Eurovision is two hectic weeks, so it might be good to also plan some time to relax. Maybe getting in touch with nature or perhaps visiting a huge shopping mall? Whether it’s one or the other, Lisbon has that and much more to offer. Here’s five extra recommendations for what you can do in the Eurovision host city.
Our Welcome to Lisbon serie of articles continue as we approach the final destination: the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. We are less than two weeks away from the start.
In our last article, we recommended five sightseeing options for those who want to do more in the Eurovision host city than to simply watch the shows. Because five feels too little, we are giving you extra recommendations on what to do in Lisbon.
1. Get to hear some Fado
Many must have already heard of it, as Portugal has been represented by it in Eurovision in the past, but for those who didn’t, Fado is one of Portugal’s most known music genres. It is characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics mixed with a feeling of fatefulness or melancholia.
Many restaurants and night places in Lisbon often offer Fado nights, where you can enjoy it while having a meal or simply relax by listening to it… Many get emotional. While it is not hard to find a Fado House, it can get quite pricey so we’d recommend a thoughtful research and perhaps booking in advance – if possible.
2. Visit Lisbon’s traditional neighbourhoods
Alfama, Mouraria, Graça or Lapa. Those are just a few of Lisbon’s historical neighbourhoods. They go back in time, own a very peculiar architecture and so many unique traces worth seeing such as its distinctive colours, diverse tiles and narrow streets. If you intend to visit a few, expect a few stairs and ramps. While it might be a tiring journey, the memories – and pictures – will be worth the effort.
Talking about tiles, near Lisbon’s center, you can find the National Tile Museum that preserves and presents its amazing and vast collection of tiles, a very Portuguese characteristic.
3. Visit Cascais and its surroundings
Cascais is coastal town in Portugal. It is not too far from Lisbon – 45 minutes by train – and will give you beautiful landscapes and a lot to see and do, including a meal near the ocean.
Just like the historical neighbourhoods mentioned above, Cascais goes back in time and also features historical traces and architecture. Despite the fact that it has become more and more popular among tourists, it still is way calmer than Lisbon. Once you’re there, you can adventure yourself into so many things: check its old town, the scary Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth – a collapsed cave and series of highly weathered cliffs), rent a bike and explore one of the world’s most famous surf beaches, Guincho, etc.
If Cascais is on your plans, take advantage of its train line and stop by Oeiras for more history, beach and a relaxing walk in its Passeio Marítimo of over 5km along the ocean.
4. Shop in Lisbon
There are so many different places where you can shop in Lisbon. An obvious one is its downtown, Baixa-Chiado, as it is amongst Lisbon’s most popular places. Not only does it features countless unique traces, a lot of street artists, movement and restaurants, but also a big amount of stores, especially for clothing and souvenirs.
In Baixa, if you take Rua Augusta it will eventually lead you towards Terreiro do Paço where the EuroVillage will take place this year. It is iconic and a great square with an amazing view to the ocean.
Nonetheless, there’s more places where you can shop in Lisbon. Its shopping centers are amongs the biggest ones in Europe. Colombo, Vasco da Gama – right next to Altice Arena – or the biggest Dolce Vita Tejo are just three of the main ones.
5. Get lost in Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The Gulbenkian Foundation is located in Praça de Espanha and was established back in 1956. Its main purpose is focused on fostering knowledge and raising the quality of life of people through art, charity, science and education. Many events are held there such as exhibitions, collections and even concerts. Its agenda is constantly updated on its website and you can find anything to your own taste.
If by any chance, no event catches your attention during your stay in Lisbon, you still have the opportunity of visiting its beautiful garden. Not only its entrance is free of charge, but here’s a great chance to relax after a big day.
And there you go. You now have ten of the many things you can do or visit in Lisbon. We hope you take advantage of such and enjoy what the city has to offer. Again, don’t limit yourself to those, there’s just so many things you can do. Have fun!