Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and the 10th most populous city in the EU, has become a European hotspot of tourism over the last decade. Offering fair weather almost year-round, stellar modern amenities, historical attractions (some of which date back thousands of years), and a laid-back Iberian atmosphere, Lisbon has something for just about everyone to appreciate! If you’ve skipped out on Lisbon in the past to explore more popular European destinations such as Paris or Madrid, now is the time to plan your trip to Portugal and see for yourself!
Belém is one of the more noteworthy neighborhoods in Lisbon owing to the concentration of monuments and other attractions within. The most popular of these are Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery – a ticket package allowing entry to both is available for 12 euro. If you enjoy modern art, a trip to the Belém Cultural Center (CCB) is a must – it features works from Warhol, Magritte, Duchamp, Picasso, Dalí, and other modern artists. The former Royal Palace of Belém, now the Presidential Palace, is also located in this neighborhood.
Lisbon, built on seven hills like Rome, is actually the second-oldest capital city in Europe after Athens. Much of this history can be seen throughout the city, but it is concentrated in the Alfama district. With labyrinthine streets that echo those in the souks of Moroccan cities, cafes and Fado clubs around every corner, and charming architectural work that can date back to the medieval period, Alfama is a great place to get lost and discover some of what makes Lisbon such a great city.
What to Eat!
Portuguese fare may not have the international reputation that French or Italian cuisine have, but those in the know regard food in Lisbon as a hidden gem! For an inexpensive local favorite, look out for a Bifana – this simple sandwich consists of sauteed, marinated pork within a crispy bun. The Prego is similar, substituting beef for the pork.
One of the more well-known Portuguese dishes is Piri Piri Chicken, which has made its way to America thanks to the Nando’s restaurant chain. This chicken is grilled over an open flame and marinated with spices from all over the world (a legacy of Portugal’s colonial past). The chicken develops a tantalizing flavor that’s great without the Peri-Peri sauce!
And if you’re in the mood for a local liqueur, Ginjinha is Lisbon’s specialty. Made with an infusion of sour cherries known as ginja, the sourness of the cherry flavor is balanced by the addition of cinnamon and sugar, and you may even find it served in a small chocolate cup!
Explore the World with AESU!
Are you ready to plan an adventure of a lifetime? AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
Looking to travel this year? Experience our brand-new domestic tours with beautiful destinations such as the California Wine Country, Nashville Music City, The Wild Wild West, and Outdoor Wonderland – British Columbia!
2021 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.