3 Reasons I Love Lisbon


It has been TWO YEARS (!!!!)  since we started on our travels and said good-bye to the good ol’ US of A. I feel so blessed to be able to see more of this amazing earth that we inhabit, but there was one place that has stuck with me and I still miss – Lisbon, Portugal.

Lisbon was the first European stop on our travels around the world and we almost considered scrapping the rest of our travels to stay in this vibrant city. It is that awesome of a place. After a little over two months in our little apartment in Lisbon, we packed up and moved on with our travels, but I have always pined to go back there and stay for good.

I have been thinking a lot about Lisbon lately, so I decided to write this post. It is a way for me to spread the love of a truly amazing place. So without further ado…

3 Reasons I Love Lisbon

yckA6BroiThe History

Lisbon 09882 Lisboa Praça don Pedro 2006 Luca Galuzzi
View from the historic elevator de Santa Justa toward praça don Pedro, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi – www.galuzzi.it
The history of Lisbon is as fascinating as it is long. Originally founded in the 12th century by Ulysses, it was called Ulissipo or Olissopo, stemming from the Phoenician words “Allis Ubbo” which means “enchanting port” and is where the name Lisbon originated from.  From then on Lisbon has been a significant port city for numerous groups including the Romans and the Moors.

In the 15th century Portugal was an empire that enjoyed abundant wealth due to it’s colonies in the Atlantic Islands, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

A massive earthquake in 1755 nearly destroyed the entire city of Lisbon and over the next century it was rebuilt and spread progressively to the North.

The history of Lisbon is seen in every building face, in every statue, in every patiently cobbled lane. You smell it as you pass by the hole-in-the-wall family restaurants serving delicious food and wine. You hear it with the lapping of the ocean along the waterfront. The history of Lisbon seeps into your soul and stays there and calls you back.

Z at the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon.
Z at the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon.

The Food and Wine

Bacalao (3903838484)
Bacalao (Portuguese for cod) is one of my favorite Portuguese dishes. It can be prepared numerous ways, but I always liked it fried and served with potatoes. Delicious! Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad from Oslo, Norway (Bacalao Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 Yes, it is true, I love food. You all know that about me (and hopefully love it too).  It drives me to explore new areas of the places we visit and stay. Lisbon was a gold-mine on the food front. Everything we ate and every restaurant we tried was excellent, from the bread, cheese and olives that they place on the table (and that is NOT free, but inexpensive and worth it), to the meat or seafood, and what seemed to be compulsory olive oil fried potatoes. Each dish was a steal at the cost of about 5 Euros. And I cannot forget about the half.. ahem… full carafe of red wine that each restaurant so wonderfully offered and delivered for a small price of 3-5 Euros.

The food can make or break a place for me, and Lisbon’s completely made it. I still drool thinking about the food I ate there.

Okay, this is port not wine... but you get the idea.
Okay, this is port not wine… but you get the idea.

The Public Transportation

Metro Lisboa Route Map (only with routes in operation)
Map of the Fantastic Lisbon Metro By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
I hate having to drive a car. My goal is to live somewhere that provides excellent and accessible public transportation or everything within walking distance to my residence. Having to travel longer than 20 minutes to get groceries, no thank you. Yep, I am a city girl.

There are so many ways to get around Lisbon, it makes it almost impossible not to explore it fully. There is a metro along with trams, busses, and funiculars that all use the same pass through Carris which makes it incredibly easy to get around the city and outlying areas like Sintra and Cascais. There are also trains that will take you to places farther away as well, such as the Algarve and Porto.  For more info on the options for transportation in Lisbon, click here.

If you are so inclined, bicycles are very popular as well and there are taxis everywhere. Or you can walk! And get an excellent work out. The city is nicknamed “The city of seven hills” for a reason… I don’t think my legs ever looked so good as they did in Lisbon.


Lisbon always pulls at me. I know we will make it back there someday, hopefully sooner than later. Regardless of when, I know that I will love it just as much as I did then. So if you haven’t been, GO! Get your butt on a plane and go check out this city. I am sure you will be glad you did.


Now it’s your turn! Have you ever been to Lisbon? What did you love about it? Are a city person or a country person? Do you prefer public transportation or having your own vehicle? Leave a comment and join in the fun!


