Things I did and loved in Lisbon:
- Go to the art museums. Lisbon is deep-rooted in its art history, namely tile art. Some great museums include: Museo de Azulejos (National Tile Museum), Museo de Decorativas (Decorative Arts), and Museo Nacional de Arte Antiga (Ancient Art).
- Head over to Rossio Square (a.k.a. Pedro IV Square) where the intricate hand-cut tiled ground looks like rolling waves.
- Get lost in the Alfama district (the oldest party of the city). Hike up to the highest point (towards Sao Jorge Castle) and get lost in the small alleys. You’ll find colorful tiles decorating the walls of the most unexpected places!
Get in and around Lisbon:
- There are overnight busses connecting Lisbon and a few other big cities, like Madrid and Seville. Buy wine, get on bus, drink wine, sleep, wake up, be in a different country.
- Take one of the traditional yellow trolleys around town! They’re as much a work of art as the tiles facading (is that a word?) every wall.
Things to note about Lisbon:
- The entire city of Lisbon was essentially demolished by an earthquake in 1755 (which I believed was followed by both a tsunami and a massive fire), so you’ll find that the art and architecture of the city has a few influences as a result of having to rebuild. There’s the azulejo art, the product of Moorish (Arabic sort of) occupation. You’ll see some Portuguese Manueline architecture from the late gothic era. Then there’s just art thrown into every nook and cranny, making this such a rich and vibrant little city in the hillside.