Cutting-Edge Design & Old-World Charm in Lisbon

February 08, 2013

After spending time in Portugal’s capital – LISBOA - I can only describe it as a provocative mix of cutting-edge design and ancient bairros (neighborhoods). The city’s humble charm is perhaps best found in its fading beauty; a reminder of the devastations of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami that laid much of the city to waste.  

Underneath its weather beaten exterior, you will discover that Lisbon’s dynamic neighbourhoods have it all! From Baixa to Chiado, Bairro Alto to Alfama, Lisbon is beaming with possibility and as a wave of hot new designers and chefs continue to explode onto the scene, remarkably, Lisbon has managed to retain its old-world appeal.

So on your next visit to Europe, make a stopover to Portugal’s charming capital and take the time to explore Lisbon’s historical beauty while enjoying great sightseeing, food, wine, shopping, bars and nightlife.


Take a ride on the legendary century-old TRAM 28 and bear witness to the city’s oldest and most beautiful sites: São Jorge castle, the famous viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol (Gates to the sun), the legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’, the narrow streets of Alfama, the old Azulejo tiled buildings of Graça, the history of Chiado, and the bohemian haunt of Bairro Alto.

The TOWER OF BELÉM is a lovely tower built to commemorate the great exploits of Vasco da Gama. It is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world.

No visit to Lisbon is complete without trying natas from the 175 year old PASTÉIS DE BELÉM. Only one word describes this experience… DELICIOUS!

High above the clouds, at the top of a hill, in the small city of Sintra resides the stunning PALACE OF PENA! It is one of the most famous castles in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of its 19th century Romantic architecture and landscapes. Pena Palace is a beautiful work of art and worth visiting on your next trip to Lisbon.

When 16th century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões spoke of CABO DA ROCA, he described it as the place "where the land ends and the sea begins." No truer words were ever spoken; the view took my breath away! It was one of those moments that reminded me what a small space we truly occupy in this big, bold, beautiful world of ours. A breathtaking natural wonder that one must experience to truly grasp its infinite beauty!


CASCAIS is a coastal town and cosmopolitan suburb of Lisbon. It is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal and the place where jetsetters and celebrities spend their summers. We enjoyed walking around this pretty coastal town and taking pictures. Afterwards, we had a delicious seafood meal, where a little girl came running up to me to ask me if I was Princess Belle. I have to say, that moment alone made it worth the visit!

On our last night in Lisbon we enjoyed a wonderful evening at the ROOFTOP BAR on the 9th floor of Hotel Mundial located in the heart of the city. The panoramic views over Lisbon at night are a must see! The city glows from above and the relaxed ambiance, lounge music and great drinks only heightened the experience. The bar also provides guests with big, warm blue blankets. It was the perfect place to sit back and relax on our final evening while taking in the beauty of Lisbon.

Bye Lisbon, thank you for the memories! 

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