Having long been considered a 2nd tier European city for tourists, the world is slowly starting to wake up to the beauty and vibrancy of Lisbon. It’s got everything that you’d expect in a European city. Cobblestone streets? Check. Millenia old castles and churches? Check. Al fresco dining? Check. Museums, galleries, and monuments at every corner? Check.
Basically everything you’re expecting from Rome, Barcelona, Paris, or London, you can find in Lisbon. The real treat? Prices are about 50% of those cities! And if you’re still adamant about ticking those cities off your bucket list, then they’re all a $50, 3 hour flight away from Lisbon!
Lisbon is fast becoming a favorite among expats and remote workers who have location independence due to their work being entirely online (aka digital nomads).
When asked the question “If you can live anywhere in the world, where would you live?”, Lisbon is a city that comes top of that list more and more often. And where digital nomads go, Edumads follow!
The Portuguese coastline undoubtedly has the best surfing on the European continent. Its waves are so highly regarded that it even boasts one of only 7 World Surf Reserves, found 30 minutes from central Lisbon in Ericeira. There’s waves even closer to Lisbon, in Cascais and Costa Caparica, just 15 minutes by car. All three have conditions that cater for surfers of all abilities.
If you’re a true fan, you may want to travel further afield to Nazare, where the world’s biggest waves can be found. During winter they tower over 100 feet! Or Peniche, which hosts the World Surf League every year, bringing the world’s best surfers to the region to battle it out.
If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed in Lisbon. The local cuisine has an aquatic flavor to it, owing to the Portuguese having a long history as a seafaring nation. If you’re a fan of Spanish and Mediterranean food, you’ll find familiarity here. And if you’ve grown up on a standard American diet, you’ll find ample opportunity on the menu to be adventurous.
Octopus is a Portuguese favorite! Lisbon is most famous food-wise for its Pastel de Nata (Custard Tart). And of course when it comes to drinks it would be criminal not to enjoy a glass of Port wine after dinner.
Between the technicolor castles, moss-covered ancient wells and ominous forest, Sintra looks like something out of a dark fairytale. But it’s all just a 30-minute train ride from Lisbon. Follow in the footsteps of many artists, filmmakers and even the Portuguese royal family who take their escape to the colorful fantasy to get inspired.
Portugal was once the world’s most powerful nation, with an empire that stretching around the whole world. Since Lisbon has been the country’s hub throughout the ages, it is littered with stories from those times of conquest and trade. Lisbon as a city can be traced back even further to 1200 BC, and is the second oldest city in Europe!
All of this history means many an afternoon can be spent wandering the streets of Lisbon on a city tour learning about the rise and fall of the Empire, the brave adventurers from the age of discovery, and the stories of the city itself.
As the "City of 7 Hills" Lisbon has an awe-inspiring view around every corner, and many miradouros (Portuguese for viewpoints) that serve as perfect sunset spots for a chilled glass of Vino Verde, the green wine that is popular in Portugal.
If you don’t feel like trekking up one of the city’s hills to say goodbye to the day, you can always stroll down to the river and watch the sun set beneath the 25th of April Bridge, which may look familiar to the people of San Francisco…
The appeal of Lisbon doesn’t stop once the sun sets. Over the last few years its reputation as a destination for party goers has grown exponentially. It now has something for every taste, be it a sophisticated rooftop bar or a wild berlin style nightclub, Lisbon has it all.
If South East Asia is a bridge too far for your first Edumadic adventure, Lisbon is the perfect place to get your feet wet!