Lisbon Travel Guide
The easy-going city of Lisbon makes for an extremely relaxing and laid back experience. The city, rather than being an intimidating metropolis, feels rather more like an immense village and with its eclectic blend of districts, cultures and architecture, Lisbon is a fascinating place to visit. There is a distinct 1920's feel to the city with old wooden trams clattering up the steep streets past a host of Art Nouveau cafés, where you can sit and pretend to be a writer or an artist or anything along those lines that fits in with Lisbon's cosmopolitan ambience. Set on a string of hills, with its old streetcars, Lisbon might even be described as a Portuguese San Francisco. The streets are cobbled, the pavements adorned with mosaics and some of the Moorish roads are so narrow, squeezing a car down them is a leap of faith. Like all great old places, Lisbon is the proud owner of a castle and the Castelo De S. Jorge resides in the historic Alfama quarter. Having played host to Portugal's kings and queens until the 16th century, this magnificent castle with its mighty ramparts gives one of the most spectacular views of Lisbon you'll find.
Boasting an impressive collection of ancient and modern art, one of Lisbon's gems is the amazing Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, containing one of the finest collections of ancient world and European artefacts and home to works by Rubens and Rembrandt, to name a few. But, Lisbon isn't all culture and history, the Bairro Alto (the high quarter), is the throbbing heart of Lisbon's nightlife and at night the narrow streets and small squares become a rabbit warren of tiny tavernas and fine restaurants infused with the mournful and satirical sounds of traditional Portuguese fado music. And, for shopping, there is a fascinating flea market at the Campo de Santa Clara or visit the stunning post-modernist shopping centre at Amoreiras. The Chiado centre sells internationally famous brand names alongside national products and is also the trendy meeting place for artists and writers. Lisbon is such a bulging mixed bag of fabulous things to do you'd be a fool not to go - who needs Frisco anyway?
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