Lisbon is truly the city of my heart. I joke that Portugal is the “land of my people” despite not having a drop of Portuguese blood. Within 24 hours of landing in Lisbon the first time, I promised to retun here again and again. I have kept that promise over the last decade with only the pandemic stopping me for a few years.
This past fall, I returned after weeks of travel and it felt like coming home and, basically, it’s where I hope to settle.

Lisbon Fun Facts

Lisbon is one of the oldest, continuously occupied cities in Western Europe – I think only Athens is older. In fact, it actually predates even Rome by centuries ,so if you are a history buff, you will love it here. The oldest part of Lisbon is the neighbourhood of Alfama. You can spend a whole day getting lost in the tiny, winding cobblestone lanes and alleyways. If you thought the rest of Lisbon was hilly, you will not believe the inclines you must traverse in Alfama.

Alfama was the only neighbourhood to escape massive damage during the 1755 earthquake. It almost completely destroyed Lisbon and the surrounding areas. Almost everything outside of Aflama was rebuilt but locals still refer to it like it happened last year. To the average Canadian, to imagine a city even BUILT after 1755 is unimaginable. But in Lisbon, anything post 1775 is the new part of the city.

Lisbon is known for it’s nightlife, it’s delicious Pasteis de Nata, trams and stunning tiles. It’s a laid back city where nobody is in a hurry and there’s always time for coffee. I love everything about the city from the seafood to the crazy language that sounds closer to Polish that Spanish. Forget thinking you will just get away with speaking Spanish.

Some of my previous stories on Lisbon: a 2014 trip, 2018 , Mesa Luisa Cooking Class and another here

Lisbon In 10 Photos

the view from the Castelo Sao Jorge – built in the mid 11th century. Its the only green space remaining in the city where you can see the native forest trees and plant. The views from this spot are incredible.

This Chiado cafe is one of the oldest and most famous and is busy from morning til night. You can order a coffee and sit there for as long as you like, people watching and just taking it all in. Coffee drinking is a national pastime.

Clams with white wine, garlic, olive oil and/or butter and fresh cilantro. This is my lunch/supper/snacks every day in Lisbon. One of the dishes I dream of when I am home in Toronto.
This massive monument to the Portuguese explorers sits on the northern bank of the Tagus River in Belem. From here, you walk along the water towards the Tower of Belem, stopping for a cocktail or a glass of wine. Instead of hot dogs, the many carts stationed along the way sell drinks. I have spent entire afternoons here, taking in the sun, sitting by the water while I sip Vihno Verde from the little wine cart.
Take a cooking class with Louisa in this amazing space. She will take you to the market to shop for ingredients and bring you back here to cook, drink wine, make new friends and share a delicious meal. BEST experience I have ever done in Lisbon.
Make a reservation at Ponto Final for sunset. Take the ferry from Cais do Sodre terminal in Lisbon to Cacilhas terminal and walk along the pier of what looks like abandoned warehouses until you reach the spot with the yellow tables and umbrellas. Trust me
The trams. Get up early and get the tram 28 before rush hour OR wait until later in the day as this tram is not a tourist car. It just happens to go along a route that hits all the hot spots but it’s also the means of transportation for locals going to and from work etc.
The Jeronimos Monastery in Belem. It is said that Vasco de Gama spent his last night here before his voyage to the Far East. Highly decorated and ornate, it is just spectacular, inside and out.
Visit the LX Factory. A historical i19th century industrial complex houses an assortment of shops, art galleries, unique restaurants and bars. Located in the far west end of the city in Alacantara, it is a taste of a more modern, youthful Lisbon.
The Time Out Market is the best place to sample food from some of the hottest restaurants in Lisbon without having to deal with reservations. This gourmet indoor food court sits in one half of this historic market hall with other side remaining one of the longest running market full of vendors selling meat, seafood, produce and flowers.