Full of colours and glamour, the Portuguese capital can be visited numerous times, as it never gets boring. The cordiality of the citizens combined with the peace of mind, attracts and encourages to revisit the Iberian Peninsula.
In the very heart of Lisbon stands the Rossio Square. When travelling from the airport, it is best to get off at the subway station of the same name. After leaving the station, you will see an enormous statue of Pedro IV, the king of Portugal, who during the Napoleonic Wars fled to Brazil, where he assumed the title of Emperor. The northern part of the square is enclosed by the great Queen Maria II National Theatre, whereas on its left you can find Rossio train station built in the Neo-Manueline style. At the corner of one of the buildings, between the Rossio Square and the station, there is an inexpensive, recommendable eatery – Café Beira Gare. Be sure to try the specialty of the local cuisine – bifana, i.e. rolls with stewed pork.
Enthusiasts of post-industrial style will be delighted with Lx Factory. It is located at Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, previously occupied by a textile factory. Since 2008, the area has been newly redeveloped. Lx Factory combines art, culture and entertainment. You can take part in a concert or exhibition, find real treasures at the flea market organized every Sunday, or get familiar with the collections of Portuguese fashion designers. Do not forget to visit the Ler Devagar bookstore located in the former printing house.
CAPITAL IN A MODERN VERSION
In 1998, Lisbon hosted the World Exposition. Currently, the exhibition area is occupied by the Nations Park (Parque das Nações) – a modern space that stands out with architecture from other older districts of the city. The greatest attraction is the biggest European oceanarium. It is also worth taking a moment to admire the architecture of the Oriente Station (Gare do Oriente), designed and built specifically for Expo’98. Visitors’ attention is usually attracted by the Pavilion of Portugal – the roof of the building resembles a stretched sailing canvas or a piece of paper.
ARTWORKS ON THE WALLS
The elevation of Lisbon buildings impress with their richness of designs and colours. Traces of azulejo (decorative ceramic tilework) can be seen on the facades of buildings or in the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Museum of the Azulejo or simply the National Tile Museum). If you want to take the Lisbon ceramics home, a wide range of tiles can be found, for example, in the Cortico & Netos store or the museum shop. It is better to refrain from shopping at roadside dealers, as their tiles can unfortunately come from theft.
To be in Lisbon and not get on a symbol known from postcards? It is a pity not to take advantage of this attraction. And although the trams of this line should have stopped operating a long time ago, they are still used to transport tourists. Tram 28 often runs through narrow streets, thus brace yourself for minor inconvenience: little space inside, crowds at the bus stop during the season, and irregular departure times despite the timetable. Nevertheless, beautiful views compensate everything: if you sit by the window, during the trip you will be able to admire such districts of Lisbon as Prazeres, Estrela, Chiado, Baixa or Alfama.