1. Lisbon is the second oldest capital in Europe
After Athens in Greece, Lisbon is one of the oldest capitals in Europe. Lisbon’s history extends back to the pre-Roman era. After, the Romans, Germans and the Moors ruled the city before 1147. 1147 saw the takeover of the city by the Portuguese Christian crusaders who ended up expelling the Moors from the land.
2. The official language is Portuguese
Although Portugal is next to Spain and the languages can sound similar, Portuguese is a different language to Spanish. Of course, nearly everyone in Lisbon does speak good English so getting around should not be a problem! Try and remember these key words and phrases to help you!
Bom dia! – Good morning
Boa noite – Good evening
Obrigado (a) – Thank you
Lisbon is also the cultural epicentre of the traditional music style Fado. It tells a story about Portuguese history and is characterised by its mournful melodies and melancholic lyrics. This is loosely expressed by the term ‘saudade’. Saudade expresses nostalgia. A Fado show is definitely something you should do when in Lisbon!
Why not check out our authentic Fado tour?
4. There are lots of hills!
Warning: Lisbon is a very hilly city!
In fact, it is made up of seven hills and so is often referred to as the city of seven hills. Although the downtown area of Avenida da Liberdade is flat, venture elsewhere means that walking around this Portuguese capital is a good work out in itself. However the numerous ‘miradouros’ (viewpoints) make up for all the exercise! And if you do struggle the trams and elevadores can offer a pleasant rest! Tram 28 is the most famous which takes you through all of the popular neighbourhoods.
When walking around Lisbon, you will find tiles (azulejos) on every street! Tiles first became popular on buildings in Lisbon in the 1500s before being revived again in the 1950s! So, it is nearly impossible to walk down a street and not see any tiles! The tiles across Lisbon are all influenced by different styles. Some are heavily influenced by Christianity, while others are decorated with a Moorish design and others are much more modern!
6. Custard tarts are everywhere!
If there is one thing that Lisbon is famous for, it’s the pastel de nata! A deliciously sweet custard tart, you will find most bakeries in Lisbon sell them and we definitely recommend a try! Check out our blog on where to find the best pasteis de nata!
7. Bairro Alto is the BEST place for nightlife!
Of course, no city would be complete without some great nightlife and Bairro Alto doesn’t disappoint! With street after street of different bars and all at cheap prices, we guarantee that night out here will give you guaranteed fun! Why not join our pubcrawl and find out for yourself!