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  22 comments for “3 Reasons I Love Lisbon

  1. aviets
    April 10, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been intrigued by Lisbon ever since I read ” The Arm of the Starfish” by Madeleine L’Engle in junior high – it’s set there.

    • andthreetogo
      April 10, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      I will definitely have to check that book out! Is it in the same series as A Wrinkle In Time or something separate?

  2. tieshka
    April 11, 2015 at 12:28 am

    I too love Lisbon. I’ve only been there once, along with a tour of the beautiful coast of Portugal, but it left such a great impression on me. Would love to return someday with my family for another adventure there! Great post.

    • andthreetogo
      April 11, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Thank you! It is such a wonderful place to take kids as well. They are welcome everywhere pretty much.
      We would sometimes get little attention going into a restaurant, until they would see Z and be so wonderful. Making sure that we got the best table and she got a lollipop or something. It’s such a different experience than in the states. I love it!

  3. Sue Slaght
    April 11, 2015 at 4:07 am

    We loved LISBON too! What a great city.

    • andthreetogo
      April 11, 2015 at 8:58 am

      It really is… I have been getting a bit bored with writing about Phuket and HAD to write about Lisbon… Although now I am desperately craving a glass of amazing Portuguese wine. 🙂

  4. joylovestravel
    April 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Never been to Lisbon – but I think I would love it and think that more having read your post Jenny! We’ve been to Porto in the north and the Algarve in the south and had a great time in both places. I still yearn for a Lisbon trip though, definitely in the pipeline!!

    • andthreetogo
      April 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Oh yes! If you have been to Portugal and seen the other two places, you will love Lisbon. There are a ton of things that your son would love as well, massive parks, a zoo, and aquarium, and so much more!

  5. Lani
    April 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Wonderful post. I do hope I get to go one day!

    • andthreetogo
      April 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      I think you would love it Lani! Hope all is well up in CR… Hope the smog isn’t reaching you up there!

      • Lani
        April 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm

        It’s been raining, so thankfully, the air is fresh. Humid, but fresh. Thanks!

        • andthreetogo
          April 12, 2015 at 8:50 am

          We just got our first real rain in months here last night. It was a welcome change and now the air and plants are so happy!

  6. kemkem
    April 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve been talking about going for so long to Lisbon :-). It’s just a stone’s throw away from us. I think we might do it this year, or maybe next, this one us getting kind of full. I love food, and wine :-).

    • andthreetogo
      April 12, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      It is so close to you… Only about a 6 hour drive I think if I remember correctly. You could go for a weekend (I’m so jealous hahah)!

  7. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    April 14, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Will make a point to go. I know we would love it, although being “country people,” maybe only an overnight before we hit some small towns.

    • andthreetogo
      April 14, 2015 at 8:24 am

      That’s a great idea! And despite it being a big city it has a small town feeling 🙂 especially with how friendly the people are.

      • freebutfun
        April 15, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Aww, Zoe has grown so much since your days in Lisbon!

        • andthreetogo
          April 15, 2015 at 11:30 am

          She sure has!!! I can hardly believe it! It reminded me to savor every moment with her in each stage of her life. 🙂

  8. Valerie
    April 16, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Looks and sounds amazing! I’d love to see the historical sights and taste the yummy food & drink! Hmm, maybe one day… 🙂 Thanks for sharing all the info, Jenny!

    • andthreetogo
      April 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting Valerie! I’m glad that you are back. 🙂

  9. Fabio Virgi
    November 16, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Hey Jenny & Chad, love this post! You’ve pretty much nailed the reasons to love Lisbon; although I probably would have thrown in the weather as a big bonus point haha! And talking of food, you’ve made me miss those delicious steaks they serve. So, so good!

    On a side note, I wanted to let you know about this graphic I created about the 5 reasons to visit Lisbon. I figured it could tie in well to your article, so if it’s any use to you: http://fabmeetsworld.com/5-reasons-visit-lisbon-portugal/

    Would love to know what you think!
    Fabio Virgi recently posted…5 reasons to visit Lisbon, PortugalMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      November 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Hello! Thank you for reading and commenting. I admit that Lisbon still has a real hold on my heart… I am just dreaming of a time that we can return. Thanks for the offer of the graphic. I checked it out and liked it a lot. Love your site as well! Nicely done. I hope your travels continue and you have an excellent day! Thanks again!

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