As one of the oldest cities in all of Europe, Lisbon is a treasure trove of history, architecture, and World Heritage monuments. A bustling, vibrant city, it also has plenty of authentic charm and variety among its narrow cobblestone streets and different neighborhoods, and beautiful waterfront where the Tagus River and estuary (Tejo in Portuguese, pronounced “tay-zhu”) meets the Atlantic.
As part of many of our Portugal cooking vacations, you can meander past chic cafes and shops or stop to eat at one of the many outdoor restaurants. Or, stroll through the the oldest district in town, Alfama, which is home to a number of Arab and Roman remains and full of steep, winding streets and narrow alleys.
At the top of the Alfama, and overlooking much of the city, are the ruins of the Castel São Jorge, originally a Moorish castle, then a royal fortification and palace.
Be sure to check out Belém, a waterfront neighborhood, which includes the Belém Tower, a symbol not only of Lisbon itself but of Lisbon’s place in history during the so-called Age of Discoveries, as it was a starting and ending point for many sea voyages. Belém is also home to one of Portugal’s most famous bakeries, the Pastéis de Belém. These are just a few neighborhoods that offer an old-world charm that you’ll find nowhere else.
In addition to its vast history, Lisbon is also known for its Fado music traditions, a subtropical climate, and delicious gastronomical delights, such as olive oils, cured and smoked meats, bakery treats, and seafood. Port wine, too, is popular here.
Whether you’re taking our Lisbon Food Tour, our Lisbon and the Algarve culinary vacation, or one of our other Portugal cooking vacations, such as Delectable Portugal or Flavors of Portugal, Lisbon is a place you have to visit.
By Peg Kern
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.