My expectations for Lisbon were modest. I’ve never heard it described as one of the great cities of the world, like Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo. That, in my opinion, is a major oversight.
For three days we walked up and down narrow, winding, cobblestone streets; along broad, tree-lined boulevards; rode old trams through the streets and “elevators” (funiculars) up and down the many hills of the city; stumbled upon hidden parks, plazas and squares; climbed ancient staircases; sat in cafes and drank strong coffee and ate the best custard tarts I have ever eaten; walked the grounds of the 14th Century castle that dominates the city on the highest hill; and marveled at the views of Moorish, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic architecture and the red tile roofs that seem to cover the city, broken up by occasional patches of white, pink, blue and green. Lisbon is one of the most beautiful, graceful, interesting and walkable cities I have ever visited. It deserves much more than the two and half days we had. We will have to return.
For those thinking of a visiting Lisbon, we stayed in a light, spacious, reasonably priced apartment in the Lisbonaire and ate a couple of times at the Luistinia down the street (tradtional Portugese fare) and at the Petiscardo on Rua do Norte 79 for fusion tapas (no website). Also, get in good shape for walking up hills and buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in before you leave home.