Lisbon: ‘City of Breathtaking Light at Noon’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  02.04.08 | 1:06 PM ET

imageIn a heartfelt story in the Globe and Mail, John Doyle describes how he first fell in love with Lisbon several years ago, and recalls taking his mother there for her 70th birthday to share the delights of the city with her. I’ve never been to Lisbon, but Doyle’s love letter to the “city of luscious pastries and ambrosial port wine” has bumped it up a few notches on my never-ending list of places to see.

Photo by Free-Secret-Life* via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Tags: Europe, Portugal

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

3 Comments for Lisbon: ‘City of Breathtaking Light at Noon’

John M. Edwards 02.04.08 | 3:20 PM ET

Hi Eva:

Lisbon is indeed a beautiful city. But travelers take note: the old section of the city is both the most scenic and most risky for obvious tourists at night.

There I met a Canadian traveler with a swollen bump on his forehead. His sad story: Someone had clobbered him with a baseball bat and stolen his wallet, containing his passport, traveler’s checks, and credit cards. Since he had to wait for the Canadian Embassy to replace his documents, he nevertheless insisted on frequenting the cafes in the very district in which he was rolled. “I don’t know, I still kind of like it here, despite what happened.”

Needless to say I didn’t tarry long in the capital. I headed straight to Sintra (great castle), then on to the Algarve (nice beaches). You won’t believe how cheap the restaurants are down in southern Portugal. One Sintra resident explained to me how it was possible to buy a football-sized fish and good bottle of wine for three dollars. “It’s cheaper to eat out than cook our own food,” he admitted glumly. Bom dia!

Jerry Haines 02.04.08 | 5:56 PM ET

I got my pocket picked during the daytime on Tram 28, heading into the Alfama.  I later discovered that tram line is notorious for such activity.  (Ironically, I was on my way to the “Thieves Market” at the time.)

BUT… that is the only negative thing I have to report about Lisbon, other than their repeated attempts to kill me by overfeeding me.  Music, great; museums, great; scenery, great…  And you can drink like an English baron at the Port Wine Insitute, while spending very little money.

Mario 02.05.08 | 6:08 AM ET

Tourists are always obvious targets in all big cities, but Lisbon is still in fact one of the safest European capitals.  Random violent crime is extremely rare so just be alertand use common sense as you would in any city and you’ll be OK.
And yes, it is perhaps the most scenic European capital.  Stand at one of the viewpoints or the castle terrace and you’ll agree.

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