Published on February 15th, 2013 | by Jordan

What To Do with One Day in Lisbon, Portugal

As many of our readers already know, CAA is closely affiliated with AAA in the United States. Today’s post is written by a AAA Associate by the name of Inspector 84. It first appeared on the AAA TravelViews website, but we thought it’d be perfect for Life-side Connections. Thanks Inspector 84!

visit Portugal

View from Sao Jorge Castle, Lisbon

One of the best ways to introduce yourself to Lisbon is by taking the scenic antique electrico (streetcar) number 28 up to the Sao Jorge Castle.  From here you can take in the whole city and riverfront from one breathtaking vista.

The castle was constructed by the Moors and later captured by Portugal’s first king in 1147.  After exploring the castle, wander downhill through narrow medieval alleys and the cobblestone streets of the Alfama.

This historic district survived the earthquake of 1755 and is where “fado,” the country’s signature folk music originated.  There are numerous fado houses where you can enjoy dinner while listening to live performers who captivate you with melancholic songs of love and longing for something lost.

PortugalMy favourite fado house is Café Luso in the Bairro Alto section of the city. This is a great place to go for dinner. All tables in this cavernous dining room offer a great view of the stage.  The arched stone walls, stained glass and wooden coats of armor hung from the ceiling remind you that you are ineed in a medieval city.  The music will mesmerize you even if you don’t know the language, and the large pitchers of delicious red sangria will have you yearning for a few more days in this enchanting city.

If you happen to be in Lisbon on a weekend night, take a leisurely stroll to the bordering chic shopping district of Chiado.  It is common to find crowds of people dancing outdoors to the music of local street performers at Chiado Square on Rua Garrett.

This is also where you will find one of the city’s oldest and most idyllic cafés, A Brasileira, which means “the Brazilian.”  Since opening in 1905, this has been a favourite haunt of famous artists, poets and intellectuals.

Try a “bica,” similar to espresso or cappuccino, with one of the tasty pastries.  We exceptionally enjoyed the bolo de arroz, a traditional rice muffin that tasted more like cake.  The combination of sugar and caffeine might be just what you need to venture outside and dance with the locals.

Interested in visiting yourself? Call or visit your local CAA Store or check out our available vacations to Portugal online!

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