Chiado neighborhood, is made up of multiple venues, like the bright, airy PÃ¡teo (where itâs all about the seafood) dinner-and-cabaret spot Beco and casual Taberna. A few blocks away is Belcanto, his Michelin-starred crown jewel. Reserve a table to sample hi s modern takes on Portuguese cuisine, including grilled red giant shrimp with rosemary ashes and suckling pig. For dessert, head to nearby Manteigaria, an iconic bakery known for one thing: pastÃ©is de nata, delicious, silky egg tarts. Over in the PrÃncipe Real district, A Cevicheria serves up its namesake Peruvian dish underneath a giant, Instagram-ready Styrofoam octopus. Donât miss the ceviche âpuro,â made with white fish, purÃ©ed sweet potato, onions, algae and leche de tigre (a citrus-based marinade).
Lisbon is a city best discovered on foot, though tread carefully on its cobbleston es, which can be slippery. Skip the tram and walk up the winding streets of the historic Alfama area to the medieval SÃ£o Jorge Castle. There, you can soak in some of the best views of the city. In BelÃ©m, about a 20-minute drive west from downtown, thereâs a contrasting mix of old and new. Check out the waterfront BelÃ©m Tower, built in the early 1500s, and the modern Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, which opened in 2016. The futuristic exterior of the cultural center is covered in white ceramic tiles. Inside, thereâs an impressive collection of works by Portuguese artists.
Thereâs no shortage of boutiques that sell local crafts and clothes. Embaixada, a former Arabian palace in the PrÃncipe Real neighborhood, houses 19 businesses under one roof. Pick up a gorgeous leather handbag from Muu, or order a bespoke suit and shirt at UOY. About a 10-minute walk away, ICON Life & Style carries 30-plus Portuguese brands that offer everything from jewelry and art to handmade shoes. Donât leave without buying hand-painted azulejos (tiles), which often come in blue-and-white floral patterns. SantâAnna is the most storied manufacturer in town, in business since 1741.
The town of Sintra is only 20 miles from Lisbon, but its mountaintop location and Romanticist castles can make it feel worlds away. Itâs worth the drive to hike up to the Pena Palace and the Castle of the Moors. Monserrate Palace, the garden-filled summer estate of Britis h merchant Francis Cook and his family, is also a pretty place to wander. When it comes time to eat, head to the Tivoli PalÃ¡cio de Seteais, a hotel thatâs straight out of a fairytale. Grab a seat on the terrace for views that stretch all the way to the ocean.Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal