o wonder that stars like Madonna are now building their houses in Lisbon. The city is a sensation! With their very own magic …
Lisbon blew me away. Made speechless. Ignite me and leave a constant longing. I hadn’t counted on it at all. I know almost all the big cities in Europe. I’m in love with Rome, Paris, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam. I thought I had seen a lot of beauty and splendor with it. Culture, subculture, and zeitgeist felt. And then this: Lisbon …
With foresight: In Lisbon, past and future meet each other bravely.
Lisbon’s magic is not easy to catch. Is it the light that seems to be a mixture of Stockholm and Sicily? All that makes it crystal clear, wide and bright and yet shines with a warmth that only the south can do … Is it the patina of decay?
Louis Droege / Unsplash
Fantastically beautiful: view of Lisbon
No other European city has so many listed but heavily dilapidated buildings from whose roofs grass grows. In combination with lovingly restored palaces, beautiful parks, and the hilly city, they create a special flair. A Roman Havana on the Iberian Peninsula?
But maybe it’s also Lisbon’s fateful history, which unites a lot of different mentalities and traditions, earthquakes and fires, fame and decline. Founded according to a legend by Odysseus, around 1200 BC. It was more likely the Phoenicians. Then came the Romans, the Teutons, the Moors, Saracens … And then the Portuguese, who helped the city to glory with heroes like Vasco da Gama. However, it was destroyed in 1755 by one of the worst earthquakes in Europe.
The Torre de Belém – one of the few structures that survived the earthquake.
Today, fewer than 550,000 people live in Portugal’s capital than was the case in 1980. But the traces of a powerful old trading city can still be found in their faces, souls, songs, recipes, and houses.
The best place to stay in Lisbon is in a neighborhood on the hills above the old town. For example, the Principe Real, which borders the beautiful Chiado. With the Memmo, the Príncipe Real not only has a very nice new design hotel, but also one of the best views.
These districts have the advantage that you can see ways and life beyond the tourist trails. The Príncipe Real is also excellent there, because the alleys of nightlife, the original Fado bars, the trendy (absolutely: » Pavilhão Chinês « ) and the tapas bars are here. But also the latest concept stores (such as the sensational Embaixada in an old Moors palace) and the botanical garden can be reached in just a few minutes on foot from the » Memmo Principe Real « .
Good if you have a little more than just a weekend. Then after the wonderful breakfast buffet with views of the Castelo de São Jorge and Mouraria, you can enjoy the beautiful infinity pool on the sun terrace and look out over the whole city from the refreshing water.
Refreshment and a perfect view at the infinity pool of the design hotel « Memmo Principe Real ».
The « Memmo » is actually far too beautiful to only serve as a base station … A good idea to get a first overview of the extensive metropolis is actually a hop-on hop-off tour on the first day. That’s how you saw most of the sights. If you were smart, got out at the bottom of the Tagus River and strolled along the bank from the Jeronimos Monastery in Belém to the fortress tower. Because of this district with its beautiful bridge, the cafes and pastry shops (pudding tarts Pastéis de Belém !) Can not be reached from the old town.
The recipe for the Pastéis de Belém is still a secret after almost 180 years. His keepers: three confectioners from the Confeitaria of the same name on Rua de Belém.
From the second day on, it’s best to take the individual quarters – and definitely on foot! This is the only way to discover the charm of the tiny alleys, stairs, and small sleepy places where there is so much to discover.
My tip next to the Príncipe Real and Chiado (shopping!): From the old town via the somewhat dilapidated Mouraria (birthplace of the Fado singers) to the Castelo, enjoy the view from the complex and then on the other side of the hill through Alfama ( Roof terrace cafes with a river view!)
John Malkovich’s restaurant « Bica do Sapato ».
But no matter how you choose your tours, stroll with open eyes and leisure! Rather « work off » fewer churches or museums. Let yourself go. And completely capture this unique, rough, exotic, sweet, morbid and so vital magic of Lisbon …
Hotel Memmo Principe Real, DR from 350 € per night, book through www.designhotels.com; Travel information: Lisbon Tourist Office, www.visitlisboa.com; Flights with Lufthansa from € 119