As part of a last minute 3 day mileage ‘jog’ last year (literally returning home on December 31) that included 3 stops in Frankfurt, 1 stop in Vienna, 2 stops in Zurich and one in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to see a small part of Lisbon for the first time. Guess which airlines I flew 😉 …….
By the time I arrived from Frankfurt (via Zurich) it was already mid-afternoon and any sight-seeing would need to happen quickly.
The friendly check-in agent at the Sheraton Lisboa suggested I visit Lisbon’s Baixa district because of its proximity to the hotel (10 minutes by taxi) and the fact that it is lined with many narrow streets full of architecture, shopping and food. Having only a few hours, I took her up on the advice since there would be a lot to see in a relatively small area.
Baixa certainly contains a high concentration of things to see and do. Shops line each of the 8 streets that make up the core of the district. Around the periphery exists a number large plazas with ornate architecture, fountains and scupltures that are worthy of their own ‘trip reports’. Even the streets are cobbled in a variety of beautiful patterns consisting of black and white bricks which makes them as much as an attraction as any building. Considering that Lisbon was leveled during an earthquake in 1755, it shows no worse for the wear after its reconstruction.
Having only a few hours, I did not do much browsing in order to take in as much of the area as possible and I did not finish my ‘power tour’ until nearly midnight. I was fortunate in that most of the streets surrounding the area were blocked off to traffic because of a marathon which made getting around the area that much easier.
Following are some of my favorite highlights of the Baixa neighborhood which hopefully gives you a taste of what the area offers. It’s certainly worth visiting and on my list of places to return and spend more time discovering.
To the south of Baixa is the Praca de Comercio (Plaza of Commerce) which is a large open area for the public to enjoy. It sits on Tagus river and affords fanastic views out towards the Atlantic to the east.
As the sun set, festive lights kept the neighborhood bright and festive. Even a brief thunderstorm had no impact on dampening the mood. Add a night-time marathon to the mix and Baixa was buzzing with activity.
Index to other Trip Reports: