Book a Flight to Lisbon
Lisbon is a relaxed city, full of friendly folk who make the effort to stop and talk.If you go sightseeing and do the typical tourism around the city, you will learn a lot about Lisbon history, hear the fascinating story of the earthquake in 1755 and see the effects of this disastrous events even though many beautiful and interesting monuments still remain.
Lisbon, Portugal and its history has been written about on so many pages, its monuments have been described in many different ways so that it gives you the feeling that time has never passed, not only because its architecture has been kept intact even though it was terribly hit by an earthquake in 1755, but also because the people themselves are patient and not in a hurry.
On flying into the airport and getting comfortably installed in your hotel, pull out your easy readable map and begin at the Plaza do Comercio, on the River Tagus. From there, you can go towards the water and the port or into the city to visit the austere church and the history opening up before your eyes. So now it is about time that someone gave curious knowledge seekers a curious view of Lisbon.
The Praca do Comercio sits at the edge of the waterfront. The pretty square attracts the pigeons en masse and looks up to a magnificent archway. The perimeter is laced with retail stores; busy shoppers dart from one to the other, seeking their bargains.
The square provides a focal point for much of the local community. The folk gather and exchange conversation whilst children dance and play, adding to the general din. The delightful smell of cooking emanates from the surrounding restaurants and drifts enticingly across the square, inducing your hunger.
Opened in 1901, the Elevador de Santa Justa is an outdoor cast-iron lift. Catering exclusively for those with a head for heights, the elevator provides unparalleled views of the streets beneath. The tiny people below scurry around the busy backstreets, all with somewhere to go.
East of the city, Alfama is a legacy of Moorish times, retaining much of the old architecture. Following Christian victory in the religious wars, the Romanesque cathedral was built on the site of a mosque in 1147.
Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by music. In the streets you can hear the music from the birds, when shopping the piped in music accompanies you, so why not delve into the music which is so typical of Portugal and in particular, Lisbon with the Fado.
Discover Lisbon’s Heart – Fado
Fado, which means destiny, is thought to have come from the nostalgic ballads sung on long journeys or from the Lundum songs of the black slaves from Brazil. It was usually sung in brothels or not very recommendable pubs because its lyrics talked about inner forbidden passions. But thanks to Amalia Rodrigues, who has been compared to such well known singer like Ella Fitzgerald or Edith Piaf, the Fado has become internationally known.
Amalia used poems from the greatest Portuguese poets, starting from the anthology of medieval music up to now, wearing the classical dress and black shawl to add the finishing touch. The Fado, initially accompanied by the classical guitar and by the twelve string lute and sometimes by the saxophone, is an intense sound with so much feeling behind it. Who would pass up the opportunity to spend a night lit by candlelight, soaking up history through music?
So other than monuments, you can see that a good glass of wine and Fado music can make your trip to Lisbon a memorable one.